A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Tartu vs. Kaunas for Nightlife, Old Town, Backpackers, and Food

Should you visit Tartu or Kaunas?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Tartu and Kaunas can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Tartu

Tartu is a historical, lively, and intellectual university town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. Other popular activities here include nightlife.

Kaunas

Kaunas is a active, young, and vibrant city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the nightlife and food.

Tartu and Kaunas: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular for students


Is there more to do in Tartu or Kaunas?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Kaunas than Tartu. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Kaunas is very popular for its food and big city activities, while Tartu attracts visitors for its nightlife, historical sights, and impressive beauty. Tartu is famous for its vibrant student population and long running university. Kaunas is famous for its traditional Lithuanian culture and authentic old town. It is also well known for The Kaunas Old Town.

How is Tartu different from Kaunas?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Kaunas and Tartu. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is the Food Better in Tartu or Kaunas? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Tartu
Kaunas

Kaunas is a city with good options for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Tartu is not known for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Kaunas is becoming an appealing option for foodies. It is a great place to try traditional Lithuanian dishes as there are a number of good restaurants and an active restaurant scene. Popular local dishes include cepelinai potato dumplings and cold beetroot soup.

Tartu offers some easy restaurants to choose from. The restaurant scene is surprisingly limited because of the large student population. Most students prefer saving their money for a night out drinking over a quiet meal at a restaurant. There are some cafes around town as well as pastry shops and a few good ethnic restaurants to choose between.


Is Tartu or Kaunas Better for Nightlife?

Tartu
Kaunas

Tartu is notable for its evening party scene. Also, Kaunas is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife.

Tartu has plenty to do after the sun goes down. With its huge student population, there is plenty of activity year round. The nightlife scene includes many bars, dance clubs, and pubs that are popular with students and visitors alike. You'll find large parties and music festivals throughout the year that bring crowds to the city.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Kaunas. The nightlife scene continues to improve with a growing number of bars and clubs. During the warmer months you'll find many places opening outdoor areas. The old town is one of the more lively areas in town where it's nice to enjoy a drink on a terrace.

Is Tartu or Kaunas Better for its Old Town?

Tartu
Kaunas

Tartu is notable for its historic old town charm. Also, Kaunas is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its historic old town.

There are many historical things to see in the old town of Tartu. The old town is where you'll find one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe. There is also Town Hall Square and St. John’s Quarter with many historic buildings and beautiful architecture.

Kaunas is a good destination for visiting its old town. The old town has tree-lined streets with charming cafes and a number of museums. It's also where you'll find the Kaunas Castle.

Is the Shopping Better in Tartu or Kaunas?

Tartu
Kaunas

If you're looking to go shopping, Tartu and Kaunas both offer plenty of reasonable spots.

Tartu has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. While most people don't visit to go shopping, there is an active art scene in town so you can find some creative pieces that are worth checking out.

Kaunas is a good destination for shopping. The old town is the place to pick up souvenirs, but there are also shopping malls and outlets in the city.


Is Tartu or Kaunas Better for Families?

Tartu
Kaunas

Both Tartu and Kaunas are nice to visit with kids.

Tartu offers lots of family activities. Many of the kid-friendly activities are outdoors, so summer visits are better if you're traveling with children. There are adventure parks, animal parks, and educational museums that you can choose from.

Kaunas is a family-friendly place to visit. The city has both outdoor and indoor areas that are fun for kids. Vienybės Square has fountains and splash areas that are fun for kids of all ages. Lampėdis Lake is a great place to swim or visit an adventure park. When the weather isn't great, you can head indoors to the the Kaunas Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum or "CurioCity" in the Mega Mall.

Is Tartu or Kaunas Better for Couples?

Tartu
Kaunas

Neither Tartu or Kaunas is generally regarded as a top spot for a couple to visit.

Tartu is not always the best place to visit for a couple. The city has a young population, so you'll find many activities center around a more youthful vibe. There are some great museums that couples will enjoy, as well as a lively nightlife scene. Outside of old town, couples will enjoy wandering through the Karlova and Supilinn districts.

Kaunas is not the best destination for a couple to visit. The city has a number of historical sites as well as interesting restaurants that you can explore.

Is Tartu or Kaunas Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Tartu
Kaunas

Tartu is notable for backpackers. Also, Kaunas is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Tartu is a very popular university town for backpackers and budget travelers. With it's young population and budget friendly entertainment options, there are many things that backpackers will enjoy. It's not nearly as popular with backpackers as some other cities, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a lot to offer.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Kaunas. It's not a popular destination, but there are enough concerts and festivals throughout the year that it does see a few tourists.


