Sigulda is a popular tourist town with many natural and man-made attractions located in the Vidzeme region of Latvia. It is popularly called the "Switzerland of Vidzeme" due to its environmental characteristics. Apart from its tourist attractions, Sigulda is also famous for its cultural festivals, such as the Opera Festival and the City Festival, and for the various sports activities such as bobsleigh, skiing and bungee jumping.
- Useful information
- Sigulda tourist attractions - What to visit in Sigulda
- Gastronomy and Restaurants
Transport - How do you get to Sigulda?
Riga International Airport is the closest airport to Sigulda, located approximately 60 km from.
From Riga you can reach Sigula by train, and the journey from Riga to Sigulda is 75 minutes. By bus, it takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Sigulda has a modernized public transport, with frequent buses to the entire municipality. Private transfers are also available.
Accommodation - Where are you staying in Sigulda?
Sigulda is an attractive town with many man-made as well as man-made attractions that host numerous standard hotels, guesthouses and inns. Apart from amenities and services, Sigulda hotels offer a variety of authentic traditional Latvian and international delicacies. Here are some hotels in Sigulda:
- City Center Kaķis B&B – Located in the center of Sigulda, City Center Kaķis B&B offers rooms with free Wi-Fi and leisure activities such as skiing and cycling. Gauja National Park is just a 5-minute walk away. The bistro serves Latvian and international cuisine. City Center Kaķis B&B also has a pastry shop and a pizzeria. Rates for one night's accommodation in one of the chic rooms start from only 27 euros per person, and breakfast is included.
- Hotel Sigulda – This 3-star hotel is centrally located 300 m from the train station and offers welcoming rooms with satellite TV and free Wi-Fi. It also has a swimming pool, jacuzzi, Finnish sauna and steam room. For one night's accommodation with traditional breakfast included, rates start at 40 euros per person.
- Spa Hotel Ezeri – This 3-star hotel is located near Sigulda, on the shore of the lake. The hotel has meeting rooms, the Gadalaiki restaurant and a spa center with sauna, aroma steam bath, swimming pools, hot tub and various types of massages and treatments. Here you will find beautiful and well-equipped hotel rooms at rates starting from 45 euros per person.
Sigulda tourist attractions - What to visit in Sigulda
Sigulda Castle Ruins
On the left bank of the ancient Gauja river valley, between the Paparžu ravine and the ravine along which the Sigulda-Turaida road passes through the valley, there are the ruins of a castle built by the Order of the Brothers of the Sword. Construction of the castle began in 1207, and three decades later, in 1236, the castle was rebuilt for the needs of the Livonian Order. Sigulda Castle suffered a lot of damage during the wars of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. During the Great Northern War, it was burned down and never restored. What stands today is the southwest segment of the castle's cloister building, as well as the tower of the main gate. Beyond that is the inner castle, where there is an outdoor stage for the annual Sigulda Opera Music Festival and other public events.
Gauja National Park
Gauja National Park (Latvian: Gaujas nacionālais parks) in Vidzeme is the largest national park in Latvia, with an area of 917.45 km², stretching from northeast of Sigulda to southwest of Cēsis de-a along the Gauja river valley, from which the park takes its name. It was established with the aim of protecting slightly disturbed natural areas, promoting nature tourism and ensuring the sustainable development of the area. The national park is characterized by a great biological diversity, rock outcrops and varied landforms, springs, picturesque landscapes and many historical and cultural monuments from different centuries.
Turaida Museum Reserve
The Turaida Museum Reserve is known for its beautiful surroundings and history. The name Turaida means "garden of God" in the language of the ancient inhabitants, the Livonians. When viewed from a hot-air balloon or on the opposite bank of the Gauja on an autumn evening, Turaida Castle rises above the green foliage like an imposing ship built of red brick. Visitors to the Turaida Museum Reserve can familiarize themselves with the more striking elements of the medieval castle construction while taking a walk along the castle ramparts.
Sigulda Bobsleigh and Luge Track
The Sigulda bobsled and luge track is one of 18 constructions of this type in the world. Compared to other trails, this is unique as it is accessible to visitors and tourists for sightseeing. International competitions are held on the track every year. 1420 meters, 16 turns and a braking distance of 200 m – these parameters of the Sigulda bobsled and luge track can be experienced not only by professional athletes, but also by every visitor to Sigulda.
Gutman's Cave is the largest cave in the Baltic States and is shrouded in legends and imbued with ancient energy. The cave was formed from the yellow-brown sandstone rock on the banks of the Gauja River; its formation is due to a millennium-long interaction between the river and an underground spring. A legend says that in ancient times the cave was the home of a good man who used the spring water to heal people. The name of the cave is derived from the German expression "gut Mann", which means "good man". That is why people believe that the spring has healing properties.
