Palanga, in the Baltic country of Lithuania, is a seaside resort town that offers pubs, eateries, sand and bargains for travellers. With an exchange rate hovering around one pound to four Lithuanian litai, Palanga offers a budget-minded excursion to the sea.
Fly to Palanga Airport, which is about 10 minutes by car to the city centre. A taxi to the city costs about 20 to 40 litai (£5-£10). In the city, head down to J. Basanavičius gatvė, the main drag for the village. Find hotels, hostels, or homestays along the street. Homestays are among the least expensive methods of staying in Palanga as many private home owners rent out extra rooms in the cottages. Breakfast is often included in homestay prices. Expect to pay between 7-30 litai for one night of lodging. Look for signs on windows or doors advertising rooms.
Once you settle in, stroll down to the Palanga pier and watch the sunset with locals and tourists alike. The pier is a focal point of the town and the sunsets bring out the crowds looking to unwind at the end of the days, often with cocktails and small meals. The pier connects to J. Basanavičius gatvė and is easily walkable. Young street merchants stroll the beach selling local cheburek and cold beer.
A several kilometre-long beach runs perpendicular to J. Basanavičius gatvė and the pier. Stake out your section of sandy beach when the sun comes up and enjoy the surf and water sports. Sea Rescue Station has jet skis, surfboards, small sailboats and beach cruiser bicycles for rent. If you are a beach volleyball athlete, just walk up the beach to the pier and sign up with a pick-up team for some sandy matches.
Spas and day treatments are available throughout the town, with the Palanga Hotel's spa offering facials, body treatments and massages. If you like to shop, go to J. Basanavičius or Vytauto gatvės to find local artisans selling folk art, crafts, pottery and ubiquitous Lithuanian amber jewellery, called gintaras locally.
When the sun goes down, hit the clubs and discos. Palanga youth are a fickle bunch and the current hot spot today may not be the local hot spot tomorrow. Ask around to scope out the current place to be seen and dress for the occasion. If gambling and placing a few wagers is in the cards for your nightlife plans, head to the casinos along J. Basanavičius gatvė. Vandenis night club is known for its live music scene and is found at Vandenis Villa at Birutės alėja 47.
If you are a dog lover, plan a trip to Palanga in mid-August to attend the International Dog Show held in the city each year.
At the end of June each summer, Palanga hosts the Summer Fire Fest, which includes street vendors, music, theatre, sports and dancing.
Public transportation such as buses and trains are available in city centre and rental cars are found along J. Basanavičius gatvė or at the airport. Trains connect Palanga to Vilnius and other Baltic cities.