Sigulda is a town in the Vidzeme Region of Latvia, less than an hour drive from Riga (53KM).
Sigulda makes an easy day trip from the capital but is definitely worthy of a longer stay. Perfect for nature and adventure lovers.
The town sits in an elevated position, overlooking the Gauja River, located in the Gauja National Park surrounded by beautiful forests. Locals call Sigulda the “Switzerland of Latvia“.
I’ve found Sigulda an exceptionally beautiful part of Latvia because of the landscape.
What to do in Sigulda
Turaida Museum Reserve
The Turaida Museum Reserve is home to an impressive red-brick Castle that nowadays houses a museum inside. The Turaida Castle is located across the river valley about 15 minutes drive from Turaida.
The reserve is home to 42 hectares and a variety of buildings that have exhibitions about life in the castle and Latvian history and culture in general.
Sigulda’s Medieval Castle (and New Castle)
The Medieval Castle, also known as Castle of the Livonian Order is the oldest of the three castles you can find in Sigulda.
The castle was built in the 13th century and suffered damaging during the Polish–Swedish war, so nowadays we have left the ruins.
If you climb to the Castle’s southern and northern towers, the views over the river valley and Turaida Castle are quite nice.
Near the Medieval Castle, you have the New Castle, built in the 18th century. You can’t visit the new castle but you can wander through the grounds.
Peter and Gutmanis Cave
The Gauja River valley is rich in red sandstone and because of erosion, the valley presents several caves and rock formations.
The Gutmanis Cave (Gūtmaņa ala), is the most popular and the largest cave in the Baltic countries. The cave walls are covered in inscriptions dating from the 19th and early 20th century.
Peter’s Cave (Petera ala) is about15 minutes hike from Paradise Hill through the forest.
Paradise Hill, great views and hiking departure point
Paradise Hill also known as Painter’s Hill is located about 30 minutes walk from Sigulda’s historic centre and offers stunning views.
From Paradise Hill, there are many hiking trails crossing the Gauja River Valley to be explored.
Sigulda Cable Car
The cable car connects Sigulda with Krimulda, on the other side of the river valley. From up there you can see the three castles in the area (Sigulda, Turaida and Krimulda).
There’s only one cable car travelling back and forth across the valley, every 20 minutes.
Sigulda Bobsleigh Track
If you like adrenaline visiting the bobsleigh and luge track is a must. A six-storey complex where Olympians also train. Tourists are welcome to have a go (€10).
From Riga to Sigulda
It’s possible to go by train and bus. Both take around 1 hour and 20 minutes and the ticket price is also similar.
Train and bus stations are very close to each other. Personally, I find trains more comfortable, but there is no better solution here, is just a question of personal preference.
By car, it takes about one hour to drive to Sigulda. Finding your way is really easy – just follow the A2.
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha