Jonava is the 9th largest city in Lithuania with a population around 30,000 and is known as an industrial town.
Jonava is a town in the country’s centre, not a tourist destination but an example of “real” industrial town which is living “real” life. Nobody here expect that tourist, especially the one from abroad, could decide to visit it. Town is self sufficient, has more or less everything what locals need and does not care about such irrelevant things like tourist services. Local Tourist Office is fully oriented to local and nearby residents and has a lot to offer them. Locals, in turn, like their town, which has developed from notorious soviet "ugly duckling" to cosy place to live where industry no longer pose a threat to the environment and people. Formerly heavy militarized surroundings with vast closed territories and nuclear warheads hidden deep behind the triple fence where average mortals were not allowed, now turned into a picturesque recreational areas free for any stranger to visit. Missiles have gone, as well as alien army, now even firing grounds may be visited if no training is announced. Beautiful rivers, dense forests, no tourist baits or traps, no tourists themselves. Industry does not look ugly anymore, neaty industrial landscape looks quite photogenic, ruins of abandoned secret objects now look quite exotic and even aesthetic to some extent.
Remains of Kosakovskis
manor on the Lipnikai
archaeological site near Jonalaukis
village in Jonava district.
What makes Jonava noteworthy? Excellent connection with Kaunas via straight 32 km highway. Kaunas’ residents go there as if it was a suburb and treat it almost as a resort. Jonava’ residents go to Kaunas for more decent nightlife or just to relax in a bigger city and enjoy what it can offer.
Local people of Jonava probably are more used to foreigners than those from any other similar town in Lithuania. However none of those foreigners come as a tourist. Therefore if you hear someone asking why you are here, know that this is a genuine curiosity, and accept that you really stand out.
History and city name
Jonava is young town. Its name means “John’s Place”. However, the first time it was mentioned in 1522 as Lipnikai manor, the site now is an archaeological object. Later the manor belonged to Skorulski family which gave the settlement a new name – Skaruliai. It now is a suburb with rather famous church. In 18th century Skaruliai was acquired by noble Kosakovskis family from Samogitia; rather soon courtier Dominykas Kosakovskis established a settlement near his manor, and named it after his sone Jonas. It could be so. But another story tells that there was a tavern on a southern bank of Neris river, it was owned by certain Jonas and his wife. Excellent location allured merchants and craftsmen who used to say, “it’s Jonas’ Place, let’s visit it”…
- Jonava Tourism Information Centre (Jonavos turizmo informacijos centras), J. Basanavičiaus St 3, LT-55171 (Centre), ☎ +370 349 52335 ([email protected]). Working hours: M-Th 09:00-18:00, F 09:00-16:45; on Saturdays works only during summer season 10:00-14:00. Provides various information (free of charge), organize tours (tour price varies). (55.073164,24.279342)
Jonava Tourist Office building on the right, Jonava Region Museum on the left.
Kaunas international airport, (IATA: KUN, ICAO: EYKA) is literally at the edge of Jonava district.
Jonava is on the main railway line roughly at the middle between Vilnius and Šiauliai. There is no railway line to Jonava from Kaunas.
It is worth to know that Jonava train station is at the northern edge of town, while city centre with the bus station and majority of residential districts are at the southern side. Municipality bus stop is right in the yard of the train station but buses are not very frequent (schedules are put up at the stop). You can call a taxi and it will arrive to the same yard. To go from the train station to the bus station by foot takes approximately one hour.
Motorway A6 from Kaunas north-east direction, or same road A6 from Ukmergė south-west direction.
Good connection with Kėdainiai via road No 144, and with motorway A1 – one have to go south-east down the road No 143.
There is no direct and straight road connection neither with Vilnius nor with Šiauliai (instead, the train is direct).
There are very frequent suburban buses from Kaunas, one daily bus from Vilnius and several buses that go via Jonava from various towns to various destinations.
It is worth to know that Jonava bus station is at the centre of town near central market place, hidden literally several metres away from both municipality square and the main street where Tourist Office is located. But if you need to get from the bus station to the train station, remember that they are far apart. Train station is at the northern edge of town. It is possible to walk by foot across the all town up to the train station and it takes approximately one hour. Municipality bus No 7 departs to the train station from Rimkai residential district and goes via the Centre (the bus stop by the Fountain Square), Bus Station and proceeds further north and up the hill. It also is common to call a taxi if you are short on time.
