Day Trips from Riga to Gauja National Park

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Our most recommended Riga Day Trips From

Latvian Palaces and Medieval Castles Private Tour

1. Latvian Palaces and Medieval Castles Private Tour

Be collected at your accommodation in Riga and be driven straight to the region of Bauska city. Visit several palaces from the 18th century and one crusader's castle from the 16th century. Rundāle Palace, formerly Ruhenthal then Ruhendahl, is one of two major baroque palaces built for the Dukes of Courland in what is now Latvia. The other is Jelgava Palace. Rundāle Palace was built in two periods, from 1736 until 1740 and from 1764 until 1768. It is situated at Pilsrundāle, 12 km west of Bauska.  Mežotne Palace is a manor house located in the Mežotne municipality in Bauska district, in the Semigallia region of Latvia. The palace is one of the most outstanding examples of Classicism architecture in Latvia. Bauska Castle is a complex consisting of the ruins of an earlier castle and a later palace on the outskirts of the Latvian city of Bauska. Jelgava Palace, also known as Mitava Palace, is the largest Baroque-style palace in the Baltic states. It was built in the 18th century based on the design of Bartolomeo Rastrelli as a residence for the Dukes of Courland in their capital Mitava, which is Jelgava today. The Dukes of Courland also had a summer palace by Rastrelli nearby called Rundāle Palace.  Either choose a restaurant for dinner or your driver can arrange a picnic if you prefer. After the visit to Jelgava castle, you will be returned to your accommodation. 

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Riga: Best of Kemeri National Park In One Day

2. Riga: Best of Kemeri National Park In One Day

Start your morning with a convenient, pick-up service from your accommodation in Riga. Here, your friendly driver and guide will be waiting to meet you. After a quick chat with one another, you'll be hopping aboard your vehicle and setting off for your destination of the day - the Kemeri National Park.  Attractions you will visit: Great Ķemeri Bog: Enjoy the benefits of a day beginning with physical activity and experience a picturesque hike on the famous Great Ķemeri Bog boardwalk upon arrival at the National Park. · Unique Lagoon Lake Kaņieris: After the inspiring morning improv-hike in Kemeri boglands, you will visit the amazing Kanieris Lake and one of its bird watching towers. This big shallow lake is an amazing former lagoon of the prehistoric Littorina Sea. It is very close to the Gulf Of Riga. Kanieris Lake is an important stop-over place for migratory birds. During migration periods (April-May and August-October) it becomes a paradise for birdwatchers as it hosts more than 190-species of birds. It’s also an important breeding place for the local birds. Nature trails along the banks of this lake go through various unique protected ecosystems (habitats) and can be a great place for you to spot wildlife. · Ķemeri forests: Now it is time to have glimpse on the unique wet forests of Ķemeri National Park and their natural values including the famous Sulphur springs. · Sandy beach of the Gulf of Riga: Before heading back to Riga you will enjoy the fresh air of the stunning sandy seaside and costal pine forests of the Gulf of Riga · Soak up the energy of this unique pristine Latvian location before heading back to your accommodation in Riga for an evening of rest.

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Baltic Sea Coast and the Jūrmala Seaside Resort (1 Day)

3. Baltic Sea Coast and the Jūrmala Seaside Resort (1 Day)

Start the day by visiting Latvia's most popular and biggest seaside resort Jūrmala city. After a refreshing and energizing walk trough the town, parks and beach, your day will take you further north up the coast line. Different beaches, fishing villages, a nature park with wild horses and Latvia blue cows, coastal roads and beautiful pine tree forests await you on this journey. To see Latvia blue cows and wild horses, take a short hike on a trail leading near to a lake, a bog, through a beautiful pine tree forest where 22 of 32 orchid species in Latvia might be seen in summer time (May - July). Distance to be walked on this trail is 4 kilometers. Finish the day with a nice and easy bicycle ride (8 kilometers long) through a peaceful forest, a quiet town and a beach where you are also welcome to go for a refreshing swim in the Baltic sea. After your return from the bicycle ride and hitting the road to get back to Riga, shortly relax at a beautiful countryside home next to the sea where the local family lives and does blueberry farming. On the lunch break you will be introduced to local traditional snacks and a non alcoholic drink that is somewhat similar to a bear, but you will also be offered water if this is not your cup of tea.

