what to do in Sigulda? A day trip from Riga to Sigulda
Destination & countries, Europe, Latvia, Travelling with kids

What To Do In Sigulda: A Day Trip From Riga To Sigulda

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While the majority of Latvian tourists tend to visit only the capital of the city, Riga, mainly due to their time availability, there is another nearby city that one hundred percent deserves your attention. The most beautiful part of it that you can make a day trip from Riga to Sigulda to explore this precious part of the country. It takes only an hour to get here, check the instructions below.

So, what to do in Sigulda?

If in Riga you dive into a cultural, architectural, and educational experience, exploring a variety of food, and enjoying the nightlife, Sigulda is the place for adventure and Latvia nature. It is a perfect holiday for backpackers, solo travelers, families, and kids.


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Latvia facts: Latvia is wild and watery. Around 54% of Latvia is forest making it one of the greenest countries in Europe. On top of that, Latvia has 12,000 rivers and over 2,200 small lakes which are perfect for swimming, boating, and kayaking.

Besides, in Sigulda, you will find activities that you won’t find anywhere else in the Baltic States:

  • Aerodium free fall
  • Bungee jump
  • Bobsleigh track
  • Cable car

Three parks equipped for adults and kids’ adventures, such as

  • Walks in the trees
  • Zorbing
  • Zip-lining and much more.

Been located only an hour away from Riga capital, it feels much further way of letting its visitors enjoy gorgeous greenery, views, medieval castles, and surprise with an amount of adrenaline-pumping adventure activities.

How much time do I need to visit Sigulda?

You definitely need to organize at least a day trip to Sigulda. In one day, you will be able to visit the historical castles of Sigulda, such as Turaida, Old and New Castles.

Trust me, Sigulda is full of fantastic experiences and amazing things to do. There is a gorgeous Gaujas National Park, and a variety of hiking trails offered. Camping in Sigulda is not an exception too.

Not to mention adventure parks and countless activities you are surrounded by. So, I would aim for three to seven days depending on your plans. Some tourists prefer to stay two weeks to hike around, so this is entirely up to you.

If you plan to travel the whole Baltic States, including Lithuania and Estonia, you may be interested in these day tours to save time and get an amazing cultural experience of what Northern Europe looks like.

How to get from Riga to Sigulda?

Riga to Sigulda day trip can be a good option if you are short on time. It is very easy to get there. You can either choose a car ride along the famous Pskov Highway, it is literally one road from the Riga city center. If you do not have a car, you can always choose a private service.

Alternatively, you can enjoy a cozy ride on an electric train and get a unique experience. All trains leave from the main train station which is right in the heart of Riga in the Shopping center “Origo”. You can get the ticket straight to Sigulda on-site. Trains usually leave every 30-50 minutes.

Where to get information on tours and hiking trails?

If you take the train to Sigulda, you will face Sigulda’s main tourist office on the way out from the train station “Sigulda”. This Sigulda Tourist Information Centre has all information you might need, also available tours, maps, and pamphlets. It was worth visiting even for me being a local. The staff speaks perfect English and has brochures in different languages, such as Russian, Spanish, and Chinese. One thing that Latvia can be proud of is multi-linguality.

There are other visitor centers around Sigulda. One of them is located inside the Sigulda National Park and offers detailed information on the park itself, including natural monuments and recreational activities. There are more at the Gutmanala Grotto, Ligatne Nature, and Zvartas Rock Trails. The first two are accommodated to visitors in wheelchairs and babies in buggies and strollers.

Accommodation in Sigulda

Sigulda is full of nice places. Apart from camping in Sigulda that you are free to do, there are numerous nice Airbnb places and hotels on offer.

Booking.com

We share some of our favorite places to stay while traveling to Sigulda. All these options contain Free breakfast, Wi-Fi, parking and much more.

Villa Vanilla is our first and best pick. Perfect location, superb service, special space offered for your ski gear, and excellent staff. It is an area with stunning views that provides the entire house to yourself for a very affordable price. They have got special rooms for families and include all the “baby-friendly” gear too. We have enjoyed it a lot more than a flat on Airbnb.

Kaķītis is an extremely family-friendly guesthouse option. It is located near the center and yet it has this quiet, relaxing vibe surrounded by wild nature. What I love the most that it offers a variety of saunas with jacuzzi and hot tubs, which is a great plus for first-time visitors. You have a chance to try the real Latvian sauna experience with a home-made birch bush. Another amazing feature is that they offer snowboard and ski rentals, and a special playroom for children.

