Discover the traditional brews of Lithuania on this beer tour, starting in Vilnius with a day trip to Trakai Castle on Lake Galve. Explore the Biržai Region where traditional brewing methods still dominate the market, learning about this rich history in the beer museum of Biržai Fortress. End the trip in Lithuania's old capital of Kaunas for two brewery tours at STUMBRAS Brewery and Genys Brewing Company, plus a visit to the quirky Devil's Museum.

Highlights

  • Explore the historic Old Towns of Vilnius and Kaunas
  • Discover the quirky Devil's Museum and enjoy two brewery tours
  • Visit the picturesque Trakai Castle set on Lake Galve
  • Learn about beer at the museum in Biržai Fortress

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Vilnius - Discover the city's Old Town Vilnius
Day 2 Visit Trakai Castle and enjoy a craft beer tasting Vilnius
Day 3 Tour the traditional brews and historic sites of the Biržai Region Vilnius
Day 4 Explore Lithuania's old capital of Kaunas and enjoy a brewery tour Vilnius
Day 5 Tour the Genys Brewing Company - Depart Vilnius  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Vilnius - Discover the city's Old Town

Streets of Vilnius in the Evening
Streets of Vilnius in the Evening

Welcome to Lithuania! Upon arrival at the airport in Vilnius, you'll transfer to your hotel and settle into your room. Enjoy the rest of the day to explore the city's old town. Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania for more than 600 years, is filled with fascinating history, exquisite architecture, and impressive monuments.

Start at the Town Hall and stroll down either Vokiečių Street or Stiklių Street, both lined with hip cafes and restaurants serving traditional Lithuanian food, as well as international cuisine. Enjoy a stroll through the neighboring park, ending at Vilniaus Rotušė where you can enjoy the colorful lights that illuminate its facade.

You can also view the Zirmunu Bridge at St. Peter and Paul’s Church, a 17th-century Roman Catholic church with gorgeous baroque architecture. Then make your way to the 15th-century Gediminas Castle, which is set in the beautiful Bernardine Park offering views of the city and lovely gardens. Nearby you'll find Cathedral Square, which hosts some of the city's most beautiful churches. The Vilnius Cathedral has an impressive bell tower, but it's the gothic architecture of St. Anne's Church that steals the show.

Settle into a restaurant or bistro for dinner before returning to your hotel.

Day 2: Visit Trakai Castle and enjoy a craft beer tasting

Aerial View of Trakai Castle
Aerial View of Trakai Castle

After breakfast, you'll transfer west from Vilnius to the village of Trakai. This medieval town sits on a peninsula on Lake Galvė and is home to about 5,000 people. It's surrounded by scenic countryside and Trakai Historical National Park, a protected area of 32 square miles (82 square km).

Amid the woodlands and islands on the lake is the main landmark of the area, the Gothic-style Trakai Castle. This impressive fortification was built in the 14th century out of red brick and stone. 

After exploring the castle, you'll stretch your legs with a stroll around the park. In the afternoon, you'll return to Vilnius for a craft beer tasting at a local pub. Here you'll enjoy a sampling of local and regional craft beers, accompanied by a traditional Lithuanian meal.

Day 3: Tour the traditional brews and historic sites of the Biržai Region

Medieval Castle in the Biržai Region
Medieval Castle in the Biržai Region

Arise early to start your transfer to Northern Lithuania to explore the scenic Biržai Region, which is famous for its brewers and excellent beer. In the past beer, making was practiced in nearly every home, each with its own recipe used for generations. Today, several Biržai breweries continue the production of these traditional recipes.

The people of Biržai have historically been loyal to its brewing heritage. After the town was destroyed by the Swedes in 1704, the first building to be reconstructed was the brewery. Only after its completion was the Town Hall and the Fortress restored. The region also enacted laws requiring high-quality standards in its beer-making, which are still respected today.

You'll start your excursion in Biržai at the Sėla Museum, which is located in a 17th-century Biržai Castle built by Duke Radvila. Here, you'll discover the different equipment used to make beer, learning about the traditional brewing methods from a museum guide.

Afterward, the folklore group Siaudela will sing Biržai region songs about beer, play panpipes, blow horns, and dance with you. You'll enjoy a beer tasting of typical Biržai brews, as well as homemade bread and cheese.

In the late afternoon, you'll return to Vilnius.

Day 4: Explore Lithuania's old capital of Kaunas and enjoy a brewery tour

Streets of Kaunas, Lithuania
Streets of Kaunas, Lithuania

This morning, you'll enjoy a tour of Kaunas, the former capital of Lithuania and one of the country's most cultural cities. This scenic settlement is set between the Nemunas and Neris rivers and features a historic Old Town with a white-washed baroque Town Hall. Stroll through the historic streets and make your way to the city's must-sees, which include Kaunas Castle and St. George the Martyr Church. End your morning walking through Confluence Park with its striking river views.

After the tour of Kaunus, you'll visit a quirky institution called the Devils’ Museum. Here you'll view thousands of devil sculptures, made from wood, stone, ceramic, and paper. Collected from all across the world, these figurines have funny, clever, interesting, and naughty expressions. Many of the devils have been incorporated into useful objects such as pipes and nutcrackers.

In the afternoon, you'll start your return to Vilnius, stopping to visit STUMBRAS Brewery. In 2009, STUMBRAS opened the first (and perhaps only) distilled beverage museum in Lithuania. The museum provides an overview of the history of the distillery and the company’s role in the industrialization of Lithuania. You'll enjoy a tour of the facilities, followed by a tasting of several sample beverages presented by the brewery's technologists.

Day 5: Tour the Genys Brewing Company - Depart Vilnius

Enjoy a Brewery Tour
Enjoy a Brewery Tour

Enjoy your final morning in Kaunus, with breakfast and one last stroll through its Old Town. You can visit some of its beautiful churches and cathedrals, including the Gothic Kauno Sv. Apastalu Petro Cathedral, the Jesuit Church of St. Francis Xavier, and the Church of Vytautas the Great

Midmorning, you'll enjoy a tour of the Genys Brewing Company, an independent craft brewery. The tour includes its brewhouse where a range of high-quality beers is brewed with exceptional standards. You'll learn all about the unique recipes used to create the brews, as well as new concoctions that are currently in the developing process. Technologists will teach you how to properly taste a craft brew, and you'll enjoy samples of the numerous pours offered at the brewery. 

In the afternoon, you'll return to Vilnius where you can either continue your tour of Lithuania on your own or transfer to the airport to catch your flight.