The Baltic countries are usually forgotten by most travelers while traveling in Europe. However, if you are in search of off-the-beaten paths in a well-traveled continent like Europe, then the Baltic countries are surely the way to go. Nestled between Lithuania and Estonia, Latvia has a small yet developing tourist industry and the country is extremely authentic as well as welcoming. So, whether you are looking for a vibrant city or a rural getaway, a trip to Latvia offers a variety of opportunities for you. Here we bring a Europe vacation planner for you to make your Latvia tour the best tour!
(Day 1): Exploring Old Riga and Art Nouveau architecture
(Day 2): Heading to Riga museums and Enjoying Kipsala walk
(Day 3): A trip to Sigulda
(Day 4): Visiting Bauska Castle and A Day Trip To Rundale Palace
(Day 5): A Day in Kuldiga
Old Riga, Riga museums, Sigulda, Bauska Castle, Rundale Palace, Kuldiga
If there has to be just one reason to visit Riga, the capital of Latvia, then it is definitely the fact that the city boasts the finest and largest collection of Art Nouveau buildings in the globe, with more than 800 houses built in this style. Over 438 hectares of the historical Centre of Riga are addressed onto the UNESCO World Heritage List, giving a great recognition to its great collection of outstanding Art Nouveau architecture.
As a present-day European capital of culture, Riga has been quite investing lately in several of its museums with the purpose to convert them into some of the best up-to-date museums. The three museums are highly recommended as a must-see for your Riga visit - The Riga Bourse Art Museum, Riga Motor Museum and Latvian Museum of Art. The latter two were opened just in 2016 after reconstruction. The Riga Bourse Art Museum and Latvian Museum of Art are situated in the buildings of high historical and architectural value. These are worth seeing just because of this reason. Also, these two are in easy reach by foot from the Old town.
Sigulda is one of the most captivating sights of Latvia and a famous day trip from Riga. It is especially visited in the autumn season since the colorful foliage adds more beauty to this already stunning landscape. There are two major places to visit in here - Turaida town on the right bank of the Gauja river and Sigulda on the left bank. Although Turaida is a part of Sigulda town these days, it wears its name separately. The place possesses historical sites including several castles, very rich natural landscapes, a developed net of hiking trails offering amazing views, and the old river bed of the Gauja river that makes it all the more special. For winter time, it has a bobsleigh track and skiing slopes.
When you visit the capital of Latvia, Riga, do take your time to witness what Latvia has to offer outside the city. One of the most famous sightseeing places near Riga is Rundale Palace. It is situated in Zemgale region which is about 80 kilometers from Riga. Zemgale is the smallest region which lies in the center of Latvia. It is quite popular for its historical monuments, castles, palaces, and manors. Its nickname is ‘breadbasket’ since in most grains were grown here in the past as the soil here is fertile and the land is flat. This region possesses two significant cities, Jelgava and Bauska, and also some worth-seeing palaces that start from Jelgava palace which is a university now. Then comes Rundale Palace which is a marvelous example of Baroque and Rococo architecture. A day trip to witness two palaces, a castle and more around Bauska town is highly suggested.
Kuld?ga is the most magnetic as well as a magical town in Latvia. It has conserved its medieval appearance and charm. Established in 1242, Kuld?ga has experienced its biggest economic growth in the 17th century when it became a significant economic, administrative as well as the cultural center of the Duchy of Courland. From the year 1596 to 1616, Kuldiga was the capital of the Duchy of Courland which is one of the historical parts of Latvia. Like most of the other towns in Latvia, Kuld?ga has a different German name which is Goldingen. The historical buildings of the town and its nature form a unique and harmonious ensemble which cannot be compared to anything ever found in Latvia or elsewhere in Europe. Its enthralling historical center was granted a European heritage label in the year 2008. Presently, the old town of Kuld?ga and the red-brick bridge across the River Venta are prospects for inclusion in the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage. The town is also known for boasting the widest waterfall in Europe. Now it is the center of Kuld?ga Municipality having a population of about 13,500 people.
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