July 14, 2024

7 Amazing Things to Do on a Trip to Trakai Castle, Lithuania

Lying on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, Lithuania is one of Europe’s hidden gems. Known for its spectacular beaches, mystical woodlands and stunning architecture, a holiday in Lithuania should be at the top of your travel agenda. However, no excursion here is complete without visiting Trakai Castle.

Built in the 14th century and rebuilt relatively recently in 1951, Trakai Castle is filled with history and charm. Located on an isolated island in Lake Galve, one of the deepest lakes in the country, a trip to Trakai Castle is truly an out of this world experience. To ensure you make the most of your time here, take a look at these seven amazing things to do:

1. Take a Guided Tour

Perhaps the best way to experience the Castle, a guided tour will allow you to immerse yourself in the history and story behind the Gothic architecture. If you want to wander around at your own pace, a 4-hour audio tour could be a great way to enhance your trip. Alternatively, book a day tour starting at nearby Vilnius and you can be sure that you won’t miss out on anything. For those with an adventurous spirit, a kayaking tour around Trakai ensures you can get a unique view of the Castle while exploring the waters of Lake Galve.

2. Explore the Island

As soon as you set your sights on Trakai Castle, you’ll be eager to get inside and stroll around. However, take the time to explore the island itself too. You can walk across the bridge and explore the island on foot without needing to pay any admission fees, so it’s the perfect way to enhance a budget-friendly trip. What’s more – you’ll enjoy mesmerizing views across the lake and discover hidden beaches and coves all over the Island shores.

3. Visit the Castle Museum

Located inside the Castle, the Museum is a great way to experience the history and splendour of this magical place. It will take more than an hour to view all of the exhibits, so make sure you give yourself enough time to make the most out of your trip.

At the time of writing, tickets to Trakai Castle Museum cost €12 per adult in the high season and €8 off season, which is excellent value for money when you consider the range of exhibitions on offer and the exquisite surroundings. If you want to take pictures inside the Castle, however, you’ll be required to pay an additional €1.50 for a photography pass.

4. Capture the Perfect Shots

If you want to capture stunning images to remember your time in Lithuania, Trakai is certainly the place to do it. As well as taking photos inside the Castle itself, you’ll certainly want to capture some images of the Island as you approach it from the bridge. From traditional wooden structures, you’ll have a spectacular view of Trakai Castle and the Island as a whole, which makes it the ideal backdrop for stunning holiday photos.

What’s more – you don’t need to purchase a photography pass to take shots here as it’s free to cross the bridge and walk around the Island. However, it can get busy during peak times, so arrive early and be patient if you want to capture the perfect images.

5. Try Authentic Trakai Kibinai Pastry

A true local delicacy, you won’t to leave Trakai before sampling authentic Kibinai pastry. Traditionally filled with mutton and onions, today Kibinai pastries are available with a variety of meat, vegetable and cheese fillings, so there’s something to suit every palette.

The dough is made with butter and eggs and is enriched with either sour cream or kefir before being hand-rolled using methods passed down from the 14th century. First introduced by the Karaite community, there are many cafes and eateries run by Karaite families in Trakai, which makes it the perfect place to try these delicious pastries.

6. Check Out the Gift Shop

As you’re leaving Trakai Castle, you’ll pass through the gift shop, so don’t hesitate to pick up a keepsake from your time on the island. You’ll find a wide range of novelty items, including stationery and trinkets, but keep an eye out for the amber jewellery that’s on offer. Lithuania is famous for amber, sourced from the depths of the Baltic Sea. Used as far back as 2000-1800 BC, today’s artisans craft exquisite ornaments, jewellery and gemstones from this mystical natural material and you’ll find some outstanding examples in Trakai Castle’s very own gift shop.

7. Tour Užutrakis Manor

Also known as The Tyszkiewicz Palace, Užutrakis Manor is one of the finest mansions in Trakai and well worth a visit. Originally home to Count Józef Tyszkiewicz and his wife Jadwiga, Užutrakis Manor has a rich history and has been lovingly restored and returned to its originally splendour.

The surrounding parkland is home to more than 100 different species of trees and shrubs, as well as antique sculptures and ornaments. Inside the Manor, each room is adorned in Louis XVI style interiors. Situated in Trakai town, you can also catch exceptional views of the Castle from the Manor’s terraces.

Planning Your Trip to Trakai

If you’re holidaying in Lithuania and want to take a trip to Trakai, it’s easy to arrange. You can either make your own way to Trakai Island or sign up for one of the many tours that depart from Vilnius and nearby areas. As the capital of the country, Vilnius is a popular place with tourists and has many attractions of its own. However, its close proximity to Trakai makes it a great base if you want to incorporate a trip to the Castle and Island into your plans.

You’ll have a fantastic time at Trakai whenever you choose to visit but do check what’s happening in the area before you arrive. There are many seasonal events that take place in the town and on the Island itself, so make your most of your time here by joining in the fun and seeing everything this spectacular place has to offer.

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