Although until recently Latvia was considered the "little sister" of the Baltic Republics, this country is awakening to offer the visitor a very interesting tourist offer. Perhaps one of the most interesting in northern Europe. And here you can find a green land with sandy beaches by the sea, extensive forests, virgin nature, hospitable and discreet people, a safe environment, many possibilities for relaxation, legends …
It is important to bear in mind that in Latvia there are only 9 cities , that is, towns that have more than 25 thousand inhabitants and offer a well-developed commercial activity, public works, transport and social infrastructure, in addition to being significant cultural centers. Of course, in some cases these requirements are ignored if there is enough population. Do you want to discover the 9 Latvian cities? Well, all you have to do is join us!
How could it be otherwise, let’s start by talking about Riga, the capital of Latvia and the largest city in the Baltic States. Located on the Gulf of Riga, the city has a historic center declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, which highlights its art nouveau architecture and wooden buildings from the 19th century.
The second most populous city in Latvia is Daugavpils, which is considered to be the third industrial core of the country. You should know that, surrounded by lakes, the city is the gateway to the Latgale highlands, a place of high natural and scenic value. In addition, it houses a fortress of great historical and architectural value.
We also have to talk about Liepāja, a city located in western Latvia. It is important to bear in mind that in 2013 it obtained the EDEN distinction from the European Commission for one of the best tourist destinations "Tourism and accessibility".
The fourth most populous city in Latvia is Jelgava, which is located on a plain on the right bank of a river that from time to time endangers the city. Of the city, which is made up of regular and wide streets that surround palaces of German-Baltic nobles, the old Curonian castle stands out, which contains all the royal sarcophagi.
We continue our tour of the most important cities of Latvia in Jürmala, a very touristy place that is located between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River. Its beaches and its festivals have attracted many travelers, especially from Russia.
Another city that we must highlight is Ventsplis, which is located in the northwest of the country, on the shores of the Baltic Sea. After its independence in 1991, the city left behind its industrial activity to become an important tourist center thanks, among other things, to the restoration of the old town.
To the east of Latvia we find Rēzekne, a city founded on seven hills and located at the intersection of the Moscow-Riga and Saint Petersburg-Warsaw railway lines. It is important to bear in mind that in 2008 it obtained the EDEN distinction as one of the twenty "Best Tourism Destinations and Local Intangible Heritage".
We must also talk about Valmiera, which is the administrative and cultural center of the historic Vidzeme region. Although its historic center was destroyed in 1944, it preserves some interesting buildings, such as the Valmiera Castle and the Church of San Simón. We also want to highlight its forest park, which has an observation tower and a limestone tuff monument.
Finally, we must talk about Jēkabpils, which is located between Riga and Daugavplis. The old part of the city, which has preserved some interesting buildings , is worth visiting.