Places to Visit in Latvia

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

If you like beaches and forests, you'll love all the places to visit in Latviainfo-icon. A Baltic country, situated between Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia is a member of the European Union and Schengen area. The history of Latvia began around 3 000 BC when predecessors of Latvian people found the attractive coast of the Baltic Sea and settled here. Throughout its history, Latvia was desired by Swedish, Polish, Russians, and Livonian. It became independent in 1918. A Soviet-era followed the World War II in a similar manner with its neighbors. In 1991 the independency was restored and ever since Latvia has been growing and rediscovering the air of peace and freedom.

Riga, the Capital of Latvia

Places to visit in Latvia

The list of places to visit in Latvia begins naturally with its capital, Riga. Riga is the biggest city not only in Latvia but in all Baltic countries. With a pedestrian Old Town and well preserved medieval buildings, Riga is an attractive tourist center. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, mainly for its Art Nouveau architecture. Riga is also famous for its wooden buildings, built in the 19th century.

Want to know more about Latvians? Check this out!

The city was founded in the 13th century. Riga Cathedral and St. Peter's Church are the legacies of that time. With its Gothic spire, St. Peter's Church dominates the city. From the 130 meters tall tower you can have a breathtaking panorama of Riga. For a detailed exploration of the capital, be sure to book some affordable Riga tours that will help you understand more about Latvia's past and culture.

Thins to Do in Riga

There are a lot of museums and culture related places to visit in Riga. But most impressive is the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum. It is situated on the shores of Juglas Lake and offers a complete journey to Latvian traditions and lifestyle. Many events are organized here, including folk concerts and craft fairs. It is the best way to get to know the locals.

Another good place to understand local lifestyle is the central market. All the goods in Latvian cuisine can be found here. Sausages, smoked fish, all kinds of bread and cheese, local beer, bistros, and cafes.

Riga is a paradise for a traveler. Good food, great museums, stunning architecture, and stories to tell a lifetime. For sure this is one of the very good places to visit in Latvia.

Jurmala, the Baltic’s White Sand Beach

Jurmala beach

Situated just 25 km away from Riga, Jurmala has been a well known seaside resort for more than 200 years. Its white sand beaches cover more than 33 km. Being a holiday resort, in Jurmala, you can find many wooden Art Nouveau houses. Some of them hosted famous people from the Soviet officials like Leonid Breznev and Nikita Khrushchev.

Besides beaches, pine forests, and fancy houses, you can always visit Kemeri Natural Park. This is a place for animals lovers (especially birds), but also a place for exploring sulfur springs.

If you are just looking for relaxation, take a break and visit a spa center. The luxury offering of Jurmala includes mineral waters, mud bath, massages, pools, beauty treatments, and sauna.

Karosta Prison

Karosta prison

Well, this is one of the strange places to visit in Latvia, but when you are a tourist you are curious and adventurous and nothing seems too much. Karosta Prison is the only military prison in the world opened for tourists. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century and was used as a disciplinary penalty place until 1997. Today, it is a museum and a… hotel. Yes, you can sleep here, behind bars, to experience the life in prison. Besides guided tours and sleepovers, at Karosta Prison you can take part in an interactive show featuring the history of the place or play an Escape game. There are even a buffet and a souvenir shop.

Jaunpils Castle

Jaunpils Castle

If you are not such a big fan of haunted places, Jaunpils Castle offers you a night for a prince. The castle was built in the 14th century and at first, belonged to the Livonian Order. Since the 16th century until 1920, the castle had been the property of Baltic German family von der Recke. Later on, the Soviets installed here a cattle-breeding experimental station, so the interiors of today have a strong Soviet feeling.

Nevertheless, Jaunpils Castle is today a museum and a hotel. Apartments and rooms are available. The atmosphere is completed by a medieval pub and a hall for feasts. A Carnival is hosted here every year on the 1st of January.

Places to visit in Latvia that will amaze you

On the list of places to visit in Latvia, there are many historical sites, but also beautiful natural landmarks. People and nature come together harmonious here. Latvians seem to have a good taste in architecture and a rare sense of beauty. The country is welcoming tourists, offering luxury resorts and wildlife experiences. You can sleep like a prince or like a prisoner. You can take sunbathes or mud baths. Latvia offers so many options that it is hard to take a decision.

Monica Radulescu a freelance writer for
Travelling is a joy. It's a way to become a better and wiser person. Mountain paths and road trips are my favourites.