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What else in Latvia apart from Riga??

edited September 2009 in - Eastern Europe
Now that everyone has discovered Riga it seems the city has earned a bit of mixed reputation - great buildings, rude people; awesome night life, but lots of rip-off joints.

There is obviously more to Latvia than Riga. Has anyone been to the smaller cities of Liepaja, Jurmala, and Daugavpils? I've read some great things about how the 'real' Lativa can be found in these places...

Any experiences or recommendations of what else to see in Latvia apart from its capital city?


  • edited 12:46AM
    You should visit Ventspils, Latvian port city. It is really beautiful place with a kind people. Besides, it is cheaper than Riga,if compare prices of hotels, food, etc.
  • edited 12:46AM
    I have to agree to Marie333 - visit Ventspils, especially in Summer..I have been there visiting my friends, actually you can not compare it with other towns in Latvia!
  • edited 12:46AM
    I like Ventspils better than Riga because its not so noisy as the capital and the city is very clean..
  • edited 12:46AM
    HI Dave,

    Yes, i have been to daugavpils fw times being my wife from daugavpils. I have enjoyed in riga. It sems ok to me. I dont normally go to clubs - may be thats why didnt have any problems in riga yet.

    I didnt have a chance to visit ventpils or jurmala yet. But this summer i am plaanig a driving trip to daugavpils from uk. Will visit as much as of latvia once i reach there safely.

    mY friends and relatives say jurmala in summer is nice. And Liepaja , ventpils etc are nice places with down to earth ppl. SO, i guess they are worth a visit.

    Personaly i am not a big fan of riga. Only because the airport is in riga i have go there.

  • edited 12:46AM
    The city of Al?ksne is an undiscovered gem of northern Latvia. Situated on a stunning lake, the 11th largest in Latvia, there are plenty of eye-catching views and charming sights to see.
    More info:
  • edited 12:46AM
    I have visited Latvia many times and have always had a great time looking at the historical old town with its amber traders and also the more cosmopolitan newer half of Riga. There are great galleries, shops and restaurants and lots of interesting corners where the architecture is wonderful and the parks are kept beautifully!. There is the fantastic HUGE market indoors and outdoors (near train station) which sells everything from dried fish to silk scarves. Although there are nightclubs for those who want it there is also the opera house and the cinemas too!
    Visit Jurmala and stay there for a couple of days the beaches and forests merge.
    Visit the Outdoor museum set in forest next to a wonderful blue lake where log buidings from hundreds of years ago have been (carefully erected to look just as they did) after being uprooted from sites all over Latvia. Not only are the buildings impressive (churches,fishermans cottages,Blacksmithrural homes etc) but the furniture and crockery from the past is also on show.
  • edited 12:46AM
    Me and 3 friends of mine decided to rent a car to go to Jurmala. It is a nice city (a beach resort) but what I suggest (if you have a car) - drive a bit further (maybe some 5-7 km out of Jurmala). There are a lot of small fisherman villages and that`s I think is the real Latvia. We had a freshly smoked fishes (the prices were something like 20 santims for 1 fish, so for a EUR you can get 3)...ummmm....was very very delicious!
    Next day we had a shooting tour with a company Red Fox Tours and as I understood they mostly offer tours outside of Riga. We didn`t take them so I don`t know how good or bad they are.
    I checked and they have a list of tours what they offer:
  • edited 12:46AM
    I was born in Ventspils) About 20 km away from this harbor there is a former Soviet military town. The rumor goes they have converted the large satellite dish that the Soviets used for intelligence purposes into a tourist attraction...

  • edited June 2013
    Yeah, you right. Latvia is not only Riga. Each Latvian city and town has its charming. For example Jelgava, which is only 40 minutes from Riga by train has a unique example of baroque palace or experience aerodynamic tube. Ventspils and Liepaja are famous with its cleanness and beautiful beach, in one word - Latvian California)). On the east to Riga are pure gem Sigulda with its hilly landscape and medieval castles, cable car, from which you can try to do bungee jumping or take a ride on bobsleigh track. Cesis is cozy medieval city with narrow streets. Bauska is beautiful city with its XI scentury history been a closest city to Lithuanian boarder has beautiful old town castle and Rundale palace. And of course Jurmala, famous resort with its reach history. Now it is more represents high class reservation with fashionable mansions and expensive cars but it doesn't interfere people of other social class to come there for sunbathing or enjoy this city any other way. You can visit Livu Aquapark, the biggest one in Baltics. 
    Enjoy your trip to Riga!
  • You must visit Venspils. One of the cleanest city in the Baltics ( I am from Lithuania). 
    And also Livu is worth to see. 
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