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Liepāja

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Liepāja (pronounced lee-ah-pa-yah) is a city on Latvia's Baltic coast.

Understand[edit]

View from Holy Trinity Cathedral

With 70,000 residents, Liepāja is Latvia's third largest city. During World War I, it was the capital of Latvia.

Liepāja city consists of two main areas of interest: the city center, and Karosta, the northern part of the city, which used to be a secret Soviet military town. The city center and Karosta have great beaches, and you will be surprised how unspoiled and beautiful the central beach is, and how white and soft the sand is! Karosta is essentially another city, because it really has a different history and look from the rest of Liepāja; Karosta is worth a separate visit. In Liepāja there is no "old town", but the center and surroundings are full of beautiful old wooden buildings, little irregular streets, etc. The center also includes the Seaside Park (Jurmala Park) area, which has a fantastic white, soft sand beach; the park itself is great, too, with many nice buildings. Liepāja is known in Latvia as "the city where the wind is born", because of the continual sea breeze.

  • 1 Tourism Information Centre (Liepājas reģionālais tūrisma informācijas birojs), Rožu iela 5/6 (near the university), +371 29402111, +371 63480808, e-mail: . 1 Apr–30 Sep: M–F 09:00–19:00, Sa 10:00–18:00, Su 10:00–16:00; 1 Oct–31 Mar: M–F 09:00–17:00, Sa 10:00–15:00. Also has bicycles for rent.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

Liepāja is connected by bus service with Riga (many times every day, €8.55, 3-3.75 hr), Ventspils, Kuldīga and other towns and villages in Liepāja region, as well as Klaipėda (2 hours) and Palanga in Lithuania. To get from the bus station to the centre, take the tram at a tram stop which is on your right side when you exit the bus station building. Do not cross the railway tracks – this is the wrong direction.

  • 2 Sienatirgus (corner of Kuršu iela / Siena iela). The Liepāja regional bus terminal is in the southern part of the centre. All buses also go to the main bus station. This is also where minibuses go to Lithuania.

By train[edit]

The Liepāja railway station is located in the same building as the bus terminal. Trains to and from Riga run once per week only. The train leaves Riga on Fridays at 18:25, arriving in Liepāja at 21:44. The train back to Riga leaves on Sundays at 17:30, arriving in Riga at 20:43. Ticket costs €7.20. The train also stops in Skrunda, Saldus, Biksti, Dobele, Jelgava and Olaine.

By car[edit]

There are two main roads to Liepāja. From Riga, the A9 runs westward for 220 km. From Klaipėda in Lithuania, the A11 runs north for 100 km. From Ventspils, on the coast further north, take the P111.

By boat[edit]

A ferry service connects Liepāja with Travemünde (near Lübeck) in Germany. The ferry terminal is in Ziemelu priekspilseta, northwest of the main bus station, and 15 minutes from the centre by bus 10, 11, or 15, or minibus 3. If you have a yacht, you are welcome to Liepāja yacht harbour, located in the centre, in Tirdzniecibas channel.

By thumb[edit]

It is possible to hitch-hike in Latvia and if you want, you should try it for Liepāja, too. To get out of the city to go somewhere else, go to the north tram terminus, cross the railway crossing, and you are in the best spot to hitch-hike to Riga or Ventspils, or go to the south terminus, walk 400 m until the city ends completely, and you are in a good spot to hitch-hike to Klaipėda.

By plane[edit]

AirBaltic is the only airline serving Liepāja Airport with flights to and from Riga International Airport three times per week (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from Riga at 23:25 and Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Liepāja at 05:45). From Riga International Airport, which is the largest airport in the Baltic states 220 km east of Liepāja, many direct flights to Europe and Asia, including cheap Ryanair, airBaltic and Wizz Air routes, are available. Palanga airport in Lithuania is another option 65 km to the south with scheduled services year round.

City bus 2 connects Liepāja Airport with the city centre and is well connected with arriving/departing flights (see timetables here).

