The soft white sand of Palanga beach at sunset on the Baltic Sea

Things to Do in Palanga, Lithuania

Palanga is a resort town on the Baltic coast of Lithuania. There are plenty of things to do in Palanga that make it the perfect beach destination. Even though it is well-known and beloved by locals, it’s not a destination I see featured on very many itineraries. This cute town is perfect for a visit to the seaside to relax among the sand dunes and go amber hunting.

Located a short drive from Kaunas and Vilnius, Palanga is the perfect Baltic destination for soaking up some sun on its 18 km of white sand beaches. The sand here is so perfectly soft, it feels like stepping on brown sugar.

On my first trip to Palanga, I was impressed by the bike trails to get around the town and explore along the beach. I also loved that there are just roaming hedgehogs among the sand dunes here. Palanga is definitely a destination in Lithuania that you should consider adding to your itinerary.

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View of the beach at Palanga with the waves of the Baltic Sea and the golden sandy beach. Palanga is a top destination in Lithuania and is one of the best places to visit on the Baltic Sea.

Visiting Palanga and the Baltic Sea, Lithuania

Is Palanga Worth Visiting?

Palanga is the perfect beach destination on the Baltic Sea if you are looking for relaxing beach vibes in a small beach town. It’s easy to get to and relatively quick to get to from the main two tourist cities in Lithuania of Vilnius and Kaunas.

What I love about Palanga is that even though it is very touristy, it’s easy to get away from the crowds and relax by the seaside.

Baltic Sea and the Palanga Bridge at sunset

How Long to Spend in Palanga

Palanga makes for the perfect long weekend destination. Ideally, spend two nights in Palanga so that you have one full day here. With only one night, it’s still possible just a long drive or bus ride at the end of the day. Because of the long driving distance, it isn’t a good day trip from Vilnius or Kaunas.

Where to Stay in Palanga

In Palanga make sure you are within walking distance of the main town area around the pedestrian street of Basanavičiaus Street. As a resort town, there are tons of accommodation options but the best ones do go fast, especially during weekends and in the summer months of June-August.

Grand Baltic DunesThis 4-star hotel is in a fantastic location and has a spa on site. Huge rooms with kitchenettes for a great price.

Guest House Aštuoni– Located extremely close to the beach, this smaller hotel is perfect if you’re looking for a quieter location. Beautiful rooms and a sauna on site.

Palanga CentrumFantastic budget option close to the centre of Palanga and within walking distance of everything.

How to Get to Palanga, Lithuania

By Bus The bus is probably the cheapest option for getting to Palanga if you are leaving from Vilnius (4h30m) or Kaunas (3h30m). The bus company Kautra has routes to Palanga.

By Car If you are driving from Vilnius, it is about 3.5 hours of driving time. Kaunas is 2.5 hours of driving to Palanga. For rental cars, you can use Discover Cars to compare and find the best deal if you need a rental.

What to Eat in Palanga

Palanga is a popular destination for Lithuanians and when they are there, the popular foods to eat are traditional foods. Traditional foods here include:

  • Cepelinai – potato dumplings stuffed with ground meat, curd, or mushrooms
  • Šaltibarščiai -cold pickled beet and kefir (fermented yogurt) soup that is vibrant pink
  • Žemaičių blynai – mashed potato pancakes stuffed with meat, a specialty of the Samogitia region where Palanga is located
  • Bulviniai blynai– grated and fried potato pancakes
  • Smoked fish– especially Šamas (catfish) and eel. The store Žuvis at the corner of Senojo turgaus g. and Janonio g. is apparently the best fresh fish in Palanga. This fish place is next to Palangos turgavietė, an open-air market for fruits and veggies.

What to Do in Palanga, Lithuania

As Lithuania’s most popular seaside town, there is plenty to do in Palanga. Many of the top sights here are found in Birute park. Birute park is a huge park filled with sculptures and tons of walking and biking paths to make exploring it easy.

Spend Some Time on the Beach

The main beach of Palanga can get pretty crowded at peak times but with 18 km of beach here, you can find some space for yourself. The white sand stretches out as far as you can see. If you walk a little bit away from the Palanga bridge in either direction you are sure to get away from the crowds.

Even though it’s tempting to swim in the water, the Baltic never gets very warm. In the peak of summer, the water can be around 20°C (68°F). For me, it was a quick dip in and then warming myself in the sun.

Go Amber Hunting

I’m not very good at hunting for amber on the seashore but with a keen eye, you might get lucky. Little pieces of amber are always washing up on the beach here so instead of looking for shells, look for tiny pieces of amber in the sand.

