Valka is a town in northern Latvia.
The town lies 160 km from Riga on the border with Estonia. Valka and the Estonian town of Valga are actually one town, divided by Estonian/Latvian border. The border was marked out in 1920 by an international jury headed by British Colonel Tallents. After the expansion of Schengen Agreement to Latvia and Estonia in 2007 all the border crossing-points and fences were removed.
With approximately 6200 people it is one of the smallest cities in Latvia.
The train from Valga and bus connects Valka to Riga several times a day.
There are buses serving the town but actually the best way is going by foot or bicycle. At the end of 2007 the new route running through Valka and Valga was opened.
Former Valka railway station
- Valka Local History Museum - 64 Rīgas Street, the former building of Vidzeme teacher's seminary.
- St. Catherine’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Valka, Viewing Tower - 17 Rīgas Street, the tower serves also as a viewing tower of town.
- Culture Park with an Open-Air Stage and the Sculpture “The Kokle Player” - the Pedele river runs between the stage and the audience.
- Eastern Orthodox Christian Church - 14 Ausekla Street, completed in 2005.
- The building of former Valka railway station - 4 Poruka Street, beautiful red brick building, now almost in ruins.
- Former military bunkers of USSR army - 23 Talavas Street, the 3 bunkers are full of legends and in a bad condition at the moment. There is a detail design under development to make a photo, video and music club in there.
- The War Cemetery Memorial - a monumental piece of landscape architecture dedicated to the Soviet soldiers killed in the Second World War. The granite wall of the memorial has 414 names inscribed. The memorial is situated between Lugaži Cemetery with an access path starting from Rīgas Street.
- Pedele recreational area - 350 m continuation of Pedele recreational zone in Valga, although constructed differently in wood (contrary to asphalted tracks on Estonian side). From the watching platform on Putraskalns there is a nice view over Valka and Valga. The detail design is made to construct it throughout the city as far as Lake Zagezers (6000 m of tracks totally).
There is nothing much to do in Valka at the moment, however, it's a must to visit the Estonian side once you are here. As the local goverment is consistently trying to develop their town, the new International Studies Centre of University of Latvia will be located in Valka with the aim to attract foreigners. Still a lot of work must be done to make Valka interesting for tourists.
- Bistro "Jumis", 10 Rigas Street
- Guest house "Otra elpa", 12 Zvaigznu Street.
- Guest house "Jumis", 10 Rigas Street.
The area code for the town is 47.
The local public library has a public internet access (address - 22 Rigas Street)
Valka is the only place in Latvia where one can get by train to Estonian capital Tallinn, you just have to cross the border to get to the Estonian side of the town.
- Seda - located some 20 km southwest from Valka, was founded in 1953 in an uninhabited area, it still embodies the pomp of Communist shock-work. The design and structure of the town centre is a wonderful example of the monumental architecture of Stalinist times, which has not been ruined by any new building yet.