Druskininkai – The unknown spa capital of Lithuania
For many, a spa holiday is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Lithuania, but did you know that Lithuania has an excellent spa town? Druskininkai is in the southern part of Lithuania, about 120 km from Vilnius. The name of the city comes from the Lithuanian word ‘druska’, which means salt. Local sources are rich in minerals and their healing effects have been known for centuries.
Druskininkai was named a health resort town as early as 1794, when the then King of Poland decided to start developing tourism in the area. Nowadays, tourists come to the region, especially from nearby countries such as Poland, Belarus and Russia. Customer service representatives are more accustomed to serving in Lithuanian and Russian – however, there is always a customer service representative who can speak English if the need arises. The price level in Lithuania is cheaper than in Estonia or Latvia, and it is one of the cheapest euro countries, at least in these latitudes.
Activities in Druskininkai
Many travellers come to Druskininkai to relax and recharge their batteries. What else would a weekend full of spa treatments and half board at a hotel do for you? However, if you want to explore outside the hotel, Druskininkai has activities for both couples and family travellers.
K. Dineika Wellness Park is a large park on the outskirts of the city centre. It is, as the name implies, a wellness park – you can either just walk in the middle of a coniferous forest or do a workout in the open-air gym. The park also has a public sauna by the river.
Lake Druskonis, on the other hand, is in the centre of Druskininkai and can easily be walked around. Many people rent a pedal boat and spend a summer day on the lake.
Druskininkai AquaPark is a magnificent tropical themed water park with an indoor temperature of 30 °C. The water park has water slides, various swimming pools, scuba diving lessons, saunas, a children’s area and a separate adult relaxation area. You can also book a massage, exfoliation, or other treatments for an additional small cost.
Snow Arena is the only year-round winter sports centre in the Baltics. It has been named one of the best winter sports centres in the world for many years in a row. The Snow Arena is almost completely indoors, and you can go downhill skiing, snowboarding, and traditional skiing. In winter, traditional skiing can also be practised on the outdoor track. If you are a beginner and would like to learn to ski, Snow Arena also has professional teachers. It has a variety of on-site restaurants and the only ice bar in Lithuania, named Ice Bar.
Druskininkai Museum. Would you be interested in learning more about the history of Druskininkai? This museum is housed in a beautiful neoclassical building on the shore of Lake Druskonis. Admission is a few euros.
Food and beverage
Many travellers do most of their eating at their hotel buffets, but there are also quality restaurants and cafés in Druskininkai. Here are a few ideas:
The city's best coffee and a broad selection of over 40 quality teas. Cocoa lovers are pampered with cocoa powder imported from Ecuador and Venezuela. There’s a great view of the iconic red church in Druskininkai.
Authentic Lithuanian food on the shore of Lake Druskonis. You should ask for a special tasting menu to get acquainted with the most famous Lithuanian dishes.
Would you like Italian food for a change? Sicilia offers delicious and fair-sized pizzas, pastas, and other Italian dishes at great-value prices. Sicilia has two locations in Druskininkai – one that is a pizzeria and the other which is a more comprehensive restaurant that also serves pizza. Try out the restaurant’s home-made lemonade as well.
Druskininkai has various high-quality hotels and here are some of the best-rated ones.
A four-star hotel with comprehensive spa facilities. The hotel sells a variety of spa packages, including accommodation, treatment packages, breakfast, and dinner. The other branch of this Spa Vilnius chain was named the best in Eastern Europe in 2017 in the World Luxury Spa award.
Another 4-star hotel with spa facilities. You can choose from a variety of treatment packages from those aimed at romantic couples to family vacations. Breakfast, dinner, different treatments, and access to the spa and gym are included in the package price.
A boutique hotel located in the centre of Druskininkai. The hotel has charming old-fashioned architecture and the rooms are decorated in a classic style. Residents of the hotel have access to swimming pools at Draugystės Health Resort.
How do you get to Druskininkai?
Finnair has direct flights from Helsinki to the Lithuanian capital Vilnius every day. You can book your flights to Vilnius from here.
There is a direct bus connection from Vilnius to Druskininkai. The bus leaves from Vilnius Bus Station (address Sodų gatvé 22, Vilnius). Travel time is about 2 hours. The trip can be booked online in advance from here. A one-way bus ticket costs around 11 euros per person.