Latvia is a Baltic country bordering Estonia. Surprisingly, Latvia is not yet a popular destination with tourists. The country is beautiful and has worked hard to shed the remnants of its rule by the Soviet Union. Today, Latvia is comfortable, interesting and charming.
Riga is Latvia’s capital and largest city. The architecture, mainly Art Nouveau is fantastic. And the city’s old town, like many in Europe, still boasts cobblestone walking streets lined with shops and cafes. In recent years, Riga has developed quite a nightlife, too.
When traveling to Latvia, you’ll also want to check out the Gauja valley. This area has beautiful old castles and medieval villages to explore, but is also a great place for the nature lover. You’ll find canoeing and kayaking available in summer; skiing and bobsledding in winter. Gauja National Park is here, and boasts beautiful forests and abundant wildlife.
For the beach lover, a visit to Jurmala, on the Baltic Sea is a must. The beaches, though often crowded during the summer, are quite beautiful and many are backed by high dunes and pine forests. Beware, though, even in summer the water is quite cold.
For a quieter beach experience, venture to Cape Kolka. This area of beaches and tiny fishing villages is far more peaceful than Jurmala. The coastline here is still pristine. There are rocky cliffs interspersed with stretches of beach. The village is tiny and guesthouses are few and far between, so plan ahead if you’re staying overnight.
Find cheap flights to Latvia and more cheap flights here. Riga is home to the only international airport in Latvia. Flights into the country are available from most major European hubs. Baltic Air is the national carrier, though Riga is serviced by other major airlines, too. North Americans will have to go through another European city to get to Riga, as there are no direct flights from the US.
Find the best prices for hotels in Latvia, and other cheap hotels here. You won’t find many 4 or 5 star hotels outside of Riga. However, throughout the country you can locate small hotels, bed and breakfasts and guesthouses. There are also plenty of small apartments for short term rental, both in Riga and other cities in Latvia.