TOP Sightseeing Places in Latvia
A quick TOP of things and places you can catch up with while in Latvia for a short weekend trip:
Activity and extreme fun! This is an experience of free fall like in skydiving with parachute, only you don’t have to get on plane and jump out of it – you will float in the air above giga ventilator in this vertical wind tunnel.
(image from www.aerodium.lv)
Get there: All it takes is drive 50 km from Riga to Sigulda, watch the road signs on right, short before Sigulda you’ll see “Aerodium”.
Pictures, cool videos and prices are here: www.aerodium.lv.
Walk, take pictures, extreme activities. This town next to Gauja river has lots to offer if you don’t want to be bored: air tram (AKA cable car), beautiful old castle with nice view from tower, magnificent caves, in winter skiing – in summer downhill with bikes, bobsleigh track, ferris wheel (this one’s old and scary, try it!), rodel track, and bungee jumping!
(image from www.sigulda.lv)
Get there: 50 km from Riga, into mainland, go with car, bus or train (take the train! you’ll have a nice chat with local downhill bikers or shy smiling latvian chicks!).
Pictures, directions, info at official website: www.sigulda.lv.
3. Skyline Bar
Drink, relax, watch. A nice bar on top of Riga’s skyscraper in hotel Reval Latvija.
(image from www.revalhotels.com)
Get there: Walk the Brivibas street, direction out of Old Town, you’ll see the only tall building behing orthodox church. Enter the building, take the elevator to 26th floor. And try to find a table next to windows on the left side after you enter the bar, because sunsets over Riga from there are fantastic!
Pictures, directions, opening hours on website: Reval Hotels – Skyline Bar.
4. Lido Recreation Centre
Eat, drink, chat. The restaurant of traditional food of Latvians. Lots of it. Plus interesting architecture and interior, mostly made out of wood.
(image from www.lido.lv)
(an old tradition: locals burn some unlucky tourists who didn’t leave tips) :D
Get there: Take the taxi from city center, tell the driver to take you to “Krasta Lido” and prepare to eat out! :D
Pictures, info go here: www.lido.lv.
Fresh air, relax, walk, shop souvenirs. Perhaps Latvia has the longest real beach of sand in Europe. If you live somewhere in Greece or Ireland, i’m sure you’ve had enough of your boring small beaches without real white sand ;)
(image from www.jurmala.lv)
Get there: Take the train!!! Do not by any obstacles go there with car or bus, train is the only option! Why? It’s interesting – there are some oldschool trains on that route, like in soviet times, so you’ll get the taste of small dirty trainstations and 30 minutes drive by train made in USSR times (and it’s cheap too). Cool, what else can i say.
Pictures, directions at official website: www.jurmala.lv.
6. Cinevilla Studio
Become an actor, join army, take pictures. This is Latvian Hollywood! Props from shooting some of the historical war movies. Feel your self like in the beginning of 20th century, walk the battlefield, take the gear on and make funny pictures.
(image from www.cinevilla.lv)
Get there: about one hour drive from Riga, direction to city Tukums, then turn left and drive for a while, you will see sign on right side. There you will have to turn off the asphalt and drive couple miles on gravelled road.
Pictures, info, directions here: www.cinevilla.lv.
7. Waterfall Rumba
Enjoy the view, take pictures, walk old town. They say it’s the widest waterfall in Europe! In summertime you can actually swim there, fantastic! Check out also old town of Kuldiga, and that famous ancient brick bridge too.
(image from www.kuldiga.lv)
Get there: about two hours with car, south from Riga, search for town Kuldiga.
Pictures, information here: www.kuldiga.lv (watch out for loud background music on that site!).
8. Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center
See the metal monster. This 32 m in diameter radio antenna was top secret during soviet times, military were spying western satellites with this impressive thingee. Take the excursion inside and outside this monster, it’s worth that, believe me!
(image from www.startlatvia.com)
Get there: next to city Ventspils, go by car, about 3 hours drive from Riga, turn right shortly before Ventspils, go some 10 km and watch for hard-to-spot sign.
Pictures, directions, info go here: virac.venta.lv.
And here goes the map of Latvia with these sightseeing places (more detailed latvian maps here):
Click to see bigger image! (image from Google Maps)
Well, that’s about it today :) I’m sure i missed some cool spots, but i shall add more places and activities as i stumble across them!
So be a decent web surfer and come back here later!