The Baltic states have as many similarities as differences. Each country is distinctive, unique and worth to visit. You might need one or two weeks to explore all Latvian interesting places, but a few hours is enough to fall in love with this beautiful and welcoming country.
Latvia is beautiful all-the-year-round. The most popular tourist destinations in Latvia are its сharming capital and ancient small towns; sandy beaches and splendid national parks; medieval castles and luxury palaces. In winter you could visit this country for the holidays at one of the ski resorts or for an unforgettable Christmas in Riga and Jurmala. In spring tourist season starts in May, which is the best time to enjoy Latvian beautiful parks and its splendid nature. Summer is a high season and the best time for excursions and visiting the seaside resorts. Autumn is a calm and tranquil period in which you could visit Latvian parks and castles. Whatever you choose, this country will always be warm and welcoming.
If you are visiting Riga for the first time, you will be charmed by its narrow cobblestones streets, picturesque views of the Daugava River, city’s history and architecture. The best way to reveal all the secrets of the city is to take one of the guided tours.
Riga is like a museum, in which different ages and styles are amazingly fused. The central part of the city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It includes the Old Town with ancient medieval buildings and the modern Art Nouveau Quarter.
The most recognizable symbol of Riga is the spire of the medieval St. Peter Church, from which tower you could enjoy the most picturesque panoramic views of Riga. Other popular tourist spots of the Old Town are Dome Cathedral, Powder Tower, Riga Castle, House of blackheads, buildings, known as Three Brothers etc.
Tourists from all over the world visit Riga for its gorgeous modern buildings, erected at the beginning of the 20th century. The city considered to be one of the centers of European Art Nouveau architecture. Walking around Riga, you will enjoy its elegant, magnificent buildings with sophisticated stucco works on the facades. The most beautiful samples of Art Nouveau style are placed on Alberta Street. To find out more information about Riga’s architecture it’s worth to visit the Riga Art Nouveau Museum.
One of the reasons to visit Latvia is to see and to explore its ancient castles. One of the most impressive Latvian castles placed in Cesis, a small town with a great history. The castle belonged to the Livonian Order and played an important strategic role. Nowadays Cesis is a popular tourist destination, which attracted people by its ancient history and splendid park.
It is worth to mention, that more than 50% territory of the country is covered by forests. Therefore Latvia has a large number of parks and offers many opportunities for active leisure.
Gauja National Park, also known as little Switzerland, is the oldest and the largest park in Latvia. It’s located about 1 hour far from Riga in the picturesque valley of the Gauja River. The park is famous for its splendid forests, beautiful cliffs, and old caverns. The Gauja Valley was a place of ancient settlements and towns. In this area a great number of cultural-historical monuments are preserved. The most popular tourist spots are medieval Turaida Castle, Araish Lake Castle, Sigulda Castle etc.
Another popular tourist place is Slitere National Park – one of the greatest parks in the Baltic region, well-known for its broadleaf forests, splendid dunes, and bogs. Kemeri National Park is a unique place which is famous for mineral springs, curative mud and beautiful marsh. Tervete Natura Park provides different types of leisure activities and offers great time for kids. Other popular destinations are Dzintary forest park, Razna National park, Pape Nature Park and many others beautiful places.
All Latvian parks are comfortable for travelers: they equipped with all basic facilities and have parking places, bake lines and convenient walking routes.
Latvia is washed by the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga, the length of the coastline is about 500-kilometer. The country offers an unforgettable holiday at one of its beautiful coasts. A lot of Latvian beaches are awarded with Blue Flag, which means clean water, white sand and delightful vacation.
The most popular Latvian resort is, of course, Jurmala, which is well-known for its white sandy beaches, pine forests, and curative climate. Jurmala located only 25 kilometers from Riga, and it’s easily accessible by public transport (train ticket costs about 1,25 EUR), car, or with our professional guide.
Jurmala is the best place to enjoy relaxing rest together with cultural entertainment, as it’s the favorite place for different international and local festivals, exhibitions and concerts.
One of the most popular tourist destinations of the Baltic cost is Cape Kolka, located on the edge of the earth… Actually, on the edge of Latvian earth, but these shores look so wild and desolated, that you feel lost in time and place. The peninsula is loved by tourists for its splendid sandy beaches, beautiful nature, and picturesque views of place, where the Baltic Sea meets the Gulf of Riga.
Other popular seaside resorts in Latvia are Liepaja, Ventspils, Jurkalne etc. A small coastal town Pavilosta is well-known mostly among surfers and marine sports lovers.
The best period for visiting seaside resorts is the middle of the summer.
Tourists from all over the world can reach Latvia by airplane, train, bus, ferry or car. It’s also very easy to travel across the country. All Latvian cities have convenient transport connection, which is quite cheap and comfortable. If you want to travel off the beaten track, you can also rent a car. Prices start at 25 EUR.
If you visit Latvia, you will definitely love its cuisine. Latvia offers a great number of restaurants and cozy cafes for every taste and budget. Latvian cuisine originates from peasant traditions and might seem quite simple, but it compounds so many flavors in so different ways that you will enjoy these distinctive dishes. Latvian culinary traditions used a lot of peas, beans, cabbage, and other vegetables; smoked pork and fish; herring and sprat.
The most popular dishes are pea soup; cold beet soup; boiled potatoes with salted herring and cottage cheese. In every Latvian restaurant you can taste a traditional bread soup. It’s made of rye bread, dried fruits, and sugar. This soup tastes sweet and serves as a dessert. Another interesting Latvian dish is cumin cheese, which is traditionally eaten only once a year – on St. John’s day, one of the most celebrated Latvian holiday. The most popular Latvian dessert is Piparkukas – gingerbread cookies, baked usually on Christmas.
But as they say, it’s better once to see (or to taste) than hundred times to hear. Visit Latvia and spend unforgettable time in one of the most beautiful European country.