10 Best Tourist Attractions in Latvia
10 Best Tourist Attractions in Latvia – Surrounded by Lithuania, Russia, Estonia, Belarus, and the Baltic Sea is the nation of Latvia. The country is a blend of urban views, such as the capital of Riga, and picturesque landmarks. From national parks to waterfalls, Latvia offers great sights and a lot of outdoor activities. Forests, Beaches, and medieval villages compete for your interest, and the only answer is to check out all the best tourist attractions to visit in Latvia.
Riga which is the capital, is undoubtedly the most popular tourist attractions to visit in Latvia. Vecriga, or The Old Town, looks medieval, but a lot of the architecture was actually reconstructed in the 1990s. The part of the city known well as Centrs, on the other hand, is home to over 800 tremendously intact Art Nouveau buildings. One of the best options to explore Riga is on foot, stopping to take pictures of outstanding sites along the way. If you’re curious about Latvian culture and history, the Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum is an prefect option. There is a set of traditional homes, and tourists milling around in unique dress only add to the scene.
Less than an hour’s drive from Riga, and in the Gauja River Valley, is the historic town of Sigulda. It is nicknamed the Switzerland of Latvia thanks to its picturesque scenery, but it also offers some incredible architecture which worth exploring. Krimulda Manor, constructed in the 19th century, is surrounded by scenic gardens and grounds, and it is open for tourists. Sigulda is also home to some ruined castles such as Sigulda Medieval Castle and Krimulda Castle Ruins. While The 12th century medieval Sigulda Castle is now in shambles, the New Sigulda Castle stands next door and is in perfect condition.
Jurmala is the perfect day trip for tourists spending time in the capital of Riga. Jurmala which situated right on the Gulf of Riga, is a coastal resort destination. The stretch of sandy coastline is one of the longest in Northern Europe and it is the largest resort on the Baltic. In addition to the beach, Jurmala is famous for its attractive wood architecture. Specifically, a lot of the older structures look similar to the gingerbread houses. The resort was once an area where Russians would recovered, so there are still traditional Russian sanatoriums dotting the coast and riding therapy centers.
One of the busiest ports in Europe right on the coast of the Baltic Sea is Ventspils. The port plays a great role in the culture of the city, and observing ships come in and out can be a fanciful activity. Tie it into a journey to the Seaside Open Air Museum, where you can witness curing cabins, traditional fishing huts, and hundreds of artifacts from the its past. One of the main attractions of the city is the long stretch of pure white-sand beach at western of the town, noted with sun worshippers, kitesurfers and volleyball players in summer.
5. Rundale Palace
Latvia owns its fair share of palaces, and Rundale Palace is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. The Baroque structure was built in the 18th century for the Dukes of Courland. Painters and sculptors from Italy and Germany were brought in to work on this palace, and the upscale details are still highlighted. Most of the chambers are still furnished in a age-appropriate way, and they are open for tourists. You can witness a fully restored suite which was once owned by a duchess, admire Gilt Hall and wallk through the Great Gallery. the Rundale Palace Museum is on site, which is definitely worth a visit as well.
Located in the Central Vidzeme Upland, one of the oldest towns in the country is Cesis. This Old Town is a main excuse to visit, and the cobblestone streets set the tone for odd, attractive exploration. Cesis also presents two castles, side by side, which are extraordinary. The first is the original Cesis Castle, built in the 13th century and mostly in ruin these days. Next one is the New Cesis Castle, built in the 18th century. The new castle is picturesque and surrounded by scenic grounds. It is home to the Cesis Museum of History and Art as well.
7. Cape Kolka
Slitere National Park is at the northeastern tip of Latvia. The jewel in the crown of the park is Cape Kolka, that is surrounded by water and offers outstanding sights. Cape Kolka feels secluded and genuine because of its location as well as its history. When Latvia was under Soviet reign, the cape was zoned off and served for the military, and some villages were entirely abandoned. Now, Cape Kolka is a lovely way to step back in period and explore a part of Latvia which less people have ever had the opportunity to experience. Plus, the white sand dunes and sights over the water are incredible in their own right.
A river runs right between homes and along streets, in the small town of Kuldiga, giving it the nickname as Latvian Venice. However, it is the widest waterfall in Europe which most people come to see. The waterfall, well known as Venta, is a staggering 785 feet (240 meters) wide. During the spring, locals catch the fish in midair in a spectacular fashion as salmon jump over the waterfall. You can also see the brick bridge which spans the waterfall. Despite it was damaged in the World War II, much of it still remains intact.
9. Gauja National Park
Much of Latvia is still undeveloped, and Gauja National Park is one perfect example of a authentic environment, where you can get back to nature. Cliffs, caves, and other rock formations are a big attraction to the park. If you are a spelunker at heart, you can tour immense caverns such as Gutmanala. This walls of cavern are covered in epigraphs, and legend says that its waters possess healing powers. The Gauja River runs through this park, and it is lined with oppressive cliffs. It is recommended to be active in the park, with canoeing, hiking, and mountain biking all being great options.
The city of Liepaja is located n the eastern coast, on the Baltic Sea. Briefly the capital of Latvia during the World War I, Liepaja is literally a city divided. One half of the city becomes the traditional centre. The northern half is well known as Karosta, and it was once served as a secret Russian military town. As a result, the Liepaja’s architecture changes depending on where your location in the city. Most tourists come to Liepaja for the outstanding white sand beaches. Dienvidrietumi and Vecliepaja are the two most noted beaches, but they even rarely get crowded. One of the beaches in Karosta is the site of a major yearly beach music festival which is usually held in July.