Riga’s Seaside Jūrmala

20 January 2014

When people think of Riga, beaches usually aren’t the first things to come to mind. But actually, Riga’s Seaside town (Jūrmala) has been a favorite place for Latvians and other former Soviet peoples for centuries. Even Khrushchev and Brezhnev frequented the town’s white sandy beaches, resorts and picturesque wooden houses along the shore.

As far back as the 18th century,  Jūrmala has been a popular spa destination. The town’s reputation started after the Napoleonic war, when Russian army officers relaxed along the beaches before returning home after the war. In 1877, the town’s popularity peaked when the Tukums railway was built passing through the town, making it much more accessible to tourists.

In soviet times, the town experienced a boom in popularity, as it became a top holiday reward destination for elite communist party officials.  During this period, numerous concrete resorts, hotels and spas sprung up along the beaches, which are still there to this day.

Today, the town is slowly regaining its popularity after a significant drop caused by the collapse of the USSR. Nonetheless, the town still offers long sandy beaches, easy access from Riga and a great deal of beautiful Baltic German built wooden houses.

It is a must for any visit to Riga in the summer!

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