Monday, June 30, 2014

Trakai, Lithuania

They said when you're in Lithuania, this place is a must-visit.  Trakai is only about 28 km away - west of Vilnius.  Trains and buses run 40-50 times between Vilnius and Trakai.  See schedule at

Locals in Vilnius (as per our hotel receptionist story) would go to Trakai - to laze around, to do some water activities or just a getaway place for a day or for the weekend.  The city was built on water and is surrounded by lakes.

The weather was not cooperating with our travel plan.  Me and my girlfriends geared up - with our jackets,umbrellas and comfy shoes (hopefully waterproof), we just can't leave LT  without visiting Trakai.

We opted to go by train for experience.  A one-way ticket costs 5.80 lt~less than 2 euros per person. We took the 740 am train - yes, it was we wanted to be back in Vilnius for some "me" the afternoon- Spa, fb/instagram/Skype-ing, or going to the food market to buy "pasalubong" (take home goodies)...ahem...I'm sure you know which among these was HT wife's "me" time. *wink*

(note spa is not cheap and you need to make reservations - they don't accept walk-in clients). 

Coffee from the vending machine (2 litas~less than a euro) was our lifesaver for our super-early-cold-and-more-than -30-minutes journey to Trakai. Note that cafes only open at 9am on weekends but around 7am on weekdays. 

Ta-dah!  We're here.  Ok, we arrived at the station and we have to do a walk-a-thon to get to Trakai Castle. (~20-30 mins).  Once you see this sign, be happy as you're almost there!

Ok not quite, we walked further with stopovers here and there for photo ops, finally, the sight of Trakai Castle astounded us.  We made it!

You can visit a lot of sites in Trakai (

We "the manangs" (our term of endearment) decided to visit the infamous Trakai Castle.

Trakai Castle can bring you back to 14th-15th century.  Built on Lake Galvé, the castle has played a big part on the historical heritage of LT.  The castle houses now the history museum.  Entrance fee costs 18 LT ~6 euros and if you want to take pictures inside the museum, you can pay extra 4 LT~1 euro.  To be honest, nobody checks whenever you do that click.  (btw, there's no point of going to early if you only wanted to visit the castle - as it opens only around 10 am )

the lovely inside court of the Trakai Castle.  (photo by SM - one of the manangs :D)

Due to several occupation and wars, it took a long time to restore the castle.  It was completed only around the 90s and the place started hosting operas and events.  In one of the rooms, you'll see a list of royalties all over the world who has visited this infamous castle.

And they said when you're in Trakai, you just can't leave without having their specialty...the Kibinai.
Kibinai - moon-shaped pie (similar to Spanish and Philippine empanada) filled with meat.  It's best eaten warm.

         on the way to the castle, an old lady was selling Kibinai.  You can get it too in cafes around Trakai.

Do take time to walk around the castle and buy your souvenirs here in Trakai as it's much cheaper than in Vilnius.  And enjoy the view!
c/o manang SM

To get back to the train station, we went the same path and did our 2nd walk-a-thon for the day.  This time we admired the colorful houses, as well as went in to some small shops that are selling rare items (antiques, paintings, etc) along the way.

love the humor...a good break after a history overload...

When we got back to Vilnius, we proceeded with our "me" time and again lots of eating and drinking our last few glasses of cheap beers before we head back to our home countries. 

Thanks again manangs for making the trip fun!  'Till our next trip!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Just wanted to say I love your blog. I've been looking through it ever since I found it this afternoon. It makes me laugh -- and makes me hungry! :D You have a great sense of humour and a positive outlook that's very uplifting. I'm looking forward to your future posts! :)