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Sigulda

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View towards Turaida across Gauja River from Sigulda Castle.

Sigulda is located in the eastern edge of Riga region, 53km away from Riga itself. Situated in the picturesque Gauja River valley, with its steep banks and cliffs, Sigulda has become known as the 'Switzerland of Latvia'.

Understand[edit]

In 1207 these lands were taken by Livonian Order, soon they were shared between confronting Brothers of the Sword and Bishop Albert of Riga. Two brick castles were constructed in strategic locations on the Gauja River shore to protect the property from each other and from attacks by local Baltic tribes. The settlements around the castles eventually developed into three villages: Sigulda, Turaida and Krimulda.

Sigulda now is the administrative centre of Gauja National Park, Turaida administratively is a part of Sigulda town but is separated from it by Gauja river, and Krimulda with its castle ruins and Prince Lieven’s Classic style manor complex is just about 800m SW of Turaida.

Get in[edit]

Sigulda New Castle.
Sigulda's bobsled and luge track snakes its way into the valley
Gutman's miracle spring in Gutman's Cave near Turaida.

Sigulda can be reached from Riga (53km) by bus or by train. Timetables for both trains and buses can be found at transport information website.

By train[edit]

The trip takes about 75 minutes, the train ticket costs ~€2.50.

By bus[edit]

Journey takes about 1h 15min from Riga, ticket costs ~€2.20-3.00, depending on route.

By car[edit]

If going there by private transport, watch out for traffic jams during nice summer weekends - lots of people go there during season, sometimes it's better to take the train.

  • Another alternative is to hire a private transfer [1]. You just pay one fixed fee and you get a door to door service. Its probably the quickest way to get to Sigulda.

Get around[edit]

Sigulda is a small town, and every major sight is accessible on foot. In winter, some hiking paths are even cleared of snow.

Turaida manor estate is about 5km away from Sigulda itself, a local bus goes to Turaida every day and the journey takes ~10-15 min. It is more reasonable to get by bus to Turaida first, and then to get back to Sigulda by foot, visiting Krimulda and other objects of interest enroute.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Turaida Museum Reserve Turaidas St 10 (north of Sigulda, across the river), +371 67 972-376 (). M-Su 09:00-20:00. Turaida manor estate complex which covers the territory of 42ha. 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. Admission fee in summer season: adults €5, full time students (with ID) €2.85, schoolkids €1.14, persons with 3rd disability group €0.71, family (2 adults, 2 and more kids of age 7-18) €10.67, family (1 adult, 2 and more kids of age 7-18) €5.69; open-air exhibitions (visiting time 9:00-10:00, 18:00-20:00) €2.85; guided tour in foreign language €35.57.
  • Gutman's cave (Latvian: 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.
  • Krimulda Manor (Krimuldas muiža), Mednieku St 3 (SW of Turaida, between the roads P7 and P8), +371 679 72232 (, fax: +371 679 71721). M-Sa 9:00-19:00, Su 10:00-19:00. Since 1255 to 1566 it was a territory of a castle that belonged to Riga Domkapitulus. Then various unrests began, and only in 1817 Prince Johann Lieven acquired Krimulda for 60,875 silver roubles. The manor house was built in c. 1848, it remains intact until date, as well as the parks and numerous promenades and stairs made of wood, that were set up slightly later. Lieven family owned the mansion until 1921. Now it houses a rehabilitation institution which aims to evolve into a tourism and recreation complex. Has a cafe "Milly" which specializes in herbal teas. Provides accommodation for €36-40. (57.167953,24.829576)
  • Krimulda Castle Ruins (Krimuldas pilsdrupas), Krimulda street (park just NE of Krimulda Manor house up the Serpentine road). Ruines of the actual castle of Livonian Knights, blown up in 1601. The Cable car nearby take tourists to Sigulda (on the other side of Gauja River) every half hour. (57.168501,24.829352)
  • Sigulda New Castle built in the end of 19th century. Restaurant and city council is located in castle.
  • Sigulda Medieval Castle Ruins located next to the Sigulda New castle. Built in 1207 by the Order of the Brethren of the Sword. Opena air stage is located in ruins nowadays.
  • Walking-stick Square opened in 2007. Walking-stick is a symbol of Sigulda town. Locals has made walking-stick since 19th century to help tourists walk up and down the Primeval valley of the Gauja River.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Do a canoe tour in the national park. Take care of your arms.
  • Ride Baltic's only cable car across the Gauja valley and enjoy the view. L2 one way (July 2011).
  • 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 10km.
  • Adventure Park Tarzan (Piedzīvojumu parks Tarzāns), Peldu St 1 (600m south from Gauja bridge), +371 27 001187 (). 10:00-20:00. One of the largest outdoor adventure parks in the Baltics. Price for all tracks up to 3h: adults €17, children 12-17y.o. €9.50, children 7-12y.o. €8.00, children 3-7y.o. up to 1.5h €5.00. (57.159627,24.838678)
  • In winter, slide down the bobsled track or ski in the mini ski resort. During summer weekends, the bobsled run is converted for use by 'wheel-bobs'.
  • Adventure Park Wild Cat, a part of Recreation and Sports Complex Kaķītis (Piedzīvojumu parks Mežakaķis), Senču St 1 (west of town, west of railway, at the upper edge of the forested Gauja valley), +371 679 76886 (, fax: +371 679 76887). This is a sporty activity or a walk in the trees, and it is designed for people that are fond of active lifestyle and spending time in open air. Offer gift cards: for adults €17.00, for children €9.50, expiry date 6 months from the day of purchase.
  • Aerodium is the free flight simulator - first vertical wind tunnel in Eastern Europe. It breaks gravity rules and allows you to fly with the help of newest technologies!
  • Elvi Bowling 1 Vidus Street, Ph: +371 67970007.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Sigulda Walking Stick is the most popular tourist souvenir for more than a hundred years. The canes have different sizes, starting from very small (almost like a keyring) till actual size, which you could use exploring the city. You can find them at Turaida castle, Tourism information centre, Gutmanis cave, etc.

