EuroLeague Final Four 2023 Kaunas: dates, early tickets & 20 awesome things to do in Kaunas
The city this crazy about basketball will host EuroLeague Final Four 2023. Kaunas will become a hot spot for basketball lovers. 2 days and 4 games in Zalgiris Arena starting Friday, May 19, and the final finishing the ultimate basketball battle on Sunday, May 21. Tickets are going on sale soon. Reserve your spot and stretch your legs before you hit the arena in the evening with these 20 awesome things to do in Kaunas.
Kaunas is eccentric, bohemian, historical, and unlike anywhere else! It is certainly one-of-a-kind, and there is much more to it than meets the eye. Every street corner told a different narrative.
So, if you're seeking offbeat things to do in Kaunas, we believe you'll be spoiled for choice.
From magnificent street art to cobblestone alleyways in the old town, historic castles, and even a Devil museum (really! ), plan ample time to appreciate everything Kaunas has to offer.
The ultimate Kaunas bucket list is here! If you're keen to know the BEST thing to do, scroll down to #1.
#20 Wander around the Old Town
The Old Town of Kaunas is the city's oldest district and an excellent tourist destination! Colorful residences surround winding cobblestone lanes, some retaining their original brick structure.
Many structures in the Old Town recall the glory days of the 15th and 16th centuries when this was the hub of the town. Perkunas' House at Aleksoto g. 6 is the most gorgeous, remarkable Gothic masterpiece.
The major pedestrian street, Vilniaus, is the city's oldest street and was once part of the medieval path to Vilnius. It is now teeming with tiny stores, restaurants, and pubs. Most of them include outside seats, making them ideal for relaxing.
#19 Visit the town hall
The market square is the focal center of the Old Town, with residences from the 16th and 17th centuries and the majestic town hall in the center. The structure is tall and sleek, and it's no surprise that it was given the moniker "White Swan" due to its striking similarity to this graceful animal.
The town hall was constructed in the mid-16th century in a Gothic, Baroque, and Classicist style. You should also go inside the town hall, which I strongly suggest because the interior is lovely and decorated in many styles.
The most beautiful hall is utilized for ceremonies, and if you arrive on Saturday, you will almost certainly witness a line of wedding couples waiting to get married.
#18 See the remnants of the castle
What we can see now are simply the ruins of a 14th-century castle, but it's still an intriguing spot to see, especially when you consider how great this structure used to be. Only the tower and a portion of the walls remain today.
The jail was established here in the 16th century, and tradition is that the location is still haunted by the ghosts of the convicts who died here. Inside, you may explore the Kaunas city museum section.
#17 Visit beautiful churches
Even if you are not religious, you should visit some gorgeous churches in Kaunas Old Town.
The most notable is Kaunas Arch-Cathedral Basilica, located right off Market Square at Vilniaus g. 1. It was erected in the early 15th century and is Lithuania's largest Gothic church. The ornate decor is really breathtaking!
St. George Church (near the castle) has wonderful antique paintings, the Church of Holy Trinity (near the town hall), and Vytautas' Church (near Perkunas' House).
#16 Find the old shrine
The old pagan shrine may be found in the park on the outskirts of the Old Town, near the confluence of the Nemunas and Neris rivers. Paganism was formerly quite prominent in Lithuania, and there are still a few thousand pagans in the nation today.
People assemble at the shrine every Saturday at 10 a.m. to build a fire and offer salt and bread to the gods. I arrived only a few minutes late to observe the event, and while no one was present, the fire was still glowing gently.
#15 Enjoy the riverside
Rivers play an important role in Kaunas, and the place where they meet is such a pleasant green area in the city. That's also where you can go for the hot-air balloon flight to see the city from a unique perspective (I was supposed to do it, but the weather spoiled my plans).
When you are in the Old Town, you should come here as well, even if to see the confluence of the two most important rivers in Lithuania.
#14 Ride the funicular to Aleksotas Hill
Kaunas is Lithuania's only city with a funicular (actually two of them). The one to Aleksotas Hill was created in 1934 to facilitate city mobility and make this location more accessible.
The ride up the hill costs only 1,20€ one way (or 2€ return). The journey is brief but enjoyable, and it is one of the most unique things to do in Kaunas.
#13 Admire the best view of Kaunas Old Town
Even if the funicular is not running, you should still travel up to Aleksotas Hill to enjoy the stunning views. The Nemunas river is just in front of you, with the Old Town immediately across the bridge. In the backdrop, you can see red rooftops, tall spires, and residential neighborhoods.
Vytautas the Great Bridge, which connects the Old Town to Aleksotas, served as the boundary between the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Poland. The famous joke was that it took 13 days to cross the river from one side to the other since Russia used the Julian calendar and Poland used the Catholic calendar, with a 13-day discrepancy between the two.
#12 Eat out at Vilniaus street
Vilniaus, the major pedestrian street of the Old Town, is lined with restaurants and cafés. There are lunch and supper options for every taste and budget, but we highly recommend sampling some Lithuanian delicacies. Except for Lithuania, zeppelins - giant potato dumplings or šaltibarščiai (our fave!) - cold beetroot soup are not commonly seen anywhere else, so this may be a fantastic opportunity for you to taste some.
