Points of Interest: Where to Go and Places to Visit in Latvia
If you are tired of your busy routines and want to recharge yourself by relaxing in pristine nature, then Latvia is your place to go. Places to visit in Latvia are filled with a lot of breathtaking natural beauty, starting with long beaches to dense forest that will be the perfect escape for you.
As one of the three Baltic States, Latvia is located on the eastern shore of Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. This position gives temperate climate to the country, making it best for you to travel to Latvia during its summer, which is from June to mid-September.
During these months, the weather is good and warm, so it will be perfect for you to explore the beauty of Latvia. Not only the ideal climate but visiting Latvia during summer also means having the best chance to taste Latvia food. It is easier to find local food within this part of the year.
Latvia is also an architectural paradise. You will find many buildings dated from the past still in their well-maintained conditions here.
To get to Latvia, you can have a flight to Riga, the capital city of Latvia. There is an international airport in Riga. Other than by airplane, you can also take the train from Moscow to Latvia. There is also a train service from Saint Petersburg that can take you to this beautiful country.
Another way to get to Latvia from the land is by taking the bus. International European bus service, such as Ecolines and Eurolines, have frequent service to Latvia. If you want to enjoy the fantastic Baltic Sea, you can reach Latvia using the ferry from Stockholm.
As for the visa, you can enter Latvia using Schengen visa because Latvia is a member of Schengen zone. Please keep in mind that not all EU countries are Schengen zone member, and vice versa, not all Schengen zone members join EU.
The language commonly used in Latvia is Latvian which is unique compared to most generally spoken languages in the world. However, Russian is also widely used in Latvia, and almost half of the people there can speak English, especially the youngsters in Riga.
If you are still wondering whether Latvia is your dream destination, this list of places to visit in Latvia will give you more reasons to visit Latvia.
Table of Contents
- 1 Here’s the list of the top places to visit in Latvia
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Here’s the list of the top places to visit in Latvia
As the capital of Latvia, Riga is the main entrance to this Baltic country. From the moment you set foot in the city, you will be blown away by the beauty of Riga. The Gothic and Art Nouveau architectural style used in almost all the buildings there will make you feel like you have jumped into a different world.
No wonder Riga is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Alberta Iela, or Albert Street, is a street in Riga where all the Art Nouveau gems of the city can be found. This street was built in 1901, and its name was taken from the founder of Riga, Bishop Albert.
Another site that you need to visit in Riga is Blackheads House. The original building was built in 1344, but it was destroyed during World War II and demolished under the USSR regime. However, the blueprint of this historical building was still in good condition, and it was later used to rebuild the house. The project finished in 2001, and Blackheads House has been Latvia tourist attraction ever since.
There are many other things to do in Riga other than sightseeing. One of them is the culinary experience. Go to Riga Central Market to grab some Latvia most delicate produce.
Buy some cheese, sausages, smoked fish, and of course not to forget their signature black bread, then have a lovely picnic in Riga’s marvelous park. For the drink, you can try their local beer, or if you want something more unique, then you have to taste Riga Black Balsam.
In the western part of Latvia, you will find a city which is nicknamed “The Venice of The North”. It is Kuldiga, a city decorated with ancient buildings and a beautiful river.
You can enjoy the crisp summer breeze while admiring beautiful sculptures made by Livija Rezevska in Kuldiga Town Garden And Sculpture Park. Don’t forget to buy Latvia signature snack sklandrausi, which is a traditional pastry filled with potato and carrot, to munch at the park, making your Latvia travel experience perfect.
The best part about Kuldiga is Venta Rumba. It is known as the broadest waterfall in Europe. If you visit the waterfall during spring, you will be able to see fish jumping up the waterfall. Or if you are up to something crazy, you can join their annual naked run, which is a part of maintaining Ligo tradition, held every Midsummer evening on Venta bridge.
Another annual event in Kuldiga is Kuldiga Fest, which is hosted every July.
Not far from Riga, you will find Jurmala, a very famous seaside resort in Latvia. It is only 25 kilometers away from Riga. Jurmala has been one of the most famous Latvia destinations since the country was part of the USSR.
Jurmala has one of the most extensive coastal areas in Northern Europe as the white sand beach stretches for about 33 kilometers. It is on the shore of Gulf of Riga.
