The bus system in Kaunas is not so efficient as in Vilnius, since the city is pretty small.
What I found more difficult was getting the ticket from the bus driver. As an adult, I would have needed a normal ticket for two litai, but the driver thought I was a student and was trying to tell me that the ticket fare for students is one litas...
By plane to Kaunas
Kaunas has its own airport just 14 kilometers away from the city centre. Though not really large, the modern facility handles flights to several European destinations (e.g. London, Riga, Dublin) with services mostly flown by Ryanair. There is a bus service (line 29) and a minibus (line 120) linking the airport to the central bus station close to Kaunas Castle.
When using the minibus, be sure to flag it down, otherwise it will leave without you...
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Going by train.
The railways are as good in Lithuania as in any country, I used it for my journey to Vilnius. Here is a link to the railway company.
The railway station is situated in the eastern part of town, about 400m south of the bus station.
There are two funiculars in town, but the one you might come to use is the one called Zaliakalnis, going from the Putvinskio street (opposite the street from the marker) up the hill to the Resurrection church where you can take the lift up the 70m tower to get a spectacular view of the town.
Inter city buses.
There are a couple of ways to get to Kaunas by means of inter city bus. Follow this link and click the buttons down to the left and you'll get to the bus companies' pages.
The bus station is located in the eastern part of the town, not far from the railway station which is ~400m southwards.
The local transports.
The local transport system consists of buses and trolleybuses. Tickets can be bought from the driver for 2 LTL, or from newsstands and Rkiosks for 1,80 LTL. As always, you have to validate the ticket as soon as you get on the vehicle.
For schedules and route maps click here.
By Bus to the Airport
Bus 29 goes a bit infrequent (depending on airtraffic between 1 and 3 times per hour) from the train Station, then bus terminal, then Savanoriu Prospektas to the airport, 30 minutes and Lt 2, pay at the driver, exact amount!
- Castles and Palaces
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Getting to the 9th Fort
I found the best way to get to the 9th Fort was to catch Bus 23 to Sargeni which is just beyond the intersection where the road to Klaipeda branches off.
On the bus I used there was a digital display to tell you when you've reached the bus stop for the 9th Fort which is useful but you can actually see it as you head towards the intersection so it shouldn't really be a problem on knowing where to get off.
At the bus stop the first thing I did was to cross the road to have a look at the timetable for the bus back. Definitely worth checking out.
Keep walking back towards the intersection and follow the path, not the road, round to the right past some houses and towards a subway which crosses underneath the main road. You will now find yourself at the parkland surrounding the fort.
The museum entrance is in front of you and it's where you get the tickets for the fort and museum. The monument doesn't require a ticket
Kaunas has a small airport that is served almost exclusively by Ryanair. They fly to over a dozen airports, mostly in the UK, but also Frankfurt, Stockholm and Oslo. You can easily get from Kaunas to the airport by Bus 29 (29E at night). It takes about 30 minutes and costs the same as any other bus journey in the city - just 2 litas. Buy a ticket from a kiosk or from the driver.
You can also get a bus from Vilnius, as it is only an hour or so away. This makes Kaunas airport a feasible jumping off spot for Vilnius, but it would be a shame to miss out on Kaunas if you land here.
Note for people with babies: Bring a baby carrier because you will have difficulty accessing the lifts. They are staff operated only and staff aren't always easy to find.
Kaunas's public transport is a system of buses and trolley buses. It's a mixture of new and shaky old rust buckets. You'll mostly need them for getting from the train station to the old town, or from Kaunas to the airport. Buy your ticket from one of the many kiosks on the street (ask for "autobus" and they should understand what you need) and then jump on. Don't forget to frank the ticket in the machines.
Tickets cost 2 litas per journey - that means once you get off you need another ticket, even if you only travelled one stop.
Kaunas's train station is about 2.5 kilometers from the old town, but it's only an hour away from Vilnius on wonderful modern trains and a smooth new line. The station is a bit less unwelcoming than in Vilnius, and a lot less busy. In fact it was so quiet I thought I'd got off at the wrong station when I walked out - thinking this can't be the right place for a station in a major city. It didn't help that the station had written in large text across the front "Gelezenkelio Stotis", which I took to mean I had arrived at Gelezenkelio Station, not Kaunas. Turns out Gelezinkelio is just Lithuanian for railway!
Funicular railways aren't a common sight in any city, but Kaunas has two of them: the Žaliakalnis and Aleksotas funicular railways. Both are operated by the city's own transport system, and both have uniformed conductors who will check your ticket (or sell you one) before travelling with you on the journey. It seems like they wait until someone turns up and then they go - they aren't exactly crowded with passengers.
The Žaliakalnis funicular railway takes you up to the new Church of the Resurrection high on the hill above Kaunas - a great place for viewing the city. The Aleksotas funicular railway is south of the old town, across the Vytautas the Great Bridge over the Nemanus river. It takes you up to a viewing platform on the hill. There's no church or anything else of interest up there, but the views are arguably better.
From Kaunas Airport to the City Centre
Bus 29 leaves the Airport for the city centre quite regularly. The last bus leaves at 22.30 but there is a night bus at 00.30.There is a flat fare of 2Lt for all Kaunas buses regardless of journey length and includes the airport bus.
The Ibis Kaunas Centre hotel where I was staying was right next to the bus station which was perfect for getting to and from the airport and around the city, as well as further afield if you needed to.
All the buses I caught were punctual so the timetables seem reliable which is always good news. The bus stop I used had a digital display board showing how long you would need to wait but not all bus stops have this facility.
It is easy to get to Kaunas by air, several air lines serve the city nowadays, low-cost carriers as well the expensive ones.
To get to/from the airport you can use the city bus 29, timetable here.
To Kaunas by bus
We left Kaunas by bus to Nida on the Curonian Spit. The trip took about 4,5 hours and was 48 Litas (14,40 Euro; 2006).
The bus station (Autobusu Stotis) can be found at Vytauto gatve 24/26, which is located only 15 minutes on foot southeast of the city centre.
It is served by various bus companies from almost all bigger cities in Lithuania.
The two main bus companies are:
Kautra Bus Lines: http://www.kautra.lt/
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