Going to Latvia and Lithuania, suggest places to see

I have a trip to Latvia and Lithuania in mid May. The woman I’m traveling with parents came from Latvia and she speaks fluent Latvian and has been there a number of times.

We will be driving the first 5-6 days of the trip, most likely toward the coast and then down in to Lithuania. Then we’ll have about a week in Riga where we’ll probably do a few day trips and the last 3-4 days just in the city.

So I’m looking for places and things that would be fun to see, off the beaten path places or any suggestions that the normal tourist might not stumble upon. And on the off chance that someone actually lives in the area we could meet up for dinner.

Many old castles in Latvia. Cesis castle has always been one Id want to see. If you like to scuba, there are plenty of submerged Soviet tanks in the lakes! Have fun!

Make a trip to Salaspils. It is a concentration camp memorial in Latvia. Powerful, but not explicit.

This was already on our list, but it’s good to know someone else wants to see it as well.

This might be something I’d have to do on my own as I don’t think she likes to see places like this. I never would have known there was a concentration camp in Latvia.

In Lithuania -

Definitely go out on the Curonian spit and stay in one of the little family hotels. Amazing beautiful scenery.

The Hill of Crosses is a great day trip with a quirky interesting history to it.

Dr. Doom’s palace in Latveria is awesome!

Re Lithuania: somewhat in the “grim / scary” category – the Cold War Museum in the former Soviet nuclear missile base at Plokstine, some 60km. north-east of Klaipeda. One of the missile silos there is restored (without working ICBMs !) and open to visitors.

If you like nature / wildlife; the fairly large Aukstaitija National Park, some 100km. north-east of Vilnius, is well spoken of. Among other things, it’s the habitat of some fifty different bird species. And in the Baltic States in May, you’ll see white storks everywhere.


Check out Pedvale, a sculpture park near Sabile, which is about 120km from Riga. The countryside is gorgeous and the park can be very interesting. Unfortunately, I can’t find reliable directions on the linked website (and the online gallery has a lot of photos, but doesn’t really give you a sense), but a search will probably reveal it somewhere on the net.

The seaside communities of Jurmala have a lot of interesting Classicist and Romanticist architecture.

If you walk out onto the very point of Cape Kolka (Kolkas Rags in Latvian), you can see waves reaching the shore from two different directions, as this is where the Baltic Sea and the Bay of Riga come together. Might be a bit too long of a drive just for that, but pretty neat to see if you happen to be out that way.

I’ll try to think of some more.

I think we’ll stay somewhere in/around Klaipeda for a few days and plan on doing this section and some of the other parks in the area. The Hill of Crosses is on the way back to Riga and we’ll stop by there as well.

Awesome, who wouldn’t want to see a Soviet missile silo? Added to the list, especially since it seems to be near one of the parks we planned on going to.

I think that area is going to be a bit too far east to see. I plan right now is to follow the coast from Riga to Kolka, then down the coast to Klaipeda with stops on the way. The last week would be in Riga and the surrounding areas.

Glad to help. According to my map of the country, the venue is right in – or all but – the Zemaitijos National Park. (Military reservations in general, often seem to be a boon to wildlife.)

It’s those kinds of places that I’d like to see, they’re not something that we would have here in the States. I’ve been to Europe many times, but there’s always new and different stuff to see.

I’ve only been to Riga, but loved it. Set aside some time to see the Art Nouveau area which is really gorgeous.

Also, the Black Magic Bar is just about the coolest place ever. They have wonderful chocolates, the whole place looks like a medieval scientist-meets-witch laboratory with a secret passageway behind the bookshelves to the really cozy basement.

The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia is EXTREMELY sobering and takes the patron through the horrible history this little country has suffered. It is multilingual and ends on a high note at least. But it will definitely take you down a lot.

We took the bus up to Tallinn, Estonia for 3-4 days and it is a VERY cute town. You could do just the town center in two days and see enough of it.