Eat[edit][add listing]

In the centre of town (Pils Iela) there are two large buffet / cafés open throughout the day all week from Breakfast until late evening opposite the main shopping area. There is also a Hesburger outlet beyond 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.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Melnais Kaķis located in the city centre. Open every evening 22:00-02:00. Every weekend is disco opened 22:00-04:00.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Siguldas Pludmale, Peldu iela 2, Ph: (+371) 29244948, fax:(+371) 67970164. e-mail: karina@makars.lv Nice camping place for a canoe tour.
  • Lacu miga (The bears' den) - Hotel and Restaurant, Gauja iela 22, Ligatne, a modern log cabin construction hotel overlooking the aforested river Līgatne valley. tel: (+371) 64153481 info@lacumiga.lv [2] - could be at the start of your canoe tour, upstream of Sigulda.
  • Aparjods [3], 1a Ventas Street, Sigulda, Ph: +371 67972230, e-mail: aparjods@aparjods.lv,
  • Hotel Pils [4], 4 b Pils Street, Sigulda, Ph: +371 67709625, e-mail: info@hotelpils.lv,
  • Hotel Segevold [5], Mālpils Street 4b, Sigulda, Ph: +371 6 7974848, e-mail: hotel@hotelsegevold.lv
  • Melnais Kaķis [6], 8 Pils Street, Sigulda, Ph: +371 29150104, e-mail: cathouse@inbox.lv
  • Hotel Santa [7], Kalnjāņi, Siguldas parish, Ph:+371 67705271, e-mail: hotelsanta@apollo.lv
  • Hotel Sigulda [8], 6 Pils Street, Sigulda, Ph: +371 67972263, +371 67971443, e-mail: hotelsigulda@latnet.lv
  • SPA Hotel Ezeri [9], Ezeri, Sigulda parish, Ph: +371 67973009, e-mail: hotelezeri@latnet.lv
  • Latroze [10] located next to the main highway A2.

Get out[edit]

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