Your Guide to Klaipeda, Lithuania

Klaipeda is the only port town of Lithuania, and also the starting point for your explorations of the Lithuanian beaches by the Baltic sea (which are just amazing) and the Curonian Spit – my favourite place on this Earth. But being that close to all those holiday destinations, Klaipeda is too often used as a starting point of the journey, a port and a station, and is overlooked as a destination in itself. A town with exciting history, mix of cultures, very special architecture, cosy cafes and restaurants and a special vibe of the port city. In other words, a place to visit, explore and fall in love with.

But just like many smaller less visited cities, Klaipeda has hidden charms, and you need to put a little effort to discover it. In this case I have already done the homework, so you just need to read this article ’til the end, pick the sights and activities you like best and plan your perfect stay in Klaipeda for one, two, five or more days.

What to do in Klaipeda Lithuania?

Klaipeda Old Town

To get the first impression of Klaipeda, you should probably start your acquaintance with it from the old town. Klaipeda used to be a German town since 13th century, and only joined Lithuania in the 20th century. The German name for Klaipeda is Memel, and you will definitely come across this name many times during your stay.

During the World War II Klaipeda was under the German rule and was heavily destroyed during the fights. Interestingly, the town was almost fully evacuated before the battles began, and after the Soviet army took control, there were only between 6 and 27 (based on different sources) locals left in the whole city. Of course, some people came back after the war, but mostly it was the newcomers from different parts of Russia coming to this new home to rebuild it and live there.

This disconnection between the old history and new way of life can be felt in the unusual mix of architectural styles, lack of churches and bellowers, odd timber-framed (fachwerk) houses, modern glass buildings and 60’s grey blocks.

Lose yourself in the streets of the Old Town on your own or even better – get a local guide, who will tell you so many stories hidden behind the corners and the facades.

Museums of Klaipeda

The Blacksmith’s Museum

This is not a museum I would normally visit, but I was so happy I did. In the Blacksmith Museum you can see the old German and Lithuanian crosses, weather vanes and cemetery gates, but the best thing is a little educational facility on the side. There you can book a group visit and discover how to make old Baltic jewellery yourself from scratch. It is fun for children and adults and something you cannot find in any other place.

More about this museum can be found at their website.

Klaipeda Castle Museum

The museum by the port of Klaipeda in the location of the old castle, soon to be reconstructed. On a hot day it is the best idea you can do – dive into the underground corridors of the museums and learn more about the history of Klaipeda until World War II.

More about this museum can be found at their website.

The Museum 39/45

Located within the Castle Museum, you can find a new Exposition, called 39-45, meaning the years of the World War II. It is a small museum divided into three sections: pre-war times, war times, and after the war period. Although the museum may seem small, it is very interactive, so do allocate at least an hour or even more to it. The best idea would be to join a tour or get a guide, to learn more and make it a deeper and more emotional experience.

More about this museum can be found at their website.

Amber Queen Museum


The Baltics are famous for their amber, and Klaipeda is the place to learn more about it. In Amber Queen you can learn more about amber formation, different types and ages of it, see some inclusions (an amber with something, usually a bug or a leaf preserved inside) and buy some jewellery, if you fancy.

More about this museum can be found at their website.

Other things to do in Klaipeda Lithuania

After you are done with exploring the old town, there is still a lot to do here. One of the things you must do in Klaipeda is to take a ferry boat to the Curonian Spit – a narrow piece of land separating the Baltic sea from the Curonian lagoon and stretching some 100 km all the way into the territory of Russia.

Ferry Boat from Klaipeda to Smiltyne

klaipeda lithuania

The ferry boat starts from the port of Klaipeda. There are two ferry terminals, the new one (called Naujoji Perkela in Lithuanian) and the old one (Senoji Perkela), located right next to the city centre. If you are going on foot or by bike, you can take any ferry you want, but if you want to take the car over to the Curonian Spit and continue your trip there, you need to use the new terminal, as only that one takes cars on board. All the information about the ferries is here.

The part of Klaipeda on the other side of the lagoon is called Smiltyne.

Klaipeda Dolphinarium and Klaipeda Sea Museum

When you arrive by the ferry from the old terminal, get off and walk to the right, you will arrive to the Sea Museum and Dolphinarium, passing on your way the ground of old fishing vessels as well as a recreated farmstead of a typical fisherman from the area.

The dolphinarium is a tricky issue for me. When I was little, I saw two performances and it was one of the most impressive and memorable things, and something which made me more interested in the way dolphins live and are treated world-wide. But now being more aware of the backstage, I could not enjoy it the same way.

We had a long discussion whether we should take our little son to see it. On one hand, I would not like to go myself. On the other, it feels selfish to deny him something I could myself have as a child. We’ve finally decided to postpone it and learn more about the position of the dolphins (and environmentalists) towards the whole issue.

Whichever your stand on dolphinarium is, I do recommend you visit the Sea Museum. The museum has different kinds of educational activities, and my favourite part: the baby seal rehab. It means that abandoned baby seals are saved from the Baltic sea and placed in the rehab until they grow and get stronger, and when they are ready, the seals are let back to the sea.

