Let’s go to Liepāja!
In today’s post we will travel some 200 kilometres west from the Latvian capital to one of the true gems of the Baltic Coast and Latvia’s third largest city: Liepāja.
Liepāja is situated between the Lake Liepāja and the Baltic coast. Since Riga is situated in the middle of the country this means that a trip to Liepāja will take you across half of Latvia. Communications are good and a trip Riga-Liepāja and back is definitely possible in one day if you are prepared to rise early.
Getting there by car:
From Riga follow the A9 westwards, the trip is 217 km and should take just under three hours depending on traffic.
Getting there by bus:
Buses from Riga to Liepāja are frequent, quick and will set you back around 8 €. Be prepared to spend around 3-4 hours on the bus.
Getting there by train:
Train is a bit trickier since the trains for Liepāja leave Riga only in the evening. Time of arrival is 21.40. This is a good option if you are staying the night. For buses and trains I recommend using 1188.lv.
Liepāja might not be the biggest of towns but it still has a lot to offer. Liepāja is known as the city of music, the city of wind and might I add – the city of architecture.
Music has a big place in Liepāja. Not only can you walk on the Music Walk of Fame honouring some 40 musicians and 10 music groups from Latvia, Liepāja is also home to many music festivals. Ranging from the Liepāja International Piano Stars Festival held in March to the electronic/rock-festival Summersound, held on the sandy white beaches in July.
The city of architecture seems to apply to every other Latvian city. Liepāja however can boast a nice mix of Rococo-churches, Art Nouveau as well as older traditional wooden houses. The best way to experience all this is of course to hope for nice weather and take stroll in town. The tourist-information centre near the university can give you a map with a walking-route marked out on it.
The city of winds might be more unique to Liepāja. This comes from the sometimes windy weather that the close proximity to the Baltic can lead to. This weather can also be a blessing, especially during the warmer summer months. Make sure to have some time to spend a day at the beach!
Some useful links:
Liepāja – The Latvian travel agency
1188.lv – Trains and buses.
Maxim’s post on the Summersound Festival