Top 10 things to do in Latvia

If you’re traveling to Latvia during the warmer months of the year, there is nothing more enjoyable you can do outdoors than exploring Latvia’s countryside on horseback. The months of May, September and October are particularly good times to go on horse riding trips because of the pleasant weather.
Top 10 things to do in Latvia

Klajumi horse farm is one popular operator offering 2-day and 7-day horseback tours of the the Kraslava region, though you don’t have to venture too far from the capital to enjoy horse riding trips. There are many farms and horse stable located in the outskirts of Riga that offer single day trips. These include the farms of Zirgzandales and Tiraines Stalli in the town of Marupe, Turaida stables in the town of Sigulda (30 mins drive from Riga), and Birini Castle (around an hour’s drive from Riga).

Hit the slopes

Latvia may not be known internationally as a ski destination, but you can bet skiing is one of the top 10 things to do in Latvia. You’ll find ski tracks pretty much everywhere in Latvia, and many of them are located in the area around Riga.

Sigulda (Gauja National Park) is one of the most popular ski destinations in Latvia because of the steep hills, though you also have places such as Jekaba grava (near Tukums), Kamparkalns hills (near Talsi), Mezkalni hill and Riekstukalns ski area near Riga where you can do skiing and snowboarding.

Tervete Nature Park and Viesturi golf club are two of the most popular spots in Latvia for cross-country skiing.

Visit Anna Brigadere’s memorial

Tervete Nature Park is without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Latvia and it’s also a popular tourist sight. If you’re traveling to Latvia during the summer months of the year, you’ll definitely love visiting the park to getaway from the tourist crowds. Tervete Park boasts lots of easy trails that run through the beautiful park’s forest.

Besides enjoying fun walks, one of the main reasons to visit Tervete Nature Park in the first place is to see the lovely memorial of famous Latvian writer Anna Brigadere. The memorial is actually quite thoughtful and consists of wood carvings of elfs and dwarfs depicting  Anna Brigadere's most famous fairytale characters.

Spend the day at the beach

Come summer time, Latvians love nothing better to do than heading down the beach for a bit of swimming, water-skiing and wakeboarding. The beach town of Jurmala is the most popular beach you can go in Latvia since it’s only 30 minutes drive from Riga. Having said this, if you want to avoid the huge crowds you may want to visit Saulkrasti, which is a bit further east of Riga (60 mins drive) but it's much more peaceful.

Besides the beach, you can also visit one of Riga’s water recreation centers such as Aktivas Atputas Centrs and Ozolnieku Udenskratuve (near Jelgava) to enjoy fun water sports.

Enjoy a day at a sauna

Visiting a spa center for a day at the sauna is without a doubt, one of the top 10 things to do in Latvia. As a Latvian, a healthy lifestyle is an intricate part of Latvian culture and going to a Latvian sauna is one of the invigorating things you can do to wind down.

If you've been to Russia before, you'll find the Latvian sauna experience to be very similar to the Russian banya experience!

Be Tarzan for the day

A visit to Latvia wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of Latvia’s adventure parks for a fun day out climbing challenging obstacles and overcoming different difficulty tracks.

There are several adventure parks in Latvia you can go to such as Supervavere Adventure Park near Cesis, Meza kakis Adventure Park in Sigulda, Tarzans Adventure Park in Gauja National Park, Ventspils Adventure Park, and Riga’s Adventure Park. Whichever park you go, you can definitely expect to have a blast!

Ride a carriage and sleigh

Horse drawn carriage tours and sleigh rides are other cool stuff you can add to your itinerary of top 10 things to do in Latvia. The Old town of Riga is one of the most popular places to enjoy a horse drawn carriage tour and you can easily book a ride from the main square (Livu Square).

For sleigh and carriage rides of Latvia’s countryside, you need to head to one of Latvia’s horse stables and farms such as Klajumi horse ranch and Tiraines stalli, both of which also offer inexpensive cart rides during the summer months.

Explore Latvia’s medieval past

There is no better way to soak in Latvia’s medieval heritage than visiting one of Latvia's castles. Latvia boasts many castles, many of which have been partially or fully reconstructed. One of the best restored castles in Latvia is the Turaida castle, which boasts a beautiful garden home to cool sculptures depicting Latvian folklore.

Bauska castle and Cesis castle have been restored partially and they’re the two best preserved medieval castles in Latvia. Cesis castle is particularly worth passing by because you’re allowed to go down the castle’s dungeons and see the old prison cells. Whichever castle you visit, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views from the castles’ towers.

Take a hot air balloon ride over Latvia

Riding a hot air balloon in Latvia is no doubt, one of the coolest things you can do while in Latvia. A hot air balloon ride over Latvia won't be just cool but it’ll also be a fantastic way to see much of Latvia in a short period of time.

Baltic Balloons is one of the reputable hot air balloon operators in Latvia boasting three hot air balloon sites in the country (Sigulda, Cesis and Jelgava). A typical hot air balloon ride with them costs around $250 (~125 Latvian lati) per person and flights normally last 3.5 hours.

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