Visit The Fairy Tale Castle Of Trakai Island, Lithuania

Trakai Castle is a magnificent Gothic fortress on an island in Lake Galve, in Lithuania. The spectacular setting of the castle looks like it is straight out of a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, and unsurprisingly, it’s one of the regional highlights for visitors to the nation’s capital, Vilnius.

An exceptional example of Medieval architecture at its best, Trakai Island Castle was built in the 14th Century and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. The castle has also been featured in popular movies such as Highlander: The Source, in 2007, and Blood of the Templars, in 2004.

Originally serving as the private residence of the Grand Duke of Lithuania, the castle is now open to the public and can be reached by crossing a beautiful wooden bridge, or by taking a boat across the lake. During the winter, when the water freezes over, the lake is transformed into a natural skating rink and in the summer months the castle hosts Medieval festivals and concerts in its courtyards.

The surrounding Lithuanian countryside is a haven for nature lovers and is crisscrossed with footpaths and hiking trails. Only a short drive from the nation’s capital, Trakai Island Castle makes a great day trip for couples, families and solo travelers who are staying in Vilnius.

How Do You Get To Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania?

Trakai Island Castle is located just under 30 km to the West of Vilnius and can easily be reached by bus, train or car.

The bus to Trakai Island Castle leaves from the main Vilnius bus terminal. The bus ride takes around 40 minutes and you’ll be dropped off at Trakai bus station. From Trakai bus station, it’s a pleasant 25 minutes walk to the castle. Alternatively, you can catch a Lithuanian Railways train from Vilnius to Trakai, although the trains are infrequent so you should check the schedule before planning your trip.

If you have a rented car, you can drive to Trakai Island Castle from Vilnius in about 30 minutes. To reach Trakai, you simply need to follow Savanoriu Avenue out of Vilnius and then take the A16 highway and follow the signs to the castle.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania?

Lithuania is a year-round tourist destination with each season having its own merits. During the summer months, the temperatures are very warm and the countryside around Lake Galve is lush and green. It’s worth keeping in mind that summer is peak tourist season and so the lines to get into the castle can be quite long and it can get quite crowded inside.

During the autumn season, the trees surrounding the lake are vividly colorful and there are far fewer tourists in the area. Prices in hotels are also cheaper in the autumn than during the peak summer season. Spring in Lithuania is another quiet time of year so you won’t need to wait long to get into the castle and the countryside is blooming with wildflowers.

The winter months are a magical time to see Trakai Island Castle when it’s covered in snow and the lake has frozen over. However, it can get very cold so don’t forget your hat and gloves if you plan to visit between December and February.

What To Do Around Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania?

Visit The Trakai History Museum

The Trakai History Museum is one of the highlights of visiting the Trakai Island Castle and makes a lovely day trip from Vilnius. The museum has a wide range of exhibits and fun educational activities that allow you to learn about the unique history of the castle and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Visitors can also explore the castle’s numerous chambers, rooms and halls, including the impressive Great Hall, the Tower of the Grand Duke and the Ducal Palace itself.

The museum provides regular guided tours for visitors although you are free to wander through the museum and castle at your own pace as well. Suitable for families and children, Trakai History Museum will really immerse you in the fascinating history and culture of Medieval Lithuania.

Join A Private Full Day Trip To Anyksciai And The Hill Of Crosses

Departing from Vilnius, this full day tour will take you to some of the area’s most famous landmarks and attractions. Along the way, you’ll visit the Horse Museum, the 19th Century Narrow-Gauge Railway and Museum, and the impressive Treetop Walking Path in the Aukstaitija National Park. You’ll also visit the magnificent Church of St Matthias, which is the tallest church in Lithuania. All of your admissions are included in the tour and the organizers provide hotel pickups and drops.

Challenge Yourself On The Vilnius Swamp Tour

Certainly not for the faint-hearted, the Vilnius Swamp Tour is an exciting adventure that takes you through the swamps in the Trakai District. Led by an experienced professional guide, you’ll get to see nature up close as you walk, climb and wade through the pristine wetlands. A fantastic day trip for families with older children, intrepid couples and solo travelers, the Vilnius Swamp Tour is a real one-of-a-kind experience.

Take A Hot Air Balloon Flight Over Vilnius Or Trakai

If you’d like to get a bird’s eye view of the stunning countryside around Trakai Island Castle, there’s no better way to do so than to hop on board a 3-hour hot air balloon flight and soar through the open skies. Hot air ballooning is great fun, and as you drift above Vilnius and onwards over the countryside you’re bound to fall in love with the beautiful scenery below.

The precise route of the hot air balloon ride does vary, depending on the weather, but what is guaranteed is that you’ll have an unforgettable flight over the natural wonders of Lithuania. The hot air balloon flight organizers can pick you up at your hotel, or anywhere else in central Vilnius, and then drop you back at your hotel after the flight.

Flavors Of Vilnius – Private Walking Food Tour Of The City

Vilnius is one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe but it also boasts a delightful culinary heritage. So join the food tour and stroll through the Vilnius Old City with your guide as you learn about the city’s culinary traditions, some of which date right back to Pagan times.

You’ll stop off at local cafes and shops to sample a whole range of delicious food and have lots of opportunities to taste all the city’s favorite dishes. According to the tour organizers, you should arrive for the tour ‘hungry’ because you’ll have quite a day of feasting ahead of you!

Stay At The Hilton Garden Inn, Vilnius

The Hilton Garden Inn is perfectly situated in the heart of Vilnius and is the ideal place to base yourself during your time in Lithuania. With easy access to all the city’s top attractions, shops and restaurants, and less than 40 minutes drive from Trakai Island Castle, the hotel is only 6 km from the airport and a stone’s throw from the main train station.

The hotel has free internet, a bar, a restaurant, a fitness center and gym, baggage storage, a laundry service and a 24-hour reception desk. The spacious rooms all have a private bathroom with a walk-in shower, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, minibar, iron, electric kettle and complimentary toiletries.

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