Latvia Attractions

Latvia Tourist Attractions

Latvia is a country marked with sprawling dense forests and wide beaches. It’s located on the Baltic Sea between Estonia and Lithuania. Riga is the capital city of latvia, and it's well noted for its art and architecture. Latvia is on the list of being among the world’s greeniest places. There are many Latvia Attractions to see, thanks to its wealth of attractions and activities. To know and understand the amazing culture, one has to visit open-air museums, parks, waterways and reserves.

Riga, the city and capital of Latvia is small, green and beautifully adorned with rich architecture and culture. It's one of the largest cities in the Baltic States which account for one-third of the population of Latvia. It's home to one of Latvia's tourist attractions, Ventas Rumba, the well known and widest waterfall in Europe and an old centre, Vecriga, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was discovered by German Christians at the time when most of the European countries were pagan population. Latvia became a bishop's seat and in time, Christianity prevailed all over Latvia. The country however never had its rosy years, there were always conflicts, and in the year 1918, they received their independence.

Riga is located on the Baltic Sea at the rim of the River Daugava. It's considered to be a cultural home and houses many museums and concert halls. It has an enthralling history to discover as the city has lived under Polish, Swedish, Russian Empire, Soviet and Nazi rule. Far from just being famous for its architectural sites and attractions, there's also a youthful liveliness that shines through its upbeat nightlife, eating spots and thriving scenes. The city's old town has many shops and restaurants with entertaining bars and nightclubs.

Best Places to Visit in Latvia

1. Riga

It's one of the major cities in the Baltic. The place blends in so well with its old tradition and modern lifestyle. The city is full of surprises on every road and corner as there's so much that meets the eye. A lot of footprints has been left on this city which makes it European's most exciting metropolis. The Old town is mingled with Gothic spires, cobblestones and breathtaking river views. It offers an adventure for taste buds with its great value bistros and cafes. The city is big enough to keep you busy for days with day trips to see Riga Attraction and Latvian Attraction.

 

Riga

2. Jurmala

If sandy beaches, architecture, food, pine trees are one's ideal part of the holiday. Then, this magnificent playground is a resort like no other place in Europe. It's just 30 minutes away from Riga and has been a beloved seaside destination for tourist over many years. The place was originally a cluster of fishing villages, and it looks like the old folks have left a traditional architectural blend to few contemporary to the place. To add more beauty to this enchanting city, nature captures the place with its fresh air, pendent pine trees and a clean environment to give the tourist a state of tranquility.

 

Jurmala

3. Gauja National Park & Zvartes Rock

The Gauja National Park is one of the first national parks in Latvia. The park features different forms of landforms, sandstone, natural springs, mesmerising views, biological diversity, historical and cultural monuments. There are many caves to explore in every corner of the park, and out of all the exploration, the Zvartes Rock is a must see sight! The rock is the most popular sandstone rock named after a plantation which was torn down after WWII. It has a visitor centre which is an excellent place for recreation and leisure activities. There are quite a few good picnic areas to be enjoyed by the whole family or friends.

 

Gauja National Park

4. Cesis Castle

The history of Cesis can be traced back to 800 years ago as its interlinked with Cesis Castle around the 13th century. It is so well preserved that its beauty and grace stand out from any other castle of the period. The castle is appealing to look at the day and night time, especially when one climbs to the top tower with a candle in their hand. One can enjoy the night view of the old town, castle parks and ruins of the castle. That's up against the castle, but as one descends down the castle, there's a good look one gets to see at the castle prison.

Cesis Castle

5. Sigulda

Sigulda gives one a glimpse into the life of a medieval Europe. Its landscapes have inspired many poets, painters and lovers and many still continue to embrace its beauty. The stunning scenery and history are a treat for the eyes in all seasons especially the autumn time. The forested valley of Sigulda is imbued in myths and legends. There are a number of attractions to visit and to name a few the Old Sigulda Castle, Tarzan's Adventure Park, The Aerodium and many others. From the feeling of poetic ruins of the castles up to get a feel of adrenaline heaven, or even discover Latvian spirituality, one can enjoy a memorable journey!

