Things to Do In Latvia

Latvia, nestled along the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, offers a captivating blend of medieval charm, breathtaking natural beauty, and modern urban energy. From exploring the cobbled streets of Riga’s Old Town to hiking through the Gauja National Park’s pristine forests, here are some top things to do in Latvia:

Step into a fairytale in Riga’s Old Town:

  • Wander through the labyrinthine streets: Get lost in the charming maze of cobbled streets and colorful houses in Riga’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the intricate architecture, adorned with Gothic facades and ornate details.
  • Explore the House of the Black Heads: Witness the grandeur of the House of the Black Heads, a historic guildhall adorned with whimsical carvings and sculptures. Climb the tower for panoramic views of the city.
  • Visit St. Peter’s Church: Ascend the 294 steps to the top of St. Peter’s Church, the tallest church in Riga, and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the city and the Daugava River.
  • Relax in the Central Market: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Central Market, housed in former Zeppelin hangars. Browse through stalls overflowing with fresh produce, local crafts, and souvenirs.

Escape to nature in Gauja National Park:

  • Hike through the scenic trails: Immerse yourself in the lush forests and rolling hills of Gauja National Park, the largest national park in Latvia. Hike along the Gauja River, explore caves hidden within sandstone cliffs, and discover hidden waterfalls.
  • Visit Turaida Castle: Step back in time at Turaida Castle, a 13th-century medieval fortress offering stunning views of the Gauja River valley. Explore the castle museum and wander through the picturesque gardens.
  • Take a cable car ride: Enjoy a thrilling ride on the Sigulda cable car, soaring over the Gauja River valley and offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Explore Gutmana Caves: Discover the mysterious Gutmana Caves, the largest sandstone caves in Latvia. Witness ancient carvings and inscriptions on the cave walls, and learn about the fascinating legends surrounding the caves.

Venture beyond Riga:

  • Discover Cēsis: Explore the charming town of Cēsis, home to the medieval Cēsis Castle and the picturesque Gauja National Park. Visit the Valmiera Waterfall, the widest waterfall in Latvia, and enjoy stunning nature walks.
  • Relax on Jūrmala beach: Bask in the sun on the sandy beaches of Jūrmala, a popular seaside resort town. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports in the Baltic Sea.
  • Explore Liepāja: Immerse yourself in the artistic and cultural atmosphere of Liepāja, known for its Art Nouveau architecture, vibrant street art, and underground music scene.
  • Visit Kemeri National Park: Discover the unique ecosystem of Kemeri National Park, known for its bog forests and mineral springs. Take a walk on the wooden boardwalk through the swamp, and relax in the therapeutic mud baths.

Experience Latvian culture:

  • Taste traditional Latvian food: Indulge in hearty Latvian dishes like pelmeni (dumplings), karbonade (fried pork), and sklandrausis (rye bread porridge). Don’t forget to try Kvass, a traditional fermented bread drink.
  • Attend a song and dance festival: Immerse yourself in the vibrant Latvian folk culture by attending a song and dance festival, a national tradition held every four years. Witness hundreds of singers and dancers in traditional costumes performing for enthusiastic audiences.
  • Learn some Latvian phrases: Make an effort to learn a few basic Latvian phrases, such as “Sveiki” (hello) and “Paldies” (thank you). Locals will appreciate your attempt to speak their language.