Peaceful and relaxing, Druskininkai is a charming spa town on the border of Poland and Belarus. Travelers come to this escape from all over the world to enjoy the historic baths, some of which have been active for hundreds of years.
Boasting numerous museums, adventure trails, and an aqua park, Druskininkai offers much more than just spas to curious guests. The city is surrounded by large pine forests, and the locals say that the pine woods add to the healing properties of the town's mineral springs.
The town's spas and sanatoriums are renowned for their healing properties, which derive both from the minerals in the water and the pine forests surrounding the town. Popular spas include Grand Spa Lietuva and Sanatorium Egle.
The town has a children's health center, and is home to the Snow Arena as well as the Druskininkai Aqua Park water park, which are fun for all ages.
Museums in town introduce guests to different aspects of the region's historic heritage.
Many local restaurants specialize in Lithuanian food, which is a rarity outside the country.
The nearby National Park offers plenty of hiking and biking trails for nature enthusiasts, as well as numerous berry picking opportunities.
Druskininkai attracts thousands of visitors annually, thanks to its tranquil countryside and wealth of spa facilities. The healing resources of Druskininkai became more focused in the 18th century when the Polish king Stanisław II August Poniatowski made the town an official therapeutic area. The southernmost town in Lithuania became known throughout Europe as a place for rest and rejuvenation, with many spas like Sanatorium Egle established as formal healing institutions. Today you can relax as the old European elite did and enjoy one of 100 different kinds of massage, treatments, and baths. The Sanatorium Eglė is specifically known for its therapeutic peaty mud, which is drawn from the Sanatorium's own quarry.
Grutas Park is a sculpture garden of Soviet-era relics set in the wetlands of the Dzūkija National Park, a project which aims to show the historic truth about the soviet occupation of Lithuania. The park covers 20 hectares and its preserved guard towers and fragments of concentration camps give a sense of the kind of soviet ideology and control which permeated the region. The open air museum also features playgrounds, a mini-zoo and cafes, allowing visitors to spend an entire day in this thought-provoking park.
The Forest Museum was established in 1971 to educate the local population regarding culture, forestry, and ecology in southeastern Lithuania. Primary exhibits revolve around nature and the various flora and fauna found in the surrounding area. Some of the other organized exhibitions in the Forest Museum feature woodwork, amber jewelry, black ceramics, and folk art. There are also several open air activities, events, and workshops throughout the year for children to learn about forestry and how to better connect with the natural world. Fun fact: local legend has it that witches live in the hollows of oaks surrounding the museum.
Rent a pair of skis for the day and head over to Snow Arena, one of the biggest indoor ski slopes in the world! The indoor/outdoor ski slope opened in 2011 and offers daily ski lessons. There are two types of terrain available to visitors; the terrain park and the ski slope, with lifts available for all abilities. The magic carpet lift is offered for beginners, as well as the platter and chair lifts for more experienced skiers. There are even four restaurants and two bars accessible on-site, letting you enjoy a full day's worth of snow-filled fun.
Housed in the former Linksma villa, the Town Museum is located on the banks of Lake Druskonis in the heart of the city center. Inside you'll find several exhibition halls tracing the history of this spa town, with an emphasis on medicine and the town's role as a healing center in Lithuania. The museum features modern neoclassical architecture and is one of the most photographed landmarks in Drusininkai. Furthermore, its convenient public transportation and pedestrian access make it easy for visitors to reach.
Druskininkai has a cold and temperate climate with lots of rain throughout the year. However, summer can get quite hot, so it's advisable to visit in May or September.
There aren't many nearby airports. The nearest international airport, in Vilnius, is about 80 miles away. Buses run regularly from Vilnius and cost about EUR10.
The town sits just off the intersection of the A4 and 5006, which connect to Grodno in Belarus and Vilnius in Lithuania.
Buses are the primary way of arriving in town. Regular routes from Vilnius and Kaunas cost about EUR6-9 each.
Being a resort town, there are a number of hotels in Druskininkai. The Hotel Dainava has options for tents and camper vans. The Hotel Regina is a 3-star establishment located within the town limits. Because of the town's resort status, rooms can fill up rather quickly, so it's best to book several months in advance, especially during the busy summer season.
The town is so small that it does not have nor need a form of public transportation, it is easily walkable.
There are several small taxi companies that operate in town.
Druskininkai is very easy to drive around in. Cars can be rented in Vilnius for as little as EUR11 per day.
The town is not known for its shopping options but there are some jewelry stores, most of which are located on Čiurlionio Street.
There are several grocery stores in town where visitors will find staple items such as bread for EUR1 a loaf. A dozen eggs can be found for EUR1.60.
Restaurants like Forto Dvaras and Aero Gallery in town serve Lithuanian specialties, such as Gaspadoriaus karka (pork knuckle) and Dzūkikos trokintos voveraitės (stewed forest mushrooms). An inexpensive meal will cost about EUR6 in town.