Cheap Holidays to Latvia
Latvia Holidays & Hotels
Hotels in Latvia
Sandwiched between Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia is a jewel of a country that offers up medieval towns, spectacular landscapes and a wealth of museums. With a white-sand beach that stretches on for 21 miles and charming Christmas markets, a holiday to Latvia is a no-brainer whatever the season!
Much of the tourist footfall arrives in Latvia’s capital of Riga. It’s got plenty of affordable accommodation options, ranging from city-centre boutique hotels to 5* spa and wellness hotels. Whether you stay in Riga or use this as a springboard to explore more of what the country has to offer, Latvia promises to surprise you around every corner.
Where to stay
Latvia’s capital, Riga, is a romantic city that sits on the Baltic Sea. It’s rich in history, ranging from its medieval Old Town to its Art Nouveau architecture. Back in 1997 the Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the pedestrian-only streets are a delight to stroll around all-year-round - especially when the Christmas markets roll into town in December!
No matter your budget and your travel style, accommodation in Riga is varied. Check into a stylish 3* room, or relax into luxury with a 5* hotel in the centre of the Old Town. Many of the hotels boast 4* status and include a central location just minutes away from all the action, as well as on-site bars and leisure facilities.
Located just a 40-minute drive outside of Riga, Jurmala is a popular coastal resort that attracts beach-lovers, nature enthusiasts and lovers of quirky museums - it’s got everything from an open-air museum with preserved 19th-century fishers’ houses to a modern art space in a working railway station.
While accommodation in Jurmala isn’t particularly vast, what it does have to offer is a selection of coastal hotels with family friendly facilities, restaurants and pools.
What to see
Latvia offers a smattering of everything, from hiking trails of varying difficult through Gauja National Park to rides and workshops at AB amusement park. Many of the most famous sights can be found in Riga itself - be sure to get pictures of the House of the Blackheads, a reconstruction of a 14th century grand building for the Brotherhood of Blackheads, which was bombed during the Second World War. Other architectural places of interest include Riga Nativity of Christ Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church and The Three Brothers - the oldest complex of houses in Riga dating back to the 15th century.
While there’s plenty to captivate the eyes in Riga, there’s also plenty to do. Visit one of the quirky museums, such as Laima Chocolate Museum or Cosmos Illusion Museum, or take in a concert at the Latvian National Opera. History lovers will love the chance to look around the 14th century Riga Castle - which towers over the River Daugava - while there are many opportunities to understand more about Latvia’s extensive history at the Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum.
Those eager for a night out in Latvia won't have to look too far, especially if staying in the capital. Riga's Old Town is the place to head to, with bars, pubs, glamorous nightclubs and restaurants all in close proximity to each other. It's quick and easy to walk around to get a flavour of each place before you decide on where to go. In fact, most of the clubs stay open until sunrise on the weekend, giving you plenty of time to sample several in one night. Over in Jurmala, much of the nightlife is concentrated around the central district of Majori. Expect to find a veritable mix of beach bars, concert halls, cafes and restaurants.
What to eat
Latvian food is known for being particularly hearty. Meat, potatoes and oats are key features of popular Latvian dishes, so come with an empty stomach! Beetroot soup is a Latvian favourite, as are potato pancakes which are best served with sour cream and speck sauce. Speck - a type of smoked bacon - is found in a number of dishes, including pelekie zirni ar speki, which is a delightful mix of speck, peas and fried onions. You’ll also find rye bread in many cafes and restaurants, but be sure to give rye bread pudding a go. Commonly served as a dessert, the pudding is filled with ingredients such as raisins and cranberries, plus warming spices including cinnamon.
Latvia is a year-round shopping mecca, treating visitors to a wide variety of shops, markets and boutiques. If there's one place to go to in Riga, make it the Central Market - the largest marketplace in all of Europe. As you would expect, it’s a cacophony of sounds and sights that’s situated along the banks of the Daugava River. Pick up a selection of local Latvian food and spices, or just indulge in all the wonderful smells! In the Old Town there’s Galerija Centrs, a large shopping centre that’s home to international and local brands across several floors. But for something a little different, head to the Kalnciems Quarter on a Saturday. The Farmers’ Market has stalls selling a variety of locally-produced foods, as well as local arts and crafts.
Fast Facts about Latvia
- Direct flight time: 2 hours 30 minutes from London
- Time Zone: GMT +2
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Latvian
- Average price of a domestic beer: €2.50
- Average price of a bottle of wine: €6
- Number of Brit tourists per year: Around 142,000