The coastal city of Klaipeda is the third largest one in Lithuania and a hidden gem for tourists looking for something new.

Many individuals visit the seaport for a short while before making a beeline for the sand dunes of the Curonian Spit. However, despite seeming unassuming, Klaipeda is one of the best places I’ve visited in Lithuania.

You might be wondering why I loved visiting the coastal city so much. First, unlike other major seaport cities, Klaipeda doesn’t have industrial facilities. It is a cozy ice-free port on the Eastern coast of the Baltic Sea with beautiful architecture, cobbled streets, and friendly people.

There are also numerous places to explore in Klaipeda, including various tourist attractions. The coastal city is also home to rich history as it used to be an important trading post with Germany. So, it should be on your ‘must-see checklist’ when you visit Lithuania.

Today, I’ll be discussing the best places to visit in Klaipeda and the things to do while in the coastal city. If that piques your interest, stick around for more.

Take a Tour of The Klaipeda Old Town

On top of my list of places to visit in Klaipeda is the Old Town. In fact, it’s the first thing I recommend you to check out when in the seaport city. After all, it is probably the most popular attraction in Klaipeda.

As soon as you step into the Old Town, you’re going to see how vastly different this place and its buildings are from Vilnius or Kaunas.

a building in Klaipeda

The Old Town is a remarkable example of German architecture with its half-timbered houses. Some old traditional buildings also remain intact despite the town experiencing two wars. Moreover, its picturesque cobbled streets are quiet and easy to navigate. Honestly, one can spend hours just walking around and taking in the history and culture of the place.

I recommend you first take a tour of Theatre Square, which is considered the heart of Klaipeda. The square as you see it today, once used to be underwater as it was the moat surrounding the Memel Castle. However, the area rose from the water in the 1800s when parts of it were covered. It was then used as a bustling marketplace for more than a hundred years.

Back then there was a popular theatre here called the Dramos Teatras, where many top artists of the time performed. For example, Richard Wagner, the German composer, and conductor conducted opera musicians there in 1837. On closer inspection of the theatre, you’ll see the Klaipeda Coat of Arms on its façade.

In saying that, the most popular tourist attraction there is the monument Taravos Anikė (sculpture of a girl, Ann from Tharau). It is located in the center of the square in the middle of the fountain. The sculpture also has a lot of history attached to it, which isn’t uncommon in Klaipeda.

architecture in Klaipeda

This monument was erected in 1912 by Berlin sculptor Alfred Kune and dedicated to Simon Dach, a German lyrical poet and hymn writer. The poet was born in Klaipeda (Memel at the time) and is regarded as one of the most well-known 17th-century German poets. He had fallen in love with a girl named Ann at first sight, who had already been engaged. So, heartbroken, Dach wrote a poem for her named Ann from Tharau. It is still a widely known piece of work, popular not just in Germany but also in Austria and Switzerland.

Unfortunately, the monument disappeared during the Second World War and was never found again. However, the city’s inhabitants reconstructed it during the ‘90s.   

If you cross the square located right behind the square, you’ll reach a bridge known as the Chain Bridge that was constructed in 1855. It still operates but has to be manually rotated by those working at the docks. This unique technology is the only of its kind in all of Lithuania.   

Visit the Klaipeda Museums and the Nearby Streets

Another great place to visit in Klaipeda is the Castle Museum nestled in the yard of the Klaipeda Castle. This is a great place to get acquainted with the evolution of the city, as well as the history of the Memelburg Castle of Klaipeda. A lot of artifacts found in the castle are showcased there.

The exhibitions are in the 16th-18th century underground galleries and showcase Curonian weapons, tools, and jewelry. There are even objects and tiles in the gallery dating as far back as the Renaissance. However, the crème de la crème of it all is the valuable gold ring from the 16th century. It is adorned with precious gemstones and was found at the Castle site.

