Quality of life varies greatly depending on who one asks. For some, it’s a wide variety of career path options or affordable office spaces, for others – a great choice of activities or easy connectivity in a city – Klaipėda has to offer it all. For many years Klaipėda has been a unique urban city in Western Lithuania with resort kind of vibe, where people seem to be more relaxed and stress-free compared to other Lithuanian cities.
In 2018 Klaipėda has surpassed Lithuania’s capital Vilnius in social and economic ratings and was recognized as the best municipality in Lithuania for both citizens and investors according to Lithuania’s municipality index. It has been ranked well above average in almost all factors and is also seen as No. 1 municipality for quality of life for a couple of years already.
When somebody asks a Lithuanian resident, what does Klaipėda associate to him or her with, the first word that comes to mind – the sea. Hence, the Baltic sea coastline is the centre of attraction for both locals and tourists, especially in summer. In order to keep the beaches pristine, every year the city invests heavily in its preservation and cleaning to secure the Blue Flag award yearly.
It just happens so Klaipėda‘s beaches are 10 to 20 minutes away from the city centre depending on a vehicle of choice. Therefore, for many, the beach has become a sweet getaway for a peaceful afternoon with a family, quality time with the significant other catching a sunset or an alternative for a sports enthusiast taking advantage of a beach gym. And in case a one-day trip is a go – one can simply hop in a ferry and reach the unique parts of Lithuania’s coastline - remarkable dunes untouched by human hands, admired by tourists and a natural treasure every Lithuanian is proud of.
Standing tall are the pine tree forests, enriching and cleaning the air, mixing their aroma with the breeze from the sea making a Sunday stroll in the sea-side parks a must for everyone. And people do value a breath of fresh air, especially those, who come from dense urban cities.
Long and mesmerising walks in the forest can be interchanged with a more active lifestyle: frisbee, volleyball, surfing, kitesurfing, sailing, wakeboarding – to name a few. Water-related leisure time in winter season revolves around more challenging activities, such as swimming in cold Baltic sea or cooling down straight after a beach sauna. While such activities as frisbee or volleyball relocate to sports complexes until next summer. One of the most important last year’s finished infrastructure projects – Klaipėda’s swimming pool – offers multifunctional wellness services throughout the year.
Klaipėda has become a destination for young families. It is a city where almost half (47%) of its population is younger than 40 years old. And it is an ideal city to raise children. With a multilingual, international schooling system – every child’s education is in safe hands. Klaipėda has to offer a variety of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools for Russian, English and of course Lithuanian speaking children. With such a diversity Klaipėda’s residents, in most situations, don’t have to wait in queues for their kid to go to a kindergarten. This is not the case, for example, in Vilnius, where lengthy waiting times lead parents to choose pricy private kindergartens, which in Klaipėda also are much more affordable.
Health care is taken care of too. Klaipėda's 4 hospitals, 20 municipal and private centres provide the highest level of qualified, specialized personal health care services. With 900 doctors and over 2,000 nurses, people can easily get professional help and be sure that every family’s well-being will always be covered.
Klaipėda has families in its mind, and it shows. It is impossible to miss newly installed outdoor recreation grounds, renovated parks and well-maintained city squares. With an abundance of green spaces in and around the city, rejuvenated old-town and ease of connectivity, people can choose where to spend their leisure time. Although bars and restaurants aren’t that crowded, especially off season, residents are eager to participate in the city’s festivals and cultural events. Whether it’s a theatre week or annual jazz festival – there will be an ocean of people enjoying their time.
Not only tourist attraction spaces are expanding, but the same goes for residential areas. The city is developing new parking lots, lighting up the yards, renovating open spaces next to the apartments so it would become more attractive for both young families and seniors to spend their time outdoors. For example, a newly reconstructed park is the most modern BMX bike, roller skate and skateboarding area in Lithuania. Another interesting project is Sakura alley in the south side of the city – Japanese style recreational zone with 50 Japanese cherry blossom trees. Klaipėda’s infrastructure is on a perpetual improvement course to create the city everyone is pleased to live in.
Although in recent years many Klaipeda residents have moved to private homes in Klaipėda’s suburbs, the city is also witnessing the rebirth of the real estate market with the construction of new, more interesting projects within the city limits. For example, an exclusive lofts project in the city centre offers apartments with 4.6 m high ceilings, a place for sky-high imagination. New and returning families are a part of this architectural regrowth, for younger residents gladly choose the city centre as their home.
Easy to get around
Being 3rd biggest city in Lithuania and a centre of Western Lithuania – Klaipėda is home to the Baltics most northerly ice-free port making it a regional hub for logistics and transportation. Despite all the transport coming in and out, convenient city’s location and good infrastructure create no significant jams. It culminates in urban liveability – going from one destination to another is easy, fast and with less traffic congestion during peak hours. It takes 20 to 30 minutes from the south side of Klaipėda to reach the north.
In addition, car parking still has the best cost to quality ratio in comparison with the other two bigger Lithuanian cities. Whereas Klaipėda’s public transport system is considered one of the finest in Lithuania, with the newest bus park, affordable travel costs and frequently touring buses with available spots to have a comfortable yet quick journey in.
A significant contributor to the uncongested streets is the ever-growing and upgrading network of bicycle paths. Almost every local has a two-wheeler, that in addition to health benefits also lets one sometimes zoom to the meeting point quicker – be it work or a study destination. What is more, great cycling routes are developed in the whole Western Lithuania region that allows to enjoy the breathtaking nature of the Curonian Spit National Park, Nemunas Delta Regional Park and other splendid views.
And for people travelling outside of the city, Klaipėda offers all possible inter-city travel options: by rail, by air from the nearby airport in Palanga offering 8 seasonal and non-seasonal destinations and of course, by sea with ferry lines connecting more than a handful international ports.
Choosing where to settle is a daunting task, but Klaipėda makes it easier to decide. Here one not just lives, but thrives, enjoying every bit of what the city has to offer. If a coastal city with a slower pace of life is something that catches the attention - Klaipėda might just be the next destination.