Get around[edit]

There are four types of public transport in Liepāja - tram, bus, minibus and taxi. See routes, timetables and live traffic here, or a more mobile friendly version. Trams, buses and minibuses have the same tickets, which you can purchase from the driver (€0.80) or in many shops and small newsagents' boutiques such as Narvesen which can be found throughout the city (€0.70 or €6.60 for 10 rides). Ticket must be validated in one of the yellow validators, which will print date and time on the ticket. There are also passes for one day, week, month etc. A one-day pass costs €2.50 and gives an unlimited number of rides, but you must validate it when you first use it. The ticket is then valid until midnight – the date is printed on your ticket when you validate it.

By tram[edit]

Tram map with historical lines

There is only one tram line running from Ezerkrasts (lakeside) residential district in the southeast to the west, then north through the center to Jaunliepaja, and ends near the metallurgic factory. It operates from 05:00 till midnight. Tram is the best transport to get to/from the railway/bus station to/from the city center. A ride from the center to the station takes approximately 8 minutes. An electronic tram ticket is also available by sending SMS, but this might be complicated for those who don't have local mobile phones.

By bus[edit]

There are many bus routes, the most important for tourists being 1, 3, 4, 7 and 8 – with these you can get from the city center to Karosta and back. You can get to the southeastern part (Ezerkrasts) to see Meynard's church and Liepāja Lake by 3, 4, 10, 15, 912. Costs €0.81 from the driver or €0.57 in shops and newsagents' boutiques. There are bus stops throughout the city. Tickets can be bought in kiosks or from the driver. Ticket must be validated in the bus by inserting it in an electronic validator as in the trams. Some buses have an audio announcement system for the next stop and a LED screen in front of the bus displaying next stop name. When going to Karosta you will most likely want to go right to the last stop, so don't worry. An exception might be bus number 8, which terminates far north in summer house and garden district Skede near the sea, which is kind of too far for Karosta, however is the best bus to get as far as the Jewish Holocaust memorial or the Northern fortress. Liepāja city is relatively big for Latvian city sizes. For example, to go from the center to Karosta by bus 3, you will need approximately 35 minutes and the distance will be around 10 km.

By minibus[edit]

Number 22 and 23 minibuses serve Karosta, however 23 only goes to Karosta swing bridge and you can end up waiting by a closed bridge for an hour or more. It is therefore recommended to take route 22, which will take you further into Karosta and, if the bridge is closed, will sometimes go around the channel to get there. They cost €0.57 from a shop or €0.81 from the driver. Tickets must be validated just like in trams or buses. To stop a minibus, you have to wave your hand. You can stop it only at bus stops. To stop a minibus when you are in it, you have to ask the driver.

By taxi[edit]

Taxis are relatively expensive compared to other types of transport, but still cheaper than in Western Europe. This is the only public transport available at night (approximately 00:30-05:00). There are some places in the city center and near the Bus/Railway station where taxis assemble, or you can call +371 63422222, +371 63466666 or +371 63488888.

By thumb[edit]

Especially getting to or from the Northern Forts can be achieved by hitch-hiking, which is about 5 km. It is probably best to walk from south (Karosta) to north (Northern Forts), to also cover the fortress north of the breakwater, and to try hitch-hiking back into the centre of Liepāja with one of the many cars that go south. There are many cars and during the day one local might just be curious enough to take you in for the ride.

Talk[edit]

Some Latvian phrases will be admired by locals, such as paldies (Thank you) or labdien (Hello). Latvian is spoken natively by more than half of Liepāja's population and is the only official language. Written signs and labels are mostly in Latvian. However, you will also hear Russian in the streets of Liepāja, which is by far the most widespread minority language since the Soviet time, when lots of Russians immigrated into Latvia's main cities, including Liepāja, to work in industries. In summer there are many German tourists and German can be heard in most touristic areas. Latvians, especially younger generations, more or less speak English.

See[edit]

The former Secret soviet military town of Karosta (northern Liepāja), the Fortress of Liepāja (its parts are located all around the city, the most spectacular ones are on the Baltic shore in Karosta), Liepāja city center with many old art-nouveau and wooden building and cobblestone streets, and the seaside park with its white sandy beach, as well as Liepāja's lake – fifth largest lake in Latvia – are nice places with lots to see.

