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Vilnius

Our most recommended Vilnius Second World War Walking Tours

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.

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What people are saying about Vilnius

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.

Very good combination of sites, and a good pace of visit to enjoy without stress. Good attentive and flexible guide to adapt to the needs of each one.

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.

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