Latvia is an ideal choice for those travelers who have not decided what they would like more: to bask on the beach, enjoy the cool forests or go on excursions. In Latvia it is possible to implement any of these options. Almost all of the key sights of Latvia are located outside the city, so we recommend that you use a car rental service to travel around this country.
Acquaintance with the rich culture of the country would not be complete without a visit to the country's most famous palace ensemble. Walking through the pompous ballrooms, galleries and apartments that once belonged to the Duke Ernst Biron and the Princes Shuvalov, the French garden with a rose garden, a summer theater and a stable, you can taste the exquisite Baroque era. Theatrical excursions, boat trips, art exhibitions of classical art, and a visit to a luxurious restaurant on the territory of the palace will allow you to fully experience the atmosphere of the gallant century. If you rented a car in Latvia, then you can drop by the road to Jelgava, which preserves the legacy of the Livonian Order. Free parking is available at the entrance to the Rundale Garden.
Turaida Museum Reserve
In the dense forests near the Gauja River, the legendary Turaida drowns. The monumental complex of the Turaida Museum-Reserve includes a medieval castle, the oldest wooden church in Latvia, an ethnographic museum, various outbuildings, as well as a garden with sculptures dedicated to Latvian folk songs. In a word, Turaida will be interesting to visitors who want to learn more about the life of the peoples who have inhabited Latvia since time immemorial. The main tower of the castle offers breathtaking views of the picturesque Gauja Valley. You will certainly want to visit it, you just have to pick up your car rented in Latvia from free parking at the palace and drive to the first reception point for visitors to the Gauja National Park.
Jelgava Castle is called the most significant building in the early period of the Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. It was he who played a decisive role in his career: after the palace was built, Rastrelli received an invitation from the Russian Empress Anna Ioannovna to the post of chief court architect. In Jelgava Castle, visitors have a unique opportunity to plunge into the palace life: visit the palace kitchen, drink hot chocolate prepared according to an old recipe, and take master classes on writing love letters. Not far from the Egava Castle are the floodplain meadows of Lielupe, a protected nature object inhabited by wild horses and rare birds, so we recommend that you use the car rental service to conveniently get to the reserve.
Sigulda fortress was built at the beginning of the XIII century as a demonstration of the power of the Livonian Order. Visitors to the ancient castle can feel involved in the era of the knights, having tried on the real vestments of the swordsmen, and then in the castle tower, take part in a noisy feast with dishes prepared according to recipes of the XIV century. In the ruins of the castle under the open sky, events are regularly held that are of great importance for Latvian cultural life: these are reconstructions of medieval events, opera music and blues festivals. The recommended route to continue traveling on a rented car is the city of Sigulda, which is called "Switzerland of Latvia". In this picturesque town you can relax from the noisy resorts and tourists and achieve unity with nature.
In Latvia, the use of roads is provided only for Jurmala in the high season - from April 1 to September 31. Only entry to Jurmala is paid. Ticket price is 2 euros per entry, and the territory of the city must be reached within an hour after payment. From early October to late March, you can use the resort’s roads for free.
The maximum allowable level of alcohol in the blood is 0.5 ‰ .
On Sundays and public holidays, parking in Riga is free. On weekdays, almost all the car parks of the capital are paid. The tariff is set taking into account the area in which the parking is located. Information on the cost of parking and possible payment methods is available on the parking meters. The parking ticket must be placed under the windshield of the machine.
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© Elena Kotelova, 2016