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Lithuania’s history can’t be separated from Trakai, as it was its capital until the 14th century. Only 40 minutes away from Vilnius, it’s a must do trip into Lithuania’s origins.

Trakai seems a quiet place, hiding the best kept secret of the Baltics top sights – its island castle that was once the center of Lithuanian power. It was the home of the Grand Duke Gediminas, one of the most famous local heroes, that wanted show his power by building this medieval stronghold. Not only it has an idyllic position in the middle of a large lake, its medieval castle from the 14th century is a great piece of Middle Ages architecture that is simply stunning and you can enjoy it in a good half a day tour.


All year round is possible to visit the Trakai castle and the village main attractions. However only from April to October are most of the Trakai restaurants , cafés and lake boat activities back from their Winter break, with temperatures reaching 20 degrees celsius or more. Nevertheless in Winter from November to March you will almost likely have the castle for yourself, so take the time you need to visit it quietly, with temperatures slightly above zero.


There are 3 main options to reach Trakai from Vilnius:

  • The cheapest option from Vilnius to Trakai is to take the direct bus 279 leaving from Vilnius bus station, that will take you around 40 minutes to cover the 28km separating both cities. It will cost you less than 3€. Leave at the final stop and walk for about 20-25 minutes to the island castle entrance. Alternatively take a taxi for 2€ and get there in less than 5 minutes when in Trakai. You can find the timetable here at the LIthuanian bus company website., tickets you should buy on the bus.
  • The train is the second cheapest option, the ticket costs less than 4€, but by far the fastest taking only 30 minutes from Vilnius central station you to Trakai’s, and it leaves hourly. Exit the train at Trakai and from there it will be a good 20-25 minutes walk until you reach the Trakai Castle. Alternatively take a taxi for 2€ and get there in less than 5 minutes when in Trakai. The train ride is my preferred option. You can buy tickets online at Lithuania’s national railway portal.
  • The most expensive yet flexibly convenient is by car. You can take the car right to the parking place of the Trakai castle and then its an easy 5 minutes walk. It will take you 30 minutes. Taxi will cost circa 40€, but it might get difficult to get a taxi to accept a one-way ride so you would need to book the return too , something that would cost around 80€.


The island castle access is composed of 2 wooden bridges that take you first to a small island and then to the castle itself. The best views of the whole island & castle is before the first bridge whilst the 2nd bridge does boast the nicest castle walls views before you enter the castle.


The castle is open all year- round from 10am to 5pm in Winter (Nov-Feb) and 10am to 6pm in Spring/ Summer (Mar-Sep).


Normal Adult tickets cost 8€. You can buy your tickets online or directly at the castle. They conduct tours or you can take an audio guide and do your own tour. Latest infos and tickets here at Trakai castle official website.


Count with 2 hours full tour with an audio guide at least, Especially if you take a tour it can take longer. Have a special look to the big tower and the lovely halls and staircases. These 2 hours would also include a walk outside the Trakai castle walls for nice views of the compound (15 minutes). There are also offers of boat tours of the lake from April to October for 1 hour, costing around 8€, departing from the docks before arriving to the castle.


Even if the main purpose is it to visit the Trakai island castle, you will most likely take a walk around Trakai’s nice village with some of its historic houses, visit some of the museums, walk by the lake and lovely see the local cathedral. Do take at least 1 to 2 hours to visit Trakai’s village. As a special treat, if you have the time, do check the nice AJ Chocolate Café in Trakai, that even has a sculptures museum… all made in chocolate! Enjoy it and do buy some of their specialties, they are really good and tasty!



Visit the capital of Lithuania and be amazed by the top sights of Vilnius, as you walk around the old town in a very easy itinerary to follow

theinsidetraveller View All

My name is Renato Azambujo. I live currently in Hamburg, but was born and raised in sunny capital of Portugal, Lisbon. I also lived in Switzerland for some years, before settling in Germany for the last years.

I am huge passionate about travel, photographer and a global explorer, always looking to the next destination.

I have so far visited over 70 countries across the 5 continents, because I really love knowing about new places, interact with different cultures and get to know myself better after each journey.

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