Cesis is an enchanting town built around an ancient stronghold. Discover more than 800 years of history at the medieval castle and try your hand at centuries-old crafts such as metal forging, weaving and pottery. Gauja National Park offers endless opportunities to hike, cycle and paddle.
Things to do in Cēsis
Cesis Castle looms over the town and has all the features you’d expect from a medieval stronghold, including turrets, towers and dungeons. Throughout the summer, you can attend workshops run by local craftspeople and artisans. Learn about medieval herbs, spices and medicinal plants on a tour of the kitchen garden and practice your aim on the archery range.
The Castle Manor House has been reimagined as the excellent Cesis History and Art Museum. Within the 18th-century manor are medieval weapons, Crusader armour and an impressive collection of Latvian flags from throughout the centuries. Entry includes access to the western tower, which is accessed by a spiral staircase. The views from the top are incredible.
Dress up and enjoy an evening of culture at the Cesis Vidzeme Concert Hall. In addition to classical and contemporary music concerts, the venue hosts plays, film screenings and art exhibitions. Start your night with dinner at one of the stylish, chef-driven restaurants in the Old Town.
Discover a unique landscape of sandstone cliffs, virgin pine forests and hidden caves in Gauja National Park. Cesis is set within the park and is a great base for hiking, cycling and Nordic walking. Alternatively, rent a kayak or canoe and enjoy a scenic paddle along the River Gauja. The stretch from Cesis to Ligatne is particularly scenic.
Getting around Cēsis
Cesis is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. The train station is a 10-minute walk from the Old Town. Trains and buses run between Riga and Cesis in around two hours. Riga International Airport is a 1.5-hour drive away.