It is quite rare to find good preserved old town in any small Lithuanian city. There are only 7 cities with old towns, which have public significance. Old town of Kedainiai is small (about 87 hectares), but all main sightseeing things are concentrated here.
Kedainiai was a centre of Lutheran religion in Lithuania, so most of history of old town is associated with this religion - main patrons of city were Lutherans, Lutheran churches were built, conflicting with Catholics when Lutheran appeared and so on.
Kedainiai has some nice parks around old town and on opposite bank of Nevezis river. Some places are beautifully prettied up with flowers. There is one park on the way from old town to bus station, where most wooden statues are small or big heroes of Lithuanian tales.
Nevezis river divides Kedainiai into two sides. It is said, that one Nevezis side is still can be called "Zemaitija" (Samogitia, or Western Lithuanian land), another side - Aukstaitija (Highlanders, more Eastern Lithuanian land). These two parts has smaller or bigger difference in language dialect, culture, character.
I found two, only two public phones in Kedainai (add the post office here). But I can't complain, in any doubts read below.
I remember times of the Soviet Union, the country which occupied Lithuania till 1990. Once my father tried to call home (in Poland) from Lviv (Ukraine, now) that was from the Soviet Union. Hmm... it's another story. Simply it was almost impossible, it took many hours (first a trip to the only one post office which offered in theory such possibility for foreigners), special permissions etc. I though they called to Moscow to allow my father to call Poland that time. Hmm... they really didn't want people to contact without their full control.
OK, times luckily changed :-))). I called Poland from the public phone using the phone card I bought in the post office. The card costed 13.00 Lt and it was for 75 so called teleunits and 27 min. of domestic calls. It was enough for a few minutes call to Poland and cheaper than using my Polish cell phone.
There was no phone book inside the phone boot but (very nice surprice :-) exact information exclusively in English on:
- that it's local, long distance and international payphone,
- how to use the payphone,
- card prices and duration of calls,
- telephone communication codes to Lithuanian cities (Kedainiai: 8 347)
- international telephone communication codes
- Lithuanian toll free and paid telephone numbers,
- Free calls (no card required):
01 - Fire Station,
02 - Police
03 - First Aid
04 - Gas Emergency.
One public phone (on the picture) was put in middle-southern part of Didzioji street, the second at its northern end, by the pedastrian bridge over Nevezis River.
I was warned many times not to travel to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia by my car because of high risk of car thefts. Haha, I do NOT believe in it although I don't know any official police statistics. Maybe it could happen in the past... maybe in larger cities, maybe if I drive top class Mercedes car.
I drove quite new, small (but enough for two) Toyota Yaris (similar to American ECHO) which was equipped in some good (top secret :-) alarms and insuranced against thefts. And... I didn't wash my car during my trip haha.
But, being warned many times, in Kedainai I skipped this empty parking lot on my picture as it was located along main street and in front of local supermarkets. Instead I parked my car north of the old town, among other local cars just by tourist information office.
I did find close post office (on Saturday afternoon) with yellow post box put on its outside wall at J. Basanaviciaus g. 59, close to Maxima supermarket (look at my shoping tips for directions).
I bought and sent postcards a few days later from Vilnius and I must admit that Lithuanian Post was very fast.
I bought lithuanian currency (LTL = litas) just when I crossed Polish border when they accepted Polish currency at acceptable course. Polish currency was accepted in money exchange offices (valiutos keitykla) in Vilnius (at worse course) but not in Kedainiai.
In Kedainiai I found the only one money exchange office: Bankas Snoras. It was open on business days 9.00 am - 4.30 pm with lunch break 1.00 pm - 1.30 pm. But there was ATM inside (open non-stop) which accepted cards of Visa, Mastercard/Eurocard, Maestro but not American Express or Discovery.
Directions to Kedainiai Sonora bankas:
Almost opposite to MAXIMA supermarket, driving towards Panavezys on the right (northern) side of the main through highway 229, before crossroads with Didzioji and before the Orthodox church (on left), opposite to the ugly, high building of the town hall.
Just in case you don't have Lithuanian cash: a few stores/supermarkets and resturants/pubs I visited accepted Visa cards (except one smaller grocery).
It was very difficult to find any more exact information on Kedainiai especially in English.
So, I found:
- no pages on VT,
- very short information and no map in my guide to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and Kaliningrad District ("Praktyczny Przewodnik" by Pascal, Polish edition of Rough Guide series),
- closed tourist office in the old town of Kedainiai.
If you need more info follow the links below, please:
- General information in English,
- Kedainiai portal - info and some pics but in Lithuanian,
- Where's Kedainiai?
- Street map
- Museums of Kedainiai
- Jews in Kedainiai
- Official webpage - still in Lithuanian only,
- Kedainiai Info - in Lithuanian but click on fotogalerija to see pictures,
- Public Library - cultural information, poetry, links etc.