Vilnius, like any other Baltic capital is a small city. It has got a beautiful old town and surprisingly some of the best restaurants in it. But I will cover all that in a different post.  On our 3rd day in Vilnius, we decided to step out of the city to visit Trakai Castle.  It’s a beautiful castle built on a small island in Lake Galve. While this castle originally was built in 14th century, but current restoration was finished in late 1940s & early 1950s. It’s a half day trip and if you leave Vilnius by 9 am, you can be back in the city by 4 pm easily.

How to Get There

We walked down to the main bus station of Vilnius. There are number of buses that leave for Trakai from bus platform no. 6, 7 & 8. Frequency is about one bus every 30 minutes.  For further information, you may check out Visit Trakai page. Deboard at Trakai bus station & it’s a straight 2 km walk to the lake shore.  Do not continue on the paved road once you see the lake but shift to the path along the water. It is much more interesting.

What to Do & See

There are umpteen activities to do apart from visiting castle. Castle has a ticketed entry and is not very different from many castles that we have seen around the world. We chose not to enter the castle. But one can go inside the castle till the point, ticket window is and still absorb & understand the layout to an extent.

View of Castle courtyard from Ticket Window

For us the bridge to the castle was equally interesting and was a good photo opportunity. There were locals selling freshly plucked berries which are fairly common in this part of the word.  Wonderful restaurants are abundant and must be visited for a lazy lunch.

Foot Bridge to the castle

There are lot of water activities available in the lake. One can enjoy paddle boats, canoes etc at nominal cost around the castle. If water-sport is not your cup of tea, then there are enough places to just sit & soak in the view. Cycling around the lake is also an option and lot of vendors are available for the same.

Lot of water activities around Lake Galve

Deft Tips:

  • There are number of reasonable places to eat by the lake side with exquisite views. Plan accordingly.
  • Do try out the berries. They are fresh, purchasing them supports local farmer & frankly is a good & healthy snack
  • Castle can be visited in winters as well & it has an entirely different aura then.
Bona Pizzeria – Meal with uninterrupted view of castle

Trakai Castle trip offers pretty much everything from nice walk, to picture perfect views & delicious but reasonable lunch. Anyone with 3 or more day’s itinerary at Vilnius should make this trip.