Trakai Island Castle appears to float on the mirror-like surface of Lake Galvė. First established in the second half of the 1300s, this picturesque stone castle is sometimes referred to as Little Marienburg. Visit the history museum within the reconstructed castle walls to learn about this strategic stronghold in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. See fascinating historic exhibits tracing the castle’s heritage through displays of religious and cultural artifacts.
Approach Trakai Island Castle via the long and picturesque boardwalk connecting the island to Trakai mainland. You can distinctly see the original foundations of the steadfast brick castle beneath the reconstructed upper floors and corner towers. Enter through the forecastle gateway and find yourself in the historic inner yard. Here the magnificent Ducal Palace is topped by a five-story donjon or inner tower.
Explore the rooms and halls that have been restored as museum exhibits. See some of the original décor in the Ducal Hall in the palace’s southern wing. Get a detailed understanding of the castle’s history and significance with a guided tour.
Learn about the lifestyle and ethnography of the people who lived in Trakai and its castle. See a timeline of the dukes who ruled from the picturesque castle and find out about the Tartar and Karaim people who inhabited this area. Look for examples of medieval ceramics and folk dress, as well as a collection of taxidermy animals. Try shooting a longbow and crossbow at the castle’s archery range.
The castle museum also has a gift shop with souvenirs and historical books. Stop at the neighbourhood bakeries and sample fresh local pastries.
Trakai Island Castle is located on Lake Galvė, 19 miles (31 kilometres) west of Vilnius. Reach Trakai easily by car, local public transportation and organised tour. Pay a small admission fee to access the castle and its museum. Book a tour in English in advance for an additional fee. Many of the exhibits have accompanying English text. The castle is open daily between May and September and every day but Mondays during other months.