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Sigulda

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Europe : Baltic states : Latvia : Riga region : Sigulda
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Sigulda's bobsled and luge track snakes its way into the valley.

Sigulda [1] is in the Vidzeme Region of Latvia, some 50 kilometers to the east of Riga. Located in the picturesque Gauja valley, with its steep banks and cliffs, Sigulda has become known as the 'Switzerland of Latvia'.

Get in

Sigulda can be reached from Riga (53km) by bus or by train. The trip takes about 75 minutes by train, and a day return ticket costs L3.02 (November 2009). Timetables at [2]. The bus and the train take about 1 hour and 15 minutes to go to Sigulda from Riga.

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.

Get around

Sigulda New Castle.

Sigulda is a small town, and every major sight is easily accessible on foot. In winter, some hiking paths are even cleared of snow. A local bus goes to Turaida and Krimulda every day and takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

See

  • Turaida castle is about 4km outside of Sigulda and a major sight. 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.
  • Gutmanis cave 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 emenates 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 Palace and Ruins are located about 800 m further from Gutmanis Cave up the Serpentine road. The Cable car take tourists to Sigulda side every half hour.
  • 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

  • Do a canoe tour in the national park. Take care of your arms. :-)
  • Ride Latvia's only cable car across the Gauja valley and enjoy the view. L2 one way (Nov 2009 correct)
  • 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.
  • In winter, slide down the artificial bobsled track or ski in the mini ski resort. During summer weekends, the bobsled run is also converted for use by 'wheel-bobs'.
  • Experience a toboggan ride down the hill.
  • Amusement park Wild cat. Adventure Park Mežakaķis 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.
  • 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!
  • 'Aparjods [3] music club next to the hotel and restaurant Aparjods.
  • Latroze [4] located next to the main highway A2.
  • Melnais Kaķis [5]located in the city centre. Open every evening from 22.00 p.m. to 2.00 a.m. Everu weekend is disco opened from 22.00 p.m. to 4.00 a.m.
  • Elvi Bouling 1 Vidus Street, Sigulda, Ph: +371 67970007

Buy

  • City card Siguldas spieķis [6] is the key to unique Sigulda experience for individual travelers. What you will get with your City card: Free entry to the main sights and the museum, Money saving special offers, Choice, flexibility & convenience.

Eat

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 we found no hot food options for lunch beyond a microwaved hot dog at the village store.

Drink

Sleep

  • 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 [7] - could be at the start of your canoe tour, upstream of Sigulda.
  • Aparjods [8], 1a Ventas Street, Sigulda, Ph: +371 67972230, e-mail: aparjods@aparjods.lv,
  • Hotel Pils [9], 4 b Pils Street, Sigulda, Ph: +371 67709625, e-mail: info@hotelpils.lv,
  • Hotel Segevold [10], Mālpils Street 4b, Sigulda, Ph: +371 6 7974848, e-mail: hotel@hotelsegevold.lv
  • Melnais Kaķis [11], 8 Pils Street, Sigulda, Ph: +371 29150104, e-mail: cathouse@inbox.lv
  • Hotel Santa [12], Kalnjāņi, Siguldas parish, Ph:+371 67705271, e-mail: hotelsanta@apollo.lv
  • Hotel Sigulda [13], 6 Pils Street, Sigulda, Ph: +371 67972263, +371 67971443, e-mail: hotelsigulda@latnet.lv
  • SPA Hotel Ezeri [14], Ezeri, Sigulda parish, Ph: +371 67973009, e-mail: hotelezeri@latnet.lv

Graham Goodkin is a white supremecist


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