Playground in Seaside Park
  • 1 Amber clock. Actually a sundial-shaped design object, is on the promenade, and is created from thousands of pieces of amber, donated by anyone who wanted to do so. The sundial shows time every hour on the hour, by a special light performance. The performance can be seen much better, when it is dark outside.
  • 2 Craftman's house (The House of Craftsmen), Dārza iela 4/8, +371 26541424, e-mail: . M–F 10:00–17:00. Usually closed on weekends.. Latvian craftwork in the former home of the mayor Schröder. See the longest amber necklace in the world (123 m or 403 ft), weighing almost 20 kg (44 lb). You can also watch weavers working a creating beautiful tablecloths, skirts etc. Also, craftsmen workshops, demonstrations of crafts, and exhibitions. Donation appreciated.
  • 5 The Oskars Kalpaks Bridge (Kalpaka Tilts). Open: 01:00–03:00, 05:00–06:30, 10:30–12:00, 14:30–15:30, 19:30–21:00. This iconic swinging metal bridge to Karosta is often opened to make way for ships. Designed by the German engineer Harald Hall and built in 1906. Check out the times at the bridge when the bridge is closed and ships are let through.

Churches[edit]

Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

The churches are a pleasant surprise with their variety of architectural styles. This reflects religion in Latvia, which is very mixed. It is mostly Christian of various branches, and this can be seen in Liepāja, where there are Lutheran, Protestant, Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Russian Old Believers and other religious groups' churches. These vary from tiny wooden churches to huge towers and cathedrals. There are about 20 churches in Liepāja.

  • 6 Holy Trinity Cathedral (Liepājas Svētā Trīsvienības Evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca), Lielā 9, +371 63422208, +371 20360055, e-mail: . Has a 55 m (180 ft) high tower, which is a perfect sightseeing place. It also has a huge church organ, made of more than 7000 pipes, which was the biggest organ in the world till 1912. It is still the biggest in Latvia and one of the biggest and most beautiful in Europe. Holy Trinity Cathedral, Liepāja on Wikipedia Holy Trinity Cathedral, Liepāja (Q1257628) on Wikidata
  • 7 Saint Anne's Church (Liepājas Svētās Annas Evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca), Veidenbauma iela 1, +371 63423384, +371 63424231, e-mail: . Built of red brick and the oldest of Liepāja's churches. The organ is the third biggest in Latvia. First mentioned in 1508 with a 9.70 m high wooden baroque altar from 1697. The tower can be climbed.
  • 8 St. Joseph's Cathedral (Liepājas Svētā Jāzepa Romas katoļu katedrāle), Rakstvežu iela 13, +371 63429775. The biggest Catholic church in Liepāja. Built of yellow bricks, with many small towers. There is a ship model in the church, which was believed to bring good luck for fishermen. St. Joseph Cathedral, Liepāja on Wikipedia Liepāja Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Cathedral (Q1387223) on Wikidata
  • 9 St. Meynard's Church (Meinarda baznīca), Ganību iela 120 (southeast of the city centre). Very different from all the others, because it is much newer. It was a gift from Vatican. It was the Vatican's pavilion at Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany, and brought her in 2002. The church is not in the city centre. (Q15219268) on Wikidata

Many other churches are scattered throughout the city, the most important being St. Nicholas maritime cathedral in Karosta (see Karosta).

Liepāja Lake[edit]

Liepāja is surrounded by water. There are the Baltic Sea, two big lakes and some smaller ones, and four channels in the city. The city, is almost an island, especially the southern part (Vecliepāja). Liepāja Lake is the fifth largest lake in Latvia. It is lagoon type, which was part of the sea in ancient days. It is not deep, relatively narrow - up to 3.5 km (2.2 mi) - and long - about 15 km (9.3 mi). Liepāja city is on the north-western coast of the lake. If you go to Ezerkrasts (Lakeside), you can see the best lake views from Tise iela (Tise street). On one side are apartment buildings, and on the other, a meadow; behind the meadow is the lake. The lake, together with surrounding meadows (Vitinu meadows), is a nature protection area, mostly because of some rare plants growing there and many species of birds that live or come across this place regularly. This visit must be guided and pre-booked in the Tourism Information Centre, because it is a nature protection area. Swimming in the lake is not as nice as in the sea (but warmer), because the bottom is sometimes swampy. There is, however, a special place for swimming at the end of Vainodes street.

