Before I spent a month in Ventspils, one of the Latvian towns next to the Baltic sea, I only knew that the capital of Latvia is Riga and that the currency in the country is Euro. Even though it is not a very popular touristic destination, the country is definitely worth to visit – let me tell you why. Latvia is a relatively small country with only 2 million inhabitants – for example Ventspils, with appr. 40 thousand inhabitants, is the 6th biggest Latvian town.
In general, Latvian landscape is flat, with lots of forests and beautiful lakes. The important part of the landscape is also the Baltic sea – there is a lot of villages and bigger or smaller towns next to the seaside. When visiting Latvia, going to the seaside is a must-do thing. The beaches are mostly wide and very clean, with a fine, bright sand and lots of facilities like changing cabins and free toilets. If you want to let your inner child have some fun, I personally recommend the Ventspils Blue Flag Beach – in every one or two-hundred meters there are the big constructions to swing or hike, not only for children.
But enough about nature – when you will be done with lying on the beach and riding a bike through the forests (no hills – perfect for cycling), you shoud head to Riga – the over 800 years old capital of Latvia. The atmosphere of the city is very chill and cosy, with beautiful architecture and lots of green areas. There is a lot of restaurants and cafes too, especially with traditional food – it is a great opportunity to try some local meals like a dessert made from rye bread (!).
Riga is not the only city that is worth to visit – during my stay, I explored (of course) Ventspils, but I have been to Kuldiga and Liepaja too. Every one of those towns has its own charm and character – Ventspils, as the one near to the sea, has a beautiful beach, historical centre, and the beautiful and calm Busnieku Lake in the distance of 10 kilometers. When you are more into architecture, the best destination for you is Kuldiga – a small town with lots of old wooden cottages (in Kuldiga, you can also see the widest waterfall in Europe – even though it does not seem like a waterfall, it is still very nice). Liepaja is for the ones who like adrenaline – there is an old prison for the navy soldiers from the time of the Russian Empire (used by Soviets too), now opened as a museum – the museum, in which you can be treated like a „prisoner” during the tour, and learn some things about the history and the Soviet occupation in Latvia at the same time).
Now it is time for some practical information, which will help you during your stay. The most popular way to move from one place in Latvia to another is the bus – there are a lot of connection lines between almost every town. The Latvian language is very specific and is not similar to any other language (except Lithuanian), but do not worry – most of the people (especially the younger generation) speaks fluent English, and the ones who do not – can probably communicate in Russian.
The things I listed above are only some of the many reasons why I will remember the project as a great, life-changing experience, thanks to which I had an opportunity to explore such a beautiful and unique country.
Projekts "Jaunatne iesaistās" tiek finansēts ar Eiropas Komisijas “Erasmus+: Jaunatne darbībā”, kuru Latvijā administrē Jaunatnes starptautisko programmu aģentūra, atbalstu.
Šī publikācija atspoguļo vienīgi autora uzskatus, un Komisijai nevar uzlikt atbildību par tajā ietvertās informācijas jebkuru iespējamo izlietojumu.