The historic town of Trakai is in the county of Vilnius in Lithuania. It is in a beautiful region of lakes and forested hills 26 kilometers southwest of the capital city of Vilnius. Lithuania is still somewhat off the beaten track, but tourists have recently begun coming to budget hotels in Trakai to see the magnificent Trakai Castle. This castle was originally built in the 14th century when Trakai was the capital of Lithuania. It fell to ruin over the centuries, but has been beautifully restored to its old splendor. The castle is on an island in Lake Galves. It is the only remaining island castle in northeastern Europe. To reach it you must cross a bridge from a peninsula to an islet called Karaimu, and then cross another bridge to the castle. In summer you can go out on a boat tour.
The main part of the castle includes a 30-meter high tower and two three-story buildings that were the residence of the royal family. The Traku Historical Museum is housed in one of the large rooms. Several windows and observation points offer spectacular views of the town and countryside. In the town of Trakai you can see rustic Karaite houses and a Kenesa, a Karaite house of prayer. There is also the Ethnography Museum of the Karaites, who were the bodyguards of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. Be sure to try kibinas, a delicious local meat pastry. For information on cheap hotels in Trakai check listings at EasyToBook.com.
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