Latvia can be proud of its long-standing and rich cultural traditions, and a great way to get to know them is to enjoy them yourself! We have put together eight great holiday destinations for different tastes.
Mežaparks Open-Air Stage
Mežaparks Open-Air Stage is a cultural and historical building in the green park area of Riga city - Mežaparks. The Open-Air Stage has a great cultural and historical significance, and over time it has become a permanent venue for the more than 150-year-old Latvian Song Festival tradition. This impressive building was built in 1955, but the most recent reconstruction was completed in June 2021, and the Latvian Architecture of the Year Award was received for this reconstruction.
At present, the complex includes an open-air stage, a concert hall, an exhibition hall, conference and seminar rooms, which are suitable for all kinds of large-scale concerts, activities and events. Every resident, guest or visitor of the city of Riga has the opportunity to see this important cultural site, the main venue of the General Latvian Song and Dance Festival - the Mežaparks Open-Air Stage, its concert hall and visit the exhibitions in the exhibition hall.
The Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia
This is one of the oldest and largest open-air museums in Europe, and it tells about the life of farmers in the Latvian countryside from the end of the 17th century to the end of the 1930s. The aim of the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia is to allow visitors to get to know and enjoy the cultural heritage, work, everyday traditions, and aesthetic world.
The museum is located in Pierīga and it is possible to walk around the complex yourself or go on organized excursions, getting to know the history of the separate regions of Latvia or getting acquainted with most of the exhibits of the Open-Air Museum accompanied by a guide.
Latvian National Museum of Art
The collection of the largest art museum in Latvia comprises more than 52 thousand works by painters and sculptors. The museum regularly offers various temporary exhibitions. Its visitors can take special educational programmes and tours guided by museum employees.
House of Aspazija in Jūrmala
House of the prominent Latvian poetress Aspazija in Dubulti is the most unusual and the most beautiful museum in Jūrmala. The special atmosphere of the House of Aspazija is created by music, art and history; the restored exhibition of the museum helps experience the spirit of the last century, via not only early 20th century household items and interiors, but also projected holograms and interactive educational games. Take a short walk along the narrow street Aspazijas iela that leads to the beach and take a picture with the sculpture “Aspazija in the dunes”.
Secret Soviet Bunker in Līgatne
This will be an atypical museum visiting experience - being nine meters underground! This bunker houses a shelter for the Latvian communist power elite in the event of a nuclear war, and features authentic Soviet-era exhibits, such as various Soviet-era maps and plans, telecommunications units, and other facilities that would allow its occupants to stay there for many months.
This bunker was installed under the rehabilitation centre "Līgatne". The most surprising thing is that for 30 years the staff and visitors of the rehabilitation centre did not know anything about what was underground. The museum also offers an authentic Soviet meal with dumplings and compote.
This manor is an unusual example of romantic art nouveau, built in an effort to implement 20th century European architectural and artistic trends, with a beautiful, spacious park, a remarkable variety of trees, shrubs and roses, and picturesque park paths and ponds. From 1911 to 1915, Lūznava Manor was a significant cultural centre in Latgale, but after that it became an army headquarters, and later a school and administrative building.
The manor is open to visitors and continues to fulfill the tradition of gathering people. Various concerts, exhibitions, conferences, important events, wedding ceremonies and excursions take place here.
Train station “Alūknses Bānītis”
The Gulbene-Alūksne train is currently the only narrow-gauge railway in the Baltics that provides regular passenger services. The 33-kilometer-long section of the train takes 1 hour and 25 minutes, and the ride with it is a real adventure!
In the luggage barn at Alūksne station, the Bānītis Museum has been established, which allows you to get to know the history of the railway, the various stops on the Bānītis railway, and the stories behind them. The museum's exposition is interactive, modern and suitable for both children and adults. If you want to catch your breath after the train ride and visit to the museum, then a romantic cafe “Tvaiks x Ogle” has been set up at the station overlooking the narrow-gauge railway.
Concert Hall “Great Amber” in Liepāja
The art and culture centre "Great Amber" is visually reminiscent of the symbol of Liepāja - amber. On the other hand, the orange-red colour of the glass on the inside creates a magical and special mood. It has three high-quality acoustic concert halls, an art space on the ground floor of the Civita Nova building, as well as a café and restaurant "Čello". Explore the building, attend one of the cultural events and enjoy the great atmosphere!
Wherever you choose to go in Latvia, you will find a cultural center, museum or concert hall in almost every city where you can enjoy local music, art and culture.