Latvia other parts
Turaida Castle is located about 60 km from Riga, near the town of Sigulda.
The spa-town of Jurmala (“Sea side”) is situated only little more than 20 kilometres from Riga. Jurmala is famous for sandy beaches, medicinal mud and mineral water. The beach is more than 30 km long. Jurmala is scattered along the Baltic Sea, with Majori as the most important centre. Jurmala has lots of beautiful wooden villas. If one stays in Riga for several days, Jurmala is a must, especially in the summer time. Also autumns are nice.
It is easy to get to Jurmala by train, bus, mini-bus, taxi or own car. By train take Riga-Dubulti, Riga-Sloka, Riga-Kemeri or Riga-Tukums route. By minibus, take Riga-Dubulti, Riga-Sloka or Riga-Jaunkemeri. The trains and minibuses go every 10-30 minutes, so there is no problem of getting to Jurmala. Minibuses start a few hundred metres from the Riga railway station.
Jurmala Tourist Information, Jomas 42, Majori. Tel. 77 64 493, 77 64 276, [email protected]
Water Amusement Park “Nemo”, Atbalss 1, tel. 77 36 392.
Aspazija House, Meierovica 20, tel. 77 69 445. Tue-Sat 11.00-16.00, Monday 14.00-19.00.
Jurmala Town Museum, Tirgonu 27/29. Tel.77 64 746. Open Wed-Sun 11.00-17.00.
Open-air Fishery Museum, Tiklu 1, tel. 77 51 121.
Rainis and Aspazija Memorial Summer Cottage, Plieksana 5/7. Tel. 77 64 495. Open Wed-Sun. 10.00-17.00. Home-museum of two famous Latvian authors.
- Baltija, Dzintaru 11, tel. 77 62 338.
- Daina, Mellezu 59, tel. 77 67 056.
- Lielupe, Bulduru 64/68, tel. 77 52 755.
- Majori, Jomas 29, Majori. Tel. 77 61 380, fax 77 61 394.
- Rigas Jurmala, Juras 23, tel 77 62 295. Vaivari, Asaru 61, tel. 77 66 122.
- Rigas Licis, Dubultu 51, tel. 77 61 180.
- Viktorija 91, Meza 20, tel. 77 51 807.
Saulkrasti is only 50 km from Riga. The name means “sunny beach”, and Saulkrasti really is a sunny spot in summers. One can get to Saulkrasti by train (about 50 minutes), by minibus (Zvejniekciems) or by bus.
Saulkrasti Tourist Information, Ainazu 10, tel. (9) 47 88 33.
Sigulda is little more than 50 km from Riga. Surroundings of Sigulda are beautiful hilly scenery, with Gauja river running near-by. Sigulda is attractive in all seasons, a center of downhill skiing in winter. Medieval Turaida Castle is near Sigulda. It was originally a Liv castle, but from the 13th century a German fortress. One can get to Sigulda by train, bus or own car. Gauja river is worth seeing, use a car cable linking the valleys.
Sigulda Tourist Information, Pils 4 A, te. 29 71 335.
Vidzeme (North Latvia)
Vidzeme is northern and northeastern part of Latvia, part of ancient Livonia. Hundreds of years ago the area was inhabited by Livs and Latgals, but the German crusaders destoyed much of their society. The medieval Hansaetic town of Cesis is the heart of Vidzeme. The castle built by the German Order is in the centre. Cesis is also a birthplace of Latvian flag. A Latgal king was wounded in Cesis in 1272 and laid on a white flag. That’s how Latvian flag originated. Near Cesis there is an interesting lake castle of Araisi, built after the model dating back for more than 1000 years.
Cesis Tourist Information, Pils laukums 1, tel. (41) 21 815, [email protected]
Another important city in Vidzeme is Valmiera, a vivid educational and cultural centre. Valmiera became member of the Hansaetic League already in 1365. It held 32 Hansa Days and Sessions of the Livonian Landtag. Valmiera is about 110 km from Riga.
Valmiera Tourist Info, Lacplesa 2, tel. (42) 07 120.
Latgale (East and East-Southern Latvia)
Daugavpils (the castle of Daugava) is Latvia’s second-biggest city. Daugavpils is about 230 km from Riga, by car it takes 3 hours 30 minutes. Train is slower, there are four departures daily from Riga.
Daugavpils Tourist Information, Rigas 50/52, tel. (54) 28 285, [email protected]
Kurzeme (West Latvia)
Liepaja is an interesting city between the Tosmara lakes and the Baltic Sea. The city was known as “Libau” by Germans. Bus connections to Liepaja are good, there is one almost every hour. The best hotels are Amrita and Liva. Also Roze and Porins are good choices.
Liepaja Tourist info, Liela 11, tel. (34) 80 808. [email protected]
Liepaja has regular ferry line with car and bus transportation facilities to Karlshamn of Sweden and Rostock of Germany, three times a week.
Ferry operator “Terrabalt Ltd., tel. (34) 27 214. Address: Brivosta 47, Liepaja.
A typical small town in a romantic landscape. There are numerous lakes and hills and varied species of plants and animals. Famous Latvian painter Janis Rozentals lived in Saldus.
Saldus Tourist Info Avotu 12, [email protected]
Talsi is a town of nine hills. Ancient Liv settlement, Talsi is nowadays an attractive small town. To the north is the Liv Coast. On the seashore in Mazirbe there is a Liv cultural centre.
Ventspils is a mid-size Latvian city with a very big sea port. The name Ventspils stems from the Venta river. Ventspils is 200 km. from Riga. The city has beautiful beach and interesting churches as well as ruins of the Livonian Order Castle. Sea side open-air museum is worth visiting as well.
Ventspils Tourist Info, tel. (36) 22 263, [email protected]
Ventspils has regular car ferry to Västervik of Sweden twice a week.
Ferry operator “V-V Line”, tel. (36) 07355, Plostu 7, Ventspils.
Semgale (Southern Latvia)
Bauska is a beautiful city just near to Lithuania’s border. Bauska castle ruins are worth seeing. The Baroque Palace of Rundale is the biggest attraction, designed by famous Italian architect Rastrelli, creator of Winter Palace. Rundale Palace was a summer palace of Duke of Courland, E.J. Biron. The palace contains 138 rooms.
In Jelgava there is another palace, also built under supervision of Rastrelli. The palace houses Latvian Agricultural University.
Bauska Tourist Information, Ratslaukums 1, tel. (39) 23 797. [email protected]
Jelgava tourist info, Liela 6, tel. (30), 23 874.