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Museums

The museums of Latvia invite you to see, learn, and experience.

If you are interested in history, then visit Karosta Prison, the Corner House, or Līgatne Bunker. In Karosta Prison you will see prison cells and a punishment cell built around 1900. In Līgatne you will find a secret underground bunker that was built around the 1980s for the government in case of nuclear war. In Riga you will have the chance to visit the former headquarters of the Soviet KGB – the so-called Corner House, where you can take a guided tour through the prison cells.

Remnants of the olden days will welcome you at the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, where the historical dwelling houses of farmers, craftsmen, and fishermen are displayed. Here you can also find traditional craftsmen and experience the celebrations of Latvian annual festivals.

After a walk through history, visit the Aldaris Beer Museum to taste the local beer and learn the secrets of brewing. Treat your family at the Laima Chocolate Museum, where the chocolate can be seen, tasted, heard and felt.

#1 Latvian National Museum of Art

Latvian National Museum of Art

The Latvian National Museum of Art is a wonderful venue for discovering Latvia’s artistic heritage through both permanent and visiting exhibitions. And fresh from a major reconstruction, the building itself is a work of art to be savoured.

 

#2 Rundale Palace and Museum

Rundale Palace and Museum

Nicknamed the Baltic Versailles, Rundale Palace (Rundāles pils) will transport you to an age of splendour.

Designed by Francesco Rastrelli, the architect who also created St. Petersburg’s Hermitage, Rundale is a superbly restored Baroque and Rococo masterpiece packed with art treasures and surrounded by a delightful rose garden.

 

#3 Riga Motor Museum

Riga Motor Museum

Visit Riga Motor Museum to see the largest and most diverse collection of antique motor vehicles in the Baltics.

The museum houses many magnificent examples from motoring history, from Model T Fords to vehicles once owned by Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev. Kids will love the interactive displays.

 

#4 Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum

Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum

You don’t have to travel far in Riga to escape the urban bustle. Located right on the city’s doorstep, the Open Air Ethnographic Museum is a luscious lakeside park where fine examples of vernacular architecture from all over Latvia have been lovingly preserved.

Step back in time by visiting peasant homes, workshops, windmills and priceless treasures like the richly ornamented Usma Church.

 

#5 The once-top secret Soviet bunker in rural Līgatne

Secret Soviet bunker in Līgatne

Līgatne Bunker, constructed 9 meters beneath the ground, was intended to serve as a shelter for Latvia’s Communist elite in case of a hypothetical nuclear war.

Displayed at the shelter are authentic exhibits which have survived there from Soviet times.

 

#6 Turaida Museum Reserve

Turaida Museum Reserve

Explore Turaida medievel castle and its intriguing Museum, connect with Latvia’s musical heritage on Folk Song Hill and take in sweeping views of the lovely Gauja River Valley.

Turaida Museum Reserve is situated in the historical centre of Turaida and reaveals historical events and people’s stories that took place more than a thousand years ago. The word “Turaida” can be poetically translated from the Liv language as “God’s Garden”.

 

#7 The Naval Port Prison

The Naval Port Prison

Europe’s only military prison open to tourists, where the last inmates left their inscriptions on the cell walls relatively recently: in 1997.

There are loads of activities for you to experience in The Naval Port Prison, but the most unique will be spending a night in the prison cell as The Karosta Prison has been recognised as one of the most surprising and unusual hotels in the world.

 

#8 Cesis Medieval Castle

Cesis Medieval Castle

Cesis Medieval Castle offers a fascinating historical exhibition, a workshop making traditional Latvian jewellery as well as archery and other medieval activities. And after dark, don’t miss a chance to see the castle on a spine-tingling torchlight tour.

 

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Last updated: 
12.12.2018