- Jonava Bus Station (Jonavos autobusų stotis), Turgaus St 1 (centre, near central market place), ☎ Passenger information: +370 349 51333 (05:00-23:00) ([email protected], fax: +370 349 52507). M-Th 07:00-16:00, F 07:00-14:00. Lunch break M-Th 11:00-11.45, on F without lunch break. Baggage room working hours: daily 06:00-19:00. Bus ticket price depends on destination. Each hand baggage unit storage for up to 1 calendar day - €0.60. Baggage is stored for up to 30 days. Baggage is accepted regardless of whether the passenger has travel documents/tickets. (55.075581,24.28026)
Jonava centre on a sunny August day.
Jonava centre on a rainy December night.
Town is not big; there are city buses and taxis that may save you a bit of time. To get outside municipality limits one either have to get one of infrequent suburban buses or get a car. Taxi also is an option.
Taxi in Jonava is called by phone. It especially is important if you arrive by train and want quickly get to downtown or some residential district – train station is at the edge of town and taxis arrive only if you call by phone.
Price within town (municipality) usually is fixed around €2. If you go to the district, i.e. outside the municipality, the price will depend on distance. It is normal to go by taxi within Jonava district limits.
Online booking via eTaksi in Jonava is not available, one can only search for the phone numbers in their Taxi directory, it may be useful if you want to check whether the following list is up to date:
- Blarta, Kauno St 4, ☎ +370 349 51111, mob. +370 64077766. edit
- Eisinta, P. Vaičiūno g. 16 - 21, ☎ +370 349 64444, mob. +370 68042777. edit
- Gysta, J. Ralio St 2, ☎ +370 349 50000, mob. +370 687 44788. edit
- Karlitas, ☎ +370 349 61111, mob. +370 61653000. edit
- Modesta, ☎ +370 349 51110, mob. +370 62030530. edit
- Nijamita, Panerių St 23-31, ☎ +370 349 73777, mob. +370 61536666. edit
Jonava centre: the only one surviving old street, which wasn't completely destroyed during the WWII.
Jonava suburb Skaruliai: Saint Anne's Church, belfry and cemetery.
One still can see remains of Jonava’s "ugly duckling" past, but generally the current slightly rough look of town is uncomparable to what was most of the previous century. Neaty central square, pleasant recreational area in Varnutė river valley, sculptures here and there, bicycle paths and such. The largest factory “Achema” is away from town and not visible, however one can see it from the bridge when entering the town. All territory of the factory offer rather neaty industrial scenery. And there are large forests with inhospitable swamps, unpassable thickets, nice meadows and beautiful river Šventoji that flows accross it. Scattered various ruins look like a rough decoration, quite fitting to general mood.
Objects of interest within municipality:
- Building of a former Horse-post station
- The old part of town, that is, a part of Old Town with surviving old buildings, as the actual town was destroyed during WWII.
- Jonava Saint Jame’s Church – a white Classicistic church built in 1793.
- Skaruliai Saint Anne's Church – a Renaissance church with Gothic features built in 1622, and the cemetery around.
- Old Jewish cemetery
- Soviet military cemetery
Objects of interest in district:
- Abandoned nuclear missile base
Saint John's Day (aka Dew Holiday) is mostly celebrated in accordance with pagan traditions: celebration in Joninės
Jonava recreation area in Jonines
Valley with the Jonava City Pond No1 on Varnutė
When Kaunas residents go to Jonava, they go as if it was their “pocket” resort. Nobody go to town itself, the interest is in district. See sections “Eat” and “Drink” for ideas.
- Lokės pėda Lokėnėliai village, LT-55465 Jonava district, ☎ +370 699 21144 ([email protected]). Tu-Su 10:00-15:00. Adventure park, oldest in the country. Around €15 per adult for 3 hours. Has a site for wild camping, place for 1 tent €8.
- Midsummer Day Festival (St John's Eve) June 24 (also known as Rasos), (Mostly in Joninės Valley by the rivulet Varnutė). The night from June 23 to 24.
