The third largest city in Latvia, Liepaja, was nicknamed by the locals as “the place where the wind is born”. Perhaps the wind is not born here, but thousands of amber pebbles are born, from which the longest amber beads in the world are made. Many memorable places or architectural structures are associated with the Russian Empire: here is the house where Peter I visited, and here are the old bridges or recreational areas where members of the royal family rested. Nevertheless, Liepaja is a modern city: there is a unique rock cafe here, and famous festivals of classical and rock music are held annually. See citypopulationreview for weather in the capital of Latvia.
How to get there
There are daily buses to Liepaja from Riga (3 hours 30 minutes), Kuldiga (2 hours 15 minutes; 6 buses), Talsi (4 hours 30 minutes; 6 buses) and Ventspils (3 hours 30 minutes; 6 buses). There are 6 trains running from Riga daily (from 4 to 6 hours on the way).
Terrabalt (Pier 46) operates ferries from Liepaja to Karlsham, Sweden (3 times a week; 17:30) and Rodstock, Germany (2 times a week; 7 hours on the way). For children from 3 to 15 there is a 50% discount on both routes.
Liepaja has one of the best beaches on the shores of the Baltic Sea. There is fine golden and white sand with a soft transition to the sea. The width of the beach in some places reaches 70 meters. The beach has received the Blue Flag for its uniqueness and well-groomed. By the way, during the time of Tsarist Russia, Liepaja sand, practically without filtering it, was used as a material for an hourglass.
The seaside park Jūrmalas stretches along the coastline. It was planted in the second half of the 19th century, and since then its territory has grown to 50 hectares, and among the trees and shrubs there are more than 140 different varieties. At the beginning of the 20th century, a recreational area with a bathhouse, a sanatorium and a fountain was created here. Later, the park was built up with luxurious dachas. To date, Jurmalas is open to the public for everyone.
Entertainment and attractions of Liepaja
The central square Rožu laukums is the heart of Liepaja, where an open-air rose garden (about 500 rose bushes) has been created since the beginning of the 20th century. In 2000, the square was reconstructed, and the symbols of twin cities were placed in the flower beds.
There was once a fish market on Zivju (fish) street, from which the name of the street came from. Today, the market is no longer here, but there is a rock cafe known throughout the country, where musicians play every evening. On this street, several architectural monuments of the 19th century have been preserved, such as the Roman Hotel, decorative turrets and the city library – a former gymnasium for girls.
On Kungu Street is the “house of Peter I” – the former hotel of Madame Hoyer, in which the great Russian ruler stayed at the end of the 17th century. In the building opposite is the current House of Craftsmen. You can attend a master class or just take some work of local masters for your soul.
In the House of Craftsmen there are the longest in the world (123 meters long and weighing 19.5 kg) amber beads made from amber stones collected by the townspeople and donated to the city.
The streets and promenades of the resort
Tirgoņu Street, which became the first pedestrian street in the city, was completely created with funds received during the first festival for the citizens of Liepaja. It is also worth walking along Graudu Street – there are eminent Art Nouveau buildings and charming old pavements.
Liepaja also has its own promenade, where the time is counted by an amber clock. From the top of the walking path you can see the sea with the city port moorings. It is especially beautiful here in the evenings, when thousands of lights are lit throughout the city.
Temples of Liepaja
The oldest temple in Liepaja is the Church of St. Anna, and the largest is the Cathedral of St. Jazep (Joseph). Here is a model of a sailboat donated to the church by sailors who survived the sea during bad weather. The 18th century Holy Trinity Church houses some of the largest mechanical organs in the world. Organ concerts are held in the same church, and for everyone there is an opportunity to climb to the observation deck, which offers a magical panorama of Liepaja.