Discover culture, cuisine, and adventure

Latvia, known for picturesque landscapes, diverse architecture, and rich cultural heritage, offers visitors a unique experience that can only be found in this part of the world. While many tourists may be tempted to stick to the usual tourist hotspots, those who want to get a real taste of Latvian life should try to do as locals do. 

One of the best ways to explore Latvia like a local is by taking a leisurely walk through the city streets. The capital city of Riga, for instance, is home to some of the country’s most beautiful and historically significant streets. Take a stroll down Alberta iela, which is lined with Art Nouveau buildings, or head to Kalēju iela to see some of the city’s oldest structures. While you’re walking, be sure to stop at one of the many cafes and bakeries for a cup of coffee and a pastry. 

Another must-do for visitors to Latvia is sampling the local cuisine. Latvian food is hearty, comforting, and often made from locally sourced ingredients. Some of the most loved dishes include grey peas with bacon, sour cream, and onions; smoked fish; and potato pancakes. To experience Latvian cuisine like a local, head to one of the many farmer’s markets held throughout the country. You can sample and purchase fresh produce, meats, dairy products, handmade crafts, and souvenirs. 

If you’re visiting Latvia during the summer months, take advantage of the many festivals and events that take place. For instance, the Nationwide Latvian Song and Dance Festival, held every five years, celebrates traditional Latvian music, dance, and culture, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world. Other popular festivals include the Riga Opera Festival, the Positivus Festival and the Festival “Summer Sound”.   

For those who enjoy outdoor activities, Latvia has plenty to offer. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely hike through the countryside or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, you’ll find it here. Gauja National Park, located just outside of Riga, is a popular destination for hiking, biking, and kayaking, while the sandy beaches along the Baltic coast are perfect for swimming and sunbathing. You can also try your hand at fishing, hunting, or horseback riding. 

If you really want to experience Latvia like a local, you should consider staying in a traditional guesthouse or farmstead. This will give you a chance to see how Latvians live, work, and interact with their environment. Many guesthouses offer traditional Latvian meals and cultural activities such as folk dancing and handicraft workshops. 

Latvia is a country that offers visitors a wealth of opportunities to experience the local culture and way of life. From sampling traditional cuisine, attending festivals, exploring the countryside, and staying in a guesthouse, there are many ways to do as the locals do. By immersing yourself in Latvian culture, you’ll better appreciate this beautiful and fascinating country.

Relaxing and enjoying the sea view at Vidzeme, Latvia
Relaxing and enjoying the sea view at Vidzeme, Latvia, © Reinis Hofmanis.

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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