This time we visited Latvia, or rather the three most famous areas of the country - Riga, Jurmala and Sigulda with its castles, cave and the Turaida Museum-reserve. I must admit that from Latvia, especially its capital city of Riga, we did not expect. Riga is a beautiful city with a magical historical centre, that is the reason why Riga is called the pearl of the Baltic States.
Riga is truly a beautiful city, it sinks into the soul in the first day. The town is an extensive old town, where a huge number of monuments of architecture and history, it's narrow winding streets, gingerbread houses, gorgeous churches and cathedrals, cobblestone streets and wide squares. In the historical centre of Riga that neither the building, the original monument of architecture, whatever the area, the splendor of medieval history.
Planning your trip to Latvia, the main place of our stay was Riga, from Riga we drove through the surrounding towns of Jurmala and Sigulda, also visited nature reserve. All these places are located near to Riga, get on the train or bus.
We went to Riga and thought, well, as always, go around all the important places in one day, and then we just wander the streets. However, this did not happen. To get around old town and look in each of its beautiful corners, you need at least a couple of days.
In addition, the city has a very convenient infrastructure and transport connections with neighboring cities. The railway stations are located in the heart of the city, walking distance from the center. Also in the center, walking distance from each other, are located all the main attractions of Riga, the Central market, shops and shopping centers. So to stay in Riga best in the centre of the old town, so everything will be in walking distance.
Visiting Latvia (Riga, Jurmala, Sigulda), we have identified 8 key reasons why you should come to Riga and Latvia in General. In this article, we often focus on Riga, but the article refers to the whole of Latvia, Riga is just the largest city in the country, also its capital, therefore, it seems that no one has visit to Latvia is not complete without the arrival in Riga.
8 reasons to visit Latvia
1. No language barrier and the friendliness of the Latvians
In Latvia, even locals of all ages speak English well and know Russian.
Besides, the Latvians are very friendly and helpful people. Turning to a passerby on the street, he will not turn away and leave, and willingly help and tell about Latvia what do you want to know even more.
In cafes and restaurants, the menu is in Latvian, English and Russian languages. This applies to labels on products in stores across the country.
2. To see the architectural monuments of the middle ages and to touch the history of Latvia
The main point of the list of reasons to visit Latvia is its wealth of monuments of architectural art. The Old town of Riga is one of the largest old cities of Europe are well represented on monuments of the middle Ages, centuries-old churches, cobblestone town squares and numerous museums.
In the surrounding towns of Riga, you can also find monuments of history. The castles, caves, palaces and nature reserves.
3. Relatively inexpensive prices
The prices in Latvia certainly not the cheapest in the Baltic, but not as high as in other European countries.
4. To try fancy and delicious Latvian national cuisine
National cuisine of Latvia delicious. It seems there is nothing special, but still very tasty and quite satisfying. Take, for example, soup in a bun, nothing special, but vkusnogo, we just lapped it up.
In the Latvian kitchen has and unusual national dishes. Here, such as grey peas with smoked meat and yogurt.
In Latvia quality and delicious all foods, even bought in stores. Cheese, sausage, meat or sweets will not be special, but extremely appetizing.
5. Enjoy the sea and clean air in Jurmala
Generally Jurmala is not a city, but the so-called joint posylochki. So if you want to go on another day in Jurmala, the ticket to Jurmala you will not find. The Central town of Maiori is Jurmala, that is until this station you need to buy a ticket, if you want to get into the center of Jurmala and see the famous concert hall "Dzintari".
Towns of Jurmala - Majori, Dzintari, Bulduri, Dubulti, Valteri, Melluzi, etc. together form-long clean and wide beaches of the seaside with white quartz sand. To get from Riga you can in 30 minutes be at the train to any station, the ticket costs about a Euro one way per person.
The most visited and beautiful coastal city of Jurmala is Majori. Majori is the Central walking street with historic buildings, restaurants, cafes and hotels on both sides. Beautiful green Park with an observation deck, towering above the trees that offers a beautiful panorama of the Baltic sea and coastal regions. Climb to the observation deck is completely free.
Not in a bathing-segarally season to visit Jurmala enough for one day. We did so, arriving in Maiori from Riga. In the same season, on the Baltic sea it is not long, in July-August months and then if you're lucky with the weather, you can stay at sea for a few days.
6. Visit the beautiful town of Sigulda with its green nature reserves and amusement parks
A beautiful small town located 52 kilometers from Riga. A kind of provincial European town, quite clean, well maintained and quiet, somewhat resembles the small towns of Germany.
In the city there are several attractions, the most beautiful of which is the Sigulda castle of the Livonian order, as well as charming squares, cafes, restaurants and shops. There is a bobsled-toboggan run and adventure Park "Tarzan".
To get to Sigulda from Riga by bus or train, trip takes about one and a half hours. A bus ticket costs from 2.85 to 3.50 euros depending on departure time of the bus, on the train of 1.89 euros one way per person.
Sigulda is situated in a conservation area, so the city is surrounded by a picturesque forest area. Sigulda area is a gorgeous place to relax from the urban bustle and relax. Besides, in the reserve there are several Hiking trailsto follow which takes you to the cable car across the river Gauja, then go to the Krimulda manor, the ruins of Krimulda medieval castle, Gutmana cave and the pearl of Latvia Turaida Museum-reserve.
One day for the inspection of all places of interest in the surroundings of Sigulda will not be enough, but to see the town, and follow one of the routes or to go with the kids to the amusement Park is enough.
To see Turaida Museum reserve with its medieval castle and etnoturistic complex, you can not spank a 5 kilometers walk through all the domain, and the square at the railway station by bus and also return back. Travel costs 0.65 euros. Although to be honest walk is worth it. Ideally, one-way walk back to the bus. Then a day trip you will meet.
7. The favorable climate of Latvia
Quite a mild climate in any season. Of course moderate by Latvian standards. The country is located on the Baltic sea, so the weather is unpredictable at any time of the year.
We went in late March, the weather was gorgeous, warm and dry. Often the sun was shining, although fall and cloudy days. The trees began to penetrate the foliage, shone the flowers and the butterflies.
Summer in Latvia is the sea and the sun, winter fairs on the eve of the Catholic Christmas, spring - Easter and waking up to nature, and autumn... autumn, a Golden time))
8. It is quite easy to get to Latvia from many European cities
Arriving in Latvia once, you will fall in love with this country, and even if not, regret your stay in the Nordic country won't be. And the first thing that should see spending in the area most days, it is naturally the capital of Latvia - Riga!
The most beautiful sights of Riga in our view are:
well, perhaps the Riga castle.
These and many other sights are in the old town of Riga. But beyond, within walking distance, also there is something to see. First of all, this Alberta street with its buildings in the style of a young art Nouveau (art Nouveau) and the historic pedestrian quarter "Bazar Berg".
All this is only a small part of what you ought to see in Riga, but the main part. If you have a little time left, to explore the city this most excellent basis would be sufficient.