Top things to do

Top Choice Castle in Sigulda

Turaida Museum Reserve

Turaida means ‘God’s Garden’ in ancient Livonian, and this green knoll capped with a fairy-tale castle is certainly a heavenly place. The red-brick castle with its tall cylindrical tower was built in 1214 on the sit…
Top Choice Castle in Cēsis

Cēsis Castle

It is actually two castles in one. The first is the sorrowful dark-stone towers of the old Wenden castle. Founded by Livonian knights in 1214, it was sacked by Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible in 1577, but only after …
Top Choice Modern European in Cēsis

Izsalkušais Jānis

The town's old fire depot has changed profession and now helps to extinguish hunger and thirst with a compact but powerful menu that takes Cēsis to a metropolitan level of culinary sophistication. Hot trout salad is…
Top Choice Cafe in Sigulda

Mr Biskvīts

Naughty Mr Biskvīts' candy-striped lair is filled with delicious cakes and pastries, but it's also a good spot for a cooked breakfast, a lunchtime soup or sandwich, and an evening pasta or stir-fry. The coffee's gre…
Castle in Cēsis

Cēsis History & Art Museum

Right from the outset when you're handed a lit candle in a glass lantern, it's clear that this isn't an ordinary museum. At its centre is Cēsis Castle, founded in 1209 by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword. The cand…
Archaeological Site in Gauja National Park

Āraiši Lake Fortress

Plopped on an islet in the middle of Āraiši Lake, about 10km south of Cēsis, Āraiši Lake Fortress is a reconstruction of a settlement inhabited by Latgallians, an ancient tribe that once called the region home in th…
Historic Site in Līgatne

Pension

What poses as a dreary rehabilitation centre is in fact a top-secret Soviet bunker, known by its code name, the Pension. When Latvia was part of the USSR, it was one of the most important strategic hideouts during a…
Castle in Sigulda

Sigulda Medieval Castle

Constructed between 1207 and 1209 by the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, this castle lies mainly in picturesque ruins after being severely damaged during the Great Northern War. Some sections have been restored and …
Historic Building in Gauja National Park

Ungurmuiža

Beautiful Ungurmuiža is one of the best preserved manor houses in all of Latvia. The stately red mansion was created by Baron von Campenhousen, who served under the Swedish king and Russian tsar. Descendants of the …
Nature Reserve in Līgatne

Līgatne Nature Trails

It's a cross between a nature park and a zoo, where elk, beaver, deer, bison, lynx and wild boar roam in sizable open-air enclosures in the forest (it feels like an open-air zoo). A 5.1km motor circuit and a network…