If you’re visiting Vilnius, you might want to be visiting Trakai in Lithuania as well. Trakai is very close to capital city Vilnius and it has several great sights, including its famous castle. I think it’s definitely worth visiting Trakai when you’re in Lithuania.
Trakai is a 30 minute drive by car from Vilnius, and you can also go by train, bus or Uber. On this page I’m sharing the highlights of Trakai.
The top sight in Trakai is the Trakai Island Castle. This beautiful medieval castle is located on an island in a lake. You can park your car somewhere in Trakai (make sure to have some cash for the machines) and visit the castle island by foot. You can buy your tickets at the gate of the castle, or visit the tourist information center on the mainland first for more information about Trakai. It’s great to walk around the premises and feel like you’ve traveled centuries back in time. In most of the rooms of the castle, there are exhibitions showing the daily life in the castle. Each room has a different theme, one is showcasing the tableware for example whereas another is showing the armor.
The lake of the castle isn’t the only lake in Trakai, there are 200 lakes in the area. You can do all kinds of activities like swimming, sailing and stand up paddle boarding.
The lake in which you can find the castle is Lake Galve and it has 20 more islands. Making it a great lake for a boat tour.
In the town of Trakai, close to the castle and at the water of Lake Galve, you can find Kybynlar Restaurant. At the Kybynlar restaurant they serve traditional food from the Karaite. The Karaite is an ethnic minority that derived from Judaism in central and Eastern Europe. They’ve got all kinds of dishes at Kybynlar restaurant, but they’re mostly known for their Kybyn. A Kybyn is a moon-shaped savory pastry. It can be stuffed with meat, but they also have vegetarian options like mine with spinach and cheese or with cabbage.
Varnikai Cognitive Trail
Just outside Trakai you can find the Varnikai Cognitive Trail. It’s a walking trial that is around 4km long. It’ll take you around 1 hour to complete the trail. The route is clearly marked and a big part of the trail has the wooden boardwalk that you can also see on the picture. There are several plaques with information about the flora and fauna along the way. There are several benches where you can take a rest, making the Varnikai Cognitive Trail very suitable for children too.
The parking lot is a bit tricky to find. You’ll have to enter a sand road (don’t worry, that’s the right route), follow the sign ‘Varnikų Gamtos Takas’ and follow the P signs until the parking place.