Cesis old town

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Can you go on a day trip from Riga to Cesis?

What to do in Cesis if you have only a few hours of time?

Answering the first question, yes, you can go on a day trip from Riga to Cesis. I’ve done it before, and only a couple days ago I did it again. This time we took our bicycles with us. And here I’m going to share with you a very simple 3-step itinerary, if you want to do something similar, to see a bit of the town and also some nature.

If you want, you can rent a bicycle in Riga.

Or you can rent a bicycle in Cesis.

A Day Trip to Cesis (on a Bicycle)

If you’ll be staying in town, you don’t need a bicycle.

The town is small, and you can easily get everywhere on foot. But if you want to see the areas around the town, it’s a good idea to rent a bicycle.

ROUTE: Cesis – Erglu Cliffs – Raiskums lake – Cesis

DISTANCE: around 23 miles / 37 kilometers

TIME: around 5 hours (including stops)


Getting From Riga to Cesis

City square in Cesis
A square next to St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church

There are two easy ways to get from Riga to Cesis.

You can go by car or you can take a train to Cesis. There are also frequent buses from Riga to Cesis, but if you’ll be taking a bicycle with you then train is a better option.

A few things to take into account:

1. Not all train cars are designed to hold bikes. Mostly there’s at least one car with bicycle holders. But it’s okay to take a bicycle in any of the cars, and to keep it next to you.

2. You have to purchase a ticket for your bicycle. It’s called a luggage ticket. Costs about 1/3 of a regular ticket price. Can be purchased both online and at the station or on the train.

3. Getting on the train can be challenging. Both with and without a bicycle. Because you have to climb a few steep steps. What can you do in Riga is to arrive earlier – as the train journey starts from the Riga train station – to have enough time, and maybe to ask someone for help. In Cesis train stops only for a couple of minutes.

Buy train tickets online or via app (Android, iPhone).

What to Do in Cesis?

If you want to see a bit of everything, here’s a very simple plan.

1. Cesis Town

Wander around the town at first.

Cesis is a very beautiful, typical European medieval town, a popular day trip destination for everyone traveling to Riga. If you are coming by train, you’ll arrive only a short, 5-minute walk away from the most beautiful part of the town.

Aim for the St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church.

And simply wander around from there.

It’s one of the best things to do in Cesis if it’s your first time in town.

Go to Cesis castle afterwards.

Tower in Cesis

Blue church in Cesis

Old buildings in Cesis

A cute shop in Cesis

A cute cafe in Cesis

Cesis castle
Cesis castle

Cesis castle

Cycling in the park in Cesis

Beautiful stairs in Cesis park

2. Erglu Cliffs

While the town itself is very beautiful, there’s more to the area.

If you have time, it’s very easy to spend at least a few days in Cesis and the area, basing yourself in Cesis.

What to do in Cesis if enjoy nature? Head for some of the nearby cliffs, for example the nearest ones – Erglu Cliffs.

From the Cesis Castle take the Lencu street to leave the town, and you’ll get to the Erglu cliffs fastest way possible. Take into account that for around 2/3 of the way you’ll by on a gravel road.

Here are a few shots of the cliffs and the area.

Erglu Cliffs, Erglu klintis, Cesis
Erglu Cliffs, Cesis

Erglu Cliffs

Erglu Sandstone Cliffs
Erglu Sandstone Cliffs
The view from Erglu Cliffs
The view from Erglu Cliffs

3. Raiskums Lake

If you want to see a bit of the beauty of rural Latvia, this is your chance.

Raiskums village, the lake and the road from Cesis to Raiskums is your chance to have a glimpse of what rural Latvia looks like. The prettiest side of it, though.

To get there from the cliffs we took another road, one closer to river.

Cycling on a forest road near Cesis
We took this road to go from the cliffs to Raiskums
Raiskums lake near Cesis
Raiskums lake near Cesis
Country road near Raiskums
Country road near Raiskums

Beautiful country road in Latvia

Country road in Raiskums area

Fields near Raiskums
Fields near Raiskums

Girl and green fields in Latvia

Another beautiful place in the area – Licu Langu Cliffs.

Have you been to Latvia? Did you go to Cesis? What was your experience?

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