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Vilnius World War II

Our most recommended Vilnius World War II

Vilnius: 3-Hour Jewish Heritage Tour

1. Vilnius: 3-Hour Jewish Heritage Tour

Explore Vilnius by air-conditioned minibus, with an English-speaking guide, and discover the history of the Jews in the city as you travel through the former ghettos along Žemaitijos Street, discover the Vilnius Choral Synagogue, and go to the Jewish cemetery. The story can be traced back to the 13th century. In folklore Litvaks (Lithuanian Jews) were known for their love of education, no-nonsense straight-talk, and sardonic wit. They first settled in Vilna, as the capital was and still is known in Jewish culture, from around the time of its founding in 1323. By the 18th century, Vilna had become the world capital of traditional religious (Talmudic) learning, and was often referred to as the Jerusalem of Lithuania. Towering over the many great Jewish figures the city has produced is the Talmudic leader, Gaon of Vilna. Some 94 percent of the Litvaks perished in the Holocaust, the highest percentage of genocide in Europe. Today, a small community of around 5,000 Litvaks make bold efforts to maintain their heritage.

From Vilnius: Kaunas, Trakai and Paneriai Forest

2. 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.

Vilnius: Private Paneriai Park, Trakai Castle, Kernavė Tour

3. 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.

Sightseeing Tour around Vilnius City and Trakai Castle

4. 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.

Vilnius: 3-Hour Jewish Heritage Tour

5. Vilnius: 3-Hour Jewish Heritage Tour

On this Jewish heritage tour, learn about the lives and history of the Jews in Vilnius. Enjoy a rich introduction to Vilnius' Jewish past with a local guide in either a small group or a private tour. Meet your local guide to set out towards the heart of Vilnius. Walkthrough the old town for an introduction to the city's Jewish history. At Vilnius Synagogue learn about the history of the Jews in Lithuania before and after WWII. Discuss with your guide the unspoken prohibition of Jewish religious life and constant supervision by the Soviet state security authority. See how the synagogue remained the heart of the city’s Jewish life. From the synagogue, continue with your guide to the Jewish Information Center and see an impressive collection of Jewish history in Vilnius. Afterward, head to the memorials of Vilna Gaon and Jacob Gens. Hear about their very memorable personalities. Stroll the streets of Vilnius' old town to see Yiddish inscriptions, authentic statues, and plaques dedicated to local Jews. During your tour, talk about the Holocaust in Lithuania as you head to Zemach Shabad memorial.

From Vilnius: Trakai Castle and Paneriai Memorial Tour

6. 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.

Paneriai Holocaust Site, Trakai Castle & Rumsiskes Day Tour

7. Paneriai Holocaust Site, Trakai Castle & Rumsiskes Day Tour

During this day tour you will be able to explore the most interesting sites located in the surrounds of Vilnius. After pick-up from your hotel, the tour will start at Paneriai memorial park, where thousands of Jews from Wilna were killed. The Paneriai or Ponary massacre was a 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, the group will head to the second capital of Lithuania, where today you can see the most beautiful castle in Europe, Trakai Castle, located on an island in the lake. Here you can have the lunch in a traditional Karaim restaurant, or take a boat trip around the lake. After Trakai, the group will head to one of the largest ethnographic open-air museums in Europe that stretches across an area of 195ha. The museum was established on the picturesque shores of Kaunas Lagoon in Rumšiškės in 1966. The exhibitions at the museum are intended to introduce the ethnographic regions of Lithuania, i.e. Dzūkija (Dainava), Aukštaitija (Highlands), Suvalkija (Sudovia), Žemaitija (Samogitia) and Lithuania Minor, as they looked at the end of the 18th century and the first half of the 20th century. After this visit the tour will head back to your accomodation in Vilnius.

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What people are saying about Vilnius

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 9 reviews

This was an extraordinary tour of three incredible sites—the somber Paneriai Forest where Nazis did such terrible killing of Jews and others and where now many gray monuments commemorate those lost, the fairy tale castle at Trakai built in the middle of a large lake, and the evocative hill forts of Kernave where Bronze Age pagans once defended themselves and where now 21st century people draw spiritual strength during the summer solstice. Our guide was knowledgeable about all three sites and was able to include a good bit of Lithuanian history in explaining the sites and helping them come alive for us—what exactly happened in the Paneriai Forest, the romantic story of how a duke came to build the castle in the lake for his new bride, and pictures that helped us share a little in the modern-day summer solstice celebration. Throughout, he was considerate, prompt, and affable. We enjoyed being with him on our final day in Vilnius and we’re very grateful to him and to Get Your Guide for ma

Memorable trip. Trakai castle was the highlight. It’s a magical castle on an island. Kibinai pastry is a must to try whilst there local to the area. Kernavè is also very beautiful with a small population residing there. The first capital of Lithuania! Definitely worth the trip. One of my highlights so far from Lithuania was taking this trip. Paneriai is also fascinating too. To hear what went on there was devastating. Would recommend going to the museum of occupations and freedom fights, Paneriai will make much more sense that way.

Amazing trip, our guide Giedrius is super friendly and informative. We went in January when the day is shorter, but we managed to cover all the places before it gets dark without feeling that it's too rushed. He managed to keep the pace really well and also provide us with many information about the sights that we are visiting. Thank you so much Giedrius, would recommend this activity to everyone looking to explore Trakai and Kaunas in one day :)

A wonderful experience! The travel guide was so knowledgeable and informative. He learned what we were interested in an tailored the tour to us. I would highly recommend this tour!

A great trip with loads of history and knowledge provided, thank you Giedrius