Palanga

Overview

Introduction

Palanga, 15 mi/25 km north of Klaipeda, is Lithuania's prettiest and best-developed seaside resort. It's very 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 mile with shops, bars and open-air discotheques full of beautiful, tanned dyevushkas.

Palanga's water was once too polluted for swimming but a decade of cleanup has made it safe—if not warm—enough to take a dip, and the picturesque cottages, powdery sand beaches and dunes are very enjoyable.

Palanga also has a lovely botanical park, an amber museum (in the Palace of Tiskevicius) and the Jurate and Kastytis Statue (honoring 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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