Sigulda

6. Jelgava

Jelgava is called the Jewel of Zemgale. The hospitable city is one of the oldest cities in Latvia. It is only 40 km away from Riga who is excellent at welcoming and receiving guests. It's also one of Latvia tourist spots. There's a cultural enrichment with the growing years and is willing to show off its gems to the world. It is rich in historical, cultural, architectural, natural monuments as well as contemporary and recreational facilities. For many centuries, it has been an educational, economic, and cultural centre of Zemgale. The culture and art industry is found at every corner of the street, but it also has active tourism on hikes, tours, adventure activities.

Jelgava

7. Daugavpils

As the city is located on the river bank of Daugava, therefore it derived its name. The town is only 232 km away from Riga. It is separated by the river and is surrounded by beautiful landscape and woods.  With so many footprints left in the country, the town has transformed from antiquity to modernity. The history has left its mark in the diversified architecture and culture of the place. Tourist flock to see the exquisite art centres, museums, the fortress along with an adventurous journey to a zoo, event and other activities.

 

Daugavpils

8. Ventspils

The Latvian city port is a bustling city of beaches, public art and maritime heritage. It is the city's oldest port carrying an aroma of the sea all over town and one of the best of Latvia tourist places. There are interactive visitor shows and tours much in tune with today. Ventspils' tourism has progressed in leaps and bounds making this industrial town a refined soul. There are interesting monuments to visit as the city is smeared with the expression of the Cow Parades. The city has also devoted heavily on art bringing colour and joy to the streets of the town.

 

Ventspils

9. Rundale Palace and Museum

The Rundale Palace and Museum was built for the Dukes of Courland by Italian painters and Berlin sculptors. It is set in the south of Latvia, Pilsrundāle, 12 km west of Bauska. The interior decorations of the palace were inscribed between the years 1765-1768. The Palace has the Great Gallery, the White Hall, Gilt Hall which are all open to the public. The Rundale Palace Museum houses the history of Latvia and displayed though arranged exhibitions, collections and publications. It also has a French-style park with fountains, rose garden, green theatre and parterres that manifest the triumph of art over nature.

 

Rundale Palace and Museum

10. Kemeri National Park

Kemeri National Park is the third largest national park in the country occupied mostly by mires and forest. The park is known for its Kemeri bog, biological diversity, therapeutic mud and mineral waters. It is home to fens, moss and transitional bogs due to its wetlands. One can go on a walk along nature, see the bogs, cycle along the Green Dune or even spend birdwatch at the Meadows and Lakes. In the middle of the forest, the meadows are seen with Polski horses and Heck cows grazing in the greens. The Park also has its own resort along with a forest house which is just 2 km away from Kameri.

Kemeri National Park

11. Kuldiga

A town set in the past with the sun still high in the sky. The sleepy and romantic town is wandered more by curious tourists for its architect, waterfall and cobblestones. It's one of the Riga tourist places because the aura of the people is full of passion and grace in their hearts. One can explore the charming streets and the colourful little houses of the local people. The town is alive with traditional markets on handlooms with the craft of weaving. The place even has a school that teaches the craft of weaving and thus their traditional clothes and culture is being kept alive.

 

Kuldiga

12. Liepaja

The port city is set on Latvia's coast on the Baltic Sea. It's a pristine town with an artistic soul offering good fresh local seafood on every menu. The sea-run all over the place and has its individual streak at the Blue Flag Beach. Even if it’s a port, there's elegance reflected in its architecture, timber houses, grand old warehouses up to its luxury hotels. The art style Art Nouveau has a strong influence on many of its architectural buildings. The town also hosts various festivals, events throughout the year attracting many visitors to see the culture.

 

Liepaja

13. Cape Kolka

The cape is enchantingly desolate and hauntingly beautiful. It is surrounded by the Irbe Strait on the shores of Latvia. The memory captures the beauty of this place during the migration season when thousands of birds fly over the cape. It's a heavenly sight that one would ever get to experience. Its paradise for beach lovers.

 

Cape Kolka

14. Turaida Museum Reserve

The name Turaida means 'God's Garden' is a heavenly place with western and southern towers. There are many castles, church, garden, hills and ancillary building that are situated in the area of the museum. The museum reserve is rich with its architectural, historical, archaeological and artistic monuments that say a story about the historical events that happen over thousands of years. While at the museum reserve, one can visit the Turaida stone castle, Turaida church, Turaida memorial etc. Visitors also take part in the summer solstice, one of the annual festivals of Latvia at the Folk song Hill which takes place on 21 June every year.

