Palanga, 15 mi/25 km north of Klaipeda, is Lithuania's prettiest and best-developed seaside resort. It is popular with Russian holidaymakers who love to party all night long, and it can get crowded in summer. That's when lively Basanaviciais gatve turns into a party strip with shops, bars and open-air discotheques.

Palanga's water was once too polluted for swimming, but a decade of cleanup has made it safe enough to take a dip. The picturesque cottages, powdery sand beaches and dunes are also enjoyable.

Palanga has a lovely botanical park, an amber museum (in the Palace of Tiskevicius) and the Jurate and Kastytis Statue, which honors the mythical, ill-fated couple whose forbidden love was said to have given the country its astonishing supply of amber.

Nearby is the quieter resort town of Sventoji, known for its scenic dunes and bogs. It's safe to swim at Sventoji, too. On the last Saturday in August, there is a massive street carnival to mark the end of summer—a terrific time to be in the city.

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