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Ventspils

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Ventspils Castle, the only castle of the Livonian Order built in Courland which has survived to the present. The name Ventspils literally means Venta Castle.

Ventspils is a city situated on the western coast of Latvia, on the Baltic Sea. Ventspils is one of Europe's busiest ports. It is also the city that honours the past, thinks of the future, and never stops working! Ventspils is the Latvian flower capital that is adorned with flowers from spring until autumn. Even the City Festival at the first weekend of August is a time when florists from the Baltic States cover Promenade of Ostas iela with carpets of flowers.

Ventspils Tourism Information Centre (Ventspils tūrisma informācijas centrs) is located in the central part near Venta river, close to the main street Prāmju iela, address Dārzu St 6, +371 63 622-263 (, fax: +371 63 607-665). M-F 08:00-18:00, Sa-Su 10:00-16:00.

Get in[edit]

By boat[edit]

Ferries run between Nynashamn/Stockholm and Ventspils overnight. These are mainly used for transport of HGV's to Sweden but passengers and small vehicles can use the service. Tickets can be purchased from an office at Ventspils Ferry Terminal.

The same ferry-line also carries travellers from Travemünde in Germany to Ventspils [1].

Another ferry serves the travellers willing to get either to Lübeck or St. Petersburg via Ventspils [2].

By bus[edit]

  • There are regular bus services from Riga (5.30 or 5.50 Lats) and Liepaja (3.65 - 4.55 Lats) and other Latvian towns several times a day. All buses arrive at the Central Bus Station on Kuldigas iela 4. Schedules and prices can be found on the website of Riga's Bus Station [3] and 1188 [4].

By train[edit]

On-again off-again train service to city was suspended again in 2010. There was normally a daily train connecting Ventspils with Riga, and it's not known when and if the service will be resumed.

By car[edit]

  • The most commonly used routes are:

Riga – Ventspils, 190 km on main highway E22 (A10); Kuldīga – Ventspils, 60 km on highway P108; Liepāja – Ventspils, 120 km on highways P111, P108, and P110.

  • There are transfers available from Riga if you are looking for a quick way to get to Ventspils [5]

Get around[edit]

Within the city centre, most locations can be reached on foot within 15-20 minutes at most. But cars and bicycles can travel just as easily on the roads and bicycle paths around town.

Public transportation is run by the local bus company 'Ventspils Reiss' with modern blue coloured buses and minibuses. Most bus stops have a map of the routes and schedules for the lines that stop there.

Do not trust the signs. Since most streets in Ventspils intersect at 90° angles, all signposts marking the directions to interesting or important locations are at 90° angles as well. So often a sign will be pointing in the wrong direction (if your destination lies at a different angle) or onto impassable objects such as a wall (if your destination lies behind it). So be wary and carry a map - which you can get for free at the tourist office next to the ferry terminal.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Livonian Order Castle, Jāņa iela 17, Ventspils, LV 3601, +371 63622031; 63626288;, [6]. The Livonian Order Castle is one of the oldest medieval fortresses that has survived to this day. In 1290 the castle was first chronicled and this date is now considered to be the year of Ventspils’ foundation. In 1995 there was begun extensive archaelogical research and renovation of the castle. Renovating the castle, there were retained both niches of the 14th century and wall paintings of the 15th century, door openings of the 17th century and prision doors of the 19th century. Now outwardly the Castle has obtained its 19th century look.  edit
  • Seaside Open Air Museum, Riņķa iela 2, Ventspils, LV 3601, (+ 371) 63624467, [7]. The Seaside Open Air Museum was founded in 1954 to preserve the heritage of the seaside fishing village. Today it is the only open air museum dedicated to fishing in Latvia. It features fishermen’s homesteads, barns, wind mills (from the Užava parish), smokehouses, curing cabins, net sheds and other samples of native building and household artefacts. In an area of 4 ha, you will find an extensive sea boat collection and the largest anchor collection in the Baltics with more than one hundred exhibits dating from the 17th century to present day. At the Seaside Park you can enjoy the Enkuru taka (Anchor trail) which is formed of the biggest anchors.  edit
  • Flower artwork: At various location throughout Ventspils there are examples of flower artwort in the streets. The flowers are arranged not only in flower-beds, also a flower-clock and vivid flower-sculptures: ‘The Duck Family’ in the Children’s Town, ‘Lady-Birds’ at the Promenade of Ostas Street, ‘Underwater World’ next to the Beach Waterpark, ‘Bobsleigh Team’ on the main street Lielais prospects, and the newcomers ‘The Bunny Family’ at the end-station ‘Kalns’ of the narrow-gauge train ‘Mazbānītis’
  • Cow Parade: in 2002 Ventspils hosted this international art event and several of the cow sculptures still reside throughout the city.
    • ‘Latvijas melnā’ (Latvian Black Cow) dwells on the Promenade of Ostas iela;
    • ‘Pretim gaismai’ (Towards the Light) that usually climbs the lamp post on Pils iela next to ‘Latvenergo’ JSC;
    • ‘Ms. Moo-Dunk’ the basketball cow resides near the Basketball Hall of the Olympic Centre ‘Ventspils’;
    • ‘Dzīve ir skaista’ (Life is Beautiful) is situated at the Children’s Park ‘Bērnu pilsētiņa’ (Children’s Town);
    • ‘Jūras govs’ (Cow of the Sea) dwells next to the Livonian Order Castle facing the River Venta;
    • ‘Nafta’ (Oil) lives next to the Children’s Home ‘Selga’;
    • ‘Londonas govs’ (London Cow) welcomes the residents of the camping site ‘Piejūras kempings’.
    • ‘Ceļojošā govs’ (Travelling Cow) is shaped like a huge suit-case and awaits the city guests on the Promenade of Ostas iela to take some pictures;
    • ‘Govs-Matrozis’ (The Sailor Cow) is a giant blue-coloured cow dressed as a seafarer and situated at the Southern Pier of Ventspils;
    • ‘Šūpojošā govs’ (Cow on the Swings) is a large, but cute and girly cow sitting on the swings not far from the excursion boat ‘Hercogs Jēkabs’.


  • Old Town
  • Port

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Leisure:
  • Sports:
  • Sightseeing:

If you are just planing your visit to Ventspils there are great day tours from Riga [8] (+371)28808598

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Kafejnīca Ukraina, Ganību iela 95a, tel 63622677; 29119747

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Contact[edit]

Land line phone[edit]

Ventspils (both town and the district) phone code is 63 and the six digit local subscriber number.

Postal service[edit]

Ventspils Post Office-1 (Ventspils 1. pasta nodaļa), Platā St 8 (Centre), +371 63 629-630. M-F 09:00-18:00, Sa 09:00-13:00. Central post office of Ventspils city on the 1st floor of the 2 storey building on the corner.

Get out[edit]


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