Latvia is a country where you can enjoy the scenic landscape of valleys, lakes, rivers, forests and coasts and visit lively cities with medieval buildings, attractive Art Nouveau architecture, many interesting museums and relaxing boat trips.
Latvia Car Hire
By using the booking form below, you can get a free car hire quote or book your car directly with any of the leading car hire suppliers in Latvia, which include, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Hertz, InterRent, Sixt and others.
Latvian Arts and Architecture
Riga, the Capital city of Latvia, is a very lively place and has an interesting mixture of old and new. In Old Riga you can walk down the little cobblestone streets and winding lanes and see lots of interesting historic buildings with medieval architecture. There are old churches that you can visit in Riga, such as St. Peter’s Church which was built in the 13th century and is the oldest church in Riga and from where you can enjoy views over the city from its tower. St. John’s Church, which was built in the middle of the 13th century, has lovely stained glass windows to admire. Riga Cathedral, which was built in the 13th century, has a wonderful pipe organ you can see.
There are many museums to visit in Riga, such as The National History Museum of Latvia and the Museum of Foreign Art, both of these are located in Riga Castle which is by the Daugava River. There are lovely parks in the city, such as Esplanade Park where you can visit the National Museum of Art, and Mezaparks where you can see grand houses. There are numerous impressive Art Nouveau buildings in Riga and you can stroll around admiring the attractive architecture. You can visit the elegant 19th century building of the Latvian National Opera House to enjoy opera performances, and theatres in Riga include the grand Riga National Theatre.
You can enjoy relaxing walks by the River Daugava or take a boat, canoe or kayak trip down the river and enjoy the lovely bridges to see there. There are many restaurants in Riga for different tastes, either with traditional Latvian or international food, and the city has a very lively nightlife to enjoy.
In the city of Daugavpils there are lots of interesting buildings to see, which include the beautiful Saints Boris and Gleb Orthodox Cathedral built in Neo Russian style with impressive towers and gilding. There are lots of 19th century buildings, particularly in Riga Street in the centre of the city, and you can see many attractive red buildings with a mixture of different styles. There are lots of museums in Daugavpils, including the Daugavpils Regional Arts and History Museum, which is an 19th century Art Nouveau building. In Unity House you can find cafes and shops together with the Daugavpils Musical and Drama Theatre and lots of cultural events. The Daugavpils fortress built in the 19th century still stands and is a major landmark of the city with its impressive architecture. There are forested areas in the city together with lakes, including Stropi Lake where you can relax or take part in various activities in the water.
The Latvian Landscape
In the Gauja National Park in Latvia you can explore the diverse area and see the beautiful landscapes of the region. You can see gorges, valleys, rocky outcrops, sandstone cliffs and springs and there are dense forests in the park to explore with trees such as pine, spruce, oak and aspen. In the Gauja River in the park you can canoe and raft in the waters and there are also caves in the park, such as Gutmanis Cave which is the Baltic’s highest cave.
You can hike or bike around the park on the many trails there and enjoy all the lovely nature of the area with the beautiful flowers and plants. There are also lots of birds around the park such as eagle owls, storks and kingfishers. There are also historic monuments around the park such as stone castles, churches, mills and hill forts and you can visit places in the region such as Sigulda, where you can bobsleigh and toboggan all year round and ski during the winter in the Gauja Valley.
The Kemeri National Park is another lovely Park in Latvia and here you can explore forests and meadows and bog land such as the Great Kemeri Bog. You can see rivers and lakes in the park, such as the lagoon Lake Kanieris, together with mineral muds and springs which have therapeutic qualities and you can have a theraputic treament in one the the resorts in the town in Kemeri. There is rich wildlife in the area and you can see animals such as otters and birds such as storks.
Foods that are common in Latvian dishes include pork, potatoes, cabbage and wheat and rye. Fish, especially smoked, is very popular around the coast, especially herring. Popular soups include those made with a broth or vegetables, and also beetroot and noodle soups. Rye bread is common in Latvia and includes rupjmaize which is made with rye, and piradzini are bacon and onions in a bun. Popular meals in Latvia include quark and boiled potatoes and silku pudins which is a casserole of potatoes and herring.
Sklandrausis is a pie made from rye dough with carrots and potatoes and a caraway flavouring and also enjoyed are potatoes with a chanterelle and sour cream sauce. Sauerkraut is a common food in Latvia and cheese and herring together with cottage cheese is a popular dish. Also enjoyed are kotletes which are meat patties, piragi which is bacon and onions in a pastry, karbonade which are pork chops that are breaded and kartupelu pankukas which are pancakes made with potatoes.
Traditional desserts in Latvia include maizes zupa which is a sweet rye bread soup together with fruit and also rhubarb cake. Kissel is also popular which are fruits, particularly rhubarb or cherries, that have been stewed. Popular alchoholic drinks include beer and vodka and non-alcoholic drinks include various fruit juices.
Whether you are having a relaxing therapeutic mud treatment in a beautiful National Park or having a meal by the lovely River Daugava you will enjoy your visit to the country of Latvia.
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