The fairy-tale like residence of the rulers of Lithuania, the lakes with picturesque shores, the heritage of the Karaims – Trakai is a unique place not only in Lithuania, but in the entire Europe! It's fitting that this attractive town is an enormously popular day trip for locals and foreign travelers alike. However, it’s located 28 Km from Vilnius. So you might be wondering what is the best way to reach it? Let us help you!
Picture: © A. Bobbit
First of all, plenty of buses and trains run between and Trakai every day, both of them taking about 40 minutes to make the journey.
Find your way to Vilnius Bus Station (Sodų St. 22 ). The best place to buy the ticket is in the ticket office, not the driver. It usually costs around 2 Eur/per adult, but there are discounts for students and pensioners. Then find platforms No. 6, 7, 8 (local), 28 and 29 (intercity, via Alytus).
Buses to Trakai run approximately 50 times per day (at weekends about 40 times), at intervals of about 10–20 minutes. More information: www.autobusubilietai.lt
Find your way to the Railway Station (Geležinkelio St. 16). Tickets at the ticket office will cost 1.80 Eur/ per adult. If you decide to come back with a train too, it’s better to buy return ticket as well. Trakai train station doesn’t work long hours (from Wednesday to Sunday 1PM to 10 PM) and buying return ticket ensures you 15 percent discount. If you forgot to buy it in the beginning of the trip or Trakai train station was closed - don’t worry. There is an option to buy the ticket from the conductor on the train.
Trains to Trakai run 11 times per day. More information: www.litrail.lt
Regardless of whether you choose to arrive by bus or train, expect a longer walk. Train station is 3 km to the castle ( 4 km if you go by a lake side). The bus station is a bit closer - 2.3 km to the castle. Since the way is rather picturesque, it’s not that big of a deal. However, if walking longer distances is harder for you, local municipality offers couple of options:
Trakai Sightseeing Train (May – September)
It follows the route Trakai Bus Station (Vytauto Str. 90)– Castle – Užutrakis ( a beautiful 19th century manor on the other side of Galves lake). The route from Trakai Bus Station to Užutrakis takes 40 min. Price – 2 Eur./per person. The train leaves according timetable: http://trakai-visit.lt/en/naujienos/trakai-sightseeing-train/
You will find it at the same stop as sightseeing train (Vytauto Str. 90). This June tickets will cost only 30 cents, and students can expect a discount. Get out at the stop: Karaimų skveras (Karaimų g. 41) /Pilis. The bus will run 11 times per day. More information: http://trakai-visit.lt/naujienos/turistu-miesto-sveciu-ir-trakieciu-patogumui-vel-vazines-marsrutinis-miesto-autobusas/
If you decide to rent a car, take the A1 (E85) highway west out of the city, followed by the A4 in the direction of Druskininkai, then the A16 (E28), which takes you the rest of the way. Driving time depends on traffic, but usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes.
That’s it! Hope this post helped you to plan your trip to Trakai. Just don’t forget to take your swimming suit and sunscreeen! There is nothing more relaxing than a dive into the lake after a tour in the castle.