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Aparjods is another excellent option for sauna lovers. This place offers an Arctic-style spa bath a sauna. But the best thing about it is that the whole place is built with wooden furniture and has this authentic truly Latvian style that you will not see anywhere else in Sigulda.

For hotel lovers, there are two absolutely stunning hotels in Sigulda.

Spa Hotel Ezeri has an amazing spa center with a sauna, aroma steam bath, swimming pools, and hot tub. The coolest thing about the hot tub and swimming pool is that the space has glass windows, so you can see everything that happens inside. How cool is that to swim while it is snowing outside?

Hotel Sigulda is located in the heart of Sigulda, just 300 meters away from the train station. The name speaks for itself, and I must say, this hotel has all the right to represent Sigulda. It has the best rate and, of course, it offers a spa and sauna service too.

Best time to visit Sigulda

May to October is the best time to go.

In spring you can admire blooming bird cherry trees that turn it almost completely white.

Summer, specifically late June, gives a chance to celebrate the traditional Latvian Summer Solstice called “Ligo”, and so participate in numerous shows and events across the country.

And autumn is perfect for gorgeous tree colors and views.

What To Do in Sigulda

Among a huge variety of truly stunning day trips from Riga, Sigulda is number one on the list. If you visit Latvia with kids, there are tons of things to do in Sigulda for you and your family.

Gaujas National Park and Gauja River

Photo by Ewa Dryjanska

The Gaujas National Park is considered to be the largest and oldest national park in Latvia. The river called Gauja crosses the park, this is why it inherited the name “Gaujas”.

There are numerous things to do in the park, including hiking and boating. You will find the best picturesque views here too.

Gutmanis Cave (Gūtmaņala)

Photo by AndfRa

Gaujas National Park has the famous Gutmanis Cave, which is tiny in its size but is filled with millions of signatures left by visitors. It is so unique that you can find signatures from centuries away. Once it became a thing, people used to bring ladders in order to leave their own name in a place that nobody reaches. There was a belief it can bring you happiness and harmony to your life.

Apart from the cave, there are natural springs, sandstone outcrops, and unique natural, cultural and historical monuments in the Sigulda National Park.

Turaida Museum Reserve

Turaida Museum is located seven minutes away from the Sigulda Rail and Bus station. Although it seems to be a short car drive, it will take you up to one hour to get there as it is located up on the hill. Besides, it is not safe as there is no pedestrian path on the way and it is winding. Alternatively, you can take a bus 3112, 5612 or 7177 that will drive you to the museum’s entrance in ten minutes, and it will cost you 0.60 EUR.

Turaida Museum Reserve is a huge park where you can find Turaida Stone Castle which is the main attraction, Rose of Turaida Memorial, Church, and Folk Song Garden. There is also a sort of botanical garden on a side too. It is rich with archaeological, architectural, historical art monuments dated from the 11th century.

Turaida Castle

The main attraction, Turaida Stone Castle, has been constructed in 1214 for Albert of Riga. The territory is not as big and it is easy to walk around. Apart from exploring different entrances of the castle and investigating medieval tools and garments, the main visiting spot remains the tower that opens great views on the Gauja river. The tower has five floors, so it won’t take your breath away unless the reason is absolutely gorgeous views.

Folk Song Garden is quite a unique place to be, as it has all these statues and monuments that sometimes hard to read but interesting to observe. For me and my husband, it was lots of fun to play with our imagination and guess what it could potentially be.

Right next to the Folk Song Garden is Folk Song Hill where each year on the 21st of June there is an amazing opportunity to take part in the Summer Solstice Festivity called “Ligo”. Read more about it below “Latvian Festivals in Sigulda”.

Castle of the Livonian Order and Sigulda New Castle

These two castles are situated next to each other and look absolutely different as they come from different time periods and built in different styles, but it is quite often to refer to both castles as Sigulda Castle.

It is an easy 20-minute walk from the Sigulda Rail and Bus station or a 5-minute drive. Passing the Public Park (Tautas Parks), you will find the castles right in front of you. Later if you cross the river, you will get to Gaujas National Park.

The Castle of the Livonian Order that is known as Sigulda Old Castle was built in 1207 in a medieval style and was meant to serve as a fortress. Whereas Sigulda New Castle was built in 1878 with a distinct Neo-Gothic style.