Is Tartu or Kaunas Better for Students?

Tartu
Kaunas

Tartu is renowned for students. Also, Kaunas is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its student-friendly activities.

Tartu is a very popular place to visit for students. It is a university town and home to one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe. The student population is large here, with many activities, museums, and nightlife options to choose from. There always seems to be something going on in this vibrant city.

Plenty of students visit Kaunas. The city has a vibrant and young student population. It also hosts festivals, concerts, and other events that make it a fun destination for international students.

Is Tartu or Kaunas Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Tartu
Kaunas

Tartu and Kaunas both offer nice public transit to get you around.

While Tartu offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There is a comprehensive bus system around the town.

Kaunas has a few public transit options. There are both buses and trolleybuses around town.

Is Tartu or Kaunas a more walkable city?

Tartu
Kaunas

Tartu is notable for its ease of walking around. Also, Kaunas is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its walkability.

Tartu is a very walkable destination. The city is compact with most of its sights and restaurants close together along a couple of streets.

Kaunas is somewhat walkable. When the weather is nice, the city is a nice place to take a walk.


For even more information, also check out Is Tartu Worth Visiting? and Is Kaunas Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Kaunas or Tartu?

How long in Tartu or Kaunas?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Tartu or Kaunas to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Tartu than Kaunas because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Tartu, and 1-2 days is enough time in Kaunas.

Families should spend more time in Tartu than Kaunas. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Tartu, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Tartu than Kaunas. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Tartu that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Tartu than Kaunas if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Tartu.


  • How many days in Tartu or Kaunas? Ideal Length of Stay
    Tartu 1-3 
    Kaunas 1-2

One day in Tartu or Kaunas?

Many travelers enjoy the nightlife when visiting the destination of Tartu. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

In Kaunas, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this young destination offers. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

A weekend in Tartu or Kaunas?

Tartu is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Kaunas. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Tartu or Kaunas?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Tartu. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Kaunas is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Kaunas. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.


A week in Tartu or Kaunas?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife when visiting the lively destination of Tartu. This university town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

You'll find food and nightlife around the vibrant destination of Kaunas. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Estonia, The Best Budget Tours to Estonia, The Best Tours for Seniors to Lithuania, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Vilnius.


Which place is cheaper, Kaunas or Tartu?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Tartu is €105, while the average daily cost in Kaunas is €95. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Tartu and Kaunas in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tartu 47
    Kaunas 44
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tartu 94
    Kaunas 88
Compare Hotels in Tartu and Kaunas

Looking for a hotel in Tartu or Kaunas? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Tartu


Hotels in Kaunas


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Tartu Hotel Prices and Kaunas Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tartu 27
    Kaunas 17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kaunas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Kaunas:

  • Hot Air Balloon Ride with Hotel Transfer: $236
  • Departure Private Transfer Kaunas City to Kaunas Airport KUN by Minivan: $56
  • Private Kaunas Airport to City Transfer: $48
  • Private Transfer from Kaunas City to Kaunas Airport KUN by car: $46

Is it cheaper to fly into Tartu or Kaunas?

Prices for flights to both Kaunas and Tartu change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Tartu 37
    Kaunas 37
Typical Food Prices in Tartu

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Tartu:


  • Danishes
    0.76
  • Lunch for Two
    4.93
  • Ice Cream
    1.27
  • Cookies
    0.51
  • Coffee & Cake
    3.47

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tartu 16
    Kaunas 19
Typical Entertainment Prices in Tartu

For Tartu, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Art Museum ticket
    0.95
  • Movie Ticket
    3.47

Tours and Activities in Tartu

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Tartu.

