Jūrmala – The Latvian Riviera
In the light of the great weather we have been having in Saint Petersburg lately *knock on wood*, I am officially saying “goodbye” to winter. And because of that, today I am telling you about a great seaside spa resort destination in Riga called Jūrmala.
Jūrmala – which actually means seaside or beach in Latvian – is considered the largest beach resort in the Baltic States (and greenest town in Latvia), and therefore it gets pretty eventful during summer. There is plenty to do in the Latvian Riviera, and at just a fraction of what you would pay in Western Europe. Not only there is a huge beach territory framed by pine forests, but you can also swim in the river, visit the Līvu Akvaparks (the largest water park in Northern Europe) and the Kemeri National Park – one of Latvia’s national treasures -, where you can go bird watching and see wild animals like moose, deer and foxes. Admission to the Kemeri National park is free. If you have the time, you should definitely go for a walk around a couple of Jūrmala’s residential areas and check out the cottage-style buildings and romantic wooden architecture that have become a part of the city’s cultural heritage.
If you are interested in spending the night over at Jūrmala, you can choose between a hotel, an aparthotel, or camping by the river. However, if you want to go back to the center at the end of the day, that is possible as well, since you’re only about 30-40 minutes away from the center. You can get to Jūrmala by mini bus, by car, by train or by boat. The tickets for the mini bus cost EUR 1.50 each and buses come every 15 minutes. Your stop should be Majori, but you can take any bus from Riga – Sloka, Riga – Dubulti or Riga – Jaunkemeri, and ask the driver to drop you off in Majori. Train rides will take about 40 minutes to get to Majori and each ticket costs EUR 1.40. As for boat trips, depending on your route, it will cost you somewhere between EUR 5.00 and EUR 20.00. To know more about how to get to Jūrmala by public transport, please click here. In Jūrmala you will be able to rent a bicycle, which is probably the most convenient way of getting to places. And if you go by car, you should be happy to know that all municipal parking lots are free of charge!
If you stay for the night, there will be plenty going on during the summer season. If you want to know what is happening in the Latvian Riviera this summer, to learn more about accommodation, nightlife, city attractions and leisure activities, please click here. A few more things you ought to know: there is a EUR 2.00 entrance fee to get in Jūrmala between April 1st and September 30th; Jomas Street is packed with little restaurants (but you can’t ride on a bicycle there); for peace and quiet, go to Priedaine; to see some classic Nouveau and contemporary summer house districts, check out Dzintari and Bulduri.
I hope this article is of any use to you if you are planning on visiting Jūrmala. If there is something else you wish to know that I can help you with, feel free to leave a comment below!