There is an interesting, yet very dirty and untouristic, place called 10 Zirgu sala. It is the biggest island in the lake and is very close to city center, where it is connected by bridge. From the island, an approximately 1 km (0.6 mi) long jetty, accessible even by car (a very bad road though), built of metallurgical factory oven-burned metallic stones, goes into the lake, providing nice views. It is sometimes called Golodova dambis or Zirgu salas dambis, and does not appear in any travel guides except this one.

Karosta[edit]

A former secret Soviet military town. If you are in Liepāja, you must go to Karosta. It is the northern part of the city, about 10 km (6 mi) from the center. Karosta translates as War Port (or Navy Harbor) from Latvian. It used to be a secret military town for the Russian Empire, and later also for the Soviets. Latvia became independent, and some years after that, in 1994, the Russian troops had to leave Karosta. The population dropped dramatically from 25,000 to 6,000, leaving many empty houses behind. Then Karosta experienced something like a war without guns. Many houses were turned into ruins. Everything was taken away. Brick by brick, many historic, beautiful buildings disappeared forever. Now, Karosta has a population of 7,000 and a dream of renaissance, which has already started. It is now a popular tourist destination and also home for an international artists' center called K2. Many places in Karosta still look like war rubble. Some places are reminiscent of the abandoned towns of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster area.

  • 11 Karosta beach. There is a beach in Karosta. There you will find some pebbles and the sand might not be that soft as in the previous beach. On the seashore of Karosta you can also see a breakwater, the longest of Liepāja`s breakwaters, stretching 1.8 km into the sea, and you can go on it by car for approximately half of its length. Just be careful of waves in windy weather. And wind is famous in Liepāja. A Latvian expression says "the city where wind was born". And as any Latvian would tell, it's Liepāja. On the shore you can also see two fortresses. This is a wild beach with steep coasts, unlike the central beach with dunes.
Ziemeļu forti (Northern Fortress) on the shores of Karosta
  • Eight fortresses. They are all around the city, but the most scenic and interesting ones are these two on the shores of Karosta. The one closer to the breakwater (you can even see a small part of it from the breakwater), is the Nearby Forts. The other one, further to the north, is the Northern Forts.
  • 12 Nearby Fort (Tuvejie Forti) (close to the breakwater). It was blasted up shortly after being built.
  • 13 Northern Forts (Ziemelu forti), Liepāja, +371 26369470, e-mail: . The ruins of a 1908 fortress. Military heritage, tours with torches, underground labyrinths, fortifications, seashore, history of Karosta. It was not blasted up. So, it has much more underground labyrinths and tunnels to explore, but it is not as scenic and dramatic from the outside as the first one. Nearby the Northern Forts you can see nature-friendly energy being made by a huge wind power generator, which can be seen from far in the distance.
  • 14 St. Nikolai Orthodox Cathedral (Liepajas Sv. Nikolaja pareizticigo Juras katedrale) (in the centre of Karosta), +371 63457634. An impressive church in a depressing place. Just nearby Soviet-style apartment buildings surround the church, making it very surreal and contrasting. It was used as a cinema and a gym for soldiers during the soviet occupation years. Nowadays, the St. Nicholas maritime cathedral is a church again and the sound of its bells can be heard from afar. St Nicholas Naval Cathedral, Karosta on Wikipedia Naval cathedral of St. Nicholas (Q1736226) on Wikidata
  • 15 Twinned town of Chernobyl. Empty Soviet style apartment buildings, left in 1994. Some are already destroyed, some 10 are still there. Many older houses are empty as well.
  • 16 Karosta Prison (Karostas cietums), +371 26369470, e-mail: . A real military prison until 1997 and now for tourists. You are treated like a prisoner in a reality show and, if you are brave enough, can even stay overnight. Military heritage, show, prison cells, prison buffet, tours, lodging, museum, adventures. (Q14917186) on Wikidata
  • 17 Karosta Water Tower (Liepājas Karostas ūdenstornis), Ģenerāļa Baloža iela 29. The water tower is part of the formerly Russian Tsar Alexander III Mořských city. The construction is assumed to have happened between 1903 and 1905.
  • 18 Contemporary Art Gallery (gallery k.Maksla), Atmodas bulvaris 6. Modern, a bit weird, but always original and interesting exhibitions. You can also rent bicycles here.
  • Submarine Accumulator Fence and Hangar. The remains of a submarine base that was once here. There are also former dormitories, beautiful red brick buildings. All are abandoned and partially demolished.
  • Horse Arena (Maneza). A roofless building, which was once used for soldiers' training to ride horses, as well as for official celebrations for up to 4000 people who could fit there. These days the building is not used, except for one nice event, when Liepāja symphony orchestra made an open-air concert here.
  • Castle. Unfortunately in bad condition.
  • Other things: Karosta cemetery with Soviet style monuments, Karosta park, many forests and Beberlini Lake (a nice place to have a barbecue party in summer). There is camping, too.

