Latvia Travel Guide
The ultimate guide to the best things to do and see in Latvia
Latvia is one of the most modern Baltic states. The country borders Lithuania, Estonia and Russia, as well as the Baltic Sea and is famous for its capital, Riga—a modern city with a diverse culture and unique identity for Eastern Europe. Start here with my basic Latvia travel tips, or jump down below to read my latest Latvia travel blogs.
When to Visit
In general, the best time to visit Latvia weather-wise is in late spring or early summer. At this time, the weather should be good enough (and the days long enough!) for you to explore outdoors without it being too cold, and the crowds in the cities shouldn’t be too bad. That said, winter can be magical in Latvia, especially leading up to Christmas when the towns are lit up with festive lights. Fall is also quite lovely, with the leaves changing color and the fewer crowds being a good reason to visit at this time of year.
Unusual Things To Do
Explore Skrunda-1 – This abandoned military installation built in Soviet times is a fascinating place to explore. Built in the early 1960s, it was once home to around 5,000 Soviet personelle but has been left to the elements since the late 90s after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Spend a night in Cinevilla – This full town of buildings was built in 2004 as a place for shooting historical movies, and when there isn’t filming taking place, you can spend a night in a fully decked out 1900s decor and facilities!
Visit the Pedvale Open Air Art Museum – This UNESCO site in western Latvia consists of a strange collection of sculptures dotting the landscape. An interesting experience for anyone into visual art!
Latvia is not a big country, so you can easily see a lot of it by taking day trips from the capital. Taking a tour could save you time and money if you want to do this, so take a look at this selection of Latvia tours.
LGBT – Gay Latvia Travel Guide
As a small country (it has less than 2 million inhabitants and is only slightly larger than South Virginia), gay life is almost exclusively centered around the capital, Riga. In that case, these are a few of the best things you should know about visiting gay Latvia.
XXL – Riga’s biggest and oldest gay club, this is a great option for a fun night out, whether you’re more into dancing and being silly or cruising and getting dirty.
Varaviksne – Latvia’s first gay sauna, this place is clean and good value. There’s a bar, steam room, dry sauna, jacuzzi and all the other facilities you’d expect of a sauna.
Mozaika – The biggest queer organisation in Latvia, they put together talks, events, conferences and workshops throughout the year and are responsible for the March for Equality during the annual pride parade.
More gay travel resources here.
Latvia Hotel Deals
Latvia has plenty of cool and quirky hotels, as well as all the big chains you’d expect. I’ve found that using Booking.com, Agoda.com or Hotels Combined can be really useful for finding last-minute deals.
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