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Beyond its bustling port, Ventspils is a city of beaches, public art and an incredible array of activities for kids.
Art and industry
Founded over 700 years ago, Ventspils is one of Latvia’s oldest ports, and the smell of the sea and the wind blowing through your hair are constant reminders of the maritime heritage.
But as its superbly restored, interactive and visitor-friendly medieval castle shows, this is a city very much in tune with today.
Thanks to money from oil transit and a visionary city government, Ventspils has progressed in leaps and bounds over the years. Along with excellent roads and a budding tech industry, the city has also invested heavily in art, making this an industrial town with a refined soul.
The riverside promenade is rich in interesting monuments, and the city is sprinkled with reminders of the Cow Parades, in which artists imaginatively decorate bovine figures. Some are auctioned for charity but over two dozen remain to bring colour and joy to the streets.
Ventspils is a busy and hardworking port, but there are also tons of things for kids to enjoy.
Ventspils Adventure Park is a world of amazing rides and slides, while the Children’s Village has over 40 fun activities plus trampolines and bikes for rent.
And if the weather is warm, take the family to Ventspils broad, sandy beach, awarded a Blue Flag for its high environmental standards.
Top things to do
Ventspils is a city full of delightful surprises for the whole family.
Discover Ventspils’ seafaring history at the lovely Seaside Open Air Museum with its nostalgic collection of fishing boats, nets, huts and much more.
Take a nostalgic ride on authentic narrow-gauge steam train running from the Open Air Museum through a typical seaside landscape of dunes, pine forests and summer cottages.
The Castle of the Livonian Order is a beautifully restored 13th century structure where you can learn about the dramatic history of Ventspils and enjoy art exhibitions and concerts.
Don’t miss a delicious medieval lunch in the Black piglet restaurant in the castle’s cellar.