During the summer months in Latvia, a lot of people go to the country to take advantage of the wonderful beaches and crystalline waters. However, there are also a few cities in the country that you should consider visiting. These are Riga, Ventspils, Sigulda, Liepaja, and Cape Kolka.
Located in Northern Europe, Riga is the capital city of Latvia. Its historic centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
In the old city, there are a large number of medieval and art nouveau buildings. The Old City was destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt. Most of the buildings are still in good shape.
The Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ is a gold-domed church built in the 19th century when Latvia was under the Russian Empire. The building has been restored and is now used for worship.
The Aglona Basilica is one of the most important religious landmarks in Latvia. It is recognized by the Holy See as an international shrine. The basilica has a beautiful interior and it is a good example of late Baroque architecture.
Riga's Central Market is one of the largest markets in Eastern Europe. It is located in pavilions once used by German Zeppelin hangars. It is a great place to buy local delicacies and hand-crafted souvenirs.
Riga is a popular holiday destination for Baltics residents. It has plenty of attractions to keep tourists busy, including medieval monuments and a number of cafes and bars.
The most interesting sights in Riga are found in the Old City. The best way to see them is to wander the cobbled streets and medieval buildings.
A popular activity in Riga is to take an Art Nouveau walking tour. Around 40% of the central part of the city was built in the art nouveau style. The city has the most buildings of this type in the world.
Located in the central part of Latvia, Sigulda is a beautiful town with a rich history and impressive natural surroundings. The town is situated on the edge of Gauja National Park, and is surrounded by a dense forest. Sigulda is a great base for outdoor activities and adventure. Known as the Switzerland of Latvia, Sigulda boasts a number of natural and manmade attractions.
The most impressive is the Gauja National Park, the oldest national park in Latvia. The park is home to rare flora and fauna, and provides an excellent base for an adventure or nature-filled day.
Another impressive sight is the Gutman's Cave, a grotto type cave that is covered with inscriptions dating back to the 17th century. This cave is also one of the largest in the Baltic States.
Sigulda is also home to one of Latvia's prestigious hospitals. The hospital is used by many foreign countries.
The Sigulda Aerial Cableway is a great way to enjoy panoramic views of the Gauja Valley. The cable car connects both sides of the valley. The cable car has been around since the late 1960s, and is a great way to get a bird's eye view of Sigulda.
Sigulda also boasts a number of historical sites. The town is filled with ruins from the Livonian castles, and the ruins of the Sigulda Castle are impressive. This castle was destroyed during the Great Northern War, but was recently restored.
Located on the west coast of Latvia, Ventspils is one of the most beautiful cities in the Baltics. This port city offers beautiful beaches, green parks, and a wide variety of family attractions. In addition, Ventspils is one of the busiest ports in the Baltic region.
Located on the Venta river, Ventspils is a city that is full of history. The Old Town is the heart of the city. It was built in the 1890s-1910s. During the Middle Ages, the Livonian Order ruled Ventspils. They built a castle in the center.
In the 19th century, the city expanded west. Elaborate wooden and brick towered villas were constructed. Today, some of these villas are restored as hotels.
One of the main attractions in Ventspils is the castle. The interior is still very well preserved. The castle has a unique museum. The castle also features an original fountain.
Ventspils also features an open air seaside museum. This museum pays tribute to the history of port in Latvia. Visitors can take a ride on a narrow-gauge railway through the park in summer. The museum also has a children's play zone.
Ventspils has a beach that is certified with the Blue Flag. This beach is one of the most popular leisure spots on the Baltic Sea coast. It attracts thousands of locals and visitors each year.
Another place to visit in Ventspils is the Seaside Park. The park has several attractions to enjoy, including a water park, a children's play area, and a two lookout towers. There are also dozens of entertainment establishments.
Liepaja is a windy, coastal city on the west coast of Latvia. It is the third largest city in Latvia and the only city with an airport. The city is also home to the country's biggest wind farm.
The city's name means "The Wind is Born." This is because of the city's windy climate. There are also a number of beaches in Liepaja, including the widest sandy beach in Latvia. It is a popular place for windsurfers and kitesurfers.
The city has many interesting buildings. The pastnieka maja building, for example, was built in 1880. It was reconstructed in 2000 and won the annual architecture award of Liepaja for its interior. The city also has a number of medieval churches and age-old wooden houses.
Liepaja is also home to the world's largest manual organ. The Sveta Trisvienibas Catedrale features 131 separate parts. It is open at unpredictable times, and has excellent views from the top of the tower.
The town is also home to the Karosta Prison Museum, which was a military prison during the Nazi regime. Visitors can also spend the night in the prison cells.
The Seaside Park is another major tourist attraction in Liepaja. It features beautiful buildings and a nice white sand beach.
The city also has a number of interesting parks. There is a Hollywood-style Walk of Fame, which is just a couple of minutes' walk away.
Located in north-west Latvia, Cape Kolka is a natural barrier at the meeting of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga. It's considered the most pronounced horn on Latvia's shores. It's a unique destination that allows you to witness nature in all its glory.
Cape Kolka is a beautiful area that's perfect for nature lovers and beach lovers alike. It's also an ideal location to watch bird migration. The area is home to dozens of thousands of birds that fly over the Cape during spring migration.
Cape Kolka is also home to a number of historical sites. The Aglona Basilica is a church that's considered to be one of the most important religious landmarks in Latvia. The altarpiece painted by Latvian artist Helena Heinrihsone adds a bright touch to the church's interior.
Another site to see is the Seaside Open-Air Museum, which showcases traditional fishing huts. There's also a boat cemetery that houses a number of old fishing boats. Located nearby is the Kolka Lighthouse, which was first mentioned in historical documents in 1532. The lighthouse's tower was built in St. Petersburg, and was eventually transported to Kolka by ship.
You can also canoe or kayak on the Daugava River. The river offers great scenery, as well as a memorable experience. You can also take a ride on a cable car to view the Gauja River Valley.
There are several old Livonian settlements near Cape Kolka, including Vaide, Saunags, and Kosrags. These historic villages were once the largest settlements of Livonians.
Vidzeme Stony Coast
Stunning beaches are one of the best features of Latvia. There are over 500 kilometers of sandy beaches, steep cliffs, and fishing villages on the Gulf of Riga. The beaches are largely untouched and unspoiled. The coastline is also home to unique protected wetlands. Some beaches in Latvia have raised bogs stretching into the coast.
The wild west coast of Latvia is bordered by the Baltic sea and is home to numerous sandy beaches and dunes. The dunes are up to 20 meters high and can be seen from the sea. The wild west coast is also home to lake Engure, where there are artificial islands for wild animals. It is also home to the famous randu meadows, considered one of the best bird migration areas in Latvia.
There are many protected areas on the coastline of Latvia. The beaches in Latvia are largely unspoilt. However, they can be crowded during the summer. For this reason, it is important to check the weather forecast before heading to the beaches. There are several small ports for sailboats. If you plan to visit the beaches during the autumn, some accommodation may be closed.
The beach at Pavilosta is a popular place for locals. It features the largest natural grey dunes in the Baltic States. It also boasts a good kitesurfing scene. The beach is not suitable for swimming.
Saulkrasti resort is one of the most secluded spots on Vidzeme's beach. It offers extensive beaches of light quartz sand. It also has some good guesthouses and accommodation. It is a great place for bird watching and day hikes.