Castles and manors to visit in the Baltics

Vacation is the perfect time for a royal holiday – delicious meals, a soft bed, evening walks in gorgeous gardens and unforgettable memories. To see every castle and manor in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, you would need several months. For a long weekend, stopping at just a few will be enough. Have a great trip!


Rūmene manor, Latvia

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Latvia

In the romantic city Cēsis you’ll find the ruins of the main castle of the Livonian Order; it is where the leader resided and made important decisions. These are the best-preserved ruins in Latvia, and the garden provides a chance to look into the lives of the medieval people. There is a garden with vegetables and medicinal plants that where cultivated in Livonia 500 years ago.


Cēsis castle, Latvia

Continue your lesson in history at the Āraiši Lake fortress. There’s a unique reconstruction of fortified dwelling quarters of the 8th/9th to 10th century on an island in the lake – nothing like it exists anywhere else in Europe. The houses have been built in accordance with archaeological data, and they represent the dwellings of the Late Iron Age. Families with children can take part in educational programmes, that include jewellery making or grinding grain by hand.


Lake castle Araiši, Latvia

Jaunmoku Castle is an architectural chef-d-oeuvre, built in 1901 to serve as a hunting castle for the Mayor of Riga. During World War II, it housed a Russian sergeant school, then a German radio station and a war hospital, but now there’s a forest museum and a fancy restaurant.


Jaunmoku castle, Latvia

Rūmene Manor is one of the most luxurious country estates in the Baltics. Guests may book all or part of the estate for an unforgettable stay- it is the perfect escape for a large family or group of friends. The main manor house is a Baltic-German 19th-century Neo-Gothic gem adjacent to its own private lake and a meticulously maintained 7-hectare English-style park.


Rūmene manor, Latvia

When spending a night there, Guests may enjoy a traditional Latvian sauna ritual in the charming lake-side sauna house. Golfers can enjoy the scenic nine-approach golf course. The estate is only accessible with a prior reservation.


Rūmene manor, Latvija

Bīriņu Castle is great in any season – in the winter, ride a horse-drawn sleigh or relax in the sauna; in other seasons, go out on a boat or take a leisurely walk through its five parks. One of them hides an oak tree of love; newlyweds hang bells in its branches. If you’re looking for a royal holiday, some of the manors are a must just because of their restaurants.


Bīriņu castle, Latvia

Mālpils Manor is home to one of the best restaurants in Latvia; the chef uses mostly local produce to prepare the dishes. Its hotel has a luxurious design, and the baroque park has a very nice oak alley.


Mālpils manor, Latvia

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Estonia

Raikküla Manor is one of the most beautiful examples of classicism in the country – Baltic German barons waltzed through its halls at gorgeous balls a lifetime ago. Nowadays, it’s being actively renovated, but once Otto von Bismarck was a guest here. Also, the parliament of Estonia first came together in 1216 right there.


Raikküla manor, Estonia

Palmse Manor is an impressive baroque edifice, and its spacious open air museum is a must-see too. Fun fact: the famous philosopher Nietzsche once visited this rococo pearl. Its interior is especially luxurious – make sure to note the parquet floors and furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries. Don’t miss the chance to take part in the wine tasting and visit the vast orangery.


Palmse manor, Estonia

Even though all that is left from Ungru Castle are ruins, you can clearly see this neo-baroque building is an exact replica of the Merseburg Palace in Germany. Some construction materials from the castle were used to build airport landing strips in the Soviet times; many have looked for treasure in its foundations, albeit unsuccessfully, and the remaining walls hold a legend of a painful love story. Another legend says that the oak tree that grows by the road was planted by Tsar Peter I, while others note that he only had a meal under its branches. What really happened, remains locked in history.


Ungru castle ruins, Estonia.

Saka Manor in the north of Estonia stands right by the sea, and it’s considered one of the best examples of classicism architecture. It has a restaurant and a beer spa where guests can enjoy beer baths, a cold beer in hand.


Saka manor, Estonia

Its main attraction is the walking trail – weaving through the park, it leads to a steep stairwell that ends right by the sea. There, you’ll find a 19-m tall cascading waterfall, which has flown for thousands of years over a 48-m tall limestone cliff.


