Have you ever wanted to just pack your bags and go on a spontaneous one-day-trip to find some beautiful hidden treasure? If so, you are in luck – we have the perfect fall travel destination for you. Moreover, the Baltic Review has already prepared a detailed travel plan for you that will cover ten must see places in the gorgeous Baltic Pearl – Latvia

During the beautiful season change Latvia offers remarkable array of experiences for its visitors that will make their travel truly unforgettable.


 

 

1. Eklers – Sigulda

Eklers -a good little cafe in Sigulda across the road from the train station. Photo by Gary J.
Eklers – a good little cafe in Sigulda across the road from the train station. Photo by Gary J.

Sigulda is famous for its beautiful fall and incredible scenery; therefore, this will be the starting point for your adventure. To start off the day right, you need to fill yourself with some traditional Latvian food. There is no better place to do that than the famous bakery Elkers. Some locals say that a visit to Sigulda is incomplete without visiting Eklers.

It is a very cozy, home style coffee/cake shop located in the heart of the city. The food choices include different pastries, breads, soups, salads and desserts. A must try is a Latvian traditional treat called Piragi (bacon and onion mixture covered in tasty dough). After you have filled yourself with some delicious food and drinks you can move on to site seeing.

 

2. Turaidas castle – Sigulda

Turaidas castle
Turaidas castle

The historical castle was built in 1214 by Livonian Brothers of Sword. The castle was constructed in the classic red-brick construction of the Baltic crusading orders. The Turaida’s Castle started losing its strategic importance during the 17th century; however, recently it has been reconstructed to offer its visitors the chance to experience the most of it.

During your visit, you can explore the museum, soak up some knowledge of the history or just simply admire the amazing architecture. From the viewing place of the main tower, you can see unique landscape of the Gauja valley and territory of Turaida Museum.

 

3. Gaujas National Park – Sigulda

The Gauja National park.The breathtaking landscapes that can be seen from the cliff of the Gauja valley have been painted by such great artists as Jūlijs Feders, Janis Rozentāls and Vilhelms Purvītis hence the name – Painter's hill.
The Gauja National park.The breathtaking landscapes that can be seen from the cliff of the Gauja valley have been painted by such great artists as Jūlijs Feders, Janis Rozentāls and Vilhelms Purvītis hence the name – Painter’s hill.

The next stop is The Gauja National park. It was established in 1973 to protect the ancient valley of the 95.3 km long the Gauja River.

The Gutman’s Cave
The Gutman’s Cave

The park goes through seven different regions in the country; however, Sigulda region holds most of its spectacular sites.

For starters, the Gutman’s Cave is the widest and the highest cave in the entire Baltic region.

Aside from that, the the Gauja National Park is full of culturally historical legends and tales.

It is strongly advised to just take a map of the park and find your magic spots for yourself. You will not be disappointed with many different trails, caves, waterfalls and overlook spots.

 

4. Aerodium/ Tarzans / Bungee Jumping – Sigulda

Now it is time to take it up a little notch and get some adrenaline from one of the three extreme sport offerings.

Aerodium is the world’s leading company in producing wind tunnels and making people’s dreams of flying become true. You can experience true joy and absolute freedom flying a few meters above the ground.

Your next option is Tarzans, the biggest open air adventure park in the Baltic that offers countless fun yet challenging obstacle courses, pneumatic shooting ground, velomobiles archery, catapult, climbing wall, go karts, toboggan track, cliff chair, crazy roller, tube sliding, gigantic swing.

If you are up for even a bigger adrenaline rush you must go bungee jumping. Bungee Sigulda is a unique place in Europe where the jump is organized from 42 m high cable car at beautiful landmark in National park over the Gauja River. Even though the free fall lasts only a few seconds, it will feel like a lifetime and it will literally take your breath away.

 

5. Saulkrasti

Saulkrasti – Dunte – Skulte

After you have released some adrenaline it is time to go on a nice relaxing walk along the shores of the Baltic Sea.

The Saulkrasti Beach is a 17 km long natural masterpiece.

The sun kissed sand and playful waves mixed with the wind will leave you with a feeling that they are playing some beautiful melody just for you.

While you are enjoying the amazing scenery, you can hand pick some seashells lying along the shore. You might even get lucky and find the famous amber and make your own jewelry out of it.

 

6. Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia

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With fresh mind and peace in your heart, you are now ready to truly experience the Latvian culture at The Latvian Open – Air Ethnographic Museum.

It was established in 1924 and today 118 fold architecture objects are exhibited in the museum territory along the Coast of Jugla Lake in Riga.

339During your visit here you can learn about the cultural heritage, work and daily life traditions, and aesthetics of folks who lived in the territory of Latvia since 17th century.

You can even try on traditional costumes and try your luck in making some traditional crafts as well as foods. You can experience the joy of dancing, singing, playing music and games while learning about the rich Latvian heritage.

 

7. A good panoramic view over Riga from the tower of St. Peter’s church in Vecriga

View from St. Peters church. Old town Riga, panoramic
View from St. Peters church. Old town Riga, panoramic

Once you have learned a little bit about the culture you are ready to make your way to the famous old town of Riga.

Vecriga is very big and there are so many things to see.

Thankfully, St. Peter’s church will give you a chance to see the whole city from a birds view. The 72 m high viewing tower will give you a panoramic view of the Daugava River and the Old Town and more.

 

8. Riga

The Capital of Latvia, Riga, is included in UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage list.

There is a mix of architecture one can witness while wondering the streets of Riga starting from the medieval buildings of the Old Town, Gothic churches, and wooden buildings to unique Art Nouveau masterpieces.

The structure and architecture of the city is very diverse offering the best of all worlds.

Stop at one of the tourist boutiques to grab a map to help you navigate through the beautiful city.

 

9. Sunset Cruise – The Daugava River

korablik-obrezan-tjomnij

As the sun is getting ready to go down, a sunset cruise down the River of Daugava is a must. During the cruise you will see the panorama of the city, all the bridges. A fun fact: The South Bridge is the most expensive bridge in the whole Europe. Besides the panorama and many bridges, you will see the TV tower, Presidents palaces, Riga Central market and Riga city Yacht club.

 

10. Skyline Bar – Hotel Latvia

You have had an eventful day: seen many beautiful places, experienced the culture, and learned the history.

The only thing left is to go to Skyline Bar where you can see a breathtaking view of the city and reflect back on your wonderful day.