The little Baltic nation of Latvia can be described as a vast natural park with the cosmopolitan city of Riga at its heart. The nature is breathtaking, and the country boasts a total of 17 rivers cutting through the country. It’s easy to find your own little piece of paradise in the extensive countryside, full of beautiful lakes and lush green forests. Explore the nature by bicycle, hiking or relaxing on one of the white sandy beaches. The culture is more heterogeneous than their Baltic neighbors, due to constant invasions by all the regional powers, and in the capital city of Riga, you’ll find a bilingual mix of Latvians and minority Russians. Since joining the EU in 2004, stability has been increasing, and you’ll be sure to find something fun and exciting in this artistic metropolis.
FLIGHTS TO LATVIA
SAS flies to Latvia via Oslo, Copenhagen or Stockholm (depending on route) from Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. With daily departures from multiple locations, you can easily find a departure to suit your travel plans. Book early to save on airfare and when you choose SAS, enjoy a 24-hour right of revocation on your flight tickets and online check-in 22 hours prior to departure. Passengers on intercontinental flights can enjoy food and drinks on board. In addition, Wi-Fi is available for a small fee. We look forward to welcoming you on board!
If you are travelling with children under 2 years (without own seat) they fly either free of charge or with a 90% discount on the flight portion of the ticket price, depending on the destination. Children from 2-11 years get a 25% discount. The discounts do not apply to taxes and fees.
MEDIEVAL TOWNS, CASTLES AND MUSEUMS IN LATVIA
Latvia is a truly historically fascinating country, which has maintained many of history's beautiful medieval towns and castles. Some of the most popular old towns include: Kandava, home to the ancient Kurši castle mound, providing a view of the oldest stone bridge in Latvia, Cēsis, one of the oldest small towns in the region, with numerous medieval castles and cobbled streets, or Valmiera, home to impressive castle ruins and St. Simon’s Church originally built in 1285.
A visit to Riga means you can spend days immersing yourself in the exciting exhibitions in the many museums of the city. The Historical Museum is a must-see on your trip to the city, located within the city’s castle. In addition, two of Riga’s main galleries—the Museum of Foreign Art and the State Museum of Art offering inspiring works and creations from artists all over the world.
RIGA – THE LITTLE PARIS OF THE BALTICS
The capital city of Riga is the largest of all the Baltics and without a doubt worth a visit on your trip to Latvia. Stark contrasts exist between the historic Old Town, home to a number of historic buildings, cobbled streets, medieval structures and narrow ways and hidden courtyards, and the New Town, built during the rapid expansion at the beginning of the 20th century, with wide boulevards and multistory apartment buildings.
The Old Town is at the heart of the city, and here you can find countless interesting historical buildings that are all proof of Latvia's patchy history. The Krievu Pareizticigo is a particularly impressive sight. Construction of the cathedral began in 1211, and continued to be renovated throughout centuries. For some darker history, take a stroll past Riga's 85-foot tall gunpowder tower, previously used as a prison dungeon and torture chamber. Once the night approaches, Riga offers a buzzing city life with cafes and cozy, trendy bars, and backyards where you can enjoy a Latvian beer.
A TASTE OF THE FRENCH RIVIERA IN LATVIA
Just west of Riga, you’ll find the collection of townships decorated with Prussian-style villas, simply known as Jūrmala. Even when Latvia was under the rule of communism, it was the place for the wealthy elite to be seen. Today, it continues to be a destination for Russian tycoons and their glamorous wives, but it’s also a popular spot for day-trippers coming from the capital city. Enjoy the pristine waters, and for a visit to the main drag, go to the townships of Majori and Dzintari, connected by a long pedestrian strip and packed with tourist-centered attractions.
UNIQUE NATURAL EXPERIENCES IN GAUJA NATURAL PARK
Gauja Natural Park is located northeast of Riga and offers fantastic nature. It’s the largest and oldest natural park in Latvia, known or immense biodiversity, variability of landscape, natural springs, beautiful views and cultural and historic landmarks. One of the most popular sights are the sandstone cliffs created during the Devonian Period, or the Gutman Cave and the little village Lielstraupe, famous for its church and castle.