 

Turaida Museum Reserve

15. Latgale

The land of blue lakes as it has the largest number of lakes that are congregated in the area between Kraslava, Angola and Ezernieki. Latgale is the only place that speaks its own language with Catholicism being a dominant religion. The nature trails have been created along the enthralling banks that lead visitors to many of the Latvian castles. Under the hill of Latgale, there's an abundance of materials for craftsmen and artists. And, Latgale is traditionally known for its pottery works such as pots, jugs, woollen stuff, baskets, boxes created by the artistic craftsmen and artist of Latvia.

 

Latgale

16. Razna National Park & Razna Lake

Razna National Park was created for protecting the natural values of Razna Lake and its surrounding areas. There are many lakes around the park, but one of the most important lakes in this area is Razna Lake. It is the second largest lake in Latvia and has facilitated recreational areas. As the lake has sandy beaches and its rich with fishes, it is also known as the Latgale Sea. Fishing is a popular activity here, and it’s a special interest that people even fish under ice in winter. The amazing landscape, historical, religious and cultural traditions are the special charm of the region.

 

Razna National Park

17. Mezotne Palace

For lovers of classicism art and architecture, there's no better example than the Mezotne Palace! Its landscape is carefully planned in harmony with the palace by boasting the beautiful park, the auxiliary buildings and the awestruck surroundings over the river. The beauty of the palace is made in an English style landscape park including a summer park, winter park and a parade yard. The place is always more enchanting to see from above in a hot air balloon, it is like scanning the whole palace in real. The palace is also a home for hotels, bars, restaurants, pub and they undertake many other services as well.

 

Mezotne Palace

18. Aluksne

The English Neogothic castle was built from 1859-1863 directed by Alexander von Vietinghoff. Located in the northeast of Latvia near the borders of Russia and Estonia. Behind the castle, there was an ice cellar and around the cellar, and to its left corner, there's a coat of arms of Alexander's family. When he moved to Germany, he took all of the artwork and parts of the interiors with him. The castle is now a museum known by the name, Aluksne museum and nature museum. The museum has various exhibitions and expositions such as sculptures, Leo Kokle story, Marienburg Fortress and many others.

 

Aluksne

19. Bauska Castle

Bauska is a town in the southern region of Latvia situated at the conjunction of the shallow rivers Memele and Musa. The castle consists of two sections: Livonian Order Castle, it is built in the 15th century and it is one of the oldest. The other is the residence of the Dukes of Courland, it was a more recent part of the rag built in the 16th century. There's a lot to explore in the castle interiors and its historical exhibits. Visitors can discover the collection of the castle' cannons, the Great tower or even go on a themed excursion or participate in activities and programs hosted in the museum.

 

Bauska Castle

20. Courland

Courland is a historically distinct area of west and southwest Latvia bounded by the Baltic Sea and the Dvina River. There were major inhabitants of the Jews living here in the early 20th century, and they played an important role in the creation of wealth and the rich cultural life of the area. Most of the architecture was done by the Germans in most cities and towns. As of now, it is sparsely populated with strong ethnic Latvian population. While in Courland, there are many places to visit, such as the Cape Kolka, Šlokenbeka Castle, Town of Talsi, Venta waterfall, Town of Ventspils, Venta rapid, Dundaga castle and many others.

 

Courland

Top Places to Visit in Riga

Riga is a city where visitors can get some serious value for money for the things to do while they are in the city. Most of the major sites are located in the Old town with many cafes and restaurants. It's easy to spend the day here and explore places without the trouble of venturing outside for lunch or dinner. There's more than just sightseeing at Riga, there's a great selection of historical buildings, spas & wellness and markets. While here, there are so many things to do in Riga that one can never run out of things to explore. It's probably the most vibrant city in the Baltic as it’s a wonderful place full of life and entertainments. There are many Riga Tourist Attractions to see and explore! To mention a few places to visit in Riga, the Latvian Ethnographic open-air museum is a great chance to get familiar with tradition and history of Latvia. As for animal lovers, the Riga zoo is very popular to see different animals. Amongst everything, there are many monuments, historical places, museums, the cathedral in Riga which shows the dominant architectural beauty of the place. Every building in the street of Riga is so well crafted and architecturally assembled by the craftsmen of this place.

