"The Switzerland of Latvia" Top 5 Page for this destination Sigulda by Dabs

Sigulda Travel Guide: 108 reviews and 323 photos

Sigulda

Sigulda, a lovely town in the Gauja Valley, is the daytrip from Riga that everyone recommended to me and it is well worth a visit should you have a day to spare. Whether you come in by bus or car, make your first stop the national park visitors center to get a map, several times we seemed to be a bit off course and our Lonely Planet map was inadequate.

If you are in reasonable shape, you should be able to walk between the sights, you can work off some of that food you've been eating at the Lido restaurants in Riga.

We started from the Sigulda bus station, stopped at the Sigulda Church, picked up a map at the visitors center, visited the New Sigulda Castle and Knights Stronghold and then headed over to the cable car that takes you over the Gauja Valley, the natural divider between the Knights stronghold and the Archibishop of Riga's castle over at Turaida.

Across the valley

Take the cable car over the Gauja Valley to ruins of the Krimulda castle, continuing walking (downhill) to Gutmanis cave, then onto Turaida.

Turaida Museum Reserve

At Turaida, the museum reserve has several main sights-the castle and it's view over the valley is the highlight, you can also visit the enchanting Folksong garden, a wooden steepled church with the grave of Turaida Rose in the churchyard and an estate with several buildings showing how an estate works.

After your visit here you can take the bus back to Sigulda.

If you have more than just a day, there are other hiking/biking areas to explore. In addition to what we saw, there is ballooning, bungee jumping (from the cable car!), bobsledding in both winter and summer, skiing and lots more outdoorsy opportunities.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Perfect day trip from Riga
  • Last visit to Sigulda: May 2004
  • Intro Updated Jun 13, 2004
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Reviews (23)

Comments (14)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jun 6, 2011 at 7:35 AM

    I'd like to pay a visit to the Switzerland of Latvia some day too....

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2008 at 1:50 PM

    Kristi, interesting page about Sigulda and the surrounding region. Unfortunately I missed it when I was in Riga. I epseically like the story about Turaida Rose. Have a lovely weekend.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Nov 15, 2006 at 10:55 AM

    great details and pics!

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2006 at 7:31 AM

    Some very interesting places to visit. Ancient graffiti, eh?

  • chewy3326's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2006 at 3:51 PM

    What a beautiful valley! The cave and the castles look very interesting. Great page and photos!

  • Propermark's Profile Photo
    Dec 24, 2005 at 4:09 AM

    Wonderfumpage about Sigulda! Next time I visit Latvia I'll go there! Shastlivogo Rozhdestva i s Novym Godom! Bye bye.

  • kylamees's Profile Photo
    Jul 17, 2005 at 3:33 AM

    Good overview of Sigulda, was helpful to discover "Switzerland of Latvia", thanks :)

  • TempNomad's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2005 at 1:34 PM

    I chose your pages by accident and I'm so happy I did! What gorgeous views and interesting anecdotes. Thanks for the story of Toraida Rose and the caves. Wonderful pages.

  • easyoar's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2005 at 12:57 PM

    Looks a charming little place! I've never seen 16th Century graffitti before, have Americans been travelling abroad that long ;-)))

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo
    Nov 16, 2004 at 11:50 AM

    A very interesting tour, Kristi. I like the history you weave into your tips. Stephen

Dabs

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