During the warmer months, all of the restaurants offer tables outdoors, allowing you to experience the lively ambiance of the street while dining.
#11 Find amazing murals
One of the most surprising aspects of Kaunas is its outstanding street art. The city is filled with incredible murals, stencils, and other types of art. The major figure of the local street art movement, though, is a quirky cat that can be found all around the city.
Street art is such an essential aspect of the cityscape that it has inspired numerous souvenirs, and a few months ago, local trolleybuses were painted in the greatest street artworks (and the cat).
#10 Walk along the pedestrian Laisves avenue
Laisves Avenue is the principal thoroughfare in the New Town and one of Europe's longest pedestrian avenues (1,7 km). In addition, there are some outstanding specimens of modernism in Kaunas, such as the central post office, the municipality, and the old "Pazanga House" in this area.
Laisves Avenue is teeming with restaurants, cafés, and boutiques, and it is usually crowded. The center section of the roadway is lined with trees, which provide much-needed shade on hot days.
#9 Try the most famous donuts in Kaunas
Spurginė is a legend in Kaunas. This bakery, located at Laisves 84, has been in operation for about forty years, specialized in old-fashioned doughnuts. The restaurant appears to be frozen in time, yet the donuts are superb and have been made using the same recipe for years. You don't want to overlook them!
#8 Discover the hidden yard gallery
The Yard Gallery is a wonderful hidden gem in Kaunas and one of the coolest locations to visit. To be turned into a magical realm, you must enter the gate at Ožeškienės 21A.
Vytenis Jakas, a local artist, moved into one of the units in this complex over ten years ago and discovered there is no community there. He wanted to alter that, so he gradually, step by step, transformed the yard into a fantasy.
To recall the past, he initially hung images of the Jewish family who used to dwell in those houses on the walls. It was only one of several projects that brought the neighborhood community together.
#7 Visit the fascinating Devils Museum
You must not miss the world's only Devils' Museum when visiting Kaunas.
Antanas Žmuidzinavičius, a prominent Lithuanian figure, has gathered around 3.000 demons from over 70 nations, including sculptures, figures, masks, souvenirs, and more. The entire collection is on display in the museum; some of the demons are frightening, while others are amusing, but they all contribute to a fascinating show.
#6 Ride Žaliakalnis funicular
When visiting the new town, don't forget to ride the second of Kaunas' funiculars, Žaliakalnis. The entire trip takes less than 2 minutes and is a lot of fun! This funicular, like Aleksotas, dates from the interwar period and has its original equipment.
#5 See the panorama from the rooftop of the Church of the Resurrection
The modernist Church of the Resurrection is located next to the upper station of the Žaliakalnis funicular. The structure is massive (it's impossible to photograph properly), yet the inside is small.
The main attraction, though, is the rooftop, which you may reach by either walking up the steps or taking the elevator. From up there, you can see the entire city (particularly the New Town) and beyond, making it one of the greatest Kaunas panoramas.
#4 Find famous movies locations
You might not realize it, but Kaunas is a popular filming location. Some well-known movies were filmed here, and you may really identify some of the corners from the screen if you know where to look.
The popular TV series "Chernobyl" was filmed in the city. The hospital in Moscow was, in fact, the old building of Kaunas Technical University, and the iconic bridge from the moving moment when Prypiat inhabitants watched the fire is located on the city's outskirts.
If you want to locate additional movie locations, purchase a specific map of Kaunas and embark on a quest.
#3 Visit the Baroque masterpiece – Pažaislis Monastery
Even if you have to take a short detour from the center, Pažaislis Monastery is well worth the trek.
It is one of the notable instances of Italian Baroque not only in Lithuania but also in Eastern Europe. It is located on the city's outskirts, on the peninsula of Kaunas Reservoir. The monastery was erected at the end of the 17th century and is lovely both inside and out, but the breathtaking murals are the reason you should be there.
There is also a popular restaurant on-site (Monte Pacis), one of the best in Kaunas - we highly recommend having lunch there, but make a reservation in advance.
#2 See the sculpture transforming in the evening
We've already emphasized Kaunas's beautiful street art, but this one trick needs special attention.
In the sunshine, one of the statues near the War Museum appears entirely natural. But when darkness arrives, everything changes. Someone painted stars on the wall behind the monument, and when the lamps are turned on, the sculpture's shadow appears to be flinging stars. This is such a simple yet brilliant concept!
#1 Watch EuroLeague In Žalgiris Arena
The 2023 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four will be held in Kaunas, Lithuania, one of the most passionate basketball countries on the planet.
The four finest teams on the continent will compete in the semifinals on Friday, May 19, at the majestic Zalgiris Arena. Finally, the championship and third-place games will take hold on Sunday, May 21.
The 2023 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four will be contested in Lithuania for the first time. Lithuania's ardent EuroLeague supporters will finally have the opportunity to experience the most renowned pan-European basketball tournament at home, as Kaunas has long been a candidate to host the Final Four.
Tickets to the 2023 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four in Kaunas, Lithuania, will be available to the public on January 17 at 9 am.