Riga, Latvia travel guide: reasons why you should visit. Latvia is a republic located on the Baltic peninsula. The country of Latvia is surrounded by Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania and the Baltic Sea. The country is a mix of cityscapes, such as the capital Riga, and beautiful landmarks. This country, which was a part of Russia in its history, became independent in 1991, and offers very beautiful tourism. The charm of the Baltic Sea is a boost to the popularity and tourist attraction in this country of about 2 million people.
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Apart from its great natural charm, Latvia is home to many classic buildings standing in various parts of Latvia. Because the area of this country is not very large and has joined the European Union, Latvia can be your destination for traveling to various other Eastern European regions. From waterfalls to national parks, Latvia offers great views and lots of outdoor activities. Beaches, lush pine forests and medieval villages vie for your attention.
Is Latvia good for introverts?
If you feel as a private person and are often resentful of the hustle and bustle of the city, maybe you are suitable living in the countryside. Latvia is known as a country of peace and calm, it turns out that Latvia also has a society that is known for its introverted nature or prefers solitude.
People in Latvia are used to avoiding face to face and don’t like to meddle in other people’s business.
Latvians also often refrain from mingling with immigrants. This habit is caused by several factors. Such as the low population density and the condition of the country where there is still a lot of forest, so they are not used to the presence of many people.
Latvia is most peaceful country.
Latvia is often dubbed as an introvert country, both by foreign tourists and the people themselves. Personality types who prefer solitude, calm, and reflection. No wonder Latvia is a very calm and peaceful country.
Latvians can be good and honest friends, because they don’t like small talk.
When Latvians claim to be happy with other people, it means they really are. The reason, the Latvian people do not like to say something that is not important. Besides, being chatty all the time is also considered arrogance there.
Here are 12 of the most beautiful places in Latvia
Latvia also offers a panoramic view of unspoilt and natural beauty. Gauja National Park is a panoramic blend of well-preserved caves, spectacular cliffs, clear flowing rivers, and lush green trees that cool the eye. One of the interesting caves to visit is Gutmanala. The walls of this cave are filled with various inscriptions and doodles of ancient relics.
Inside the cave there is a water source which, according to legend has the power to cure various diseases. The beauty of Gauja National Park is complete with the Gauja river flow, which is surrounded by stunning cliffs. In Gauja National Park you can enjoy a variety of interesting activities such as mountain biking, hiking, and canoeing.
Cape Kolka is located within the Slitere National Park area at the northeastern tip of Latvia. Cape Kolka is a remote and unspoiled water are far from modern developments. It is surrounded by water and offers spectacular views. On Cape Kolka you will find the remains of an abandoned village and a Russian military base that has remained untouched until recently. Therefore, you will feel transported to the atmosphere of the past in Latvia. The beauty of this past life is combined with the natural charm of beautiful sea water and amazing sand dunes.
Does Latvia have good beaches?
The first visitors to the Baltics are often surprised by how beautiful the beach is. Granted, the climate isn’t quite ideal, but in the summer, the endless golden sands are a great place to let the kids unload with buckets and shovels. Jūrmala, just 20km from the capital, is the most beautiful coastal city in Latvia, filled with large wooden holiday homes and large spa hotels. For a more relaxed atmosphere, try Ventspils in the northeast.
As the capital, Riga is undoubtedly the most popular place to visit in Latvia. The Old Town, or Vecrīga, looks medieval, much of the architecture being rebuilt in the 1990s. The part of the city known as the centers, on the other hand, is home to more than 800 surviving Art Nouveau buildings. Here, the cobblestone streets are overshadowed by the mighty St. Peter’s Church, while the famously reconstructed House of the Blackheads stands majestically after the commotion of Soviet domination of the city.
One of the best ways to explore Riga is on foot, stopping to take pictures of the incredible sites along the way. If you are curious about Latvian history and culture, then the Open Air Latvian Ethnographic Museum is a great choice. There is a collection of traditional houses, and people walk around in authentic clothes that beautify the landscape. And then of course there’s Riga’s legendary nightlife; a medley of hedonistic basement bars and thumping clubs hosting locals and parties. But dive deeper into the interior of Latvia and you’ll find Teutonic palaces, Tsarist palazzos and wild forests peppered with country towns.
The city of Liepaja is located on the eastern part of the Latvian coast, facing directly to the Baltic sea. The city of Liepaja is one of the unique and attractive cities for Latvian tourism because in one city there are two architectural styles that divide the two parts of this city. The southern part of the city is a traditional city, while the northern part is a former secret city of the Russian military during the First World War. The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, with its towering tower. Here, the old remains of Tsarist and Soviet fortifications are now converted into art galleries and cafes, while windswept beaches stretch along the coast.