1. Riga Town Hall Square

During World War II, the town hall was completely destroyed along with its historical buildings. But, it’s been completely re-built and the guest is welcome to see the newly constructed Town hall and other buildings. It was a tradition to lit the Christmas tree at the town hall, and thus memorial planks can be seen here where new Christmas trees are decorated everywhere. Everything is worth seeing in the town hall and its easy access by foot. Sitting by the town hall can give a better look of all the beautiful building surrounding the place.

 

Riga Town Hall Square

2. Riga Old Town

Riga's Old Town is filled with charming cafes, medieval churches and mesmerising art and culture of Latvia. It's in the heart of the city and has become one of the top destinations for tourists. Its a popular entertainment district with an abundance of architectural gems and cobblestone streets. This place gives tourists a vice to feel and is relaxed, entertained at the crafts houses, John's courtyard, churches of the old town, art galleries, museums, music clubs and many others! From artistic architecture, sacral structures to world-class museums, there are many things to see and do in this UNESCO World Heritage site.

 

Riga Old Town

3. St. Peter Church, Riga

St Peter’s Church in Riga’s tallest church. The church boasts a breathtaking view of the modern part of the old town, Bay, river and the port. The tall Gothic tower was built in the Baroque style, with the big domes and designs. The tower clock and bells had just one hand showing hours. At the church, one can enjoy art exhibitions, concerts, the art of ancient builders, the history of the church on stands and screens. See the original statue and get to know the skill of the ancient builders. Examine the interior designs of the wooden epitaphs, altar and the renovated stone works.

Saint Peters Church Riga

4. Riga Dome Cathedral or Saint Mary’s Dome Cathedral

The cathedral is the centre place for the Archbishop of the Church as its one of the oldest sacred buildings in Latvia. In the year 1211, only the cathedral was laid, but later on, a monastery and cathedral school were built next to it. It's one of the tallest towers of the time with 140 meters in height. The building has several combine features of early Gothic, Romanesque, art nouveau and baroque styles. There is a museum of the history of Riga, cloister and concert halls.

Riga Dome Cathedral

5. Riga Motor Museum

The museum houses the largest and wide array of antique motor vehicles in the Baltic. There is an exhibition at the museum that shows the story created for antique vehicles, famous people and the most historical events that happen in the automotive world. There are innumerable things to see at the museum which will draw the attention of any visitor. Visit the museum and see a replica of the car Benz Patent Motorwagen, Kremlin collection or the Soviet cars, a collection of specialized and military machinery. There is a noteworthy collection of racing cars as well as recording breaking motors to see at the museum!

Riga Motor Museum

6. The Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia

The Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia is one of the oldest open-air museums in Europe. It is located on the lightly wooded banks of Lake Jugla, and about 30 minutes from Riga. The museum house all antique and rare items as it began its collection before the war, and still many of its items are still in very good condition. All four of Latvia's provinces are displayed in the building along with 118 historical buildings. The museum offers the historical region of the different culture of the people of Latvia, the traditional Latvian farmsteads, dwelling houses, historical churches and many others.

 

The Ethnographic Open Air Museum of Latvia

7. Riga Zoo

More than 400 species of wild animals can be found in the zoo. One can visit the wild animals and enjoy an adventurous journey with these animals from all over the world which some are for more than 100 years old. There are really cute animals of different colour and shapes which are cuddly and pet of the Latvian farmstead at the zoo. Recently, an additional building has been constructed with few animal enclosures such as the Giraffe House, the rural farmstead, the tropical house, the tiger house and other enclosures. Visitors get acquainted with the zoo inhabitants and marvel at many carnivorous animals.

Riga Zoo

8. Latvian National Theatre Riga

The Latvian National Theatre Riga is one of the main and oldest theatres in Riga. It also has strong historical importance as Latvian's independence was first proclaimed at this place. Located at the centre of Riga, and received its name upon the restoration of its independence later on. The building is a combination of style, elements of Art Nouveau and Baroque which was very popular in Riga at that time. The great hall can accommodate 850 people and 100 people at the Actor's hall. The theatre display shows for spectators in accordance with its main task.

