Difference between revisions of "Klaipeda"
Revision as of 14:04, 30 June 2011
Klaipeda is Lithuania's third largest city, located in the north-western corner of the country. Originally founded by Baltic tribes, the city and castle was built by the Teutonic Order in 1252 and named Memel in honor of the river of the same name some 40km to the south. For most of its history, Memel was part of Prussia and large battles with Lithuanian lords took place here. Invasions came from Sweden and Russia and the city was part of the Prussian Kingdom and became a prosperous harbor town. It represented the northernmost city in Germany and Prussia until 1918. After Germany lost the First World War, Memelland was first given free city status and then subsequently annexed to the newly established Republic of Lithuania. It was briefly reabsorbed by Nazi Germany before WWII and then reverted back to Lithuania (the Soviet Union) in 1945. Since Lithuanian independence in 1990, Klaipeda has become one of Lithuania's most buoyant cities with a steadily growing tourist trade.
Bus trip per one trip per person - 1.80 Lt (from kiosk), 2.40 Lt (from bus driver) (€0,53-0.71). Shuttle bus trip per one trip per person - 2.50 Lt (day), 3.40 Lt (night) (€0,74-1.00). Taxi trip per 1 km - 3.00 Lt (€0,87).
More information at Klaipeda passenger transport .
Klaipėda city is known for it's main icons: sculpture Annchen von Tarau, located in theater square, old sailing ship "Meridianas" (there were restaurant inside), also there are lots of small sculptures (sculpture of mouse, dog, dragon, chimney sweep, post pigeons and others) hiding in the old town. There are not so many museums in Klaipėda. Some of the most popular include the History Museum of Lithuania Minor, the Klaipeda Picture Gallery, the Marine museum and the Clock museum. Klaipeda's old town is small but interesting. Anika Square has a balcony where Adolph Hitler addressed a crowd. Legend has it that Hilter was annoyed because the statue depicting "Anikė" of the Lithuanian folk tale was not facing him, so he had the statue removed. A replica is now in its place. More information about Klaipėda city highlights you can find in Klaipeda tourism and culture information center 
There are many things to do in Klaipėda. If you like nature - you must visit Curonian spit, which is a 10 minute boat ride from the Old ferry terminal (New ferry terminal for vehicles). In summer time the ferrys are running each 30 minutes, starting from 6 am, till midnight. In other side (Smiltynė) you can visit Sea museum, ethnographic fisherman farmstead, take a walk on the pier, see the white sanded beaches or just take bus to Juodkrante or Nida towns (they are located 18 and 50 km from Smiltyne to south).
If you like clubbing - there are many clubs in Klaipėda. Popular ones include "El Calor" Latino music, "Kurpiai" Jazz club, "Dr. Who", "Martini", "Relax" and "Kiwi".
There is a big and wide sand beach at Smiltynė, full of locals and tourists in the summer. Giruliai and Melnragė beaches are at Northern Klaipėda, big and popular place to visit. The water is clean and warm.
There are many shopping malls in Klaipėda. The biggest one is called Akropolis  and it is one of the biggest shopping malls in the Baltics. There are many things to do in Akropolis: cinema, skating rink, restaurants, shops, 2 supermarkets, gym, pizzerias and so on.
There is a decent selection of Lithuanian and Western restaurants places in Klaipeda, most of which are located around the city's main thoroughfare, H.Manto street, and its continuation into the Old Town, Tiltu street. Main course prices range from €2 at the lower end up to around €20 at the higher end.
There are many pubs and bars in Klaipėda to spend some time just sitting relaxing and drinking. Most of the pubs are located in the city centre and also in the southern part of the city. In the city center there is old warehouse "Memelis" (now it is renovated and working as bar/club), there is brewery inside and you can taste beer that's boiled in the same building. Average price for a pint of beer in city center for pub 5-8 Lt (around € 1.45-2.30). The local brewery is Švyturys (lighthouse) . The "Š" is actually a "sch"-sound and the "y" is pronounced as a long "i". In Klaipeda old town you can find cocktail bars as well: "Aperitivo 24", "12th floor", "Viva La Vita". Klaipėda is known not only for its beer, locals are very into wineries. Almost on every corner you can find a small and cozy winery with huge variety of wines.
Klaipeda is a safe place but like anywhere you have to use common sense. Try and walk with a confident air and never look lost.
The lovely seaside resort Palanga is on the way back to past glory. It is busy with tourists from June to September.