Must see attractions in Curonian Spit National Park

  • Top ChoiceSights in Nida

    Parnidis Dune

    The 52m-high Parnidis Dune is simultaneously mighty and fragile. Past settlements around Nida have been engulfed by the moving sand dune but this is a delicate landscape of mountain pines, meadows and fine blonde sand speckled with purple searocket flowers. A 1700m-long path picks its way to a grand panorama at the height of the dune, where you'll find a sundial with a granite obelisk (constructed in 1995). Don't stray from the path, and take all rubbish with you. Dunes began to move ever-closer to the lagoon after deforestation in the 16th century, which removed the natural barrier of trees. The sands continue to shift: in the space of 30 years, Parnidis Dune has decreased by 10m and it's thought that footfall on the dunes continues the erosion – all the more reason to stick to the path.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Nida

    Nida Cemetery

    This delightful woodland cemetery features some fine examples of krikštai (wooden grave markers). Their origins hark back to Lithuania's pagan roots and these wooden markers with symmetrical carvings of plants, birds and more have been traditionally placed at the foot of a grave for centuries. Since the 19th century, the cross motif has been making an appearance.

  • Sights in Nida

    Amber Gallery

    In an old fisher's hut on the northern side of town is this museum and shop devoted to amber. Staff introduce the mythic and supposed health-boosting properties of this fossilised resin. Visitors can peer through magnifying glasses at insects trapped in amber and explore the amber-ornamented garden. The museum doubles as a boutique selling truly unusual jewellery studded with amber. Enquire ahead for hour-long amber-processing classes (€6). Most amber jewellery ranges in hues from yellow to blood red, but the most highly prized colours are white, which occurs when the amber is aerated, and the (very rare) black and blue. Lithuanian mythology describes amber as the frozen tears of Jūratė, a sea goddess who fell in love with a mortal fisherman.

  • Sights in Nida

    Neringa History Museum

    Curonian Spit's three defining traditional crafts, fishing, crow-catching and amber collecting, are explained within this small regional museum. Look out for images of hardy fishermen sending dragnets underneath the ice of the lagoon in midwinter. Other fascinating photographs depict local hunters biting a crow’s neck to kill it, then taking a shot of vodka to dull the taste. Eating crows and seagulls’ eggs was common on the spit in the 17th to 19th centuries, when continually drifting sands rendered previously arable land useless. The rest of the museum traces Nida's history from the Stone Age to the 20th century but many displays feature copies of archaeological finds rather than original items.

  • Sights in Nida

    Ethnographic Fisherman's Museum

    The Ethnographic Museum is a peek at Nida in the 19th century, with original weathervanes decorating the garden, and rooms inside arranged as they were a couple of centuries ago. Check out a traditional fishing vessel in the garden and the thicket of weathervanes.

  • Sights in Nida

    Thomas Mann Memorial Museum

    The German writer and Nobel laureate Thomas Mann used to own this beautifully situated villa, which is now a museum with numerous original possessions. Mann spent each summer between 1930 and 1932 here, with his wife and children, before fleeing Germany in 1933.

  • Sights in Nida

    Evangelical-Lutheran Church

    This graceful red-brick church dates to 1888. Its peaceful woodland cemetery is pinpricked with krikstai – crosses carved from wood to help the deceased ascend to heaven more easily.

  • Sights in Nida

    Hermann Blode Museum

    This small museum, occupying a hotel dating to 1867, commemorates the famous artists that have stayed here: Thomas Mann, Ludwig Passarge and (not least) Engelbert Humperdinck.