Castle with museum (history!), lanscapes, water sports, watching visitors :-), Karaime food
No vacancy, too few accommodations :-(
A wonderful place in the middle of nature
In 1409 the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautus funded the parish church of Trakei. It is one of the oldest churches in Lithuania famous for the image of the Mother of God, the Protectress of Lithuania. The church is visibly dominating among residential buildings. It is the spiritual centre of town and I was amazed at how full the church was during...more
Restaurant called Kibinine by Karaits national food - kibinai. Karaites went to Lithuania in 14 - 15th century to be a part of Lithuanian army. They mostly create his culture in Trakai and Vinius. Some Karaits work in this restaurant. Restaurant's interior looks great: wooden construction, nice attending. Especially memorized was a view to Lake...more
After a 2-3 hours visit to the Trakai castle I started to look for a restaurant for late lunch or early dinner :-). I was looking for a restaurant with tables outside, a nice view over Galve lake (with the castle on an island), good atmosphere and surely Karaims food. First I thought over a restaurant located next to my parking lot but it was...more
Restaurant Karaliskas Sodas was located by southern shore of Galve Lake, a few meters above the water level. It assured beautiful view over the lake with a castle on an island - look at the cover picture in my intro taken from my table in that restaurant.Well, the tables and wooden benches were not the most comfortable but I couldn't complain, the...more
Frequent buses from the Vilnus bus terminal to Trakai, Lt 4,40 take 1 hour 20 minutes and drave you mad by their snails pace, also frequent minibuses, Lt 6, take half the time but (at least on sundays) fill up very fast.In both cases you have to walk about 2 km to the island castle. There might be also a city bus, but no timetable. At the bus...more
If to look for public transportation, the best way to reach Trakai from Vilnius is a frequent bus. It is taking you to Trakai bus station; it is about 2 kilometers away from Trakai island castle. If you take train, it is not so frequent schedule public transportation, and you have to walk about 3 kilometers to castle.Also, as always, it is possible...more
I arrived to Trakai by my own car from Druskininkai and I parked my car at small parking lot on my picture. It was guarded and paid (5 Lt) parking located very close to the walkway to the castle on the island. I paid when I left.Well, you can park a car on a street for free a little bit futher but you must walk longer to the castle. In each country...more
This figure of basketball player, on my picture, was sold from street stalls, put one by one, along southern bank of Galve Lake, just north of the wooden bridge to the island castle.I saw a lot of gifts and souvenirs referred to basketball sold in Trakai and generally in Lithuania. Locals were proud of great succeses of Lithuanian basketball....more
This store/shop was placed in typical Trakai wooden house and offered various gifts, souvenirs and local craft like: wooden figures/statues, mugs and bells, ceramic plates and pots, Lithuanian witches riding a broom, rag dolls etc. Add quite good choice of amber jewelry from simple bracelets to necklaces to amber fixed with silver and amber stones...more
This T-shirt, on my picture, and many others, were sold from street stalls, put one by one, along southern bank of Galve Lake, just north of the wooden bridge to the island castle. T-shirts. There was written: "Lithuania. Hmm... but where is it" on this one, on my picture. I could see them in many gift stores in Lithuania. Tourist price (high as...more
I saw a lot of gifts and souvenirs referred to basketball sold in Trakai and generally in Lithuania. There were T-shirts with Lithuanian basketball players, with beer mug and inscription: "Vilnius = friends forever".Well, my recommendation, is to get to know more about Lithuanian basketball (follow the link below), before you go to Lithuania....more
Kinesa - Karaims, a minority religious group, worships here. The origin of the minority group seems to open to different interpretations, so I recommend viewers of this tip to open "Karaims in Trakai in Lithuania" site.Direction: go on the main road 2-3 minutes from Trakai castle toward the city center. on your right side: Address: Karaimu 30.more
Svyturys beer (€ 1.2 for 0.5 l) brewed in Klaipeda tasted delicious in Trakai. Just in case you drive, 0.4 mg% alcohol blood level was acceptable in Lithuania. Just in case you drive to Poland... hmm... in Poland it's... 0.0 but we have less expensive local beer (€ 1.1 or less).Well, try gira instead of beer. It was traditional, Lithuanian,...more
Some passages, doors, stairs and especially wooden galleries around yards of the Trakai palce were narrow. They were too narrow to allow two-way traffic for visitors. That's why there was one-way traffic for visitors, signed by arrows. Follow the arrows. Some parts of the passages were closed as well.more
During my second visit (by a car) to Lithuania, in June 2004, I visited a few off the beaten paths and I wanted to spend a night at Trakai but there was NO vacancy at any hotel there. By the way it was Thursday, not weekend.
