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Palanga

Lithuania's Most Popular Resort Destination

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Palanga is the more boisterous of Lithuania’s seaside destinations, with Klaipeda and its access to the Curonian Spit attracting more sedate travelers. Palanga is known for wide swaths of beach, party atmosphere, crowds, concerts, and nightlife—a sort of Miami Beach of the Baltics. During the summer season, Palanga attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists, swelling its population from a mere 17,000 local inhabitants.

Palanga grew into a resort destination in the 19th century; prior to that period, it was a fishing village. Today, some of the landmarks from a count who owned the surrounding land continue to remind visitors of Palanga’s past. Attractions in Palanga include:

  • Basanavicius Street: This main thoroughfare, which becomes a pedestrian-only street in the summer, is the place to be in Palanga. It’s lined with shops, restaurants, bars, and funfairs.
  • The Pier: Also known as the Sea Bridge, the Palanga Pier is a long-established feature of Palanga’s beachside atmosphere. It was originally built over a century ago for passengers coming to Palanga by water.
  • Birute Park: Also known as the Botanical Gardens, Birute Park was developed in the 19th century as a complement to the Tiškevičius manor. Foot and bike paths make enjoying this park, with its hundreds of species of trees and other plant life, easy. If you like cycling, bike rentals are readily available from hotels or independent bike rental agencies.
  • Amber Museum: You don’t have to like amber to benefit from a visit to the Amber Museum. Palanga’s most famous museum is also one of its most highly recommended. Learn the story of amber’s development and use by humans and see exemplary specimens of this sea jewel, many which contain insects and other life trapped inside.
  • Antanas Mončys House Museum: This sculptor’s work is on display and invites visitors to touch and interact with it, according to the artist’s wishes.
  • Church of the Assumption: The 19th-century Neo-Gothic church with its tall spire is located between Palanga’s bus station and Basanavicius Street.
  • The Beach: Palanga’s sandy stretch offers everything from water sports to leisurely sunbathing. Watch the sunset at the pier or enjoy beers at one of the beachside bars.

Restaurants in Palanga

To cope with its impressive crowds, Palanga’s restaurant scene is varied and includes international as well as Lithuanian options. From cheap cafeterias to Caucasian, Russian, and other international cuisines, visitors will find they have plenty to choose from. Beach bars are a favorite place to spend the twilight hours of the day.

Hotels in Palanga

Staying in Palanga requires advanced planning for summer travel—it’s simply that popular, and finding a room won’t be easy if you arrive when the weather is at its finest. It’s possible to find lodgings close to the sea, the botanical gardens, and near the center of the action, depending upon your goals for your Palanga stay.

How to Get to Palanga

Buses regularly travel to Palanga from Lithuania’s largest cities. Palanga is also easily accessible from Klaipeda. It’s also possible to fly into Palanga using the Palanga airport, but flights from international destinations, especially during the slow season, are not frequent.

While Palanga isn’t exactly one of Lithuania’s must-visit destinations, unless you’re looking for a beach-party atmosphere, it does represent an aspect of life in Lithuania that can’t be witnessed anywhere else in the country. Other seaside destinations lack the carnival atmosphere of Palanga, which depending upon your outlook, is a good thing. So visit Palanga if you desire a well-rounded understanding of the country, but if you’re looking for a pleasant communion with sun and sea, try Nida on the Curonian Spit.

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