Just a 30-minute trip from Vilnius, the Town of Trakai was once the main centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and its castle, which is located on an island on Lake Galvė, was of particular strategic importance.
In addition to the castle and its museum, guests can explore the surrounding natural settings, take a boat onto the water, and indulge in kibinai, a traditional savoury stuffed pastry introduced to the country by the Karaims, a small Turkic-speaking religious and ethnic group from Crimea resettled to Trakai by Grand Duke Vytautas.
Take a daytrip to Europa Park, an open-air art gallery with 130+ art installations located at the geographical centre of Europe; or surround yourself with some of the country’s most impressive natural landscapes at the Aukštaitija National Park, which is also home to a Beekeeping Museum and surrounded by towns with multiple restaurant options.
Other popular daytrip destinations include the small town of Kernavė, the first capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which is now a UNESCO-listed archaeological site famous for its hilly landscape formed by retreating glaciers; and Kaunas, the country’s second-largest city, which boasts an extensive collection of beautiful Art Deco architecture and a cosy Old Town that you can spend the day exploring.
You can get from Vilnius to Kaunas in just an hour by train, so why not take a one-day adventure to explore Lithuania’s charismatic second city?