Like with the Turaida Stone Castle, here you have an opportunity to climb the tower and admire the picturesque forest and river views too. Here is also where all the major dance events, festivals, and concerts take part. And don’t forget to bring the food, this area is perfect for a picnic!

Sigulda Activities for all types of travelers

Biking trails in Sigulda

There are quite a few biking trails that you are welcome to explore. Some trails are rather advanced for individuals who know how to jump through the logs and never stop facing the challenges.

Detailed information on biking and hiking trails including the map is possible to get in one of the information centers of Sigulda. You can rent bikes in Sigulda too.

Hiking trails in Sigulda

There are tons of hiking trails in Sigulda. In fact, if you are about to visit Sigulda, there is no chance you can miss on hiking.

You can always make a one-day hiking tour. There are more than five different routes to explore. My favorite was the Gauja Valley. It is a feast for the eyes, especially in springtime when blooming bird cherry trees turn it almost completely white.

But there are also several-days hiking routes, where you can explore other cities and other sights. Here I list some of them for you.

  • Ligatne Nature Trails. Discover wild animals and birds typical for Latvia;
  • Amata Geology Trails. It starts from Melturi and goes all the way to Veclaucu Bridge. This trail is 17 km long and is famous for its scenic outcrops;
  • Gauja River Trails. Explore the routes along the river. The entire hiking trip can take up to five days covering such cities as
    • Murjani – Ramkalni – Sigulda (20 km);
    • Sigulda – Ligatne (30 km);
    • Ligatne – Cesis (28 km);
    • Cesis – Sietiniezis Rock (25 km);
    • Sietiniezis Rock – Valmiera (20 km).

Boating in Sigulda

An amazing and rather unforgettable experience for first-time Sigulda visitors. Boating in Sigulda is also a great chance to relax and just enjoy picturesque views on the go. The best time to travel is when the weather is favorable and the water is not being frozen, usually starting from May and up to October.

Of course, there are tourists preferring to boat for three days and more visiting such cities as Valmiera, Cesis, Ligatne, and Sigulda. However, Sigulda offers short rides too and you can always stop at several rest areas for boaters on both riverbanks for picnic or camping.

The one-day boating trips include:

  • Ligatne – Sigulda (25 km);
  • Cesis – Sigulda (45 km).

The Ligatne and Amata rivers will be an exciting challenge to adventurous and experienced boaters during the springtime floods too.

Kayaking in Sigulda

As long as boating is available, kayaking is an option too. You can rent kayak on-site. This is a perfect option for family holidays.

Sigulda Crazy Bungee Jump

The bungee jump is one of the first activities among the rest that appeared in Sigulda. Back in the days, every local went to Sigulda to have a try (not me!). You jump right into the river from the 43 m high cable car enjoying the spectacular view at the end.

Aerodium Sigulda

Photo by Renārs Grabis

Aerodium is a vertical wind tunnel that allows you to experience the free-fall without actually falling. Aerodium in Latvia became incredibly popular after presenting this innovation at the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010. Since then everyone who is in Sigulda has to try it.

Although be prepared to leave some cash, this activity is not too cheap. You will be instructed for 60 minutes before going in and then have a whole six minutes to feel yourself a bird.

Sigulda Bobsleigh Track

Photo by Guntars Mednis

One of the top and unique attractions of Sigulda and the whole Baltic States is a bobsleigh track. It is just an 11-minute walk from the Sigulda Rail and Bus station, and a 2-minute car drive.

Up to date, Olympians use this track to train. It is also worth to notice that Latvians are very good at luge, bobsleigh, and skeleton. The country has won a significant amount of medals in these sports. Sigulda is one of the main places to host numerous championships every year.

The best thing about Sigulda bobsleigh is that it remains one of the only tracks in the world that is opened to the public (and it was the only track existing in the former USSR too). It is six-floor high and 1200 meters long where you can reach the speed of 85 km per hour (approx. 52 miles). In case if you wish to pass on extreme sports, there is an opportunity to walk down the track too. In any case, the portion of adrenaline is guaranteed!

Sigulda Cable Car

Photo by Aldis Dzenovskis

One of the most popular Sigulda’s destinations is the cable car that was first unveiled at the beginning of 1969, regardless of the fact that the entire project took 15 years. It receives around 300 000 people a year and serves as a symbol of Sigulda.

