Palanga is a beautiful, lively beach resort on Lithuania’s Baltic coast that’s been a favourite holiday resort among Lithuanians for a long time. But since we've started flyng there from the UK it's becoming more and more popular with British holiday-makers, so why not take a little Baltic break and check it out for yourself? Here are eight good reasons to fly to Palanga this summer…
Of course this is first on the list... what would this list be without Palanga’s biggest attraction? The beach area at Palanga is about 25km in length, and covered in lots of lovely, soft, dune-sheltered golden sand for you to stretch out on. During summer, when temperatures hit the mid-twenties, the beach does become very busy with beachgoers, but it’s more than big and spacious enough to handle the influx of people. If you prefer a quiet day, just move along away from the central beach, where the sea-bridge is, and find a secluded spot where you can chill in relative peace and quiet. It’ll always be pretty busy round the bridge, by the way…but brave the crowds, because it’s well worth a sunset stroll!
The Amber museum is a Palanga must-see; this stone is Lithuania’s gold and an important part of the country’s culture, history and industry. The museum is in Count Tiskevicius’ 19th Century mansion, and it houses around 30,000 different pieces of this glowing stone, including the ‘Sun Stone’, which weighs over 3.5 kilos and is the third largest chunk of amber in the world. It’s been stolen twice, but found its way back to the museum (once even returned by the very people who stole it), and you can go and see it along with the rest of the collection of Baltic gold, fossils, and amber-gilded tools and artefacts in the museum. Don’t miss the botanical gardens that surround the museum either, they're beautiful for a stroll.
The Curonian Spit National Park (Kuršių Nerijos Nacionalinis Parkas) has been an official and protected park since 1991, when the government realised that the rare ecosystems that thrive there needed to be preserved. The spit is susceptible to natural erosion and wind damage as well as human interference, so it’s a good thing they did. It’s a beautiful place for a walk, still wild and untouched by mass tourism. Around 70% of the whole park is made up of stunning pine forests that are populated by deer, wild boar, and elk - but there are vast areas of beach and dunes too. If the weather is fine, definitely don’t miss it.
If you’re in Palanga with kids, this is definitely a stop you’ll want to make. Possibly multiple times a day. For extended periods of time. It’s a big, colourful, really well equipped playground just minutes from the beach, and it’ll definitely keep the little ones entertained for an hour or two. There’s a pirate ship, a fairy tale castle, and all manner of slides and monkey bars to keep them happy - and very occupied - for the guts of an afternoon.
This might just be the most elaborate jukebox you’ll ever encounter… the musical fountain in Palanga is a really pretty addition to the city, like Palanga's very own little Bellagio! What’s more, you can actually choose the music it plays! You can request songs via text message for €3 a pop, or simply head along to watch one of the hour-long light-and music shows totally free of charge.
The fountain is made with 260 water nozzles and 48 differently coloured lights, all of which can move and change in keeping with the rhythm of the song that’s playing. It’s very pretty, and best seen after dark.
What better way to get to know this beautiful stretch of coast than on horseback... or if that’s a bit too adventurous for you don't worry, you could explore it from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. Zigmo Zirgai is a fantastic equestrian centre that offers treks and carriage rides through beautiful routes along the beach and through the nature park – and even horse-drawn sleigh rides in winter!
‘The Pearl of Palanga’, Birute Park is a perfect spot to spend a sunny afternoon (or even a balmy evening, with the park’s decorative overnight lighting keeping things lit)! It’s a beautifully designed and impeccably well-kept park, and there are even free concerts organised here throughout the summer (try to get to a free orchestral performance put on every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday throughout summer in the park’s Rotunda).
We don't even really need to tell you to do this; it's Palanga's main thoroughfare and you cant help BUT end up walking its length. But we'll say it anyway - go explore Basanavičiaus street! It's a fully pedestranised street that's as busy and bustling as the beach and the sea pier, and Palanga just isn't Palanga without it. It's full of shops, cafes and restaurants - the perfect place for some Palanga souvenir shopping - but it also has some of Palanga's oldest and most traditional architecture. Take the time to appreciate it!