Stroll the Bridge of Palanga

This L-shaped bridge juts 407 metres out into the Baltic Sea from the beach. It’s a fantastic place to watch the sunset from and get views of the beach. You will also see people fishing from here. If you only do one thing in Palanga, make it a visit to this bridge.

Palanga Bridge with ferris wheel in the background on a cloudy day
Palanga Bridge

Visit the Amber Museum – Gintaro Muziejus

The Amber Museum in Palanga is a small museum dedicated to some of the most interesting amber that has been found in Lithuania. You can see inclusions like insects and plants in the amber as well as learn about how amber is formed. The Baltic is one of the best regions in the world to find amber so it’s no surprise there is a museum here dedicated to it. The museum is housed in the Tiškevičiai Palace, a beautiful Neo-Renaissance palace built in the late 1800s.

Tiskeviciai Palace that houses the Amber Museum in Palanga, Lithuania is one of the top sights to see in this charming sea side town
Tiskeviciai Palace

Wander the Botanical Garden

In front of Tiškevičiai Palace and Amber Museum is a botanical garden. It’s beautiful to wander around in the summertime when everything is in bloom.

The botanical garden in front of Tiskeviciai Palace in Palanga, Lithuania
Botanical Garden in Palanga

Check Out Eglė the Queen of Serpents

The statue of Eglė the Queen of Serpents is located in Birute park. It’s an important statue as Eglė’s story is one of the most well-known Lithuanian folk tales. Most Lithuanian children will be familiar with Egle and the story about shapeshifting grass snakes and humans shapeshifting into trees. It’s not only an important children’s tale but also a well-researched one because of its importance to Baltic mythology.

Statue of Egle Queen of Serpents in Birute Park, Palanga, Lithuania
Egle, Queen of Serpents

Visit Birutė Hill

This is the tallest point of Birutė Park with views of the sea. Birutė Hill is thought to be where Birutė was buried in 1382. Birutė was a Grand Duchess of Lithuania and served as a priestess dedicated to Praurimė, the goddess of sacred fire. She was beloved by locals and after her death, was worshipped as the pagan equivalent of a saint.

Bronze sculpture of Birute near her grave in Palanga, Lithuania
Sculpture of Birutė near her presumed burial place

The chapel built at the top of the hill was partly built to replace a pagan shrine and to discourage pagan worship. Indeed, Lithuanians are quite proud of being the last pagans of Europe. At the bottom of the hill is a small grotto that is a replica of the Lourdes grotto in France. So this former pagan site has been altered to be a Christian one.

Birute Park Grotto, a full scale replice of the Lourdes Grotto in France where apparitions of St Mary appeared to St. Bernardine
Grotto at Birutė Hill

Rent a Bicycle and Cycle Along the Coast to Šventoji

There are tons of bike trails in Palanga. You can bike along the main roads and all through the park here, both of which are worth doing. There are several bike rental places in Palanga, including Amber Drop which rents bikes out year-round.

Bike trail through the pine forest of Palanga, Lithuania
Bike trail in Palanga

The best place to bike in Palanga though is to bike towards Šventoji so you can bike on the trails that go next to the beach. There are more hidden and secluded beaches up this way and the trail through the pine forest is really relaxing to bike. It is 15 km to Šventoji but all quite flat so it isn’t too challenging. I spent a whole day biking to Šventoji and back so either take a packed lunch or plan on having lunch in Šventoji.

There are also bike trails that go in the opposite direction, from Palanga to Klaipėda so you really are spoiled for choice here if you want to explore the seaside by bike.

Appreciate the Wildlife

I didn’t expect to go to Palanga and see any wildlife but I got lucky and saw a hedgehog at dusk. I know this is quite ordinary for many Europeans but it was an exciting find for me. I just snapped a quick photo and then let the hedgehog go back to its foraging mission.

Another unusual sight for me were the giant anthills they have here. I thought they were just random piles of soil and pine needles but on closer inspection, they are swarmed with ants.

Visiting the Baltic Sea and Palanga

Palanga is an excellent choice if you want a visit to the Baltic Sea while you are in Lithuania. It’s not too far by bus or car and there is plenty of things to do in Palanga to stay occupied for a couple of days.

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Spend a couple of days on the Baltic Sea in Palanga, Lithuania exploring the history of this area and relaxing on some of the best sand beaches of the Baltic. This destination in Lithuania is perfect for any Lithuania itinerary to get to explore more of this beautiful Baltic country. #lithuania #baltic #beachdestination

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