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Kretinga is a city in Samogitia in the west of Lithuania, with a population of 17,249 in 2021. It's one of the oldest cities in the country, but repeatedly wrecked, so what you see now is mostly modern.



The name of the town may drive from "kret-", shaking or boggy ground, but there are several other explanations and only one man ever knew its origin for sure. In 1609 Žemaitija Jonas Karolis Chodkevičius named the place Karolstadt after himself, but no-one else called it that, so Kretinga (in various spellings) it remained. It gradually industrialised, between the horrors of war and Nazi and Soviet occupations, based mostly on agriculture such as knitware and woodwork. A large employer today is local government, as the Klaipėda County admin is based here not in Klaipėda city.

Tourist Information Centre is just south of the monastery church at Vilniaus g 2B, open M-Th 08:00-17:00, F 08:00-16:00.

Get in


Kretinga is in the west of the country, 26 km north of Klaipėda and 13 km east of Palanga (the nearest airport). Driving from Vilnius or Kaunas, follow A1 northwest towards Klaipėda then branch north on Highway 216.

Two trains a day from Vilnius take four hours via Kaišiadorys, Jonava, Kėdainiai, Radviliškis, Šiauliai, Telšiai and Plungė, and continue to Klaipėda, another 20 min. Other trains from Vilnius don't stop here. For timetables and fares see LTG Link.

1 Kretinga railway station is 1 km west of town centre.

Bus 50 runs hourly from Klaipėda, and bus 61 runs hourly from Palanga. Maršrutai minibuses ply from the small towns of Baubliai, Budriai, Darbėnai, Grūšlaukė, Jokūbavas, Juodupėnai, Kalniškiai, Kūlupėnai, Laukžemė, Salantai and Vaiteliai. For timetables and fares see Autobusubilieta.

The bus terminus is the square in front of the railway station.

Get around


Town centre is compact and most sights can be reached on foot.

Taxi operators are Taksi Kretingoje (+370 6900 2220), A Taluncio (+370 6703 9641) and Galipeja (+370 4457 6666).

Buses 32 and 50 run past the turn-off for Vinetu Village, though you really ought to arrive on a mustang, bare-chested and in war-paint, looking like Vladimir Putin wooing Pocahontas.


  • 1 Kretinga Museum, Vilniaus gatvė 37, +370 6820 6702. W-Su 10:00-18:00. This is in the 1870s manor house of Count Tyszkiewicz, and mostly displays artwork and ethnography. The orangery and gardens have been rebuilt. Kretinga Museum on Wikipedia
  • 2 Saulės Laikrodis the sundial and astronomical clock was first built in 1610 in the monastery garden. Only its pedestal is original, the rest is an artwork of 2002.
  • 3 Count Tyszkiewicz Family Chapel and mausoleum is a Gothic redbrick building in the old graveyard along Vilniaus gatvė.
  • 4 Kretinga Monastery (Kretingos Viešpaties Apreiškimo Švč. Mergelei Marijai bažnyčia), Vilniaus g 2, +370 4457 6373. 24 hours. The Bernadine monastery and Church of the Annunciation were founded in 1605, twice wrecked by the Swedes but repaired. The church was rebuilt and enlarged from 1907, and the monastery took in monks driven out of other parts of the Tsarist realm. In 1940 / 41 the Soviets closed the monastery and confiscated its property, the church burned down, and (just in case he hadn't taken the hint) the pastor was sent to Siberia. The church was rebuilt in 1950 and the monastery revived by the Franciscans in 1989. The building is Gothic / Renaissance, with striking wooden doors and altar. Kretinga Bernardine Monastery on Wikipedia
  • 5 St Eleuterijaus Chapel, J Jablonskiogo g. This small simple building is Orthodox and holds services in Lithuanian and Church Slavonic.
  • 6 Old Jewish Cemetery is south edge of town off Paupio g. In July 1941, the Jewish men of the town (about 200) were slain in the woods 1 km west of town - a memorial stands by A11. The traditional cemetery was thought a suitable place to kill the women.
  • 7 Vinetu Village, Šlikių g 63, +370 6020 4009. Tu-F 10:00-17:00, Sa 11:00-17:00. This is, um, what exactly? A Teepee village with various events and experiences, heavily larded with tom-toms and eco- and spiritual doodah, on the basis that inner harmony is best achieved by dressing up like an extra in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.


Wooden door of the church
  • Football: FK Minija play soccer in I Lyga, the second tier. They're a phoenix club set up after FK Minija Kretinga went bust in 2016. Their home ground Kretinga Stadium (capacity 900) is on Savanorių g north edge of town. The playing season is March-Nov.
  • Papludimys - "the beach" - means the waterside park by the two lakes one km north of town centre. You can sunbathe or picnic; people swim, but the water is murky with silt and whatever the cows have done upstream. For a proper beach head to Palanga.
  • Early Music Festival is first two weeks in August, with the monastery church organ the star of the show. All concerts are free.
  • City Festival and St Antony of Padua religious festival are also in early August.


  • Supermarkets are grouped around the main square. Maxima on the west flank is the largest, open daily 08:00-22:00.
  • Kretingos Turgus the main market is southeast along Laisvės g, open M Tu Th F 08:00-17:00, W Sa 06:00-15:00


  • 1 Restobaras Smagratis, Žemaitės al 31a, +370 6579 9020. Su-F 10:00-22:00, Sa 09:00-23:00. Great reviews for the food. They also have rooms.
  • M Valančiaus at JK Chodkevičiaus g 1B is open M-F 10:00-16:00.
  • Centro Pica ir Kebabai at Rotušės a 2 is open Su-Th 11:00-21:00, F Sa 11:00-22:00.
  • 2 Vienaragio Malūnas (Unicorn Mill), Birutės g 19, +370 6205 6555. Daily 10:00-20:00. Good trad food, big portions.
  • Užkandinė Alyva is a kebab shop on Klaipėdos g 200 m south of the railway and bus station, open daily 10:00-22:00.


  • Pubs include Arka at Vilniaus g 6, Britannia Rock Pub at Vytauto 26, MonVyna at Vytauto g 6, and Alynas at Šventosios g 27B.


  • 1 Airovita, J Basanavičiaus g 93, +370 4455 5487. Small clean friendly place northwest edge of town. B&B double €50.
  • Trevena is a motel 200 m east of Airovita at Vilniaus g 29B.
  • 2 Ecohotel, Vytauto g 161, +370 6125 5533. Hostel with dorm accommodation. Bunk €30.
  • 3 Vienkiemis, Vienkiemio g 3, +370 6856 9549. Spacious hotel-restaurant 2 km north of town. B&B double €80.


Kretinga manor now houses the Museum

As of Jan 2024, Kretinga and its approach highways have 5G from Telia and Tele2, but no signal from Bite.

Go next

  • Palanga is the country's main beach resort, with an unusual L-shaped pier.
  • Klaipėda, Lithuania's third largest city. is mostly modern but has a castle and other historic sights.
  • The Curonian Spit, a five minute ferry-ride from Klaipėda, is a 99-km bootlace of sand dunes stretching down the Baltic into Russian Kaliningrad.
  • Šiauliai is near the pilgrimage sight of the Hill of Crosses.

This city travel guide to Kretinga is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.