Sign of New Castle
The exterior of the New Castle in Sigulda built by the Knyaz Kropotkin family in 1878 has preserved its Neo-Gothic style, while its interior became a pearl of national romanticism in 1937, when it housed the Union of Writers and Journalists of Latvia. Nowadays, the buildings in the castle quarter house workshops and salons of craftsmen and artists, where new skills can be learned and souvenirs can be purchased.
The majestic Krimulda manor house was built in the mid-19th century in the neoclassical style. But in 1930 a large wooden summer gazebo was erected in front of the building, which is now turned into a dormitory. The mansion's terrace and balcony offer a breathtaking view of the primordial valley of the Gauja River and the cable car that connects both banks of the river. The mansion's outbuildings are made of boulders and proudly display rich decorative finishes.
Sigulda Adventure Park
Tarzāns Sigulda Adventure Park is the largest outdoor adventure park in the Baltic States. Everyone who likes leisure activities will find something suitable from 100 different obstacles. Tarzāns Obstacle Park consists of obstacles of varying degrees of difficulty placed in trees up to 20 meters above the ground. It is an interesting place for both children and adults. The most original obstacles are the skeleton of the world champion Martins Dukur, the racing bike of the Olympic champion Maris Stromberg to ride on a rope at a height of more than 10 meters and the world and Olympic medalist brothers Šics, the sled. Romantics can enjoy the 1.5 km long Tyrolean rope slopes, but the Children's Park is designed for children from the age of 3.
Aerodium Vertical Wind Tunnel
The only vertical wind tunnel in the Baltic States simulates the sensation of free fall when skydiving.
Sigulda Cable Car
The Sigulda cable car offers a trip over the ancient Gauja valley with a view of several kilometers of charming scenery, including Sigulda and Turaida castles, Krimulda manor, as well as the "Sigulda" bobsled and luge track. The cable car connects both banks of the river over a width of 1025 meters. From the cable car there is a great view of the old Gauja river valley, three medieval castles – Sigulda, Turaida and Krimulda, the bobsleigh track and, of course, the Gauja bridge. The cable car serves as the only means of transport, runs on a fixed schedule and transports passengers through the valley on average once every half hour. In the summer season, lovers of more extreme sports can test their courage with bungee jumping and Zērglis zipline ride.
Livonian Order Castle Hill
In 1342, the Livonian Order completed the construction of the stone castle on the largest island of Lake Alūksne – Castle Island. The castle was consecrated on the day of the Annunciation, and the place got a new name - Marienburg. The inhabitants of Alūksne still remember the girl, Maria, who is said to be a wall in the castle, therefore the island is also called Maria Island. Over the centuries, the castle was ruled by Russians, Poles and Swedes.
St. John's Church
The Lutheran Church of St. John is one of the oldest monuments of medieval architecture in Latvia and the largest medieval basilica outside of Riga. The church was built in the 13th century under the Livonian Order by the second Archbishop of Riga, Johann von Luves. Cesis became one of the most important German centers from 1237 to 1561.
Sigulda Gothic Castle Trail
Outside of Riga, Latvia has some beautiful castles in the town of Sigulda. A hiking trail connects three of these ancient castles Sigulda, Krimulda and Turaida, along the Gauja River. Despite being called the three-castle route, here you can get two for the price of one. The oldest, which is practically in ruins, is the Castle of the Livonian Order in Sigulda. It was built in 1207 and is part castle, part fortress, with accessible stairs that allow you to climb the north tower and the main gate tower.
Gastronomy and Restaurants
Latvian food is full of comforting flavors and rustic dishes. Latvian cuisine is made to keep warm during the long Baltic winter. It contains hearty grains and rich proteins. Latvian chefs do not heavily spice their food, rather they include a lot of flavorful local produce to enhance their dishes. From fast food restaurants and bistros to gourmet restaurants in Sigulda you will surely find a place to your taste where you can enjoy Latvian cuisine!
- Ltd. "Bucefāls“– The "Bucefāls" menu is created by the tavern manager and chef Līga Priļepiševa. The dishes are made from fresh products and their taste is made so that everyone can find the right meal. The assortment of the menu is vast and varied which includes hot and cold snacks, salads, soups, hot meals, desserts and drinks of various kinds.
- Kebab Factory – This fast food restaurant awaits its customers with generous menus of kebabs, hamburgers and many other culinary surprises at affordable prices.
- Cathouse Complex (Kaķu Māja) – Refreshment and relaxation, sensations and taste – the "Kaķu Māja" complex offers comfortable accommodation and a full meal with a distinct bouquet of flavors in the center of the city.
Make time for an easy day trip to Sigulda, Latvia, just 60 km from the capital Riga, and make the most of this cultural and adventurous natural paradise.