Kaunas - The Best City in The World - Traveler's ChildTraveler's Child

Kaunas – The Best City in The World

Name: L.
Hobby: traveling
Best city in the world: KAUNAS

I could go on and on about the amazing places and beautiful destinations that world is full of. Nevertheless, in the blink of an eye I would answer which place is the best in the world for me. It’s Kaunas, our beautiful hometown and the heart of Lithuania. 

Kaunas is the second biggest city in Lithuania, located at the confluence of two major country’s rivers – Nemunas and Neris. Funny, but that’s all I can say. It seems that it should be super easy to define several of the most important things about my hometown. But it’s not! I have so much to say about my city that I don’t even know where to start. But I will try.

This is how awesome Kaunas is!

Kaunas

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Let’s see. First of all, during interwar period Kaunas was the capital of Lithuania and one of the most prosperous cities in Eastern and Central Europe. During that time a lot of Interwar Modernism objects were built, and this is why Kaunas is one of the best examples of that type of architecture in Europe. Want proof? This lead for our hometown to become the first city in Eastern and Middle Europe to get into the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, and now Kaunas’ architecture is on its way to become a part of UNESCO’s Tentative List. 

Secondly, our geographical location. Due to being located at the confluence of two most significant rivers in the country, which by the way, merge in the central part of the country, Kaunas is truly a heart of Lithuania. And since Lithuania is a geographical center of Europe, this makes Kaunas to be the heart of the Old Continent! Well, at least we like to think so. 

Kaunas

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Thirdly, Kaunas has long and great history which has decorated city since the early Middle Ages. It’s not a secret that Lithuania once was the biggest country in Europe. Then1 we were called the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and by the 15th century our lands spreaded from Baltic to the Black Sea. During that period our country flourished and so did Kaunas. The most spectacular buildings in the city comes back from then – 14-15th centuries.

So, basically, there are two major periods of time that Kaunas can rightly be proud of. It’s the High Middle Ages and the Interwar Period. It’s hard for us to say how traumatised we’re about the Soviet occupation that ruined every progressive step made by our hometown and our home-country back then. Nevertheless, we are strong and we have a right attitude to always move forward. So all in all, Dear Reader, nowadays Kaunas owns strong values and beliefs, patriotic and free Lithuanian spirit, vibrant and youthful atmosphere, harmony of nature, architecture, culture and history. Let me show you that.

Kaunas

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The feel of Interwar Kaunas

If you, Dear Reader, are interested in both – the medieval and the interwar Kaunas, it won’t be enough just to wander around the old town. Your journey has to start on the hill – the Green Hill2, my favourite place of the city. It’s one of the oldest and the most sophisticated parts of the city, located on the hill above the city center. And this is, actually, where Traveler’s Child grew up.  The thing that I love the most about living on the Green Hill is the smoldering spirit of the interwar period elite. Classy elders are conservative here, but their manners are inspirational. Sadly, each day there remains less of those with such an exemplary way of living.

What is more, major part of the Green Hill was planned and built during the interwar period, so it holds a lot of astonishing examples of Interwar Modernism. Here you will find the largest oak park in whole Europe – Ąžuolynas, Kaunas Zoo, retro-looking Vytautas attraction park for kids, and many other awesome, old-school places to see. And then, when you’re done with the Green Hill, go towards the Žaliakalnis Funicular which will take you to the heart of the city – the Freedom Avenue.

Kaunas

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Walking along the Freedom Avenue

Freedom Avenue is a long tree-lined avenue that lasts from the Green Hill up to the old town. This whole avenue is like one solid point of interest lasting for 1,6 kilometers. Here you will find a majestic St. Michael the Archangel Church, elegant Kaunas State Musical Theatre, Puppet and Drama theatres, Zoological Museum and many other awesome place to see and visit. What is more, Freedom Avenue is lined along the Nemunas River, so just around the corner there is a wonderful riverside and Nemunas island to explore. And then, when you, Dear Reader, will already know how that awesome Interwar Modernism looks like, you will reach the most picturesque part of the city – the old town. 

Kaunas

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Kaunas old town is quite small and compact. There are, basically, only several streets to explore. But what streets those are! In addition to being the most picturesque part of the city, it’s also the most vibrant and lively. Here you will find a lot of nice cafes and restaurants, pubs, bars and nightclubs. During summer time, the main – Vilnius street, which starts from the Freedom Avenue and ends with the elegant Town Hall square, are totally crowded with students chilling in the outdoor cafes after their classes.

Kaunas

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And it’s not the end of your journey, Dear Reader! You still have to see the most unique feature of Kaunas – the confluence of Nemunas and Neris Rivers. Just behind the Town Hall square stands the historical Kaunas Castle from where you will enter the unique and outstanding Santakos, or the Confluence, Park. Go for a walk there, enjoy both of the rivers separately, and the point where both of them merge into one – the widest and the greatest river in the country.


Kaunas

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Now I’m calm that I have guided you through the best of our city. The only thing that it is left for you to do, is to go back to the heart of the old town and to enjoy the lively spirit that city offers for you. Go, Dear Reader! Go, and enjoy our beautiful hometown! 

Yours, L. 

  1. From 13th to 18th century.
  2. Or Žaliakalnis, that’s how it’s called in Lithuanian.

About L.

She has a serious mental disorder, which is associated with the Harry Potter world. It is stated, that symptoms of uncommon behavior started when she read about the Hogwarts and the Wizardry World for the first time. Now she’s in her mid-20’s and is in constant search of magical signs all other the world.1 Another thing is that while travelling L. is acting like a little child in a toys shop – she is super excited and she wants everything. Due to this, she knows and sees a lot, but has difficulties in simply stopping and enjoying a moment.

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