Once you’ve explored the museum, head over to Aukštoji street. There you can find the largest and oldest fachwerk-style warehouse brought from Germany. If you take a right from this street, you’ll end up at Didžioji Vandens, which used to be a part of the Dane River.

The Mažosios Lietuvos Istorijos Muziejus, or the Museum of History of Lithuania Minor, is located here in a baroque-style building. This grand museum houses a wide range of archaeological collections from different burial grounds. In fact, you’ll find everything covered from the first civilizations up to the modern day. These also include old documents, newspaper clippings, pictures, and various other items from the 1800s-1900s. However, the best thing at the museum was an old postcard that shows what the seaport city was like back in the day.

If all this doesn’t satisfy your needs, there are other museums at a short distance from here. Some of my other favorites were the Blacksmith Museum and the Ethnocultural Centre and Arts and Crafts.

the Klaipeda seaport

See Tourist Attractions While Strolling Near the River in Dane Park

Taking a stroll nearby the Danes River is an incredibly wonderful experience that you must try. This is why it ranks third on my list of places to visit in Klaipeda. There are plenty of sights and sounds that will make your trip there an incredible experience. These include the mesmerizing bronze sculpture of a fisherman, old fishing boats, and the Tree of Love. This a structure that was erected in 2013 and is laden with locks.  

That being said, the best tourist attraction to see near Dane Park is the sculpture of the mermaid. It is known as the Undinė Klaipeda. The structure of the mermaid was gifted to the city in January 2015 by the Lithuanian Maritime Academy.

This remarkable sculpture is located near the edge of the Akmena-Danė River. It is made from bronze and weighs somewhere around 140 kg. The bronze mermaid is sculpted to be swooning on a bench and wears a bracelet shaped like a snake on her right wrist. According to the locals, rubbing the tangled snake bracelet will make your wishes come true. This is based on the legend of the mermaid who saved a young sailor from a sea disaster.

Visit the Klaipeda Harbor

No tour to Klaipeda would be complete without visiting the harbor. We already covered that the waterfront of the city is incredible to discover, however, this takes the cake.

I recommend you start by visiting the Meridianas, one of the most well-known landmarks of the city. It was built in 1948 in Turku, Finland, as a gift to the Soviet Union after the Second World War. A lot of the other ships made there at the same time didn’t remain until today. However, this ship was sent to the Klaipėda Navigation School and served many post-war captains as an educational vessel. Today, it is used as a restaurant on the quay of the Dane River.

Irina Bukatik drinking coffee in Klaipeda

Those who know about my love for culture and food must already know how much I love this place. This symbol of the port city isn’t just a landmark of its rich history, but also of its food culture. The menu at the restaurant focuses on European cuisine and Mediterranean dishes, seating up to 80 visitors. There is also a separate banquet room for 14 people and an outdoor area. I recommend sticking to seafood as it is their specialty, such as mussels and salmon.

Once you’re done eating, head to the harbor behind the Curonian Spit. There you will find the sculpture of the Klaipeda Black Ghost (Juodasis Vaiduoklis). It is an eerie-looking statue that seems out of place with its surroundings. However, that is exactly what makes it so breathtaking. The statue is 7.8 feet tall but is only half visible above the waterfront. The sculpture is of a hooded ghost that carries a lantern.

However, the folk tale behind the statue isn’t as terrifying as the sculpture itself seems. In fact, the legend dating back to the 16th century is about a hooded figure that appeared to warn a guard at the Klaipeda Castle about an impending famine.

Irina Bukatik in Klaipeda

Do you want to learn more about the top places to visit in Klaipeda and other parts of Lithuania? Then take a look at the travel and food blog at Irina Bukatik.

My name is Irina Bukatik and I’m a travel enthusiast and food blogger trying to uncover culture and cuisine through my travels. If you want to come with me on journeys across the globe, you can do it right from your home by reading about my travels.

If that interests you, keep up with me by checking out my Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Tumblr. You can also get in touch with me here.

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