On the Baltic Sea, 40 miles north of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, Klaipeda is Lithuania's oldest city, largest port and third-largest city, after Vilnius, the capital, and Kaunas. It is an attractive city of red roofs, turrets, the Dane River (which splits the Old Town from the New), surrounding forest and nearby white beaches. Meeting venues in Klaipeda include some vintage hotels, along with a castle that was built by the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, also known as the Teutonic Knights. They once controlled this city.
The country's third-largest airport, Palanga International Airport (KLJ), is 19 miles north of the city center and served by SAS from Copenhagen, Denmark and, starting later this year, Oslo, Norway; SAS provides shuttle service from the city center.
The nearest thing Klaipeda has to a convention center is the 307-room Amberton Klaipeda Hotel, in two very recognizable buildings that could seamlessly join together if they were not a few feet apart. Its stylish, white-and-blond-wood K-Center has six conference rooms with space for meetings of up to 350 persons. Other hotel venues in Klaipeda include the 84-room Park Inn Klaipeda and the 74-room Radisson Blu Klaipeda; however, the majority of hotels in the city have a small room count. Some are in very attractive buildings, examples being the 34-room Old Mill Hotel and 16-room Old Port Hotel.
The city's Clock Museum has an amazing array of clocks, watches and sundials, as well as grounds that can host 300 persons; while the Mecklenburg sailing boat travels the city's nearby, attractive Curonian lagoon (formed by a 97-mile-long spit of sandy land) and is available to groups of up to 350 persons (indeed, it has recently stopped serving individual and small groups of tourists). The city's other museums—history, maritime, independence, etc.—generally do not have rental space, so it's up to the hotels to make up for this lack. But at the UNESCO-listed, popular beach resort of Nida, there is the Nida Arts Colony, which has three function halls, a rooftop terrace and a patio for events. Nida also is famous for being the boyhood vacation home of Thomas Mann, and it, too, can be rented.
Good restaurants in Klaipeda include the French-influenced Anike Cafe, with its very Old World atmosphere, Lithuanian and Mitteleuropa menu and adjacent Chinese restaurant sibling, and Stora Antis, in a 19th-century former warehouse with brick arches. Founded in 1784, Klaipeda's brewery is Svyturys, which means "lighthouse" in Lithuanian. Tours are available, eight beers are made and food is served, while Senoji Hansa is in an ornate gabled building with a flat-roofed, modern annex, a great menu and a view of Old Theater Square. An elegant hotel restaurant is Navalis in a 28-room old-world hotel of the same name.