Palanga travel guide (best things to see and do)
Last updated: 19/06/2017
Palanga is the largest seaside resort town in Lithuania, on the shore of the Baltic Sea. Its sandy beaches are 18 km long and up to 300 m wide and it’s the most affordable beach resort in the Baltics. In this article, I will provide you with a detailed Palanga travel guide, including best places to see and things to do during your stay at this wonderful resort town.
How to get to Palanga:
- By plane: Palanga airport is located just 5 km from the town centre. There are direct flights to Palanga from Oslo (Norwegian), from Copenhagen (SAS), Glasgow and London-Stansted (Ryanair), London-Luton (Wizzair) LOT (Warsaw), Riga (airBaltic). If there is no direct flight from your airport, you can easily access Palanga with connecting flight, just look for the fares at flight comparison sites like skyscanner.com. Alternatively, book your flight to Vilnius (capital of Lithuania) or Kaunas (second largest city). These airports have more international destinations, and from there you can take a bus to Palanga. Bus tickets in Lithuania you can book using this site: autobusubilietai.lt. (Switch language to English using navigation at the top of the page).
- By sea: The nearest seaport is Klaipeda (25 km from Palanga). Ferry lines connect Klaipeda with Kiel (Germany) and Karlshamn (Sweden). Ferry service is operated by DFDS.
- By bus: There are no direct bus/train routes from abroad to Palanga. Some international bus lines will lead you either to Vilnius (Capital of Lithuania) or Kaunas (second largest city). From there you will find direct bus routes to Palanga. You can book a bus ticket in Lithuania using this site: autobusubilietai.lt. You can read more about bus travel in Europe and Baltics in my other article.
- Accommodation: The majority of the accommodation in Palanga are family-run guesthouses or boutique mini – hotels. Many locals rent our their rooms or flats during the summer season and you will see rent advertisements stuck almost on every private house. I, however, recommend to book your stay online, so you are more secure that you get a room you like. Since the competition to rent out the room is really high, in high season you can rent a room at a bargain starting from 30 EUR per night (and even less in low season). For booking accommodation, I recommend using Booking.com, which has the largest selection of accommodation in Palanga. I personally stayed at Po Kastonu hotel, and the price in June 2015 for studio room was 40 EUR per room per night (for 2 persons). Studio room had own kitchen, bathroom, wi-fi and TV. It’s a good choice to book a studio room as you can save money on restaurants by preparing meals yourself.
- Budget choice: There are several supermarkets in Palanga (Maxima, Rimi, IKI and others). If you wish to save money, but don’t want to spend time on cooking, go for already prepared meals (salads, meat, sandwiches) in supermarkets. Baltics has the biggest salads assortment and in-store prepared meals than any other EU country! In some stores, you will find even sushi chef making fresh sushi in front of the customers. Any prepared meal in the supermarket (including sushi) won’t cost you more than a 5 EUR per person.
- Restaurants: There are plenty of restaurants in Palanga, mainly located on the famous J. Basanaviciaus pedestrian street. The main dish at any restaurant will cost starting from about 7 EUR. Tea/coffee about 2 EUR. Cocktails starting from 5 EUR. Takeaways offer hot dogs, hamburgers and kebabs starting from 2 EUR. TIP: consider eating at Cili Pica, which is one of the most favourite pizza restaurants networks in Lithuania and Latvia. Since it’s a local network, they always have special offers (example 2 for 1 price drinks, discounts for selected pizzas etc). Cili Pica is located at the very end of J. Basanaviciaus street, towards the sea.
- Local food: Try cepelinai (a huge potato dumpling with meat) and saltibarsciai (a cold beetroot soup).
- Local drinks: try Kvass (Gira in Lithuanian). Kvass is a traditional Baltic and Eastern Europe fermented beverage, commonly made from rye bread. It’s similar to beer but non-alcoholic (in fact, it may contain 0,5-1,0 % of alcohol). And if we speak about alcoholic drinks, Lithuania has a very strong beer traditions. Try local beer Svyturys and as a snack order kepta duona (fried bread in garlic and cheese sauce).
- Transportation: Palanga is a small town and you don’t need to use bus services as long as you don’t want to see attractions outside the town. If you would like to visit nearby Klaipeda, the bus ride will cost you up to 2 EUR per person one way.
Top things to do and see in Palanga and Klaipeda region:
1. Dolphinarium in Klaipeda
Since it’s the only dolphinarium in Baltic states, it definitely worth a visit. I have been to dolphinariums in the Canary Islands and I can say, the dolphin show in Klaipeda has the same outstanding level as in The Canaries. And the entrance tickets are very affordable: 10 EUR for Adult, 5 EUR for Child and 5 EUR for ISIC card holders. Note that the dolphinarium is located on the Curonian split and you’ll have to take a ferry from the Klaipeda port to reach the Curonian split. The ferry travel time is approximately 5 minutes. Link for dolphins shows timetable and booking: http://www.ljm.lt/eng/. Link to ferry timetable: www.keltas.lt
2. Dinosaurs Park near Klaipeda
Dinosaur Park is located near Radailiu Dvaras, on the high shore of a pond, 7 km away from Klaipeda. It’s one of two Dinosaur Parks in Baltics (other is called AB PARK and is located in Latvia). It’s an impressive moving, spraying and roaring dinosaurs. Park visitors will be able to discover up to forty natural size dinosaur dummies. The park also provides activities for children like a trampoline, bumper cars, carousel water bicycles, mirror labyrinth, and participation is included in the ticket price. Link to Dinosaurs Park website: www.dinoparkas.lt
3. Juozo alus – traditional Lithuanian restaurant
This popular restaurant which is also a brewery is located just a few km outside Klaipeda. There is also a sculpture park and a mini zoo park (worth a visit) and some other entertainment on site. Link to Juozo alus: hbh.lt
4. J. Basanavičiaus street
J. Basanavičiaus Street is the busiest street which leads from the town centre to the sea pier. Along the street, you will find many restaurants with international food (Lithuanian, Russian, Asian), takeaways (pizza, kebab), souvenir shops and other entertainment sites (mostly live Russian and Lithuanian song performances). It’s really fun having a walk along the street.
4. the Palanga Pier
the Palanga Pier in the longest pier in Baltics (470 m long). It’s a loving place to spend a sunset.
5. Palanga Amber Museum
Palanga Amber Museum is housed in the restored 19th-century Tiškevičiai Palace and is surrounded by the Palanga Botanical Garden. The museum’s collection of amber comprises about 28,000 pieces, of which about 15,000 contain inclusions of insects, spiders, or plants. About 4,500 pieces of amber are exhibited; many of these are items of artwork and jewellery.
6. Palanga Botanical Garden
Located in the centre of Palanga, this park surrounded by pine trees and is more like a forest and boosts the Amber Museum. It’s one of the prettiest, best-preserved, and best-kept parks in Lithuania’s coastal region.
So this is my top things to do and see in Palanga. What would you add to this travel guide? Please leave a comment below if you have any question or feedback about staying in Palanga.