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Trakai is a town about half an hour west of the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius. It's most famous because of its castle (see below), but there are some nice churches and museums, next to the great natural surroundings.
The fantastic fairytale like Trakai Island Castle is located about 25-30 kilometres from Vilnius. It is located in the town of Trakai, on an island of Lake Galvė. The construction of the redbrick castle began in the 14th century by Kęstutis, and around 1409 major works were completed by his son Vytautas the Great, who died in this castle in 1430. Trakai was one of the main centers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the castle held great strategic importance.
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Lithuanian Railways operates around 10 daily trains between Trakai and Vilnius. Note that many train tend to leave either in the first half of the morning or later in the afternoon. It takes about 35 minutes and costs 6LT (June 2011).
Buses from Vilnius take about 40 minutes and cost around 6LT (June 2011).
Most of Trakai, including the castle, are easily navigated on foot.
For longer distances you might rent bikes, although this is only appropriate if you venture outside the town and castle area.
|Rotuse||Vytauto 1 Trakai||Guesthouse||-|
For those who need to connect at an Internet cafes, major cities do have internet cafes. If you're bringing a laptop or smartphone, Wireless LAN Hot-Spots are available in distinct places (mostly "Zebra" from - TEO), sometimes free, otherwise not very cheap. Best chances of finding one are at airports, railway stations, in cafés, shopping malls, universities, various places. You can ask in your hotel, but don't count on wifi being free all the time, especially at more upscale places.
See also: International Telephone Calls
Lithuania's international phone code is 370. Emergency numbers include 101 (fire), 102 (police) and 103 (ambulance), but you can connect to all of them by calling 112, the general emergency number.
There is a monopoly operator for land line phones by TEO. Land line phones are easy to find throughout the country. Phones are used with cards, which you can find in kiosks, "TEO" or newspaper stands.
There are three major mobile phone operators in Lithuania: Omnitel, BITE and TELE 2. About 97% of the country's surface is covered by the standard European GSM 900/1800 MHz network. If you bring your own cell phone, make sure to switch off roaming to avoid high costs especially for internet. Instead, buy a local SIM card, which is much cheaper.
Lietuvos Paštas is the national postal service of Lithuania. Postal services are generally not very fast, but fairly reliable. That is, most of the postcards and letters will eventually arrive on the foreign adress, albeit after some days or even weeks. If you want it to be sent the fastest possible, go for courier instead of ordinary (domestic post) or for airmail instead of surface (international mail).
Post offices are usually open from 8:00am to 6:00pm on Monday to Friday and 9:00am to 2:00pm on Saturdays, although these opening hours may vary depending on the office, with big central offices keeping longer hours, while small villages might have shorter opening times. Stamped mail (both national and international) can be dropped in the yellow post boxes for collection. Stamps are available at post offices and kiosks.
To send parcels to other countries, you might better use international courier companies like DHL, TNT, UPS or FedEx.
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