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Vilnius County

World War II

Our most recommended Vilnius County Second World War

Vilnius: Private Paneriai Park, Trakai Castle, Kernavė Tour

1. Vilnius: Private Paneriai Park, Trakai Castle, Kernavė Tour

After pick-up from accommodation in Vilnius start the tour with Paneriai memorial park, where thousands of Lithuanian Jews were killed. Learn about the Paneriai or Ponary massacre where up to 100,000 people were murdered by German SD, SS and Lithuanian Nazi collaborators during World War II. After the tour of the park visit Trakai castle, once a major centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and where today you can see one of Europe's most beautiful castles on the island in the lake. Here you will have the chance to have lunch in a traditional Karaim restaurant or enjoy a boat trip around the lake. After Trakai visit the first capital of Lithuania, Kernavė. Kernavė is highly significant in Lithuanian history and boasts five hill forts and historic churches. A Lithuanian state cultural reserve was established in Kernavė in 1989 and it was in 2004 that Kernavė Archaeological Site was included into the UNESCO world heritage list. After enjoying this site you will be returned to your accomodation in Vilnius.

Vilnius: 2.5-Hour Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

2. Vilnius: 2.5-Hour Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

Meet your guide on the stairs of Vilnius town hall and be introduced to the Jewish history of Vilnius. After getting to know your walking tour group and having a short overview of Jewish history in the city, the guide will take you through the narrow winding streets of the former Jewish Quarter to talk about Jewish life in Vilnius before World War II. Gaze at photos of the past, depicting what was once a vibrant Jewish community in Vilnius. After this, you will go to see the site of the Great Synagogue of Vilna and the area where Vilna Gaon used to live. Learn how during World War II the Jewish quarter was divided into two ghettos. Visit both ghettos and learn about Nazi rule in Vilnius. After this, learn about the fate of the Vilnius Jewish community during the communist era and after the independence of Lithuania. If it's open, have the chance to visit the Vilnius Choral Synagogue. Afterwards, your guide will take you back to the area of the Big Ghetto to finish your tour near the Jewish Cultural and Information Centre for further exploration or bring you back to the starting point of the tour.

From Vilnius: Kaunas, Trakai and Paneriai Forest

3. From Vilnius: Kaunas, Trakai and Paneriai Forest

During this private day tour you will be able to explore the most interesting sites in the surrounding areas of Vilnius. The tour will start from Paneriai memorial park, where thousands of Jews from Wilna were killed.  The Paneriai or Ponary massacre was the mass murder of up to 100,000 people by German SD, SS and Lithuanian Nazi collaborators, during World War II. The murders took place between July 1941 and August 1944 near the railway station of Ponary, now known as Paneriai, a suburb of what is today Vilnius, Lithuania. After the tour in the park, you will head to the second capital of Lithuania, where today you can see the most beautiful castle, on the island in the lake. Here, you have the possibility to enjoy lunch in traditional Karaim restaurant or take boat trip around the lake. After, the group will head to the temporal capital of Lithuania - Kaunas, which is second largest town in Lithuania today. You will also visit Pazaislis monastery. After this, you will head back to your accomodation in Vilnius.

From Vilnius: Trakai Castle and Paneriai Memorial Tour

4. From Vilnius: Trakai Castle and Paneriai Memorial Tour

Following pick-up from your hotel or apartment in central Vilnius, drive to the Paneriai Memorial Park, built at the site of the Ponary massacre where up to 100,000 people were murdered by the Germans during World War II. Pay your respects to the fallen heroes and see historic photographs and documents that detail the tragedy.  Move on to the former medieval residence of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes at Trakai. Take a guided tour of the legendary castle and learn more about the Grand Duchy of Lithuania during its golden age. See historical artifacts inside the fortress, built on an island on beautiful Lake Galvė.  Enjoy up to an hour of free time to explore on your own and purchase souvenirs, or use the time to taste some traditional dishes from Lithuania and of the Jewish Karaite faith at your own expense. Drive back to Vilnius and get dropped off at your hotel or apartment on arrival.

Sightseeing Tour around Vilnius City and Trakai Castle

5. Sightseeing Tour around Vilnius City and Trakai Castle

Discover the main objects of Vilnius city and surroundings, such as: The Classic Town Hall, the  bohemian Uzupis district (visiting the Angel of freedom, the Constitution), the Gothic St.Anne's Church and its famous Gothic ensemble, the magnificent Cathedral Square, old Vilnius University, and baroque masterpieces of the 17th century - Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. Then you will drive to the surrounding area and visit Pavilniai Regional Park and see its wonderful panoramic Puckoriai exposure, Authentic Exile Memorial, the crazy Tuputiskiai serpentine, and the literary Markuciai Manor, also known as A.Pushkin Museum. Afterwards, you will see a panoramic view of Vilnius from Subacius hill.  The second part of the tour is dedicated to the Trakai district. The first stop is Paneriai Memorial Park and Museum, which commemorates the brutal events that occurred during WWII. Then you will arrive to Trakai town, where you'll have free time for lunch at a local restaurant, where you can try traditional Karaites dishes like 'kibinai' (pastries filled with mutton and onion). The excursion continues to Trakai Castle, which was a cradle of the Lithuanian statehood, an important military and political center, headquarters of the Lithuanian Grand Dukes, and the capital of Lithuania.  At the end of the tour, you'll drive back to Vilnius and be dropped off at your hotel at 17:00.

Soviet Vilnius Guided Walking Tour

6. Soviet Vilnius Guided Walking Tour

The tour starts next to Gediminas monument at the Cathedral Square. As your guide takes you out of the Old Town you will see the former Palace of Concerts and Sports - a brutalist Soviet-era building which housed concerts and basketball games back in the day. Your tour continues along the river with some spectacular views towards the Green Bridge which used to be famous for its Soviet propaganda statues which were taken down recently. Then you will visit the first shopping mall in the city and see one of the first hotels build for foreign guests to be spied on by KGB agents. After this, you will cross the river and go to Lukiskiu Square, former lyLenin's Square. Your guide will tell you more about the harsh soviet rule under Stalin. Then finish your tour next to Seimas (parliament building) which was one of the spots where Lithuanians defended their independence in 1991.

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What people are saying about Vilnius County

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 9 reviews

This was a most fabulous excursion providing history, views, local insight, and excellent value for money. We travelled to Paneriai. This is another harrowing site where genocide took place on a massive scale. Our guide provided all the information without bias, yet making us well aware of the clinical and ruthless atrocities that were committed here. We then went to Trakai where we took a lakeside stroll towards the bridge connecting the islands to the shore. Our guide gave us plenty of time to take photographs, provided us with a guided tour through the castle itself (entry - as advertised - is extra, but very cheap). This is well worth a visit, despite the amount of rebuilding that has taken place over the years. We were given ample time to continue our walk around the outside of the castle and to get some lunch. The local pasties (Kibinai) are delicious and we sampled three flavours. We returned via Kernave, a beautiful UNESCO heritage site. This is an amazing tour. Thank you!

A fantastic guide, who was well read about everything. Clear and spoke English easily. Waited for everyone in the group and everyone got to introduce themselves before we went on our tour it was a nice feature. The guide took time for our questions, no stress. Everything was very well thought out and nice.

I was traveling alone with the guide, but he was very nice, tried very hard, very friendly :) Explained everything well and even in halfway German.

It was a great day with Andres our lovely,kind and knowledgable guide. It met all our expectations. Very much recommended

Places of interest, knowledgeable and pleasant guide. A nice day in Lithuania.