planning region of Latvia
Europe > Baltic states > Latvia > Riga region

The Riga region on the Baltic Sea sits at the heart of Latvia, and is its political, population, and cultural center.

Cities edit

  • 1 Riga – The capital city of Latvia and the European Capital of Culture in 2014 with a long history.
  • 2 Limbaži
  • 3 Jūrmala – A popular holiday and sea resort town with wooden houses just west of Riga, which claims to have the longest beach in Northern Europe.
  • 4 Salacgrīva  
  • 5 Saulkrasti  
  • 6 Sigulda – A town in central Latvia with many interesting castles and historic points of interest. Probably, the most popular destination outside of Riga for foreign tourists, also due to its closeness.
  • 7 Tukums – A town some 70 km west of Riga. Not that exciting, but known for its affinity with roses, the Rose Festival, and the nearby Cinevilla, a dummy city and now theme park.

Other destinations edit

  • 8 Salaspils   – 15 km southeast of Riga where 1 Salaspils concentration camp was located.
  • 2 North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve – A reserve that covers 6% of the territory of Latvia, and offers hiking trails, beaches, and nature education.
  • 3 Ķemeri National Park — A park mostly occupied by forests and mires, with boardwalk trails.

Understand edit

Jaunpils Castle

In addition to the city of Riga, the most popular tourist destination in the country, there is the seaside resort of Jūrmala with its seaside wooden houses and numerous spas. Further west, there is Tukums, which houses a city built in 2004 only for the making of a film.

The area is also rich in natural sites; Kemeri National Park with its forest and peat landscapes; to the north, the Baltic beaches offer a unique landscape between forest and pine and sea; and the town of Sigulda and its three castles, and also the gateway to the Gauja National Park, the oldest national park in the country.

Get in edit provides up-to-date bus and train schedules, route planner and prices.

All transport (bus, train, car) is spider web wise possible from Riga, mostly direct and quite frequent. The railway tracks and roads spread equally distributed in all possible land-based directions. This allows for convenient day trips to the below mentioned sites (even several ones) starting and finishing at Riga.

Get around edit

Travel around Riga can be less frequent, and sometimes it is even preferable to first going back to Riga and continuing from there.

See edit

Kaive oak
  • 1 Pastarins Museum, Bisnieki, Zentene, +371 63154518, +371 28651091, +371 63142473, . W-Su 10:00-17:00. Baking bread, churning butter, field work, countryside goodies, games, nature trail, E. Birznieks-Upitis, Pastarins.
  • 2 Kaive oak (Kaives ozols, Oak of Ancestors) (you will probably need a car to get there; the road is unsealed from Tukums and hitchhiking is difficult), +371 63124451, . It is the biggest oak in Baltics. It's older than 1000 years and 10 m round.    
  • The Jaunmokas Castle / Palace (Latvian: Jaunmokas Manor / Jaunmoku pils) in Tumes Pagasts near Tukums is not just a forestry museum with a solid castle interior and room of columns, but it also has horse-drawn carriage rides, herbal teas and is the centre of Latvian ornament.
  • 3 Cinevilla Studios (Kinopilsēta "Cinevilla"), Vidusvecvagari, +371 28 606 677, . Daily 10:00–19:00. It was built as a movies backlot, and is now a cinema theme park.    
  • 4 Dunduri meadows (Dunduru pļavas), +371 67730078, . Surrounded by forests these fields in Ķemeri National Park are a nice place to visit and observe wild horses and bulls. The location has an observation tower with roof, potentially good for 2-3 people for overnighting.
  • 5 Jaunpils Castle, Jaunpils, +371 63107082, +371 26101458, +371 63107081 (museum), . 10:00-17:00 (museum). Medieval castle, medieval tavern, medieval celebrations, dramatized tours, attractions, museum.    

Do edit

The Great Ķemeri Moorland

Ķemeri National Park is the third largest national park in Latvia, and popular for its extensive moorland, moorland lakes, a wooden footbridge, viewing tower, bird-watching, moss, cranberries, fierce plants. The park extends to the north and the south of the village with the same name. Only south you will find a trail made of planks across the swamp including an observation tower (but without roof, so not good for overnighting without tent) – see Wikivoyage's article for further details about the park.

Eat edit

Drink edit

Sleep edit

In the following a list of various accommodation options in the region worth mentioning and outside of the above covered cities, towns, and parks:

Go next edit

  • Vidzeme – The most touristy region in Latvia with the Gauja National Park and its river valley, many medieval castles, estates and churches, and numerous interesting cities, towns and villages.
  • Kurzeme – The region provides direct access to the Baltic sea with wild coast, beautiful lighthouses and sea resort towns. Preserved traditions and culture allowing visitors to visit various places such as old fishermen's villages of the Livonian time.
  • Zemgale – Flattest region in Latvia, and famous for the neighbouring and historically related Jelgava Palace and Rundāle Palace, near Jelgava and Bauska, respectively.
  • Latgale – A less touristy and more Russian-influenced region, but with the amazing Basilica of the Assumption near Daugavpils.

This region travel guide to Riga region is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.