When people think of Europe, the tiny country of Latvia is typically not one of the first to spring to mind. After being buried beneath the Soviet Union’s huge iron no-go blanket until 1991, Latvia is only now being found by increasing tourist groups who are astonished by the Baltic country’s attractions.
Riga, Latvia’s vibrant capital and ancient city, is a fantastic location to visit. It is home to the lovely Old Town, which is full of magnificent Jugendstil architecture, winding cobblestoned streets, and numerous steeples, while also remaining a modern, metropolitan city with a vibrant nightlife and a strong economic impulse, to the point where the rise of modern buildings is threatening the Old Town’s World Heritage listing. Riga’s atmosphere attracts many visitors, maybe owing to the stark contrasts between old and modern, or perhaps due to the apparently seamless blending of Latvian and Russian cultures, given that almost half of the city’s residents are Russian. Wandering around the city’s many big parks, walking through historic districts, and relaxing in one of the cafés or outdoor terraces are all good ways to acquire a feel for the place. Riga Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, and the bustling Central Market are among the city’s must-see attractions.
Despite the fact that Riga is by far the most popular tourist attraction in the country, there are a number of other locations worth visiting. Sigulda, located 40 kilometers east of the city, is home to a number of castles, including the beautifully restored Turaida Castle and the deep Gtmanis Cave. The town, which is situated in the Gauja valley, has been dubbed “Switzerland of Latvia” due to its high cliffs and banks. It’s renowned for its winter sports possibilities and offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the beautiful natural surroundings.
Because of the continuous sea breeze, the seaside city of Liepja is renowned among Latvians as “the place where the wind was born.” It features a lovely beach and a beautiful town center with a vibrant mix of architectural styles ranging from timber homes and large parks to Art Nouveau and concrete Soviet-era apartment complexes. The Karosta neighborhood of Liepja was constructed as a naval station for Tsar Alexander III in the late 1800s and was subsequently utilized by the Soviet Baltic Fleet. Its beautiful coastal views, old military jail, and fortress have all been maintained, making it a popular tourist destination.
Csis is one of the oldest towns in the nation. The city center is beautiful, with cobblestoned lanes, old wooden houses, and a magnificent castle complex.
As part of Venta Rapid, Kuldga is home to Europe’s largest waterfall ledge. Its size, although being just two meters tall, gives it a pleasant sight. It is worth seeing, along with the old town.
The enormous white Basilica of the Assumption is located 40 kilometers north-east of Daugavpils, Latvia’s second biggest city. It is Latvia’s most significant Catholic church, and it is also known locally as Aglona Basilica, after the hamlet in which it is situated.
Rundle and Jelgava palaces are two beautiful baroque attractions in Jelgava.
Around Latvia, there are several fascinating ancient castles that have been preserved.