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Valka

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Valka is a town in northern Latvia. It is the capital of Valka district. 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.

With approximately 6500 people it is one of the smallest district centres in Latvia.

Raina Street in Valka

Get in

The train from Valga and bus connects Valka to Riga several times a day.

Get around

There are busses serving the town but actually the best way is going by foot or bycicle. At the end of 2007 the new route running through Valka and Valga was opened.

See

  • Valka Local History Museum - 64 Rigas Street, the former building of Vidzeme teacher's seminary.
  • St. Catherine’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Valka, Viewing Tower - 17 Rigas 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 Valka railway station

Do

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 town council 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.

Eat

  • Bistro "Elvi", 54 Ausekla Street
  • Bistro "Jumis", 10 Rigas Street

Sleep

- Guest house "Otra elpa", 12 Zvaigznu Street

Contact

The area code for the town is 47. The local public library has a public internet access (address - 22 Rigas Street)

Get out

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.

  • Smiltene - the second town of Valka district.
  • 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.




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