Trakai, Lithuania is much more than just the Castle

Monday, December 22, 2014

A colorful boat in Trakai Island Castle

I mentioned in Friday's post about visiting Kaunas as part of my 2014 New Year travel resolutions to take more day trips. I visited Trakai shortly after we first moved to Vilnius in 2013, but we decided to make a return trip early this fall with some new work colleagues. Since we visited last year we didn't visit the Trakai Castle again - visit this post to see why exhibits inside the castle weren't that thrilling. However, the town of Trakai is beautiful and culturally interesting. 

We lucked out and visited Trakai on a gorgeously sunny day and strolled the path along the water from the train station to the castle. Of course, all of that walking made us hungry so we stopped at our favorite spot - Bona Restaurant, which is overlooking the water surrounding the castle. 

To walk off our lunch, we then strolled our way through the town of Karaites-style houses. Karaites are of Turkish origin that settled in Trakai in the 14th century. There is a Karaites temple as well as a small (two room) museum that describes the history and culture of the Karaites people. Food-wise, Karaites are well-known in Lithuania because of their culinary contribution of kibinai. Kibinai, probably my favorite Lithuanian dish, are pastries filled with meat, vegetables, cheeses, or fruit jams. I really enjoyed learning more about this culture during this trip to Trakai.

The wonderful brick Trakai Island Castle

The colorful Karaites homes in Trakai, Lithuania

a gift shop in Trakai

A Karaites Temple in Trakia, Lithuania

the streets of Trakai town

the Karaites museum in Trakai

A brown and white decorative plate by Karaites in Trakai

fall colors in Trakai, Lithuania

Bona restaurant in Trakai

borscht and kibinai in Lithuania

beet salad from Bona in Trakai

the crowds of people in Trakai near the castle

Below is a map that highlights a great restaurant (with amazing kibinai), the museum, and a walking route you can take from the train station to the castle.

Do you like learning about cultures? Do you visit cultural museums?


  1. Stunning! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love learning about cultures and I think it's one of the best ways to open your mind... Trakai Island looks wonderful! It's undoubtedly on my list of places to visit. Definitely on a sunny day :) Beautiful photos!!!

    1. Me too! I have also heard that it is nice to visit in the middle of winter because the water will be frozen and you can go skating. Thank you!

  3. I also like to learn more about foreign cultures! Thank's for such interesting and helpful review!

    1. Thank you! I have another cultural post coming up soon (on Monday Dec 7th) if you want to check it out :)