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Discover Best of Sigulda and Gauja National Park In One Day

4. Discover Best of Sigulda and Gauja National Park In One Day

Beginning the tour with a pick-up from the meeting point at 8:00 AM in Riga. Taking around an hour to drive to Sigulda Town.  Explore nature's trails and local highlights in one amazing day. You’ll get in touch both with the pristine nature of Gauja National Park and the cultural legacy of the area. Hiking several short but amazing hiking trails. Yet, be ready for some 10-15 km on your feet during this unforgettable day. Wander along the beautiful banks of the second biggest river in Latvia – Gauja. Upon reaching the Gauja National Park, where the adventure starts, either in Sigulda, or Krimulda of Turaida. Not rushing as you will get a chance to visit all the major sightseeing sites around Sigulda, Krimulda, and Turaida, including Sigulda and Turaida castles. Then be comfortably returned to your hotel in Riga at the end of the tour.

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Riga: Behind the Iron Curtain 3.5-Hour Communism Tour

5. Riga: Behind the Iron Curtain 3.5-Hour Communism Tour

See Riga on foot and learn about the history of life behind the Iron Curtain on a 3.5-hour walking tour. You will be introduced to the Latgale region of Riga named Ķengarags, which is one of the most interesting and largest suburbs where locals do actually live and the way of life can be seen. During the tour you will feel just like you have stepped back in time, because almost nothing has changed in the looks and life of the Ķengarags suburbs. The one exception is that the Soviet military airplanes aren’t shaking the windows of the houses with the noise made from taking off at the nearby military airport of Rumbula. The architecture (living houses, schools, suburbs) of the Soviet times was very similar in the different parts of the union, with different cities sometimes having identical suburbs. By visiting Ķengarags you will get an understanding of the looks of other USSR cities.

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From Riga: Rundale Palace & Bauska Castle Tour to Vilnius

6. From Riga: Rundale Palace & Bauska Castle Tour to Vilnius

This full-day day tour is the best choice for those who want to save time, money, and see the most important sights along the trip from Riga to Vilnius. Visit Bauska Castle, which is surrounded by a picturesque scenery and represents an example of military architecture (XV - XVII century). The castle consists of two parts: the fortress built especially for the use of firearms and the residential castle fortified with bastions, protective walls and earthen ramparts. About two hours is reserved to explore Rundale Palace, one of the most outstanding monuments of Baroque and Rococo architecture in Latvia, which sometimes is called as ‘The Versailles of Latvia’. Rundale Palace is built in the mid-18th-Century by the Russian court architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, it was the summer residence of the Duke of Courland. The two-story castle contains 138 elaborate rooms, a lovely French garden and a museum dedicated to the history of Latvia. Last but not least is a unique ensemble of Lithuanian folk art - The Hill of Crosses. The monument with more than 200.000 crosses in various sizes and materials stands on Jurgaiciai - Domantai mound. During your visit at The Hill of Crosses, you will learn more about the legendary stories why the Hill appeared. In the evening finish your drive and arrive in Vilnius city.

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From Riga: Cēsis, Sigulda & Turaida Castle Tour

7. From Riga: Cēsis, Sigulda & Turaida Castle Tour

Take a full-day tour of the beautiful green area of Northern Latvia. Explore Cēsis (the ancient city of Livonia and Brothers of the Sword base) and the picturesque town of Sigulda. Enjoy a day of rich history with medieval monuments, as well as spectacular natural scenery. Trip Itinerary: Medieval castle ruins of Cēsis You experience the castle in a way the people did centuries ago — your guides will light up a candle in the lantern and you will be on our way. You will explore the dark stairs, medieval corridors, and rooms with the help of candlelight as there is no electricity in this 13th century castle. This complex of castle buildings, preserved for centuries, is regarded as a landmark of monumental architecture, which reflects artistic styles from the Livonian period. Cēsis St. John’s Church St. John’s Church is one of the oldest medieval architectural monuments in Latvia. The church was built in the beginning of the 13th century when Cēsis became one of the most important German power centers in the Baltics, from 1237 up to 1561. Medieval castle ruins of Sigulda The Order of the Brothers of the Sword began building Sigulda castle in 1207. Initially, it was a castellum-type fort. Following the defeat of the Brothers of the Sword in 1236, the Livonian Order modified it. Goodman's cave The Gūtmaņala (Goodman's Cave) grotto is the most popular and biggest cave in Latvia. It was formed over the course of 10,000 years by water gradually eroding sandstone. The grotto is a protected geological site and the oldest tourist attraction in Latvia. Museum reserve and medieval castle of Turaida Turaida Museum Reserve is a beautiful heritage site and former village that was named "garden of the gods" by the locals. Turaida is a wonderful place to get to know the Latvian way of life, culture, history, and spirit. The 42 hectares of grounds are replete with archaeological, architectural, historical and art monuments, all of which provide an account of the events from the eleventh century onwards.