Saka manor, Estonia

On your way to Sagadi Manor, you’ll spot the light pink building from afar. The complex consists of 18 separate buildings, so exploring it all will take some time.
Sagadi manor, Estonia

The stables have been turned into a modern hotel and the trophy hall’s main gems are the chairs made of deer antlers. One of the attractions they offer is a guided night hike through the forest, where the brave can listen to the sounds of the wild animals and wait for the sunrise.


Sagadi manor, Estonia

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Lithuania

Just a stone’s throw from the border of Latvia you’ll find Ilzenbergas Manor, built by the Master of the Livonian Order in the 16th century. Nowadays, there’s a biological farm where various kinds of cheese, meat and honey are available for tasting and for purchase.


Ilzenbergas manor, Lithuania

Don’t fret if you see a fox or a roebuck during your walk through the park. Head to the lake and cross the bridge to the Island of Love. Did you know its farthest shore is already in the territory of Latvia?


Ilzenbergas manor, Lithuania

Raudondvare Manor is the monument of the beginning of the 17th century of Renaissance architecture in Lithuania. Nowadays it is one of the most important complex of culture, entertainment and services in Kaunas district.

The 19th century orangery filled by exotic plants and animals by former owner count Benedykt Henryk Tyszkiewicz today serves as a restaurant for daily visits and personal celebrations. Near the orangery blooms beautiful rosary grown of same 19th century rose species surrounded by lavenders.


Raudondvare manor, Lithuania

Impressive neogotic 19th century stables have been renewed into art incubator with concert hall, exhibition hall and residencies for young artists and artisans who organize various educative activities for visitors.

The main center of Raudondvaris manor ensemble is the castle with the tower that all romantics admire. In one part of the castle works Kaunas district museum and in the main premises civil marriages ceremonies, small concerts, conferences take place. The cellars of the palace invites visitors to a restaurant where they can experience unforgettable night by attending noblemen dinner.


Raudondvare manor, Lithuania

Rokišķu Manor exhibits a 19th century telegraph and various typewriters, and collection of fancy garments. Cheese has been made there for 100 years already, and it tastes so good you’ll be looking to come back in no time. You have a choice of about 15 types of cheese which you can bring home to your friends and family. Have a look at the wooden furniture – it was made by a famous Lithuanian wood carving master, and the museum showcases the works of many other craftsmen.


Rokišķu manor, Lithuania

In the middle of Lake Galve, Trakai Castle stands proud – the red brick building is one of the symbols of Lithuania, built in the 15th century. When construction began, the water level was 2 metres higher than nowadays. In its time, it has housed a jail, a monastery and a police station. It’s the only island castle in Eastern Europe, and its museum houses almost 400 thousand exhibits – hunting trophies, coins, armour and arms. There’s a special exposition devoted to watches and pipes, too. If you see the word „kibinai” anywhere in Trakai, it’s the place to get scrumptious half-moon shaped rolls filled with beef or mutton.


Trakai castle, Lithuania

Norviliškės Castle is a 16th century Renaissance pearl, built by a rich Prussian merchant. It used to be a monastery, and the legend says the monks hid a lot of gold and silver in it; nobody has found it yet. There are also stories of secret tunnels, but perhaps it’s better to try such activities as axe and knife throwing, horse riding, tree climbing and shooting clay birds.


Norviliškės castle, Lithuania

The Sunday night dinner tradition is special too – this three-hour-long meal consists of dishes that were favoured by noblemen, and the guests get to learn about medieval meal games and the history of the castle.

Pakruojis manor is one of the largest and most beautiful in Lithuania with unforgettable festivals and events several times a year. This summer and autumn till the first frost, this manor can be called as Manor of flowers because it hosts a flower festival inspired by William Shakespeare’s play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.


Pakruojis manor, Lithuania

There are 2 millions of colourful flowers, number of compositions, flower ‘carpets’, as well as impressive sculptures up to 9 metres high.


Pakruojis manor, Lithuania

Pakruojis manor is also a XIX century life living palace with a huge park, two cozy hotels and restaurants, craftsmen’s workshops, stable, a costume room, brewery and distillery, a torture museum and much more.

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