Sigulda is administratively in the Riga region, however culturally a part of the Vidzeme region. It is a resort town just over an hour from Riga by train (50 km east), featuring a wooded river valley containing forest walks, cable car, bobsleigh track, three castles and a former times rehabilitation centre featuring a hostel, all of which is manageable as a day visitor on foot.
Sigulda 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'.
At lot of information can be found an the tourism office website.
- 1 Tourist Information Centre (Siguldas novada Tūrisma informācijas centrs), 6, Ausekļa iela (part of the train station), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 09:00-19:00. Has all the information and maps with tracks.
1188.lv provides up-to-date bus and train schedules, route planner and prices.
The train from Riga takes about 1 hour 15 minutes, and a single ticket costs €1.90. Train runs approximately every 90 minutes.
The bus also takes about 1 hour 15 minutes from Riga.
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.
Sigulda is a small town, and every major sight is easily accessible on foot. In winter, some hiking paths are even cleared of snow.
A local bus goes to Turaida and Krimulda every day and takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
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.
- 1 Turaida Castle (Turaidas pils), Turaidas iela 10 (there is a bus from Sigulda centre), ☏ , , email@example.com. Daily 09:00-20:00. About 4 km outside of Sigulda and one of the major sights. 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. (If you climb up from the main street west, you might get around the entrance fee.). €6/3.50 (summer/winter).
- 2 Gütmanis/Gutman's Cave (Gūtmaņa ala). 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. Many inscriptions in the cave stem from German times, which you might be able to identify. Free.
- 3 Krimulda Palace and Ruins (Krimuldas pils & Krimuldas pilsdrupas). About 800 m further from Gütmanis Cave up the Serpentine road. The cable car takes tourists between Sigulda and Krimulda every half hour. This site leaves a breath of long gone times. The Krimulda Palace is about 400 m further southwest – see #Sleep. The palace features an interesting rehabilitation centre and hostel.
- 4 Sigulda New Castle. Built at 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. €2.
- 5 Sigulda Medieval Castle Ruins (Siguldas viduslaiku pils). 09:00-. 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 armour, and there is a locally-made candles shop at the top; from the top of the other one you can see impressive panorama) as are some corridors.
- 6 Peter's Cave (Petera ala).
- 7 Walking-stick Square (Spieķu parks). 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.
- 8 Keys Square (Siguldas atslēgas).
- Canoeing. Do a canoe tour in Gauja National Park. Take care of your arms.
- 1 Cable Car, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:00-18:10. Ride Latvia's only cable car across the Gauja valley. With it, you can take a 1.1 km trip across the Gauja valley. From the 45 m high cable car you can enjoy the beautiful view, the castles of Sigulda and Turaida, the Krimulda estate, and even the Bobsleigh race track. One-way/return: €7/12 adult, €5/8 child.
- 2 Bungee Jumping & Zipline (same as the cable car), ☏ , email@example.com. Sa Su 18:45 (weekdays with more than 10 customers). The cable car also features as bungee jumping platform for a 43 m fall. The cable on the other hand is used for the zipline experience. Both over the picturesque Gauja valley. Bungee: €60/105 single/tandem, Zipline: €55/95 single/tandem.
- 3 Sigulda Adventure Park Tarzan (Siguldas Piedzīvojumu parks „Tarzāns”), Sigulda, Peldu 1, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 10:00-20:00. The largest outdoor adventure park in the Baltics. Tree climbing, etc. €15-36.
- 4 Bobsleigh and Luge track, ☏ , , email@example.com. Nov-Mar & May-Sep: Sa Su 12:00-. In winter, slide down the Bobsleigh track or ski in the mini ski resort. During summer weekends, the bobsleigh run is converted for use by 'wheel-bobs'. The ride takes about 1 minute and achieves speeds of up to 85 km/h, both in summer and winter. €10 per person.
- 5 Amusement Park Wild Cat, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. May-Sep: 11:00-20:00. Adventure Park Mežakaķis is a sporty activity with walks in the trees, and more active time in open air. €8-18.
- 6 Aerodium, ☏ , email@example.com. 12:00-. Free flight simulator – the first vertical wind tunnel in Eastern Europe. It breaks gravity rules and allows you to fly with the help of newest technologies.
- 7 Elvi Bowling, Vidus iela 1, ☏ .
- Sigulda Walking Stick. It 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.
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.
- 1 Kaku maja bistro, Pils iela 8-10, ☏ . daily 08:00–21:00. A cafeteria style restaurant with soup, pastries, and hot menu.
- 2 Zalumnieku Piestatne, Pils iela 9, ☏ . daily 10:00–22:00. Best food for a small price. Also praised for its pizza.
- 1 Kaķu māja (Melnais Kaķis) (Located in the city centre). Su-Th 22:00-02:00, F Sa 22:00-04:00.
- Melnais Kaķis, 8 Pils iela, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 1 Krimulda Palace (Krimuldas pils), Mednieku iela 3 (on the other side of the Gauja valley), ☏ , , email@example.com. This is a unique and interesting experience. The place is an old and ageing palace, which is also used as rehabilitation centre. But it also features a variety of inexpensive but also upper accommodation. The interior is Soviet style, but clean and proper. The summer cottages are the cheapest option, but they do not feature WiFi, TV, etc. Also in spring and fall they might become quite cold. But the palace also has warm dorm rooms inside of the building. They are separate from the rehabilitation accommodation. Dorm from €9/11.
Mid-range and splurge
- Siguldas Pludmale, Peldu iela 2, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Nice camping place for a canoe tour.
- Aparjods, Ventas iela 1a, ☏ , email@example.com.
- Hotel Pils, Pils iela 4b, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hotel Segevold, Mālpils iela 4b, ☏ , email@example.com.
- Hotel Santa, Kalnjāņi, Siguldas parish, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hotel Sigulda, 6 Pils iela, ☏ , , email@example.com.
- SPA Hotel Ezeri, Ezeri, Sigulda parish, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Viesu nams Vālodzes, Saltavota iela 54, ☏ . Here you can really get a taste for the Latvian country life. A guest house with restaurant and hospitality. $36.
- Livonija, Pulkveža Brieža iela 55,, ☏ . A guest house with tranquil grounds and complimentary breakfast. €23.
- Ligatne – A village fairly well known for its nature trails, with a great natural park with wildlife animals and "fairy tale" forests with characters from famous Latvian fairy tales. Nearby, also an old Soviet bunker complex can be visited, which was built in case of a nuclear war.
- Cēsis – One of the country's oldest towns. It has an impressive castle complex of Livonian Order origin, a charming city centre with some cobblestoned streets, and historic wooden buildings.
- Vidzeme – Check out the nearby towns and attractions of the Vidzeme region, like Straupe with the Lielstraupe Castle.
- Limbaži - a former Hanseatic city, nowadays its castle ruins hints of its glorious past.