For more information about this museum, head to their website.

Klaipeda Botanical Gardens

Something many tourists overlook, but if you are interested in plants at all, you definitely should not overlook such a place. The Botanical Gardens are located on the outskirts of Klaipeda, just a short drive, a long walk or a ideal-length bike ride away from the old town.

There you will find a peaceful park, a variety of roses and my favourite part: a herbal garden with at least 20 different types of thyme, numerous lavenders, mints and other herbs you can make a tea of. And even better, you can arrange with the Garden’s staff a special activity, where you will be told more about the properties of those herbs and can taste teas made from some of them.

To arrange your tour and find more information about the gardens, click here.

Klaipeda Beach

There are two main beaches in Klaipeda.


The closest beach to the centre, just a bus drive away. Melnrage beach is divided in two parts, simply called Melnrage 1 and Melnrage 2. In Melnrage you will have a perfect white sand beach with a view to the port, so you can see some cruising ships entering the harbour. It is a great place to try (or master) surfing or paddle boarding (SUP boarding). Follow Banglente or get in touch with the coach Tomas to check in advance, whether there will be waves for the surfing or still waters for paddling.


You are already familiar with Smiltyne and know how to get there with the ferry. Now when you get off the ferry, instead of taking the road to the right to the Sea Museum, walk straight ahead and after 1.5 kilometre you will arrive to Smiltyne Beach. This is one of our family’s favourite beaches – clean and white and not crowded (especially during the weekdays).

It is a blue-flag beach, well-equipped for the wheelchair users, has drinking water fountains, phone chargers, life-guard station, playgrounds for kids, volleyball and football pitches and a cafe with swings and a balcony, facing the sea – perfect for watching the sunsets.

Klaipeda restaurants and cafes


To have dinner, go to Friedrich’s Arcade. This is a renovated historical passage with several dining options. You can choose Lithuanian traditional cuisine, fine European restaurant, a steakhouse and a winery, so even the most picky eaters will have something they’ll like.


To have a evening drink, head to the SKY 21 Terrace in Amberton Hotel. As the name suggests, the terrace is on the 21st floor, so you can sip your cocktail or Klaipeda’s local beer Svyturys with the view of the whole city, the port, the ships leaving and coming and the best – the most beautiful sunset.

Lunch and Coffee

As for the coffee (my favourite meal of the day), let me share the gem of a place. Ateik Ateik became one of my most favourite places from the first sight. It is a little cafe right on the beach in Melnrage, overlooking the sea (and again, the sunsets!). It’s open all year round, and I can’t decide when it is at its best.

Is it during a hot summer day, when you can have a glass of ice coffee with a sandwich, while wearing your bathing suit after a class of paddle boarding? Or is it on a cold November evening, when you can sit inside with a cup of hot chocolate with your laptop, listening to jazz and watching the ships leaving the port with their lights on, “like a lit Christmas tree lying on its side” (the quote from Ateik Ateik team). In any case, I have firmly decided to pay a visit whenever I am in Klaipeda, and I suggest all of you to do the same.

Where to stay in Klaipeda Lithuania?

Klaipeda Hotels:

Amberton Hotel Klaipeda – to have your access to the SKY 21 Terrace whenever you want
Memel Hotel Klaipeda – Spacious and clean hotel a bit further away from the old town
Green Hotel Klaipeda – Affrodable and cosy hotel
Ibis Hotel Klaipeda – Because you always know what to expect from Ibis
Hotel Promenada Klaipeda – Hotel right next to the Klaipeda Train Station
Aribe Hotel Klaipeda – close to a Wakeboarding place, if you’re into that
Ararat Hotel Klaipeda – for some Armenian vibe in Klaipeda
Morena Hotel Klaipeda – Close to Melnrage beach
Smiltynes Jachtklubas – the hotel in Smiltyne (there are not many of them there anyway)

Still have not found anything for you? Have a look here:


Practical tips

Arriving to Klaipeda

By car: If you arrive by car and stay in a hotel, make sure to check the parking fees and availability. Generally parking in Klaipeda is affordable and it should not be too difficult to find a spot.

By train: Klaipeda Train Station is located not far away from the city centre. There is a good connection to Vilnius.

Bus station: Next to the train station you will also find a bus station, connecting Klaipeda with all the nearby small resort towns like Palanga, Sventoji and Karkle.

By air: There is no such thing as Klaipeda Airport, but check out Palanga airport – it is only a very short drive away.

By ship: There are boats arriving from Germany and Sweden.

Bike rental

Klaipeda is very bike-friendly, with the continous paths, allowing you to reach most places. If you have not brought your bike with you, check out Du ratai for good selection of bikes and affordable prices. You can even take your bike on a longer trip to Nida if you wish.

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7 thoughts on “Your Guide to Klaipeda, Lithuania

  1. Cat says:

    This place looks beautiful and what a gorgeous sunset you had. Always wanted to visit Lithuania, hopefully one day I get here 🙂

    • merrygoroundslowly says:

      I’m glad you liked it! If you ever have a chance to come to Lithuania, do make sure to have a bit more time here, to see other places than Vilnius. 🙂

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