The reputation of Druskininkai’s healing mineral waters dates back centuries and reached its zenith in the 1800s. During the days of the USSR, the old and ailing sought miracle cures at the famous health resort. Today it attracts well-heeled visitors seeking a quick detox from city life, particularly Lithuanians and tourists from Poland, Belarus and Russia.
Stark Soviet-era buildings remain, but Druskininkai’s 19th-century elegance is being restored: timber houses have carved gables and fronts awash in yellow and pastel green. Parks, fountains and promenades form the town's leafy centre. Most refreshing of all, the town is hugged by forests of tall fir and birch and lies only a few kilometres from Dzūkija National Park.