Visiting the Mouth of the Curonian Spit in Klaipeda, Lithuania

Set on a small stretch of coast on the Lithuanian Baltic coast, Klaipeda is truely set in an amazing location. The city is set directly on the Curonian spit which is a UNESCO protected area for its unique natural wonders. With a nice German flavor, this once important Prussian city is now Lithuania’s third largest city, yet keeping a distinctive town summer holiday  feel. Its fame is only starting as cruise large cruise ships have included the Klaipeda onto their Northern Europe route along with Tallinn, Helsinki and Stocklholm.

Visiting Klaipeda

Klaipeda was actually called Memel in German times before it was renamed Klaipeda by the Lithuanians. The city was a nice surprise for me, as I didn’t expect such a beautiful little town since I hadn’t heard much from it in the past. It was peak summer season when I visited, but nevertheless, I was told that Lithuanians do not consider it exclusively a summer holiday destination as its beaches are a couple kilometers east. It is more famous for its connection to the Curonian Spit and the Curonian lagoon. Judging by the hundreds of Lithuanian tourists that had come with their bicycle, the big activity seemed to travel by bicycle from Klaipeda to Nida while visiting the famous dunes and bathing, on one side in the Baltic sea, and on the other side in the lagoon. It was interesting to cross the Russian border from Kaliningrad to Klaipeda, crossing the entire Curonian spit and seeing these cyclists on their way to Nida.

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The Center of town is particularly lively along the Dane River. I found the dozens of bars and cafes along the river to be fun to sit in the evening and sip a drink while people watching. Everybody in town seems to converge to this area at sunset where the atmosphere really starts to kick in. There were still some German houses left from the time in the old Klaipeda area between the river and Turgaus Aikste, with a classical Drama theater.

260 Degree Panoramic View of Klaipeda from the Castle Hill

Best 2 Days Itinerary for Klaipeda

Start your first day with breakfast and coffee around the river Dane, where you can find plenty of cafes set all next to each other. Continue in the old town and see what the German architecture used to look like before it was mostly destroyed during World War 2. From there, catch a glimpse of the Teatro Alkste and the nice architecture of the Drama Theater. Go to see the Meridians Ship on the Dane river and have a quick coffee on it. After lunch, make it to the Klaipeda Castle where you can climb to have a nice panoramic view of the city (see picture below). You can then visit the Klaipeda Castle Museum set inside its walls. In the evening, have dinner around the old town and sip some drinks at a pub close to the river joining the crowds.

The next day, rent a bicycle and take the ferry across the River on the other side of the Curonian Spit. Cycle your way to the first dunes you can find, and if you have more time, make it all the way to Nido, a nice little town to spend the night and come back to Klaipeda in the morning, by bike, or with the Bus.

Another interesting expedition is to go to Punge, just 50 km away to visit the Soviet Missile Silo, a truly amazing experience that I would recommend in heartbeat. You can read about my experience in a previous article on the matter.

 

Riverside Pedestrian Walk

Top 10 Things to do in Klaipeda

  • Walk around Old town
  • Curonia Spit
  • Golden mouse sculpture
  • Meridians Ship
  • Lithuanian Sea Museum
  • Acropolis
  • Flower boat
  • Annchen statue
  • Take a riverboat tour
  • Central Post Office

Top Rated and Recommended Cafes in Klaipeda

  • KAVOS architektai
  • Musangas
  • Maison du croissant
  • Meat lovers
  • Vanilinis Dangus

Top Rated and Recommended Restaurants in Klaipeda

  • KAVOS Architekt’ai
  • Momo grill
  • Monai
  • Tonas
  • Irish pub Nese

Klaipeda in Pictures

Kleipada at Night

Castle Area

Flower Boat in the Center of Town

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