The Top 10 Things To Do and See in Klaipėda

Klaipeda | © Elizabeth Georgian
Klaipeda | © Elizabeth Georgian
Photo of Elizabeth Georgian
20 March 2017

The city of Klaipeda is a cozy port and gateway to the Curonian Spit. In the summer months cruise ships dock here and tourists fill the quaint old town. Formerly an important trading post with Germany, the town is dotted with beautiful half-timbered houses that are relics from the past. Klaipeda is a great stop over for a relaxing weekend or a short stay before or after an active trip to the Curonian Spit.

Friedrich Passage

Historical Landmark
Map View
Located in downtown Klaipeda, Friedrich Passage was first created in 1692 and was given its own coat of arms. Visitors to Friedrich Passage will find courtyards housing restaurants, little shops, and cafes. Visiting Friedrich Passage is a nice way to spend a few hours, particularly when the weather is dreary as visitors can pop into the shops and cafes or duck under overhangs to wait out the rain.

Street Art

While Klaipeda doesn’t have nearly as much street art as Vilnius, it still boasts a few interesting works here and there. Though ever-changing, interesting pieces can be found in Klaipeda’s old town, particularly near the small park along Aukstoji g.

Aukštoji gatvė, Klaipėda, Lithuania

Street art and statues | © Elizabeth Georgian

Street art and statues | © Elizabeth Georgian

Winding streets of old town

Klaipeda has a unique old town that feels very different to Vilnius’ or Kaunas‘. Its architecture has numerous German influences due to its past (and present) as a seaport, connecting Lithuania to the world. The best place in the old town to admire the beautiful architecture is Klaipeda’s old town square.

Klaipeda’s old town | ©Elizabeth Georgian

Walk along the river in Dane Park

Park
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Dane River Park, Klaipeda
Dane River Park, Klaipeda | © Elizabeth Georgian
Klaipeda has a lovely river park along the Dane River. Visitors who opt to stroll along the paths in Dane Park will be able to sit and watch fishermen from the numerous benches along the river. This long, narrow park also features a few permanent sculptures and a playground suitable for little children.

Black Ghost Statue (Juodasis Vaiduoklis)

Architectural Landmark
Map View
The Black Ghost is a statue is a rather creepy sculpture that looks rather like a Dementor from Harry Potter. The Black Ghost statue is located near the picturesque Memel Hotel and the figure appears to be climbing out of the Dane River. This statue was sculpted by two Lithuanian artists, Svajunas Jurkus and Sergejus Plotnikovas, and the 2.4 meter (7.8 ft) tall statue is entirely made of bronze. The Black Ghost sculpture commemorates a legend from 1595 that described a black ghost lurking in this location.

Swinging Bridge

Bridge
Map View
Swinging Bridge
Swinging Bridge | ©Elizabeth Georgian
Right next to the Black Ghost Statue is the Swinging Bridge across the former Memel Castle moat, that connects Klaipeda to the historic Memel Hotel and the cruise ship terminal. The Swinging Bridge is opened each hour to allow boats to pass, and is closed the remainder of the day for visitors to cross. To open this bridge, two workers must turn a wheel, which swings the bridge opened and closed.

Meridinas Ship

Restaurant, Lithuanian, $$$
Map View
Dane River with the Meridian Ship in the background | ©diesel3377/Wikimedia Commons
Docked in the Danes River, visitors will easily spot the grand Meridinas Ship. This ship was built in the 1940s and was originally used as an educational ship for the Klaipeda Navigation School. Recently, it has been rejuvenated and now shows marine expositions and is home to a delicious seafood restaurant, Meridinas.

Sculpture Park

Cemetery, Church, Park
Map View
Sculpture Park in Klaipeda | ©Jeremy Ellis
The Sculpture Park in Klaipeda is built on the former site of a cemetery from the 1800s, that was destroyed during Soviet occupation. To commemorate the former cemetery, more than 100 sculptures and memorials were installed. Additionally, the park houses a beautiful Russian Orthodox Church that was a former chapel. It is free to visit the Sculpture Park.

Smiltyne

Museum
Map View
Smiltyne Beach | ©Jeremy Ellis
Though on the Curonian Spit, Smiltyne is technically part of Klaipeda, but can only be reached by ferry. In Smiltyne, visitors will find stunning nature trails, perfect for hikers and bikers. Visitors interested in swimming in the Baltic Sea can also walk to the sea facing side of the Curonian Spit. Additionally, in Smiltyne there is the Lithuanian Sea Museum, which is a popular museum with sea animals and shipping displays.

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