After relaxing days in Sventoji, the last small holidays day was a bit cloudy, so I decided to leave place earlier and also to visit Klaipeda for a few hours :)
It was no problem to find a center of Klaipeda, as I used GPS, but I was disappointing, that everywhere car places looked reserved or non - free for parking. Anyway, I decided to pay for these few hours (usually it is my principle not to pay for car place, as it looks not logical).
Plentiful and cheap ferries connect Klaipeda and the northern Curonian Spit village of Smiltinye. A passenger and bicycle only ferry departs from the old ferry terminal along Dane Gatve, while a car ferry departs from the new ferry terminal along Agluonos Gatve. The former ferry takes about 10 minutes, while the latter one takes about 15 minutes. Departures are roughly every 20-30 minutes between 7AM and 9PM, with more infrequent departures (new ferry terminal only) during off hours. Fare for a foot passenger or bicyclist is 2.90 Litas round trip. Round trip fare for a standard passenger car is 40 Litas. See the website for details on timetables and fares.
The Klaipėda Bus station is across the street and about a hundred meters down from the train station. This mode of transportation is far more popular than the train, and services are significantly more robust than in the train station. Coaches and mini-buses are available to numerous domestic and international destinations, including Riga via Riga Airport (note: the service to Riga is on a very cramped mini-bus, not recommended for those with limited mobility and/or traveling with small children).
Inside the bus station, there are several shops, including a large IKI grocery store (open daily from 8AM - 10PM).
Klaipėda has a small train station featuring modest services and a few domestic train departures. As of 2012, there were three trains per day to Vilnius, and two trains per day in the direction of Šiauliai and Radviliškis. While bus departures can be more frequent and convenient, you can save some money and a bit of time by taking the train. If you buy your train ticket at least 24 hours in advance, you can get a significant discount from the walk-up rate. For example, when I took the train to Vilnius in 2011, I paid 35.84 Litas when I bought my ticket the day before. The same ticket would have cost 51 Litas had I bought it the same day.
As Klaipeda is located at the narrow outlet of the Curonian lagoon it is only connected to the Curonian spit by local ferry.
Klaipeda has two ferry ports: The Old Port (Senoji perkela) can be found in Zveju gatve in the Old Town and the New Port (Naujoji perkela) is located in Nemuno gatve, just south of the Old Town.
Ferries from the Old Port leave only in summer and are mainly for pedestrians. They go to Smiltyne, whereas the bigger ferries which are also for cars leave from the New Port. They go to the beginning of the main street on the Curonian Spit.
Klaipeda's bus station at Butku Juzes is also the main transportation hub for the local Marshrutki. These are minibuses which serve as sort of route taxis to the suburbs or neighbouring destinations like Palanga.
Marshrutki usually depart when all seats are occupied. The fare is displayed on the windscreen and directly paid to the driver. I went on a daytrip to Planaga from Klaipeda by Marshrutka. The fare was 4 Litas (Summer 2006).
Klaipeda has a relatively small city centre, therefore there is usually no need to use public transport. Apart from that there are many pedestrianised streets or pathways which are not accessible to cars or public transportation.
So Klaipeda's city centre is best explored on foot. This also offers you the chance to have a look at the smaller sidestreets with its architectural gems.
On my Lithuania trip I twice arrived in Klaipeda by bus. The first time was on my way from Kaunas to Nida and the second time when I left Klaipeda to Siauliai.
The bus station is situated at Butku Juzes just opposite to the train station. There are various bus companies serving Klaipeda's bus station. Tickets can either be bought in advance from the ticket office or directly from the driver.
If, like me, you are arriving at Kaunas and plan to visit Klaipeda, you have two options.
You can have somebody come and collect you from the airport or you can catch the 'Airport Express'
To drive the 230 (or so) kilometres from Klaipeda to Kaunas will take around two and a half hours - unless you can sweet-talk your way out of speeding tickets. The return will be the same.
Just outside the airport doors is a bus which will take you to Akropolis car park in Klaipeda in about the same time for 59 Litas.
To me, there is little to choose.
A friend will spend over five hours driving and waiting plus burn almost 500 km worth of fuel, or you can spend 59 Lt and catch the bus and meet up in the coffee shop in Akropolis.
It's worth it for the Mega Latte :-)
On Sundays ferries go more often, than working days, because people go to the beach. There are also small boats, they also work for getting you to the other side of lagoon. If you plan to go to Nida, you should use Terminal 1, wich is just in the downtown of Klaipeda, on the river Dane. In Klaipeda we call the Terminal 1 as an "Old Ferry" ("Senas keltas"). When you get to the spit by "old ferry", then you will find busses to Nida, Juodkrante, etc... In summer time the Old ferry takes only passengers. The terminal 2, or "New ferry" is used mainly for cars and bikers, because there is not any other transportation on the other side.
I must admit that I didn't travel by train to or from Klaipeda, but I was at Klaipeda's train station and even travelled on other routes in Lithuania by train.
The train station (Gelezinkelio Stotis) is situated east of the Old Town just opposite to the bus station. The main routes lead to Vilnius (5 h) and Siauliai (2 h).
You can reach Klaipeda by boat from Mukran at the German island of Rügen or from Kiel. By car on an excellent motorway from Vilnius and Kaunas but it is far the nicer landscape when you go from Kaunas the road along the river Nemunas which for a part forms the border to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, the former Königsberg. The second biggest town of this area, still having the name Sovietsk(!!), the former Tilsit, is just over a bridge. But you would need a Russian visa to visit the Kaliningrad district. Klaipeda can also be reached by train from Vilnius/Kaunas.
Taxis vary on price. Cheepest is white taxy with yellow sting on the doors and decorated with small black cubes on the sides. On the car is numbes 311211. Price 0.9 Lt/km. To go throu all city cost around 20 Lt (15 Lt from Inrenational ferry terminal to bus station). There can fit 6 people or very huge luggage and 4 - 5 people.
Minibusses goes almost the same route as busses. They are faster but their prices is 1.5 lt/ride. They goes till 2 AM. Sometimes all night long but I can't promise that because i have been waiting once in the night for it for 3 hours. Then I came back home with a firsth bus that goes around 5 AM. From 11 PM till 6 AM price for minibusses is 2 Lt. Some are very nice and some are a bit messy but you can choose whether you want to ride or wait for the next one.
HOW TO GET IN: Just rise you hand like you are asking for taxi when you see right minibus. It will stop close to you.
HOW TO GET OUT OF IT: About stop you have to tell for driver before the stop (stops not only at the bus stops but everywhere where it is allowed).
We decided to rent a car to see the Curonian Spit national park, since it's surely the best way to enjoy this wonderful place.
After taking a look at quite a lot of internet sites, I choose to rent a car from Litinterp and not from the most famous car rentals (Avis, Europcar, Hertz...).
Why Litinterp? It's easy, a car from them costs half the price than from the other ones, and the service was perfect!
Litinterp headquarter in Klaipeda is at S. Šimkaus St. 21-4, but for car rentals you have to go to Puodžių street, which is just behind the other one!
I really cannot complain about anything, the car (an Opel Zafira 2.0TDI) was perfect and the guy at the agency was very nice and kind.
So, if you need to rent a car in Klaipėda I really suggest you Litinterp.