- Arma Vytauto St 15, ☎ mob. +370 631 26007 ([email protected]). M-Su 11:00-24:00. Restaurant–bar. Has some vegetarian meals. Day lunch – €1-3, salad – €3-5, snacks – €3-6, main course – €5-15, soup – €2-3. Price of strong drinks vary depending on brand.
- Jonavos Vara Kauno St 17 (Old Town), ☎ +370 349 51784, mob. +370 672 24605 ([email protected]). Small family run restaurant–café, successfully operates since 1988. Catering, confectionery manufacturing, wholesale and retail sale of confectionery products (has a confectionery shop – see section “Buy”). Has a hall for 70-80 guests, suitable for banquets, receptions, conferences and seminars, funeral dinner. Outdoor café in summer. Takeaways.
- Svetainė (Parlour), J. Ralio St 14 (Very centre), ☎ +370 349 52663, mob. +370 652 14650 ([email protected]). M-Th 09:00-20:00, F-Sat 09:00-24:00, Su 09:00-20:00. (55.072508,24.280082)
- Ūžesys, Vilniaus St 34 (Old Town area), ☎ +370 349 50935, mob. +370 616 98617 ([email protected], fax: +370 349 54563). M-Th 07:00-22:00, F-Sa 07:00-24:00, Su 07:00-22:00. Operates like a convenient eatery at day time. Located next to (literally several metres) the old part of town, in the area which was destroyd in bombing during WWII and later developed as a residential district. edit
- Aušrinė (Morning Star), Ruklos St 12 (in Skaruliai village near Achema factory on the road to Rukla), ☎ +370 616 22783 ([email protected]). 10:00-22:00. Inn, very good secluded location outside the actual town. (55.077789,24.31764)
- Paryžiaus kaimo užeiga (Inn of Paris Village), Paryžius village, Lt-55305 Jonava district (28th km on a highway A6 Jonava-Kaunas; 570 metres from the bus stop “28-as km” Kaunas direction), ☎ +370 687 96898 ([email protected]). M-Su 10:00-22:00. Wooden road café, visible from the highway. Suitable for events, celebrations. (55.041251,24.224894) edit
- Senas bebras (Old Beaver), Kaunas Hgw 4, Turžėnai village, LT-55327 Jonava district (1 km from Karmėlava town (where Kaunas air port is located) toward Jonava), ☎ +370 610 16812 ([email protected]). Sun-M 11:00-22:00, Tu-Th 11:00-23:00, F 11:00-00:15, Sa 11:00-01:00. Inn near the highway. (54.979156,24.09743)
- Geltonas baras (Yellow Bar), J. Basanavičiaus St 6 (Centre, within premises of central „Iki“ supermarket), ☎ Meal home delivery : +370 349 51095 ([email protected]). M-F 10:00-24:00, Sa 00:00-02:00 and 11:00-24:00, su 00:00-02:00 and 12:00-24:00. Operates like a convenient eatery at daytime (offer day lunch), takeaways, has 2 halls for banquets and celebrations (up to 250 seats), dance floor. Day lunch (full course) - €4-6.
- Makaro smuklė (Makaras’ Inn), Turgaus Sq 3A (Centre, farmers market square), ☎ mob. +370 601 56757 ([email protected]). edit
- Nijolė (Pas Nijolę), Vytauto St 11, ☎ +370 349 53534, mob. +370 687 79331 ([email protected]). M-Th - 10:00-22:00, F - 10:00-24:00, Sa - 00:00-02:00 and 10:00-24:00, Su 00:00-02:00 and 10:00-22:00. Bar “At Nijolė’s”, as one can gues is a bar and a night-club in one. edit
- Rambynas, Žeimių St 34 (between the bus station and the train station), ☎ +370 349 51482. Lithuanian style pub. (55.084691,24.272313) edit
- Svaja (Daydream), Vasario 16-osios St 14 (Almost centre, next to the old historical part of town), ☎ +370 349 50774, mob. +370 601 10280 ([email protected]). M-Su 08:00-20:00. edit
- Pas Čipą (Inn At Chip’s), Skrebinai village, Kulva elderate, Jonava district (east of Jonava town, easily reachable down the road No 1915, at the crossroad near bus stop), ☎ +370 652 64412 ([email protected]). Countryside Inn, 1st floor double hall (up to 70 persons) has modern cosy interior, luxury fireplace, dancing hall, stage for musicians. 2nd floor has a hookah hall with its separate fireplace, bathroom with shower, 8 bedrooms for up to 40 people; suitable for the disabled. All premises are suitable for stag/hen parties, weddings, christenings, anniversaries, other celebrations, conferences and seminars. On offer: computer, projector, presentation programs, CD/DVD, large screen (4 m diagonal), internet connection. Additional services: beach volleyball, place and furniture for barbecue, children’s playground, picturesque environment for beautiful photos; sauna and hot tub during cold season; transportation means to bring you back home. (55.068982,24.137437)