Another attraction of Liepaja is the white sand beach that overlooks the idyllic Baltic Sea. Two very popular beaches in Liepaja are Vec Liepaja and Dienvidrietumi. Meanwhile, there is also Karosta beach which is often the location of annual musical performances which are generally held in July.
Right next to the coast of the Baltic Sea is the city of Ventspils, one of the busiest ports in Europe. The port plays a big role in the culture in this city. You can see fantastic boats going in and out, you can also see traditional fishing huts, and hundreds of artifacts from the city’s past.
One of the city’s main attractions is the long stretch of pristine white sandy beach in the west of the city, volleyball, surfing and kite players in the summer. The home of the best-preserved Livonian castle is yellow. Along with the charming Market Square and historic houses on Skolas Street, the city is also known as the flower capital of Latvia.
Another nature tour that you can enjoy is one of the widest waterfalls in Europe. The Venta Falls, whose river flows through the houses in the small town of Kuldiga. In addition, visitors can also see the impressive former brick bridge over the waterfall because it is still intact even though some of the buildings were damaged by the First World War.
In this 240 meter wide waterfall, visitors can also be a location to catch salmon which is very popular. During spring, the salmon will jump over the falls and locals will catch fish that fall from the top of the falls. Wooden houses dating from the 1700s make up some of the city’s most eye-catching sights, while the arched brick bridges and elegant Baroque touches of St Catherine’s Church believe the city’s boom time was during Courland’s duchy years.
Cesis is an old town area which is a remnant of the past glory days of the Latvian kingdom. The traditional Latvian town of Cesis has retained all its medieval glory. The old town of Cesis located in the Central Vidzeme Upland offers the beauty of a royal castle surrounded by charming cobbled streets. Meanwhile, the center of attention in Cesis is two castles that are still well preserved. Here, visitors can find 800 years of history and stories about the Swedish, Russian, Slavic and Polish colonists.
The first castle was built in the 13th century, when it is partially damaged, while the second castle was only built in the 18th century. The two castles were built side by side and offer extraordinary architectural beauty. Today these two castles will function as the home of the art and history of Cesis.
Where can you hike this stunning Latvia wilderness area?
If you want to get closer to the heart of Latvia, take a walk through the jungle. Forests cover about 45 percent of the country and protect a wide variety of creatures, including populations of lynx, beavers and birds of prey. The best places to stroll on the tree-lined trails are Ķemeri National Park, a large stretch of forest and swamp near Jūrmala, and Gauja National Park, northeast of Rīga. From Sigulda, the entrance to Gauja, a leafy road leads between the ruins of three palaces and along the Gauja River.
Rundale Palace was a palace built for the Dukes of Courtland in the 18th century. This palace is filled with various ornate and classy details created by artists from Italy and France. What’s interesting is that all the existing rooms are still decorated with the same decorations as in their original conditions. Within the Rundale Palace there is also the impressive Gilt Hall. You can also take a walk to the Great Gallery which houses various relics of the palace’s past, once owned by royalty.
Jurmala is a beachfront resort area located not far from the city of Riga, the capital of Latvia. Jurmala is famous for its charming wooden architecture. In particular, many of the old buildings look similar to gingerbread houses. Jurmala is known as resorts with charming wooden architecture. In coastal areas you can also find equestrian therapy centers and sanatoriums. This location can be your choice to spend the night around Riga.
Sigulda is one of the historical cities not far from Riga. Sigulda is also known as the “Switzerland of Latvia” because of its stunning views. The town is filled with old 19th century castles most of which were destroyed or damaged by war. You can enjoy the beauty of the gardens around the castle which are open to the public. Strolling inside the remains of the castle that still shows its architectural charm is also an amazing option. This Latvian tourist spot offers a beauty that you should not miss from its beautiful architecture and natural charm.
Bauska also boasts an enchanting water character, with a river running through the heart of the city bordered by temporary uses and farmland, crossed by tenuous suspension bridges and a market square bustling with local life.
You may know him as one of America’s most famous artists and one of the world’s foremost exponents of abstract expressionism, but Mark Rothko (1903-1970) was actually born in Daugavpils in southeastern Latvia. In 2013 the opening of the Mark Rothko Art Center.
Dedicated to art, culture and education, the center is located in a historic Russian fortress warehouse building. The Rothko family collects some of the originals that hang alongside the growing collection of contemporary Latvian art. Daugavpils are located in southeastern Latvia, hills and lakes in the valley of the Daugava River, this city moving with Russian rhythms is the center of Latvian population, and offers a grand historical core that is all enhanced by the 19th century architecture belonging to the St. Petersburg.
The towering ramparts of the massive Daugavpils Fortress mark one of the militaristic centers of the Russian Empire as well, while the gilded onion domes and Orthodox domes of Saints Boris and Gleb Cathedral mimic Kiev and St Basil’s atop the city skyline.