Šilutė is located on the shores of Šyša river. The city is relatively young one since it was formed as late as 1910.
Back in 1252 the area of the current Šilutė region was called Lamata, which means a low and marshy place. It had borders with the Prussian, Curonian and Samogitian lands. The rivers of the Nemunas delta had been abundant in fish since old times, therefore fishermen were establishing their settlements in the region. A wind of the Šyša River with a ford was the most convenient place for trading with Samogitians. The market place which was developing nearby was especially famous among the local fishermen, who having their fish sold could buy various necessary goods. In this picturesque place the first pub was opened under a name of Šilokarčema. Georg Tallat purchased the pub together with the land and the right for free fishing in 1511. A famous fish market was opened in Šilutė almost for five hundred years. This was the place for various people to come around: peasants from Samogitia, fishermen from Rusnė, Karklė, even from Nida, and Šarkuva. Next to the Šilokarčema a church of Verdainė was built in 1550. For several times Šilutė was seeking to be granted the town rights but Klaipėda and Tilsit towns confronted the idea. In 1722 Šilokarčema became a district centre and in 1818- a county centre. However, it was only in 1910 when Šilutė was granted the town rights after the three villages- Verdainė, Žibai, and Šilokarčema were joined into one.
There are many old buildings that have survived from old times in Šilutė: old post office (1905), a fire station (1911), court building and prison (1848), a bridge across the Šyša (1914), an estate of H. Scheu (1818), an old market square, a harbor, railway station and a bridge (1875) and Vydūnas gymnasium. Today 21480 inhabitants live in Silutė. The town, which is a region centre, has a well-developed infrastructure. There is an amateur theatre, a museum, 3 churches, a few hotels, a lot of cafés, restaurants and bars. There are large industrial enterprises in 6ilutė as well. Šilutės Rambynas (1842) producing butter and cheese is one of the oldest factories in the area. Šlutės Baldai (1842), Šilutės Durpės (1882) exports approx. 50 thous.m3 of peat.