Kėdainiai [dead link]. is one of the oldest cities in Lithuania. Founded in 1372, it is in geographical centre of Lithuania, by Nevėžis river. It has about 30,000 inhabitants and is the 10th largest city of Lithuania.
Currently Kėdainiai is one of seven cities in Lithuania that have old-towns. About 3 square kilometres in size, it's one of the biggest old-towns in the country. Some of its buildings and squares dates XVII century or earlier.
It is widely accepted in Lithuania, that Kėdainiai is one of the tidiest and pleasant cities in the country and local people are really happy about that. Recently there has been some effort to make the place more attractive to the tourists.
There are no local airports around the city. However, main airports of Lithuania Vilnius (VNO) and Kaunas (KUN) international airports are 150 and 50km away. After landing Kėdainiai can be easily reached in couple of hours using bus or train. There are no direct routes from either airport, so trip from airport to station and from station to station should be planned.
As Kėdainiai located in the centre of the country it is not difficult to reach the city by car. Main motorways of the country passes through the city. It is about 150km away from the capital Vilnius and about 50km away from the second largest city Kaunas. Everyone can easily access Kėdainiai, going by major route Via Baltica, officially known as European route E 67, that goes from the Estonian capital Tallinn to the Polish capital Warsaw. It is the most important highway between the Baltic States, and fairly important for traffic from Finland and Russia to Central Europe as well as the other way around.
Kėdainiai could be reached by bus easily because a lot of buses from Kaunas goes to Šiauliai and Panevėžys through Kėdainiai. However, city is almost inaccessible by bus from Vilnius (only 2-3 daily routes), Klaipėda, other East and West Lithuanian cities. The bus ticket from Kaunas to Kėdainiai costs about 20 Litas.
The main Lithuanian railway goes through Kėdainiai. You can get by train from Vilnius, Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Jonava. The train ticket from Vilnius costs about 20 Lt, from Šiauliai about 15 Litas. Trip can be planned using the Lithuanian railways website.
Kėdainiai has a local bus company "Kėdbusas" which serves the city and local district. You can get to all parts of the city by bus. However buses may not be the best alternative for destinations further out as district bus service is poor and buses don't go frequently to rural places. Almost all buses are new and comfortable. You must enter through the first bus doors and buy a ticket from the bus driver. You can also buy the ticket from a kiosk before, but you must the driver must validate it when you commence your trip. The ticket costs 1.5 litas when you buy it from the driver, it's a little cheaper at the kiosk. Also, there are discounts for students and invalids.
There is also a private bus service operating in the city.
There are some taxi companies in Kėdainiai. You can found their telephone numbers at bus stops, pay phones and other public places.
Kėdainiai is a city rich in history. The main place of interest is the old town. Kėdainiai has been one of the most important cities in Lithuanian history and this is reflected in its architecture. Also, Kėdainiai was a multinational and multicultural city with big Jewish, German, Polish, Scottish and Russian communities. Kėdainiai even has 7 churches of various confessions - something quite unique for a small town.
Old town streets, especially the main one Didžioji is nice, cosy and tidy. You may start your travel from the city center where the Orthodox church and a gym, established by local nobleman Kristupas Radvila in 1647, are located. Along Didžioji street you'll see old Kėdainiai architecture. You should visit Kėdainiai evangelical church, one of the main centers of Reformation in Lithuania. The guide there will tell about the reformation in Lithuania, the great Lithuanian-Polish nobleman Radvilos (Radzwill) and take you to the tomb of some members of Radvilos. Other places you may be interested to visit are two synagogues at the cobbled Senoji Rinka square ("Old Market" because of being marketplace at the past). The Jewish philosopher Vilnius Gaon was teaching in one of these synagogues. Nowadays it serves as a museum and gallery and a guide you will tell about Jewish history in Kėdainiai. At the Naujoji Rinka (New Market) square you can see a monument dedicated to Radvilos as well as one of few Lithuanian city halls. You can also walk to the bank of Nevėžis river. At the other bank of Nevėžis there's the Gothic church of St. George. You may also be interested in visiting the wooden main Catholic church St.Joseph at Radvilų street. At the Didžioji street you can also visit the city museum which has a rich collection of exhibits. At the main street Basanavičiaus about 1 km from the old town Janina Monkutė-Marks art museum is located.
Outside the old town the main tourist feature is a minaret - one of just two in Lithuania. Despite there being no Muslim community in Kėdainiai the minaret was built by Eduard Totlban as a monument for Crimean wars. It is located about 5 km from the city center near Kėdainiai train station at the main city park.
Just some kilometers from Kėdainiai is the geographic center of Lithuania at the Ruoščiai village. One of the main points of interest for Polish people is Polish writer Czeslaw Milosz' home place at the little Šateniai (Szatejny) village about 10 km from Kėdainiai. There is a nice park and museum.
There are two national annual festivals which take part in the summer in Kėdainiai.
- Agurkų šventė (Cucumbers' festival). Takes place in the middle of the summer. Kėdainiai is one of the main cucumber growing area at the country so it is usual to mention this tradition. The cucumber king is elected during the festival.
- Ledų šventė (Ice cream festival). late in the summer. It is organized by local ice cream producer Vikeda. There are big concerts at his time. The main festival attrcation is possibility to get ice cream for free. The tokens are taking down from helicopter.
There are no big supermarkets in Kėdainiai. But there is a lot of shops both in the center and the outskirts. The main chains are Maxima, Iki, Norfa.
There are some restaurants at the old town. They are generally cheap but the menus are not extensive. You can eat typical Lithuanian meals.
You can drink tea, coffee, beer, vodka, liqueur which could be found at cafe or restaurant.
- Actyvity Zone. The only night club in the town.
There is one night club "" and "Vikonda" entertaining center at the city.
- Vikonda. Entertainment center.
There are two hotels in Kėdainiai, both located in the old town:
- Grėjaus namas, Didžioji g. 36.
- Smilga, Senoji g. 16.