Latvian National Theatre Riga

9. Latvian National Opera and Ballet

The Latvian National Opera and Ballet is the national opera of Latvia. Visitors to this opera can expect to see world-class classic opera, modern opera, children's opera-ballet performances and Latvian's original productions. More than anything else, the fan's are more excited to see their Latvian opera stars returning home and performing it at their national opera. There's a tour in the opera building which shows visitors the 19th-century architecture, vibrant history etc. The opera wants to maintain its classical and romantic opera, but they are also open to a contemporary form of performances.

 

National Opera and Ballet

10. Latvian National Museum of Art

The museum has more than 52,000 works of art by Baltic and Russian artist and sculptors. It is one of the largest art museums in Latvia and offers temporary exhibitions. Visitors can take interesting educational programmes. There are 19-20th-century Latvian art exhibitions which include the masterpieces of Janis Rozentals, Purvitis and Valters. Recently, there's a new exhibit located underground of the museum offering temporary exhibitions only. The roof of the museum always offers a surprise for the visitors as it is an eagle point to see the beauty of Riga.

 

Latvian National Museum of Art

11. Taka Spa

It’s a hidden gem located in Riga. The moment one steps into this place, there's nothing more to expect, the only relaxation kicks in immediately. On the second floor, the couple treatment is happening which is in a much bigger room, with curtains around the massage beds preparing customers for the treatment in private. It is delightfully cosy with a constant smell of wood and faint aromatic oils that brings a feeling of paradise. And since it is directly under the roof, there is a large window that lights up the room. There are several treatments here, from aroma oil to hot stone massages.

 

Taka Spa Riga

12. Riga’s Art Nouveau Center

The Rigas Art Nouveau Center is the only place that value and pays its respects of the historical heritage of Art Nouveau. It offers one into discovering the authentic environment of the movement and savouring it in an early 20th-century apartment in Riga. Its interiors were created in 1903 so that visitors could see the beauty of Art Nouveau at its fullest from home planning right up to the structure of its doors and windows. One of the central room is the drawing room where it is decorated with flowery patterns, lavish lounge. Visitors can also visit the other room and see the structure and style of Art Nouveau's influence at the time.

 

Rigas Art Nouveau Center

13. Nativity of Christ Cathedral, Riga

Nativity of Christ Cathedral is the oldest and largest Orthodox Church in Riga which has withstood time and the Soviet era. It was a planetarium and restaurant, but it's restored its place to being a sacred building where religious ceremonies are being performed on a regular basis. The cathedral is a symbol of stability which can be visited by anyone in need of peace and sanctuary. The construction took place in the year 1876, and its official opening was in 1884. The interior of the cathedral is rich and of high artistic value. It has an outstanding collection of antique and valuable icons painted by the famous Russian Painter Vasily Vereshchagin.

 

Nativity of Christ Cathedral Riga

14. Riga’s Central Market

One of Europe's largest market and notable structures from the 20th century. Taking a stroll along the market is pretty exciting for visitors from testing pickled cucumber to trying freshly smoked eel. It remains to be in the heart of Riga and gives a diverse shopping experience, lively conversation, personal touch, storytelling with the vendors. There's no other Attraction in Riga Sights like this as it is unique not only with its stalls and items but its pavilion, old warehouses which have been turned into entertainment hubs.

 

Rigas Central Market

15. Laima Clock, Riga

The Laima Clock is located in the centre of Riga between old town and the commercial centre. It’s a traditional meeting spot for the people of this place and there are always people standing around this clock. It was first installed in the 14th century and was seen as a sign of prosperity. The main purpose of the clock was to remind people of the time they had to go to work and be on time. Laima was named in 1936 which means happiness in Latvia. The clock is not just of historical importance but it’s also a popular sovereign in Riga. To be in Riga, and not meet someone at the Laima clock would not be worth a trip or a journey.

 

Laima Clock Riga

16. National Library of Latvia, Riga

It is monumental, modern, beautiful and perfectly functional. This is not just a library or scientific institution but hosts a wide variety of cultural and educational events. The interior design is classic with breathtaking elements of style. One can take a nice walk across the Akmens Bridge as it is located right in the centre. As for the atrium, it is really impressive and a visitor card is available at the counter for one to explore the whole library. The 7th floor of the building offers a beautiful view, although the windows can't be opened. There is also a viewing platform on the 11/12th floor, and it is recommended to only go with a guide.

 

National Library of Latvia Riga

 



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