Latvia was never on my list of must-visit countries, and YET now I say it is one of my favorite countries in the world, especially after my visit to Riga and Cesis. You will understand why when you see the photos later.
Cesis is one of the most charming cities I have ever been to! So Charming that I decided it is going to be my honeymoon destination, not that there are any wedding plans soon, haha.
The minute I arrived in Cesis, I felt like I was in a movie scene, and to be honest my heart was dancing during my two days stay.
Plan your trip !
I’m structuring this blog in a way that helps you plan your trip well, but if You want to see how I spent two days in Cesis, make sure to watch this video, I went about all the details that make you live and love Cesis!
Where To Stay In Cesis
1. Karlmuiza Manor Hotel
Karlmuiza Manor Hotel is by far one of the best hotels I have ever stayed at! This 18th charming hotel is surrounded by nature and is the best place for relaxation. Each room is different from the other and all of them are just stunning.
A very good breakfast is served in the morning, and the staff members of the hotel are super nice!
I could only imagine how beautiful it would be if it were snowing, which is the main reason I will be revisiting Cesis when the occasion presents itself. Meanwhile, I was pleased with my Instagram-worthy photos.
2. Villa Santa
If you’re looking for a luxurious place to stay at, villa Santa is definitely the place! we visited for a lunch break ( more about that later ) and had the chance to visit rooms and suites.
I loved the High-end details, the stunning scenery from every window, and the on-site restaurant that serves delicious food!
12 Things To Do In Cesis
1. Visit Cesis Medieval Castle
Whether you like history or not, visiting the Medieval castle is must-do when in Cesis.
Exploring the ruins of the castel by candel light is truly one of a kind experience, that felt more of a leap throught time. Our guide was telling us how the castel survived many wars, and how it was built, which was fun to learn!
The castle is one of the most iconic and best-preserved medieval castles in Latvia. It was built by the Livonian Brothers of the sword back in the 13th century. It served as a place of residence for the religious community of the order, but it also had political, military, and economic importance.
2. Visit the Castle manor house
Also known as the new castle, which is now a museum with details that will charm your heart, especially if you are into history movies! Of course, there is so much history to learn so I would recommend you visit the castles with a guide.
3. Enjoy the castle park and visit the black swans
The swans are Known as the pride of may park, the to swans are called Katrina and Earl. It was the locals who chose Their names! Little things about Cesis that make it even more special.
4. Walk to historic St. John’s Church
St. John’s Church is the second most notable architectural feature in Cesis (along with the Cesis castle complex), one of the oldest medieval monuments and one of the oldest cult buildings in the country.
5. Enjoy walking in the City’s Cobbled streets
I fell in love with Cesis and I was there in November, it was cold, and foggy! So you can imagine how I would have felt if I visited on spring or if it was snowing. Maybe it’s the smiling people, maybe it’s the beautiful buildings or the cobbled streets? I don’t know, but whatever that spell is, I don’t mind it.
Make sure to walk around the city and admire its old buildings, and if you are looking for great pictures spots, let your creativity shine, Because Cesis has it all!
6. Visit the Art gallery (PLMC)
The gallery is a place to discover Latvian artists. During my visit, I got to know an artist named Janis Mintiks and his astonishing work. It will probably not ring a bell to you even though it should. The gallery keeper was telling us about his beautiful love story with his wife, and how there should be a movie, not about him but her! The story was so beautiful in every possible way that it made me want to cry. The point is, as travelers, we also collect stories, and if you are lucky enough, you will get to know a beautiful story as well.
7. Visit Cesis Concert hall
The art director told us the concert hall is quite busy and features appearances by top-level international musicians. Facilities offered by the Cēsis Concert Hall include an acoustic concert auditorium that seats 800; a chamber auditorium; an organ auditorium; a cinema auditorium, and an exhibition hall. The building also houses the classrooms of the Alfrēds Kalniņš Cēsis School of Music.
On the top floor of the concert hall, there is a nice restaurant with a panoramic view. We had lunch there, so you’ll see for yourself later.
8. Try local coffee
Whether you are a coffee lover or not, consider stopping by the black swan cafe. A cozy place right across the street from St. John’s Church. The cafe is owned by this nice guy that makes cute custom late art that you order and enjoy as you look out the window.
You can also buy some local coffee packs for you or as gifts to take home with you, and Some local chocolate bars which, by the way, tastes so good! My only regret is not taking more chocolate home with me, Latvian chocolate tastes insanely good!
9. Taste the Bread !
Never in my whole life have I tasted anything like Latvian bread, and I’m not even exaggerating! The bread is usually served in restaurants with butter, but you can also buy it from local bakeries like Cēsu Maize. We were lucky to join a bread-making workshop which was fun. In the bakery, you can also buy the local healthy ingredients.
10. Go for the best sauna experience
Probably the best Sauna healing session ever with Evija! And It’s a thing in Latvia as it’s 5000 years old and is considered as a healing for the soul.
The sauna master welcomed us with some tea and healthy drinks and explained the process ( see below my face after and before the session).
The session lasted four hours, during which you clean your soul and body. the process is long so if you want to learn more head to my video where I shared the details. It ends in the most amazing way as we ran out into the freezing lake right after going out of the sauna.
11. Visit the Sarkanas open air museum
An exhibition right in the middle of a forest! Artist camp here during summer and paint beautiful paintings that stay for about two years! The colors change with time of course with the rain, sun, and snow which is even more exciting, as it feels like you are looking at different paintings every season. One artist started this ten years ago, and now it’s a Cesis tradition!
Many locals visit the Sarkanas cliff right next to the gallery to fill some fresh mountain water in containers and take it back home, and It tastes super good by the way!
12. Enjoy Latvian food
The food I ate in Latvia is by far one of the best I had around the world, which is why I’m sharing with you in the next section some of the best addresses where you can eat tasty food in Cesis.
Where to eat
Now to my favorite part, the food part! To be honest every single meal I had in Latvia was so delicious!
This is the restaurant on the top floor of the concert hall. whether you come for a tea and cake pause or lunch, you will enjoy the delicious food and the amazing view of the city.
A Chill and cozy restaurant in which we had dinner. Needless to say the food was tasty, like very! And I can still feel exactly how it tastes looking at the pictures.
Staying at the Villa Santa hotel is one option, but if you prefer to book elsewhere you can pass by to enjoy a meal there. The ravioli was one of the best I’ve had, and the fish was by far the best I’ve had my whole life, and I don’t even like fish!
I was genuinely happy during my visit to Cesis, and that’s the main reason I’m going back very soon to visit it along with other Latvian cities as well!