Do[edit]

There is much to do and see in the city – nature is everywhere, even within the city: those are not just artificially planted city parks. There are also absolutely unspoiled and natural beaches, forests and meadows near the Liepāja lake. There are some swamps, but they are not that accessible. You can visit special swamp trails in Liepāja region, as well as even bigger and denser forests.

  • 3 Seaside Park (Jurmala Park). In the center of the city, beside the beach, is the most beautiful park of Liepāja. It has many different tree species, three stadiums, a concert garden, bowling center, minigolf, and in summer – cafeterias and many cultural events. You will find fountains there, and if you are lucky, you will see a squirrel running up the tree.
  • Beaches and swimming. What attracts tourists the most is probably the whitest and softest sandy beach. Part of it receives the Blue Flag every summer. This indicates that the beach is really good and safe to swim at. A good thing about Liepāja beach is that it is rarely too crowded. In the evening, night or early morning, or in winter, you can sometimes find yourself all alone on a magnificent beach, stretching as far as you can see. This concerns Vecliepājas and Dienvidrietumi beach, which are located in the central and southwestern part of the city. There are also beaches in Karosta.
  • Windsurfing. Windsurfing activities are popular and the city has both the sea and the lake, so there are wide opportunities for this and equipment can be rented in windsurfing club Rietumkrasts in Katedrales street, Karosta.
  • Baltic Beach Party. every July. Latvia's biggest music festival held at the central beach.
  • International Organ Music Festival, Liepāja/Kuldīga. Middle of September. Mostly happening in the Trinity Church. Get you ticket at the Liepaja Theatre. €7 (per concert, as of 2017).

Work[edit]

Knowledge of Latvian language is essential in most jobs. Some permits are required, depending on your home country. It is easier for EU citizens. The average salary is about €400-500 per month, but it varies greatly depending on the area of activity.

Buy[edit]

Open air markets are always something special for western tourists, but part of daily life for local people. There are many markets throughout the city, but the two most important and largest are the following:

  • 1 Peter’s market (Petertirgus) (in the city centre), +371 63423517. M–Sa 08:00–18:00, Su 08:00–14:00. It has big indoor and outdoor sections, where you can find food and non-food items. There is a fish market in the basement of the indoor market building. Some craftworks, amber and souvenirs can be bought outside, such as amber bracelets etc. This is the best place to buy local, ecologically clean fruit and vegetables, and July is strawberry time! Everything is relatively cheap. (Q28531734) on Wikidata
  • 2 Anne’s market / Jaunliepājas market (Annas tirgus), Jelgavas 37 (located one tram stop closer to the centre than the bus/railway station, in Jaunliepaja), +371 63425132. M–Sa 08–17:00. It is smaller than Petertirgus, but similar products and has a big flea market section, where you can find many things from the Soviet era.
  • Furthermore, there are two smaller ones, one in Silku/Kalpaka street corner and another one in Karosta for cool soviet-style souvenirs and other interesting stuff.