  • European Capital of Culture 2024 - Cycling Tour: $11
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Tartu's Hidden Gems: $13
  • Around Viljandi bike tour: $27
  • TARTU COUNTRY: SLED DOG TOUR & KENNEL VISIT: $75
  • Magical Tartu Romantic Walking Tour: $127
  • Charming Viljandi Walking Tour for Couples: $142
  • Spectacular Christmas Walking Tour in Viljandi: $200
  • Traditional Christmas Walking Tour in Tartu: $234

Tours and Activities in Kaunas

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Kaunas are as follows:

  • Kaunas Old Town tour + IX Fort Museum (BONUS): $55
  • Kaunas Old Town: 2-Hour Ghost Tour: $86
  • Kaunas Old Town: 2-Hour Ghost Tour: $170
  • Kaunas Private Walking Tour: $101
  • Kaunas Private Walking Tour: $375
  • Kaunas Tour: Love Stories: $86
  • Kaunas Tour: Love Stories: $170
  • Kaunas city center tour + IX Fort Museum (BONUS): $109
  • Kaunas, Lithuania 2-Hour Sightseeing Tour: $145
  • 2-Hour Sightseeing Walking Tour: $192
  • Kayak Tour in Nemunas: $185
  • Private Custom Walking Tour with a Local Guide in Kaunas: $76

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tartu 16
    Kaunas 16


When comparing the travel costs between Tartu and Kaunas, we can see that Tartu is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Tartu Expensive? and Is Kaunas Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Tartu or Kaunas?

Kaunas has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Tartu. When comparing the sizes of Tartu and Kaunas, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Tartu or Kaunas?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Tartu or Kaunas in the Summer?

Both Kaunas and Tartu during the summer are popular places to visit. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Tartu this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Kaunas for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

Tartu is around the same temperature as Kaunas in the summer. The daily temperature in Tartu averages around 17°C (62°F) in July, and Kaunas fluctuates around 18°C (64°F).

In Kaunas, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Tartu. In the summer, Tartu often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Kaunas. Tartu gets 265 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Kaunas receives 256 hours of full sun.

Tartu usually gets less rain in July than Kaunas. Tartu gets 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Kaunas receives 80 mm (3.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Tartu 17°C (62°F) 
    Kaunas 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Tartu or Kaunas in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Tartu and Kaunas. Many travelers come to Tartu for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, many visitors come to Kaunas in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene.

In the autumn, Tartu is cooler than Kaunas. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Tartu in October average around 6°C (43°F), and Kaunas averages at about 8°C (46°F).

Tartu usually receives less sunshine than Kaunas during autumn. Tartu gets 86 hours of sunny skies, while Kaunas receives 99 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Tartu usually receives more rain than Kaunas. Tartu gets 52 mm (2 in) of rain, while Kaunas receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Tartu 6°C (43°F) 
    Kaunas 8°C (46°F)

Should I visit Tartu or Kaunas in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Tartu as well as Kaunas. Many visitors come to Tartu in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine. Additionally, most visitors come to Kaunas for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months.

Kaunas can be very cold during winter. Tartu can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Tartu is generally cooler than Kaunas. Daily temperatures in Tartu average around -7°C (19°F), and Kaunas fluctuates around -5°C (23°F).

In the winter, Tartu often gets less sunshine than Kaunas. Tartu gets 36 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Kaunas receives 40 hours of full sun.

Tartu usually gets less rain in January than Kaunas. Tartu gets 29 mm (1.1 in) of rain, while Kaunas receives 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Tartu -7°C (19°F) 
    Kaunas -5°C (23°F)

Should I visit Tartu or Kaunas in the Spring?

Both Kaunas and Tartu are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Tartu for the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Kaunas because of the activities around the city.

Tartu can be very cold during spring. Tartu is cooler than Kaunas in the spring. The daily temperature in Tartu averages around 5°C (41°F) in April, and Kaunas fluctuates around 7°C (44°F).

Tartu usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Kaunas during spring. Tartu gets 180 hours of sunny skies, while Kaunas receives 175 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Tartu usually receives less rain than Kaunas. Tartu gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Kaunas receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Tartu 5°C (41°F) 
    Kaunas 7°C (44°F)

Typical Weather for Kaunas and Tartu

Tartu Kaunas
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -7°C (19°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) -5°C (23°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Feb -6°C (20°F) 23 mm (0.9 in) -4°C (25°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Mar -2°C (29°F) 26 mm (1 in) 0°C (33°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Apr 5°C (41°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 7°C (44°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
May 11°C (53°F) 53 mm (2.1 in) 13°C (56°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Jun 15°C (59°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 16°C (62°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
Jul 17°C (62°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 18°C (64°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Aug 16°C (61°F) 86 mm (3.4 in) 17°C (63°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Sep 11°C (52°F) 64 mm (2.5 in) 13°C (55°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Oct 6°C (43°F) 52 mm (2 in) 8°C (46°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Nov 1°C (33°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 2°C (36°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
Dec -4°C (25°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) -2°C (28°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)