Palanga municipality is one of the smallest in Lithuania, with only 20.000 inhabitants. It occupies a roughly 4km wide strip on Lithuania's northwest coast and runs for 20km from the tiny hamlet Nemirseta, a former border post between Lithuania and the German Empire, all the way to the Latvian border. The two major settlements within the municipal border, Palanga proper and Sventoji, attract a multiple of their population as tourists every summer. The town even ranks first in the most visited places by locals but fails to attract foreigners.
The main reason for tourists to come to Palanga is the excellent sandy beach, brushing the Baltic Seacoast for the full length of the town and beyond. The at times 200m wide sand strip is lined with dunes and pine trees. The busiest beaches are located near the 400m long Palanga Pier aka The Sea Bridge, offering excellent views of the surrounding beaches and dunes. Take care, however, when strolling on the beach front as some beaches are designated for women or men only (although small children are allowed). Normally the single-sex beaches are signposted well, and if you do end up in the wrong place, just turn around as some people might get offended.
Apart from the beach there are a few other interesting sights in Palanga town, which can easily be covered on foot. A good starting point is Palanga's main square on the intersection of Vytauto and Kretingos Street. You can pick up a map at the nearby Tourist Information Centre. Also on the square is the brick neogothic St. Mary's Basilica with its bright red and white interior. Just south of the church, the partly pedestrian Basanavicius Street runs for 1km towards the pier and the beaches. This street is lined with souvenir stalls, ice-cream carts, cafés and restaurants, often situated in brightly painted wooden houses giving the town a certain charm despite the summer crowds. And did I mention the absence of high-rise buildings so characteristic for seaside resorts world-wide?
From the "impossible lovers" statue of Jurate and Kastytis the Meiles Alley runs south between pine trees and along the coast. Signs point towards the women-only and mixed beach. About 1km south, across the Dariaus and Gereno Street, is the Palanga Botanical Park. This landscape garden is shaped by French garden architect Édouard André, and features a greenhouse, swan ponds, statues, and beaches. In the southwest is the Birute Hill, dedicated to pagan priestess Birute with an artificial cave and a memorial. The main attraction, however, is the 19th century Tyszkiewicz palace. The neo-renaissance building now houses the interesting Palanga Amber Museum, dedicated to the "Baltic Gold". Polished and unpolished amber stones are on displays, often with animal or vegetable inclusions and in varying sizes, as well as ancient amber jewelry. Entrance fee is only €1.5 so this is a must-see when visiting the town. Vytauto Street runs east of the park and the main square is a short walk back north.