Famous for its stunning architecture, Kaunas is very much a city of two halves. You can start by wandering around the old town. Here, the streets are cobbled, and the houses are built in a traditional style. Many of them are brightly coloured or have exposed brickwork, creating a charming backdrop for your holiday photos. The highlight is the town hall, nicknamed "White Swan" for its spectacular design. You'll also see a number of buildings from the 15th and 16th centuries, including grand Gothic mansions. This was where the well-to-do Kaunas lived in times gone by, and as you stroll down the streets, you'll feel a sense of the town's history.
The other half of Kaunas is the new town, which has some of Europe's best examples of modernist buildings. The city boomed in the interwar period when it was named the capital of Lithuania. This led to a huge increase in construction. Take a walk along Laisves Avenue to see examples of striking modernist buildings, both private homes and municipal offices.
You'll go further back in time when you pay a visit to Kaunas Castle. Only one tower and part of the walls remain today, but you can clearly see that this was once a huge, intimidating fortress. It once housed the city's jail, and local legend claims that the building is still haunted by the souls of executed prisoners.
Use car hire in Kaunas to see a curious, uniquely Lithuanian sight. On the edge of town, you'll find the spot where the Nemunas River meets the Neris. Here is an old pagan shrine. You might miss this, as it's little more than a pile of rocks in a gravel circle. Every Saturday morning, members of the city's pagan community come to the shrine to build a fire and make offerings to the gods. You can watch this ceremony from a respectful distance. Paganism was once the main religion in Lithuania, so this tradition offers an interesting glimpse into the country's past.
Car or van hire in Kaunas will also allow you to visit the city's most fascinating museum - the Devil Museum! You can see a collection of over 3,000 devils and demons collected from all over the world. Check out the masks, sculptures, costumes and more. Some will make you laugh, and others might give you nightmares - but either way, it's an intriguing collection that shows how different cultures perceive demons.
Driving in Kaunas
You'll find ample parking around Kaunas. In the central part of town, parking must be paid for from 08:00 to 20:00 each day. In the Town Hall square, at the heart of the old town, the paid hours are longer, from 08:00 to 00:00. There are several options to pay for parking: the meters accept both coins and contactless cards, or you can choose to pay by SMS or by using the city's uniPark app.
Rush hour in Kaunas runs from 07:00 to 09:00 and again from 17:00 to 18:00. If you can avoid driving in and around the city during these times, you are unlikely to see much traffic.
Lithuania, like many European countries, requires drivers to keep their headlights on. This regulation is in effect at all times of day and all year round. If another driver honks at you on the road, they might well be warning you that your headlights are off.
Driving in the summer in Kaunas and the surrounding area can be a strange experience. This far north, the sun never truly sets. Instead, there are a few hours of twilight before the next day begins. For many visitors, these endless summer days can be disorienting. If you are not used to it, your body clock may struggle to cope. As such, you might find yourself more fatigued than usual in the Lithuanian summer. Pay attention to your levels of tiredness, and be sure to take regular breaks from driving.
Between 10 November and 1 April, all vehicles are required to use winter tyres. If you are visiting Kaunas in winter, you'll need to be prepared for heavy snowfall. The roads in and around the city are usually cleared regularly, along with commonly-used roads leading between cities and to popular ski resorts. However, back roads can be extremely dangerous due to the presence of black ice. Visitors are recommended to stick to main roads whenever possible during the Lithuanian winter. You should also remember that days are very short in winter. If you want to avoid driving in the dark along icy roads, you'll need to plan your trip carefully.
In general, Lithuania has a lot more speed cameras and radars than the European average. You should never break the speed limit anyway, but be aware that if you try to do it in this country, you are likely to face swift consequences.
Car and van hire in Lithuania with Enterprise
Enterprise Lithuania offers a range of car and van hire services including one-way, long-term and short-term vehicle hire. Commercial clients can speak to our award-winning business rental team who will tailor a mobility solution for your needs and budget.
We are part of the Enterprise group, the largest transportation solutions provider in the world. Our global network covers more than 90 countries and over 9,500 locations, allowing us to serve your mobility needs, wherever you’re going.
We are committed to providing the best service possible and exceeding our customers’ expectations for quality and value.
Car hire in Kaunas
If you are travelling with your family or in a big group, you may find a 7-seater or a people carrier will give you more space to travel comfortably with your luggage. For a city trip, a handy hatchback that’s easy to park may suit you better. For business trips or long drives an executive car will combine comfort and performance.
Whether you prefer automatic to manual transmission, no problem. If you want a petrol, diesel or hybrid engine, we’ve got you covered. You may also need GPS, a child seat or want to add another driver to the contract, let us know and we’ll arrange it for you.
Van hire in Kaunas
Should you need to hire a van while you’re in Kaunas, all our vans can be driven on a standard licence and are modern, clean and easy to drive. Just ask and one of our branch team will happily show you around your hire van to make sure you are comfortable with it before you head off.