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Sigulda Day Tour - Castle Ruins, Gūtmaņala Grotto, & More

8. Sigulda Day Tour - Castle Ruins, Gūtmaņala Grotto, & More

There is so much to see and do in Sigulda that sometimes it is difficult to fit it all in. This comprehensive tour led by a professional guide, is designed to show you around the historic highlights of the city in just a day. Ride the aerial cableway in Sigulda. Opened in 1969, this is the only one of its kind in the Baltic States. The cableway was built in cooperation between Sigulda and Chiatura, a city in Georgia, and offers spectacular views over the city. Explore the Sigulda castle ruins and the new castle. The Order of the Brothers of the Sword began building Sigulda castle in 1207. During the Great Northern War, the castle was destroyed never to be restored again. However the convent building with its famous gothic window plus the main gate tower still stand, and offer an insight into a bygone age. Delve deep into the Gūtmaņala grotto. This is the most popular and vast cave in Latvia. It was formed in the course of 10,000 years by water gradually eroding sandstone, and is a protected geological site. The cave is the oldest tourist attraction in Latvia. Marvel at the ancient inscriptions lining the walls. A trip to the Turaida Museum Reserve should not be missed. The 42 hectares of the reserve feature archaeological, architectural, historical, and art monuments, dating back from the 11th century.

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Kemeri National Park & Baltic Seaside Tour Bog Boardwalk

9. Kemeri National Park & Baltic Seaside Tour Bog Boardwalk

Spend a day in one of the biggest nature parks in Latvia, Ķemeri National Park. This park is great to visit because it combines so much of the local nature including bogs, forests, seaside, lakes, and wildlife (most of the bird species in Latvia are found here).  Journey along a boardwalk trail through a beautiful bog that has been formed over thousands of years and now is a true natural treasure of Latvia. The Ķemeru Lielais Tīrelis is only a 1-hour drive from the Latvian capital city of Riga. During the walk, you will learn about how the bog is created and about its usage and value. You will also see the gorgeous bog sights with many small and large lakes which reflect the world in its calm and dark waters. You will have the opportunity to sample some local snacks and drinks.  Then, head to the unique trail of Kaņieries Lake that is nearby. Experience a bit of the local fisherman's way of life by casting an eye over their fishing boats and tools on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Be shown the biggest seaside resort city in Baltics, Jūrmala before you return to Riga.

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Sigulda Hiking Tour: A Day in the Switzerland of Latvia

10. Sigulda Hiking Tour: A Day in the Switzerland of Latvia

Enjoy a full-day hiking tour in one of the Latvia's most picturesque regions. Known as the Switzerland of Latvia, the area features mountains, valleys, cliffs, and caves. Take in views of the Gauja River Valley as you cross it by the aerial cableway. Your 15-kilometer guided hike will take you through the area’s natural landscapes and through populated areas as well. You’ll help set the pace for the tour, and there’s no need to rush, as there’s plenty of time to cover the entire route. The hiking route takes you past numerous attractions, including the ruins of the old Sigulda castle, the new castle, and Goodman's Cave. Goodman’s Cave was formed over a 10,000-year period by water gradually eroding sandstone. The grotto is a protected geological site and the oldest tourist attraction in Latvia. You’ll see inscriptions on its walls dating back to 1668 and 1677. You’ll hike to Piķenes Cliff and the Little Devil's Cave, and take in spectacular views from the Velnalas Cliff overlook as well.

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What people are saying about Riga

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 69 reviews

We had a faboulous outdoor day with our knowledgeable and lovely guide Rolands. This tour is a long one - it takes almost 12 hours and it is worth every minute. Spending a day kayaking through the beautiful landscape Abava Valley with Rolands giving insight into Latvian culture, nature, behaviour and everything else we were asking about, was our personal highlight during our trip to Latvia. After the kayak tour we went to the northernmost vineyard. As we we were too late for the cider tasting, Rolands was so sweet as to buy as a bottle in the local supermarket, which we we tried back in the hotel. So, if you have a couple of days to spend in Latvia and you like being in the open, this tour is a must. We can highly recommend it.

Our guide Rihards was great. Despite the rain and cold, he was in good spirits, showed us interesting and historically significant places, shared a lot of information and stories with us, and provided good company. He also recommended some cool bars and nice local beers. It was a very interesting tour that showed us places we wouldn't have found by ourselves, and gave us insights we otherwise would've missed out on. It provided us with a much broader and more nuanced picture of Riga, and Latvia as a whole. Definitely recommended!

We spent a very interesting and inforative day with our tour guide Ilze. A very sweet lady, very knowledgeable and easy to chat with. We can highly recommend this tour-

Best tour I’ve ever been on! An absolute must if you are in Riga! Great value for everything you get and the tour guide was lovely and very knowledgeable.

Wonderful and affordable food tour is Riga. Got lots of samples and history. I am very glad we did this!