Latvia is a country on the Baltic Sea between Lithuania and Estonia. Its landscape is marked by wide beaches as well as dense, sprawling forests. First of all I should clarify, when I say autumn in Latvia, I mean end of September and beginning of October. This is truly the peak of the season and best time to visit.
Coming from Latvia, I can say that autumn is the best time to discover my beautiful country. Want to know why? Keep on reading and I’m sure you will be planning your trip to Latvia for next autumn straight after you are done.
Autumn colours in Latvia
Over 50% of Latvia is covered in forests meaning that you have a lot of opportunities to see foliage. We have many popular autumn destinations that attract tourists from all over the world. I have see most of the Europe during autumn season and for me Latvia (with other Baltic countries) is the most impressive when it comes to autumn colours. I will let the photos speak for themselves!
My personal favourite would be Cēsis. It is located 1.5 hours from Riga – the capital of Latvia. Or 2 hours if you choose to use public transport. You can easily navigate with public transport, so it might be the best option if you don’t have a car in Latvia. Apart from multiple parks and main castle, Cēsis has old town filled with restaurants and other activities. Don’t miss out on this beautiful Church located in the park of Cēsis.
Another popular destination is Sigulda. That is actually the most popular choice between Latvians, so it can get overcrowded. It is best to visit during the week. Some main things to see in Sigulda: Ķeizarskats, Gleznotājkalns, Svētku laukums, Bridge over Gauja, Krimulda Castle, Gutman’s Cave, Taurētāju kalns.
Turaida is located nearby Sigulda, 10 minutes drive away, so can be easily combined with Sigulda. Make sure you visit Turaida castle and climb up the tower – the views are unforgettable.
Let’s say that you are on the clock and don’t have much time to visit Latvia. Riga is full of beautiful parks where you can catch autumn vibes – Bastejkalna Park, Kronvalda Park, Esplanade and Victory Park.
Less popular autumn destinations in Latvia, but still worth a visit: Gauja National Park, Tērvete, Jūrmala, Kemeri National Park, Bauska and Ogre.
Located in the North of Europe, Latvia is not a typical summer destination. Winter on the other hand, can be too cold for most of the people and mostly likely you would have to deal with snow. With some extra layers, you should be able to enjoy Latvian autumn. You always have a chance of rain, but it is not so bad as you would think.
Autumn temperature in Latvia is perfect for outdoor activities as well. You can rent a bike, go for a hike & run or make a picnic without suffering from heat! I know a lot of you enjoy that kind of weather. In case some of you get cold, you can always enjoy hot drinks. We have excellent choice of tea or you can go for mulled wine if you like alcoholic drinks.
Taste of the season
Autumn comes with harvest, so most of the restaurants create seasonal menus and give you the chance to try fresh local goodies. Where should you start?
Potatoes straight from the garden with freshly picked mushrooms is a must! Don’t forget about pumpkin soup, cabbage, carrot, beetroot, potato pancakes with sour cream or salmon, apple pie with cinnamon and so much more. Most of the restaurants will guide you with best options for autumn menu.
When it comes to food, in Latvian restaurant you will likely get meat or fish with side dish and salad. In case you eat meat, make sure you try šašliks, karbonāde and kotletes. For fish lovers, we have great salmon, smoked fish, sprats and herrings. In general, food is heavy and plates are big, so no need to add starters or dessert, but you certainly must try garlic bread. Combine with beer if thats something that you like and you will have a great snack in between meals. Keep in mind that Latvia has one of the best beer in the world!
Tourist free cities and main attractions
Truth be told, Latvia is not a popular destination or extremely well known country. In fact, a lot of people wouldn’t be able to locate it on the map. However, during summer you will find Latvia filled with tourists. Mostly concentrated in the capital – Riga.
If you don’t like crowded and messy places, this is another good reason why you should visit Latvia during autumn. People just assume that Latvia is too cold during autumn, which not the case. You won’t see snow and temperature goes from +10°C to +20°C on a sunny day, so don’t let the cold scare you.
Mushroom picking in the woods
Latvia is home to Europes most active mushroom pickers. In case you see people in the woods with a knife in their hands, don’t get scared. They are simply there to hunt for some delicious dinner ingredients.
It is estimated that mushroom picking is the favourite form of active recreation for about a half of Latvia’s population, so try it for yourself and see what’s so special about mushroom picking. Bring some hot tea and snacks, and enjoy picnic afterwards. I guarantee you will sleep like a baby after a day in the woods.
In case you don’t know anything about mushrooms, make sure you download app called Mushroom Identificator 4+ and it will help you sort edible mushrooms from poison. You can experiment with recipes later and cook a delicious meal.
Different kind of wine tasting
I will be honest, Latvian wine is not your typical choice and it is not like it is sold all around the world. But this could be a good reason to try something and see if you like it. Once again, autumn is for harvest, so some wineries in Latvia are organising interesting experiences for wine lovers.
You can find a list with most popular wineries here. But the most popular ones are Ligatne wine cellar and Abavas winery. Latvians have big love for mulled wine in autumn, so that is worth trying as well. Go for apple wine as well, it is certainly something that you haven’t tried before.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and found some cool ideas for your trip to Latvia in autumn. Bring some extra layers and come to discover real autumn in my beautiful country. I can guarantee it will be unforgettable experience. Also, you can combine your trip to Latvia with Tallinn or Trakai Castle in Lithuania that is particularly charming in autumn.
I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.
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