Sights: Introduction

Latvia excels in historical sights built throughout its history as a constant battleground between East and West, whereby local Latvians were often sidelined but still contributed greatly.

The main square of Riga Old Town
The main square of Riga Old Town. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Among the top sights are Latvia’s cities, especially Riga. They were developed as major trading ports and strongholds over the centuries and influenced far beyond the boundaries of Latvia well into the industrial revolution.

Some smaller towns are also especially picturesque, retaining the atmosphere of past importance.

Many cities and towns have ruined castles that were constructed by German Crusaders back in the Medieval era. In later, more peaceful epochs, the descendants of same German rulers have built extremely opulent palaces and gardens.

The 'New Sigulda Castle'
The ‘New Sigulda Castle’ (actually a palace standing next to a Medieval castle). ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Pristine nature is another draw to Latvia. It lacks breathtaking places, but the low population density and a lack of “private property” signs allow to enjoy Latvia’s lowlands, lakes, forests and rivers more thoroughly than in many other places of the world.

Religious heritage of Latvia is also worth checking, with many cities and towns boasting old churches of various Christian denominations – from austere Lutheran to more rich Catholic to golden-domed Russian Orthodox.

Lake Rāzna
Lake Rāzna, the anchor of eponymous national park. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Resorts of Latvia makes a good use of nation’s long coastline, which is essentially one neverending sandy beach with swimming possible in its every location.

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