Sigulda

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Sigulda is administratively in the Riga region, however culturally a part of the Vidzeme region. The city is some 50 kilometers to the east of Riga. It is at the south-western end of Gauja National Park. Located in the picturesque Gauja valley, with its steep banks and cliffs, Sigulda has become known as the 'Switzerland of Latvia'.

Get in[edit]

Sigulda New Castle.
Turaida castle

By train[edit]

The train from Riga takes about 1 hour 15 minutes, and a day return ticket costs about €5 (September 2011). Timetables at 1188.lv.

By bus[edit]

The bus also takes about 1 hour 15 minutes from Riga.

By car[edit]

If going by private transport, be wary of traffic jams during nice summer weekends - lots of people go there during season, and sometimes it's better to take the train.

Get around[edit]

By foot[edit]

Sigulda is a small town, and every major sight is easily accessible on foot. In winter, some hiking paths are even cleared of snow.

By bus[edit]

A local bus goes to Turaida and Krimulda every day and takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

Itineraries[edit]

Walk the wooded trails to Turaida. Take the cable car across the valley, then up and down a variety of paths and steps to Turaida village and castle, before returning along the river valley and a visit to Gutman's Cave. Distance is around 10 km.

See[edit]

Wariors welcome you in Sigulda.
How about trying to wear these?
  • City card Siguldas spieķis. Is the key to unique Sigulda experience for individual travelers. The card gives free entry to the main sights and the museum, and money saving special offers.
  • Turaida castle. About 4km outside of Sigulda and a major sight. It's been rebuilt in the Soviet area and now houses exhibition space and a small café. It also has fabulous views over the valley and the river.
  • Gutmanis cave. Lies half-way between Sigulda and Turaida castle and has a little creek flowing from it. A legend states that the water in the creek emanates from Gutmanis' tears, and drinking it is supposed to be healthy and boosting one's lifespan. Try it at your own risk, or just watch people stopping by to fill entire bottles.
  • Krimulda Palace and Ruins. Are located about 800 m further from Gutmanis Cave up the Serpentine road. The Cable car take tourists to Sigulda side every half hour.
  • Sigulda New Castle. Built in the end of 19th century. A restaurant and the city council are located in the castle. Close to the entrance of castle yard and the parking there is a small square full of cute sculptures of warriors, made from metal household appliances and stone.
  • Sigulda Medieval Castle Ruins. Located next to the Sigulda New castle. Built in 1207 by the Order of the Brethren of the Sword. In the ruins there's an open air stage. Two towers are restored (in one of them you can try wearing armor and there is a locally-made candles shop at the top; from the top of the other one you can see impressive panorama) as well as some corridors.
  • Walking-stick Square. Opened in 2007. The walking stick is a symbol of Sigulda town. Locals have made walking sticks since the 19th century to help tourists walk up and down the primeval valley of the Gauja River.

Do[edit]

Sigulda's bobsled and luge track snakes its way into the valley.
  • Canoeing. Do a canoe tour in Gauja National Park. Take care of your arms.
  • Cable car. Ride Latvia's only cable car across the Gauja valley and enjoy the view. €4 one way (July 2014)..
  • Bobsledding. In winter, slide down the bobsled track or ski in the mini ski resort. During summer weekends, the bobsled run is converted for use by 'wheel-bobs'.
  • Amusement park Wild cat. Adventure Park Mežakaķis is a sporty activity or a walk in the trees, and it is designed for people that are fond of active lifestyle and spending time in open air.
  • Aerodium. Free flight simulator - first vertical wind tunnel in Eastern Europe. It breaks gravity rules and allows you to fly with the help of newest technologies.

Buy[edit]

  • Sigulda Walking Stick. is the most popular tourist souvenir for more than a hundred years. The canes have different sizes, starting from very small (almost like a key ring) till actual size, which you could use exploring the city. You can find them at Turaida castle, Tourism information centre, Gutmanis cave, etc.

Eat[edit]

In the centre of town (Pils Iela) there are two large buffet cafés opposite the main shopping area that are open throughout the day all week from breakfast until late evening. There is also a Hesburger outlet behind the bobsleigh course, but this is a good walk from everything else.

In Turaida there are no food options for lunch beyond a microwaved hot dog at the village store.

Drink[edit]

  • Melnais Kaķis (Located in the city centre). Open every evening from 22-02 Every weekend is disco opened from 22-04.

Sleep[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Ligatne – village in Gauja National Park
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