In Liepāja you will find all shops you might want to find, except for expensive brand shops. The main shopping centres are located in the centre and in the south of the city: Kurzeme, Ostmala, Rietumu centres, XL Sala, Baata, Ezerkrasts, and Depo.

  • Kurzeme is one of the largest shopping centres located in the heart of Liepāja, next to the Rose Square. The four-storey building offers a variety of shops, cafes, restaurants and various other service providers, books, jewellery, sports clothing and equipment, kids clothing and toys, women's and men's clothing, footwear, cosmetics, flowers, and sweets. Kurzeme shopping mall features more than 50 stores including global and Latvian favourite brand like Ecco, Sportland, Kidz One, Toy’s Planet, Stenders, Lauma Lingerie, NS King, VOVA, Jahonts, X Jeans, Zvaigzne ABC, Dzintars, and Laima.
  • Depo is the largest DIY store in Latvia. Rietumu centres has Jysk. Ostmala has a Rimi hypermarket and many clothes shops. XL Sala has Maxima XX and many other shops. Baata is probably the trendiest shopping centre - it is not large, but has a nice selection of shops and a very good restaurant Olive. Go there by tram till the last stop in the South. And 5 minutes from there is a wonderful white sand beach of the Baltic sea.
  • Visit the tourism information center; they have nice souvenirs, too. A good souvenir from little bays near fortresses in Karosta is little pebbles from the Baltic Sea. It's free and natural. Some tourists take a little jar of Liepāja central beach unbelievably white and soft sand as a souvenir.
  • Stendera ziepju fabrika produces interesting soaps and soap-related products for bathing, such as Burbuļbumbas - the bubble balls.

Eat[edit]

For more information on typical Latvian food, see Latvia#Eat.

Budget[edit]

For a western traveller, Liepāja's food prices might seem quite cheap, even for top-class restaurants. This is because the local average salary is about €400 per month.

  • Peter’s market (Pētertirgus, see above) – Has fresh, clean local food which is natural and healthy. Especially strawberries in July...
  • Try Latvian food in a cafeteria, restaurant or just buy a Sklandrausis (carrot pie, typical for Kurzeme, Western Latvia) in Šaras (a local word used for inner pavilion of a market, in this case Petertirgus market, and the official word in Latvian would be skārņi).
  • 1 Serenāde, Pasta 28 (on the corner of Graudu and Pasta streets). Has great cakes and pastries costing €0.40.
  • 2 Doka Pica, Brivzemnieka Street (just behind the main University building), +371 63420290, e-mail: . A restaurant with good and cheap pizzas, meat dishes, fish - everything.
  • 3 Karosta Prison Canteen. In Karosta Prison there is an authentic Soviet style canteen, but it does not operate regularly and is used by group requests only.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Medus (in guest house Porins).

Splurge[edit]

  • Libava (in guest house Libava).
  • Fontaine Royal. A very stylish restaurant on the Promenade (not to be confused with the nearby top-class restaurant in hotel Promenade). Everything is in pompous royal style, golden colored chairs and tables, etc.

Drink[edit]

Nightlife places, all in the centre, include:

  • 1 Fontaine Palace, Dzirnavu iela 4, +371 63488510. A hotel's music club in an old warehouse, capacity 600 people, offering live bands from around the globe. Popular with travellers and internationals.
  • 2 Rock café "Old Viking", Zivju iela 3.

Sleep[edit]

In Liepāja you have all you need - choose a cheap and cosy hostel or a five star hotel - Liepāja has it all. The city has an offical website, otherwise, here are some examples:

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Travellers Beach Hostel, Republikas iela 25 (Located between the beach and the centre.), +371 28690106, e-mail: . The Liepāja Branch of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Latvia has a guesthouse for travellers in Liepāja. With terrace, WiFi, kitchen, and equipment for the beach. It is most suited for backpackers and small groups of friends and families. Unfortunately, the hostel has seen its best times, and would really need a helping/cleaning hand, which doesn't seem to to be a priority of the owner. €10.
  • 2 Hotel Līva, Lielā iela 11, +371 63420102, e-mail: . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Refurbished rooms, WiFi throughout the hotel, modern conference facilities, and fitness center. Also features Restaurant Upe, which serves international cuisine. from €15.
  • 3 Liela Guest Apartament, Liela iela 8, +371 26316169. Average ratings, but cheap. From €12.
  • Karosta Military Detention Centre, Invalīdu Street 4, +371 26369470, e-mail: . The Karosta prison is probably the most inhospitable hotel in the world. There is no hot water, mattresses consist of wooden planks, and prison guards bark at the guests also known as prisoners. The hostel is in a former prison noted for its exceptional brutality during the Soviet era. €15.
  • 4 Fontaine Hotel, Juras 24, +371 63420956. Charming hotel in 2 old wooden houses on the same street, dating 1760 and 1890, with a nice backyard. Each room has its own design and charm. The reception is also a shop selling antiques and souvenirs. from €25.
  • 5 Pie Jāņa Brāļa, Raiņa iela 43 (north of the old town towards Karosta, 700 m to the main bus station), +371 20364552. Kitchen, washing machine, WiFi, large common room. Average ratings. Dorm from €15.

Mid-range and splurge[edit]

  • Europa City Amrita, +371 63403434, e-mail: . Four-star hotel on the Bank of Trade channel in the centre, only 15 minutes walk from unique white sand beach. Hotel is preferred for businessmen and those travelling on leisure, friendly for families. Prices: €50-180.
  • Fontaine Royal Hotel, Stūrmaņu iela 1, +371 63489777, fax: +371 63489776, e-mail: . At the canal front downtown in an old factory building. Fontaine Royal offers swimming pool, health centre, conference hall, restaurant, bar and various shops. The hotel is full of royal furniture, all gold plated standing in contrast with the old factory spirit, you will feel like a king staying at the Fontaine Royal. The hotel offers the biggest conference & banquet facilities in Kurland with 300 seats.

Stay safe[edit]

Liepāja is a safe place. Some people think it is not safe at night, but it is all a matter of personal opinion. Avoid walking alone in darkness. Do not leave your belongings unattended in clubs and pubs, or on the streets. Be careful in Karosta - during the 1990s it was a criminal place; however, it is much better now.

Cope[edit]

Latvia is Nordic in its weather. The temperatures in July can reach 30ºC (86ºF). And they can also fall as low as -30ºC (-22ºF) in January. But both winter and summer have their beauty. Make two visits - one in the summer and one in the winter - and you will have two totally different experiences! And make yet another visit in mid October, when all the trees are colorful.

Go next[edit]

  • In Liepāja region there are some nice towns, 100 km of beautiful Baltic coast, and lots of forests.
  • Kalvenes Zoo "Cīruļi" – It is worth visiting this park, which is very big and where animals have bigger space to live than usually in city zoos.
  • Pape Nature Reserve – Another option, if you want to see wild horses and wild boar and wild coast.
  • Aizpute – A town of medieval atmosphere with little irregular streets, old wooden buildings, small lakes and castle ruins, on the way to Kuldiga (about 100 km away).
  • Kuldiga – The capital of Duchy of Courland, Venice of Latvia, with unique and wooden architecture, red-tile roofs, bridges, cobbled streets, the widest widest waterfall ledge in Europe, and nearby the longest underground (sand) cave labyrinth in the Baltics.
  • Pāvilosta and Daugavpils – According to locals in Liepāja, these have forts similar to Liepāja but which are much better preserved.
  • Ventspils – A modern and artistic sea resort city 110 km to the north, has many things to see, and is one of the tidiest places in the Kurzeme region. A long-stretching beach and recreational park provide everything for a relaxing holiday week or weekend. It gets its prosperity from the huge ice-free port, which is the busiest port in the Baltic states, and the oil transit business.


  • Klaipėda – This city in Lithuania is the gateway to the Curonian Spit, a stretch of sand dunes 99 km in length. Buses for Klaipėda with a stop at Palanga go from the 3 Ecolines Bus Stop on Kuršu iela in Liepāja – Minibus 08:00 €5, Ecolines 11:30 €4.50 (book online). The minibus does not go to the Klaipėda bus station but to the Akropolis Shopping Centre, from where you have to take a regular bus into the centre or to the bus station.


This city travel guide to Liepāja is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.