Sigulda is about 1 hour 20 minutes from Riga by train and I’ll share with you what to do in Sigulda Latvia! There’s a lot! The train there is around $4. I think if you’re in Riga it’s worth going even if just for the day. They have what is called the “Golden Autumn” so it seems I visited at the perfect time and I luckily had two days of sunshine, although it was windy and blistering cold (coming from a girl who lives in India so I guess take it with a grain of salt).
The biggest thing people here love is hiking. While I walked around with my tourist map, it seemed like all the locals were out hiking. There were paths through all the openings into the woods. It also offers many views points to see down over the valley and river. You can walk everywhere here. It’s a VERY small cute town. You can actually see everything in one day if you want to.
What to do in Sigulda Latvia
1. Cable Car
For great views you can take the cable car across the valley. It’s about 10 minutes and you just come right back. You could get off if you wanted to on the other side though.
Being from Ohio where we have caves galore at Hocking Hills, this was a little “meh” for me. But, if you haven’t seen caves, you can come see this one which dates back to the 1600’s. You can see the carvings from people way way back.
This place was epic. If you have kids or are a kid like me, then GO HERE! Everything they offer is from $3-$6. I could have tried everything. I did the catapulting (20 meters) and the car track (what is this called) that went way faster than I thought it would.
You can do archery, paint-balling, zorbing, skiing, and more here.
4. Bungee Jump
You can bungee here! Like other things I’ll mention further down, you can do this only on the weekends. I wouldn’t have gone anyway, as I did this once in Uganda, and once was enough for me.
This is those machines that make you feel like you are skydiving. It was on my list, but also only open on the weekends. Catching these small town vibes?
Latvia’s bobsled team is the bomb! They have won gold at the Olympics. You can go with one of them down the track but only on the weekends, sadly for me I was there on a Monday. Go here for the viewpoint as well.
This castle is a main attraction and the “new” castle where the government works is in the same complex. You can wander around both at the same time.
I didn’t make it here but it’s a very popular castle and some prefer it to Sigulda Castle. It has a museum inside as well.
9. Eat at Doma
This was a cute cafe just 5 minutes from the train station. They serve fresh unique meals. I have a mushrooms soup and salad with pumpkin seeds. The bread came with dill butter. They have burgers, baguette, and lots of other yummy things. It’s a cute cafe and there are board games. Lots of people seem to come here to hang out.
It’s not known for it but the salon charged $7 for a manicure!
11. River fun
If you come when it’s warm then you can do kayaking, SUP, and such on the river.
Where to stay in Sigulda
I stayed just outside town, about 20 minutes drive, at Birinu Pils (Birini Castle). It was the CUTEST.
Receptionist showing me around…
“so here is the ball room… but you can’t dance because the floors might break. We also have piano here that is from this guy (she points to the photo of the man on the wall)”
We walk a bit further and she points to another photo of a young man:
“…and also we have a ghost, of course. These brothers killed themselves here.”
It was the best. It was said so nonchalant and not as a joke. One thing that I noticed is Latvians say “of course” at the end of a lot of their sentences.
The history of the castle is amazing. It’s so cool to stay in castles, and feel like you are in the space of royalty. You can wander around the grounds and inside on your own. It’s been preserved to look like it did back in the day.
The food was exceptional. You HAVE to try the tomato soup with goat’s cheese and cinnamon foam. I wasn’t brave enough to try the beaver. The prawns with chocolate sauce was really nice, although it seemed like a strange combination to me.
Make sure to take time to see the stables and ride the horses. In winter they do sleigh rides and ice skating. It’s family run and just overall a really relaxing place to stay and escape. I could have stayed a lot longer!
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