- Pavėsis (In The Shade), Plento St 13, LT-55001 (On a highway Kaunas direction (not far), 330 m from the roundabout at the entrance to the town), ☎ Bar: +370 656 46121, fast food kiosk: +370 640 26575 ([email protected]). Some sort of a road cafe. Takeaways, suitable for kids (has children playground). 38 seats indoors, 80 seats outdoor cafe. Free parking lot. Takes bookings. Events, live performances on weekends. Day lunch €2-4, business lunch €5-7. Accepts cards. (55.064483,24.280015)
- Aušrinė (Morning Star), Ruklos St 12 (in Skaruliai village near Achema factory on the road to Rukla, suburban bus stop “Aushrine”), ☎ +370 616 22783 ([email protected]). checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Has 14 double rooms. From €30. (55.077789,24.31764) edit
- Kaimas kryžkelėje (Hamlet at the Crossroad), Kryžiauka village, Upninkai elderate, Jonava district (north east of Jonava town: go Ukmergė direction (road A6) up to Ilgabradai village at 55.135679, 24.427862, turn south east and go across the forest for 3 km 13 m up to the crossroad – there is only this homestead there), ☎ +370 698 44 700 ([email protected]). Territory of 1 ha, surrounded with large forest, 3 cottages, 30 sleeping places. Places to celebrate – up to 40, can accommodate up to 150 guests. Catering, Russian sauna, wi-fi, pet friendly, no smoking. Good conditions for conferences, events, celebrations. Suitable for kids. From €15, whole homestead €500-800. (55.126161,24.469177)
- Pocynė Panoteriai village, LT-55458 Jonava district (north east of Jonava town), ☎ Info: +370 618 89195, paintball: +370 636 06807 ([email protected]). Main cottage: 46 sleeping places, room for newlyweds, banquet hall for up to 60 people. Sauna cottage: 15 sleeping places. Timber cottage: 25 sleeping places. Hot tub, pool with island, paintball, football, volleyball, children’s playground.
- Rožlaukis (Rosefield), Barborlaukis village, Dumsiai elderate, LT-55303 Jonava district (south of Jonava, south of Šveicarija village – behind the pool. Accessible by the road A6, turn to Šveicarija and pass it through), ☎ +370 604 10949 ([email protected]). Survila family miniresort. Large cottage with 3 bedrooms (up to 11 people) and banquet hall (up to 40 people); small cottage for 2 families; “forest hut” with terrace for 2 people. Sauna, hot tub, fireplace, free parking lot for guests, water bikes, camping site, bonfire place, pond, basketball and volleyball courts. Distance to the forest 100 m, to the swimming spot 20 m, to the fishing place 50 m. Asking price.
- Saulynė Dubiai village, Upninkai elderate, Jonava district (at the eastern edge of district by confluence of Šventoji and Širvinta between Upninkai and Vepriai villages: from Upninkai go to Dubiai, pass it and go for 780 m up to alone mini-resort surrounded with forest), ☎ +370 685 84260 ([email protected]). Territory 1 ha. Everything for holidays, events, celebrations. Has parking lot suitable for camper vans. Catering, fishing, canoeing, rafting, sauna, volley ball, various table games. Sleeping places – up to 60 people, banquet hall – up to 100, outdoor terrace, arbor for up to 50 people. Asking price. (55.108976,24.553692)
- Vilkolė Žemutinė Batėgala St, Batėgala village, Kulva elderate, Jonava district (14 km south-west of Jonava town, accessible by the road No 1915 along the northern bank of Neris river), ☎ +370 687 52602. Ecotourism, sauna, hot tub, fishing, Lithuanian homemade wine tasting, gardening.
The Jonava (both town and the district) land line phone code is 349 and the five digit local subscriber number.