Klaipėda is one of the oldest cities in Lithuania, tracing its history back to the 13th century. Located on the country’s west coast, where the Baltic Sea meets the Danė River, this port city is best known as a launching pad for the UNESCO-listed Curonian Spit. Its history includes periods under German rule, which can be seen in its distinctive architecture and a town layout unlike any other city in Lithuania. Sit outside during warmer months to soak up the sunshine at riverside bars, and sample local craft beers.
You can stay in a Klaipėda hostel located on a cobblestone street in Klaipėda’s Old Town, or in a 19th-century building overlooking the Danė River. Treat yourself with free continental breakfast brought to your room, or cook up your meals in hostel kitchens. Some hostels in Klaipėda have on-site bike and scooter rentals to help you get around town, and you can expect to find free Wi-Fi access throughout most. You'll be able to choose from mixed dorms or private rooms with shared bathrooms or en-suites.
Klaipėda’s compact Old Town shows a strong German and Scandinavian influence. Examples include German-style courtyards and traditional fachwerk (half-timber) houses. The Danė River runs through the town, alongside to the east you'll find the Sculpture Park featuring 116 open-air artworks set among 12.2 hectares of forest and parklands. Liepų Street, in New Town, is parallel to the river and is worth wandering through – you'll be able to spot buildings that look as if they haven't changed since the 17th century.
The Curonian Spit is a 98km long peninsula jutting out off the coast of Klaipėda. It’s known for its dramatic landscapes including vast sand dunes, lush pine forests and wild beaches that can be explored on foot or by kayak. Back in the city, Memel Castle (also known as Klaipėda Castle) was first built in the 13th century and its remains now form a small museum.
Palanga International Airport is the closest to Klaipėda, about a 50-minute journey by bus, which connects to the city's train stations and surrounding neighbourhoods. Passenger ferries connect Klaipėda’s Old Ferry Port with Smiltynė – for travellers heading to the Curonian Spit, in 5 minutes. The International Ferry Port offers routes to Kiel in Germany, and Karlshamn in Sweden. The bus station, a 15-minute walk from the town centre, has routes to Riga in Latvia, Tallinn in Estonia and towns around Lithuania. The train station is next to the bus station and connects with Vilnius and Šiauliai.