Seven must-do day trips from Riga

Riga is the capital of Latvia and the central hub for exploring the rest of the country. A day trip from Riga allows you to explore something unique that you won't find in the capital. There are beautiful castles, stunning beaches and breathtaking natural scenery to behold. Whatever catches your interest, the most popular day trips from Riga will reveal something special about Latvia that will leave a lasting impression. Check out these seven fantastic day trips by public transport to see the best of Latvia. Feel free to click on the links provided to get more information about the places on this list.70 bauska thesanetravel.comP1270629

1 Jurmala

Jurmala is renowned for its beneficial natural environment, featuring a temperate climate and sea air. Its coastline is characterised by a long stretch of golden sand, with lush pine forests and the Lielupe River as a picturesque border. 10 jurmala latvia 153049223 dzintari concert hall 1280423In addition, the area boasts summer houses built at the turn of the 20th century and decorated with intricate carvings, as well as more contemporary spa structures. So use the opportunity to add a spa break to your trip and attend a musical event in the summer.6 baltic beach spa P187064423 dzintari concert hall 1280423

How to get there

The resort city of Jurmala is about 25 kilometres long and features many residential areas with different names. For example, Dzintari, one of the main areas of Jurmala, is located 25 kilometres from Riga. The best option is to go by train, which departs quite often. The ride to Dzintari station takes 30 minutes.

2 Ogre

Ogre is a charming town that has gained attention for various reasons, including its fun-sounding name in English. Ogre is renowned for attractions such as Ogres Zilie Kalni, the Daugava promenade and the impressive annual holiday decorations. Its proximity to Riga makes it an ideal destination for short visits.19 brivibas street ogre thesanetravel.comP123984416 christmas ogre thesanetravel.com20201230 195047

How to get there

Distance from Riga is 40 kilometres. The best option is to take a 30-minute train ride. The train departs frequently.

3 Cesis

Cesis has less than 20,000 inhabitants and is decidedly romantic and quiet. The town is especially suitable for nice and long walks. Its main street, Rigas Street, has lots of character and is flanked by old stone buildings. The Victory Monument in the centre of the square is one of the highlights of the town. Other notable attractions include the oldest brewery in Northern Europe, gorgeous parks, the medieval castle ruins and the new palace.12cesis latvia autumn 134030120cesis latvia autumn 1340429Restaurants Kest or H.E.Vanadzins, recommended by the Michelin Guide, are excellent dining options. The Cirulisi walking trail offers captivating views of the varied terrain and natural landscapes.

How to get there

Distance from Riga is 95 kilometres. The bus trip takes 2 hours 15 minutes; you can also go to Cesis by train in less than 2 hours.

4 Kuldiga

Kuldiga is a captivating town that is rich in history and charm. It is often referred to as the 'pearl of Courland' and is full of surprises for those who appreciate its beauty. For those looking for a quaint and cosy atmosphere, Kuldiga is the perfect destination.12 kuldiga latvia 128073316 kuldiga latvia 1280502 In 2023, Kuldiga's historic old town was officially declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Venta Rapid in Kuldiga is the widest waterfall in Europe.43 kuldiga latvia 1280664 I recommend staying overnight in Kuldiga, but I understand that your time may be limited.

How to get there

Distance from Riga is 150 kilometres. The bus trip to Kuldiga takes 3 hours.

5 Bauska Castle and Rundale Palace

Situated on the outskirts of Bauska town, Bauska Castle is a combination of ruins from a previous castle and a more recent palace.10 bauska castle latvia 1270630 The nearby Rundale Palace is a spectacular example of Baroque and Rococo architecture in Latvia. Designed by Francesco Rastrelli in the 18th century, the palace was originally built as a summer house for Duke Ernst Johan Biron. Tourists can explore the different parade halls, such as the Golden Hall, the White Hall and the Great Gallery, as well as the Duke's and Duchess' private suites.11 rundale palace latvia 127046013 rundale palace latvia 1270479 The French garden of the palace has all the traditional features of a Baroque garden, including parterres, fountains, the Green Theatre, bosquets, pergolas, pavilions and a labyrinth.14 rundale palace latvia 1270485

How to get there

Bauska and Rundale are about 70 and 80 kilometres from Riga, respectively. If you travel by public transport, I suggest taking a bus that runs directly, albeit not often, from Riga to Rundale Palace. After visiting the palace, head over to Bauska and do sightseeing there before returning to Riga. Buses from Bauska to Riga depart every 40 minutes. Renting a car, of course, is the best way to do the Bauska Rundale day trip.

6 Sigulda

Situated on the banks of the Gauja River, Sigulda is the centrepiece of Latvia's largest and oldest national park. This town offers stunning natural beauty, picturesque landscapes, a unique atmosphere and 800-year-old castles steeped in legend. It is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in Latvia.sigulda castle 1110111sigulda latvia 1140462

How to get there

Distance from Riga is 60 kilometres. I recommend taking a one-hour train ride.

7 Jekabpils

Jekabpils lies on both banks of one of the largest rivers in Latvia, the Daugava, and features Krustpils Castle with its own modern history museum, a riverside walkway, traditional architecture and a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.15 krustpils castle P211024852 wednesday market square jekabpils P211048170 struve unesco heritage jekabpils P2110489

How to get there

Distance from Riga is 140 kilometres. You can get to Jekabpils by train in 2 hours.

Practical information

It’s advisable to check bus and train timetables before your trip to ensure you have enough time to explore the area and be able to catch a bus or train back to Riga. In all of the towns on this list, you'll most likely be able to walk to the nearby attractions and hiking trails, though sometimes you may have to take a local public bus.

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What did you think? Have you visited Latvia? I would love to hear from you, so please add your comment below.

  • Published by Anita on December 01, 2023
  • Author: Anita Sane

    Anita 03 18

    About the author
    Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
    travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.


    Woah! I love all the places you showcased especially the Sigulda! It seems colorful but peaceful to me. Thanks for this!
    I am visiting Latvia in 2024 so this post will help me plan places to visit. Your photos are gorgeous.

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