The cost of the ride one way is 12 EUR for an adult and 8 EUR for a child starting from 3 years old. This cable car works on a schedule and leaves every half an hour. From there you will be able to wander around the Gaujas National Park and all three castles of Sigulda mentioned above.

The cable opens unforgettably stunning views towards the river, Gauja old valley, three medieval castles, Sigulda, Turaida and Krimulda, bobsleigh track, and the Gauja bridge. Also, as been mentioned before, this is the exact place where you can test the strength of your heart and do the bungee jump.

Sigulda Adventure Parks

Sigulda has three main adventure parks. It is an absolute must to visit if you are traveling with your kids.

Mezakakis Adventure Park

Ok, I am not lying, but this is my best adventure activity of all time! I have tried it only once and I couldn’t wait to get back to Riga just for this experience again. Mezakakis is the adventure park with tons of activities for you and your little ones. Take a look at the video to get a taste of it.

It is a place for active recreation where you can enjoy walks in the trees. Obstacles such as wire ropes, nets, bridges of various construction, swings, logs, ropes, and steps as well as zip lines are set up on growing trees at different heights. Plus, they offer kids’ playground, climbing wall and a café where you can get delicious lunch.

If you are short of time in Sigulda, you can always visit another location in Riga’s center along with Riga Zoo and huge park “Mezaparks”.

Ramkalni Recreation Park

This park is located in Sigulda, this is why it is highly recommended to stay in Sigulda a couple of days. There are lots of things to explore! However, this one is going to make your kids and you very happy.

Apart from seasonal offers, such as bike and boat tours, skiing, and snowboarding, there are bungee trampolines, tube sliding, toboggan track, flying chair, crazy rotor, kids’ driving school and more.

Ramkalni is also a well-known brand in Latvia offering healthy natural products, such as candied berries, pastilles, and natural syrups. My kid absolutely loved the berries!

Tarzans Adventure Park

First of all, watch this video here to understand what it is all about. Tarzans Park is the largest outdoor adventure park in the Baltics. There are four locations in Latvia Sigulda, Jurmala, Liepaja, and Daugavpils. The Sigulda one is the biggest park among them all.

The package price varies from 25 EUR, but trust me, it is worth a try! We stayed the whole day there and it wasn’t enough.

The variety of activities is just incredible and so much fun: jungle climb, crazy roller, bungee trampolines, go-karts of each and every style, children’s driving school and excavator experience, toboggan track, chair lift, tube sliding, trampoline park, catapult, giant swings, and safari. There is also a huge open-area space for shooting arrows. To sum up the whole quite an emotional experience in one sentence: you can’t afford to miss it!

Find out the best activities to do with your kids in Latvia here. We have prepared a special post for it.

Among all three parks, Ramkalni is the furthest one from Sigulda’s Rail and Bus station. Mezakakis is a 26-minute walk or 9-minute drive passing the bobsleigh track, while Tarzans is located in the heart of Sigulda’s cable car area from where you can take a ride to Gaujas National Park and explore medieval castles afterward.

Latvian Festivals in Sigulda

There are quite a few traditional Latvian festivals where you can dive into Latvian authentic culture, customs, and traditions. One thing I love about Latvia is that during the summer there are lots of festivities going on in major tourist cities. There are art and craft markets both in Riga’s Vermana Park and Ethnographic museum, as well as a beer festival, folk dances, and singing.

Some of the celebrations happen in Sigulda. The main one is held on the 21st of June on the Folk Song Hill in Turaida Museum Reserve. You will see lots of spiritual dances and hear traditional Latvian songs celebrating the Summer Solstice.

Remember the stage at Sigulda Castle I have mentioned? This is exactly the place you can participate in Sigulda Opera Festival in late June.

So, is Sigulda now on your bucket list? We certainly hope so!

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6 Comments

  1. […] Sigulda is one of the most picturesque hidden gems located in the Baltic States. Everything is located close by, so the most common transport in Sigulda is your feet. […]

  2. Smith Mitchell says:

    I love outdoor activities. Thanks for the idea!

  3. […] a country, Latvia is full of fantastic places and hidden gems to explore with kids. Sigulda which is only an hour away from Riga is a paradise for kids. It is all about retreats, activity […]

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  5. […] Read everything about your vacation in Sigulda. […]

  6. […] What To Do In Sigulda: A Day Trip From Riga To Sigulda. […]

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