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LATVIA - EASTERN EUROPE HOTEL, TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION GUIDE 

Cityscape from St. Peter's Church, Riga, Latvia,
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LATVIA TRAVEL INFORMATION

Things to see in Riga, Latvia!

Ten Essential Things To Do When You Visit Latvia   by Jonathan Williams

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This country on the shores of the Baltic Sea lies on fertile plains covered by vast swathes of forest. Once part of the USSR, Latvia gained its independence on Aug. 21, 1991. The nation has one of the fastest-growing Gross Domestic Product ratings in Europe in recent memory. It is a very beautiful country, both in the urban and rural areas, and the city center of the capital, Riga, has been designated as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO for its unique examples of architecture.
 
1.) Dome Cathedral

This old building was erected in 1211 after German Crusaders made the populace amenable to conversion to Christianity. It is the largest church in the Baltic region. Don't miss hearing the cathedral's organ with its nearly 7000 pipes, an amazing contraption, a national treasure of international standing.

2.) St. John's Church

Located in Riga, this church was built in the fourteenth century. It is made up of a mix of Gothic architecture and Romanesque style. This church is also one of the notable buildings in a city full of interesting architecture.

3.) Holy Trinity Church

Speaking of churches and organs, this one is located in Liepaja, Latvia's third-largest city and an important port. Hear Mass here and listen to the world's biggest unreconstructed pipe organ play, with its 7,000 pipes and 141 stops. This is a great counterpoint to another Liepaja attraction.

Spire of St. Saviour's Church Seen from Small Back Lane, Riga, Latvia
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4.) Karosta

Ever wondered what life on the other side of the Iron Curtain was like? Latvia was one of the bastions of Soviet defense against the American empire, and former bases like Karosta give one an opportunity to see what being a defender of the USSR was like. Among the things to see at Karosta are the Officer's Palace, the Old Prison, the breakwater and its fortifications.
 
Restaurants in Dome Cathedral Square, Old Town, Riga, Latvia, Baltic States
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5.) Liepaja

This Baltic port remains relatively ice-free during the winter. Tourists can dine and hang out at the numerous eating establishments at the city center, then go for a stroll at Seaside Park. The town also offers a beach that is boasted as having the whitest sand in the Baltics.

6.) Casinos

If you're struck by a gambling mood while in-country, you'd better be in Riga. There, the Olympic Voodoo Casino can help address your needs. It's the biggest casino in the whole of Latvia.

7.) Hunting

The prevalence of unspoiled countryside means that there is a lot of game to be had in Latvia. Deer, boar, moose, beaver, lynx, and wildfowl are some of the animals available for hunting. The SFS (State Forest Service) is the major authority administering hunting laws, so be sure to coordinate with them if you plan on going hunting. Be aware that Latvia also conforms to EU hunting laws.
 
8.) Freedom Monument

In the center of Riga stands the 42-meter-tall statue of a woman with her arms raised, holding aloft three stars. This is the Freedom Monument, which, among other things, is a symbol of Latvian freedom and commemorates those who were deported to the gulags during Soviet times. Locally, the statue is known by the name Milda.

9.) Sigulda

This old town is located on the Gauja River. Tourists can ply the waters during the summer and ski during the winter season. Among the local attractions are Turaida Castle and museum as well as some local caves.

Latvia, Riga, Facade of Building, Low Angle View
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10.) Jurmala

Fifteen minutes away by railway travel, this resort town stretches along the Gulf of Riga near the Lielupe River. It is a perfect destination for those who want forests, sandy beaches, and bright sunshine. Drivers to Jurmala need to buy a special ticket to enter here.

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About the Author: Jonathan Williams is the travel writer for Destination Guide TV - the place to share travel videos. Visit http://www.DestinationGuide.tv/latvia to view or share Latvia travel videos.

Things to see in Riga, Latvia!   by Michael Richard
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Riga, the capital of Latvia is a very beautiful city, astonishing by it's architecture and variety. The architectural inheritance of Germany can be clearly seen in the central part of the city, called "Old City". There are lots of drinking establishments and restaurants and one of them to be mentioned is Lido. This is a network of restaurants in Riga and each of them has a specific interior and perfect cuisine. Although each one has it's own taste and also, I did not have the opportunity to visit many of those in only a week. 
 
Main Square (Doma Laukums) of Old Riga, Riga, Latvia
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Another bar to visit is so called "Skyline" located on the 26th floor of a local skyscraper. You will probably mention it yourselves or simply ask any of the locals. The best time for the visit is early evening, an hour of two before the sunset. You will have a beautiful sight of almost the whole Riga. Be sure to choose the left wing of the cafe, the view there is simply amazing and after the sunset you will see the lights of night Riga.

Yet Riga's history is not its only attraction. Its reputation as the liveliest of the Baltic capitals is well deserved. Its bars and clubs are filled seven nights a week. Start your night at the eccentric Mi6 (Spy Bar) for its strong cocktails and Bond films. Then head to the Skyline Bar, where you can take in view from a window seat 26 floors up. 

For evening entertainment, head to Pulkvedim Neviens Neraksta. This nightclub provides edgy music on two levels without pretentious clientele or expensive entry.

The most spoken languages are Latvian and Russian. There is also no problem with English and German, because these are most often learned foreign languages a school. I am a native Russian speaker, so I didn't have any difficulties because Latvia is one of the former Soviet Union members. But I've seen a lot of visitors talking English with the natives on the streets. There are lots of excursions and guided tours around Riga and other cities. Most of them are hold in English, but I've seen also German-speaking guides. 
 
These are mostly beautiful young ladies, sometimes dressed in national outfits and accompanied by several actors, performing some scenes from the medieval times of this land. Wherever people go, they look for something different and relaxing which is not available in their home town. And in most cases, they seek a beach resort or at least a seaside place to chill out in. Jurmala is one of those beach resorts, which is popular amidst tourists. They come here to put their feet up, relax and relax, breaking away from their daily routine.

The beach is wide in Jurmala and is being quite good looked after by the local services. And it ends with pine trees sometimes growing at sand dunes. When you take a short-distance train from Riga to Jurmala you will see beautiful forests with occasional sand dunes.

Walking Along the Beach and Sand Cliffs of the Gauja River, Gauja Nationa Park, Latvia
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The coastline is a very long one and in it's central part there is a street named Jomas. There are lots of interesting establishments to visit and also simply to have a walk.

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About the Author: Visit http://www.MyRiga.co.uk to find & book Riga holiday packages at discounted rates.

JURMALA, LATVIA FEATURED HOTELS

Jurmala is a seaside city in Latvia, about 25 kilometers west of Riga. Jurmala is a resort town stretching 32 kilometres (20 mi) and sandwiched between the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River. It has a 33 km stretch of white-sand beach and is the 5th largest city in Latvia.

While Latvia was a part of the Soviet Union, Jurmala was a favorite holiday-resort and tourist destination for high-level Communist Party officials, particularly Brezhnev and Khrushchev. Although many amenities such as beach-houses and concrete hotels remain, some have fallen into disrepair. Jurmala remains a tourist attraction with long beaches facing the Gulf of Riga and romantic wooden houses in the Art Nouveau style.

Imants Ziedonis, one of Latvia's most important poets and folklorists of the Soviet and post-Soviet eras, was born in the Jurmala district.

Visitors can access Jurmala from Riga in around 20 to 40 minutes either by train or by bus, or along the highway by car. Since 2008 Jurmala and Riga airport are connected with a bus service.

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Baltic Beach Spa and Resort Hotel Jurmala
The Baltic Beach Hotel is found on the shores of Jurmala only 15 minutes away from the International airport "Riga" and 25 min. away from the capital city of Riga. Jurmala offers miles of white sandy beaches and plenty of holiday fun. We are surrounded with an abundance of Spa and wellness facilities, relaxation and enjoyment are guaranteed with vibrant bars, clubs, shops to explore and various restaurants to indulge in.
Eiropa Hotel Jurmala
Located in Jurmala, this beachfront hotel is near Jurmala. Recreational amenities include a spa tub and a sauna. Complimentary wireless and wired high-speed Internet access is available in public areas. This Jurmala property has 484,50 square feet of event space consisting of conference/meeting rooms and small meeting rooms. A complimentary hot and cold buffet breakfast is served daily. Guest parking is complimentary. Wedding services and tour assistance are available. Additional property amenities include multilingual staff and laundry facilities. 
Hotel Jurmala Spa & Conference Center Jurmala
This hotel is located in Jurmala. Jurmala is an area attraction. Dining options at Hotel Jurmala Spa & Conference Center include a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available during limited hours. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a spa tub, a sauna, and a steam room. The property's full-service health spa has massage/treatment rooms. This 4.0-star property offers small meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment, and business services. Wireless Internet access is available in public areas.
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RIGA, LATVIA FEATURED HOTELS

Things to see in Riga, Latvia!

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Clarion Collection Hotel Valdemars Riga
This hotel is located in Riga, and Latvian Art Museum, Freedom Monument, and Powder Tower are area attractions. Additional attractions include St. Jacob's Cathedral. Dining options at Clarion Collection Hotel Valdemars include a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Recreational amenities include a sauna. Additional property amenities include an elevator (lift). There are 83 guestrooms at Clarion Collection Hotel Valdemars. Bathrooms feature hair dryers. In addition to complimentary wireless Internet access, guestrooms offer phones and in-room safes. 
Grand Palace Hotel, Riga
This hotel is located in Riga, and Three Brothers, Riga Castle, and Riga Cathedral are area attractions. Additional attractions include St. Jacob's Cathedral. Dining options at Grand Palace Hotel include a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Recreational amenities include a health club, a sauna, a fitness facility, and a steam room. This 5.0-star property has a business center and offers small meeting rooms, secretarial services, and limo/town car service. Wireless Internet access is available in public areas.
Konventa Seta Hotel, Riga
This Riga historic hotel is near St John's Church, St. Peter's Church, and Great Guild Hall. Additional attractions include Small Guild Hall. Dining options at Konventa Seta Hotel include a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available. Wireless Internet access is available in public areas. The property offers an airport shuttle (surcharge). Business services and translation services are available. Guest parking is available for a surcharge. Additional property amenities include barbecue grills and complimentary newspapers in the lobby. Bathrooms feature hair dryers. Televisions have cable channels and pay movies. 
Maritim Park Hotel Riga
This hotel is located in Riga, and Vansu Bridge, Riga Castle, and Riga Cathedral are area attractions. Additional attractions include Occupation Museum. Dining options at Maritim Park Hotel Riga include a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a health club, a sauna, and a fitness facility. This 4.0-star property has a business center and offers small meeting rooms, secretarial services, and audio-visual equipment. Wireless Internet access (surcharge) is available in public areas. 
Radisson BLU Daugava Hotel, Riga
Set in the heart of Riga, this hotel is close to Latvian Rifleman Monument, Occupation Museum, as well as Riga Cathedral. Additional attractions include House of the Blackheads. Dining options at Radisson BLU Daugava Hotel include a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a health club, a sauna, and a fitness facility. Spa amenities include beauty services and a hair salon. Guestrooms have river or courtyard views. Furnishings include desks and sofa beds. Coffee/tea makers and minibars are offered. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations with handheld showerheads.
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