If you want to have more fun with the water, then you should go to Livu Akvaparks. It is considered as the most massive waterpark in Baltic. Go wild with the exciting water slides and rides in Livu Akvaparks.
Jomas Iela, or Jomas Street, is a place to go when you want to chill out with your friends. There are many cozy restaurants, cafes, and bars that you can visit on this street.
Another seaside resort that is one of the top Latvia attractions is Liepaja. Its unspoiled beach is certified as a blue flag beach.
Liepaja is a paradise for seafood lovers. You can find fresh fish in the market. Try their traditional cod dish, Liepajas mencini when you are in town.
Half of Liepaja houses many beautiful buildings, ranging from traditional wooden houses to intricate Art Nouveau buildings. The other half of the city used to be a Russian secret military town. This part of Liepaja is better known as Karosta.
Lies in the central area of Vidzeme, Cesis will bring you back to the medieval era. The medieval castle ruins, cobblestone streets, and the scenic garden create this strong fairytale-like atmosphere all over the town.
Cesis Castle consists of two castles. The first one was built in 1214 by Latvian knights. This castle is known as Wenden Castle. The second castle is an 18th-century manor house that looks like a castle. Families of German counts use to live in this mansion. Now, it houses Cesis History And Art Museum, showcasing the original fin de siecle interior, making it one of the must-see places to visit in Latvia.
Presenting the right mixture of the past and modernity, Ventspils is one of the cities in Latvia that you have to visit. This city has one of the oldest and the busiest ports in the Baltic region.
You can enjoy the refreshing smell of the sea as you walk around the city among its charming old buildings. Skolas Street is the best place to see their historic houses. The Castle of The Livonian Order is another beautifully-restored castle that you have to visit.
If you are taking your kids for a holiday, then Ventspils is the best place to go. For those of you who enjoy thrilling rides, you can bring your kids to Ventspils Adventure Park. You can also visit Children’s Village where your kids can enjoy many kid-friendly activities. They also provide trampoline and bikes for rent.
In Ventspils, you can also go to Seaside Open Air Museum. Your kids will love this museum because it displays many fascinating objects outdoor.
Lies in the easternmost area of Latvia, Latgale has its language. It earns the nickname “Land of Blue Lakes” because this region has the most lakes compared to the other areas in Latvia. Some of the lakes are interconnected, and they have become favorite boating spots.
Latgale is also famous for its pottery. You can see things made of clay, such as jugs and pots. These products come in colorful options.
While you are in Latgale, don’t forget to try Klocka and Gulbisniki. These are some of the traditional Latvia food that you should try.
Gauja National Park
Another pride of Latvia tourism pride is Gauja National Park. Covering an area of 917.45 km², Gauja National Park is the most significant national park in Latvia. The house of vast biological diversity and varied landforms, this national park is heaven for those of you who love to explore the nature.
Numerous hiking treks offer you astonishing views. You can also go biking and canoeing in several spots in Gauja National Park. If you prefer something more extreme, bungee jumping and freefall are available here.
Not only hosting breathtaking natural beauty, but Gauja National Park also houses many incredible cultural and historical sites, such as museums, old churches, and castles. The most famous museum in this park is Turaida Museum Reserve.
One of the most refined legacies of the Russian emperors, Rundale Palace, should be in your list of Latvia travel. Majestically standing in the center of a vast landscaped garden, Rundale Palace will blow your mind.
The construction of this palace was completed in 1768. However, Rundale Palace was damaged during World War I and World War II. It was restored by the Supreme Soviet of Latvian USSR in 1965 and 1971, and in 1972, Rundale Palace Museum was open.
Not only the building itself, but Rundale Palace also has a very impressive landscaped garden surrounding it. There is an extensive rose garden, a green theater, and some beautiful fountains in this garden, making Rundale Palace become one of the highlights of Latvia tourism.
If you travel to Latvia, and you are a fan of something bizarre yet beautiful, then you should go to Cape Kolka. Cape Kolka is in the list of the places to see in Latvia because this place is like a different world.
Having been in the past as a highly-secured military base under the USSR regime, Cape Kolka used to have a minimum to none contact with civilians. That is why after the fall of Soviet Union, this area became somehow abandoned and as if the time stopped there. This fact has made the region appealing to visit, and it can cause your Latvia travel become unique.
You can also do bird watching in this area. The best time to do this is during spring.
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