I was driving like crazy from one hotel to another in the early evening and... everywhere I was told: sorry, NO VACANCY. I asked about other accommodations in Trakai but I was told: hmm... probably they all had been already fully booked.
Unique Suggestions: Don't be nervous like me in the 3rd hotel haha, keep smiling and drive to Vilnius where there were many more hotels, although... many fully booked as well.
Keep in mind that both Trakai and Vilnius was mostly visited by thousands of Polish visitors during Polish long weekends that was close to:
- 1-3 May,
- in June when Corpus Christi catholic holiday is (always on Thursday, I was just that time!)
- in August (15th is catholic holiday).
Expect no vacancy and book in advance for these days!
Fun Alternatives: Book in advance! More in my Hotels & Accommodations tips.
Luggage and bags:
For walking around Trakai, small, city backpack and surely bag for your camera - both water-proof.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Comfortable walking shoes preferrably water-resistant: like good trainers or better special walking shoes (one example: Danish Ecco are very comfortable and... expensive but worth the cost).
Sun-glasses esp. in winter and summer and always a rain coat, eventually less comfortable umbrella.
Read info on climate in Lithuania:
Climate of Lithuania
Average temperatures and rainfall in... Kaunas (80 km west of Trakai):
Check weather (10-day forecast) for Vilnius (28 km east of Trakai):
Weather forecast for Vilnius
Photo Equipment: Take as many films as you can or as large memory card as you can - Trakai offered a lot for photography lovers :-).
Miscellaneous: Do not forget to take BIG SMILE :-) Enjoy!
Rykantai is a home of rennaisance style church, built in 1585. The church stands on the hill and visible when taking road Vilnius - Kaunas. Nowadays is not so much rennaisance churches left in Lithuania.It is interesting fact, that Rykantai was mentioned in Tolstoj book "War and peace", as a place, where Napoleon stayed on his moving to...more
Senieji Trakai is a village, known of its planning, still kept the same as from 16the century. Anyway, the main thing why people visit this place is a mound with a church. In medieval times, 14th century, Vytautas the Great born here, in nowadays not survived castle.Here stands the church, constructed in neo - gothic style in 1899. Nearby is a...more
I haven't experienced this active leisure in Trakai yet. But who knows what will be in the future...;-) So, if you have enough time while visiting Trakai Castle, rent one of the yachts near it for a half an hour or longer (depends on your needs). And I'm sure you'll have a great time with wonderful views for your eyes when sailing around the...more
Trakai Island Castle was my first European-view Castle which I was fortunate to visit in July of 1968. That was our trip around Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia by two cars with my father (Moskvich-408) and my uncle and aunt (Moskvich-403). I was 13 years old and like all boys and youths was fond of Walter Scott ("Ivanhoe", "Quentin...more
I have HORSCHECK to thank for introducing me to the 'In Your Pocket' series of tour guides, which we first had the opportunity to 'road test' in Tallinn (when the hotel we stayed in provided a copy of Tallinn In Your Pocket in each room).For my money, it's a much more useful travel guide than the Lonely Planet or Rough Guides that we tend to use...more