Located 50 kilometers east of Riga, the city of Sigulda is a picturesque location set at the end of the Gauja Valley.
Surrounded by forests, sandstone cliffs and the River Gauja, Sigulda is referred to as the ‘Switzerland of Latvia’ and is one of the most scenic towns in Latvia.
Tourists are attracted to the area for many nature-based activities such as hiking in the National Park or water sports on the river, but also for historical fortifications such as the Turaida Castle and postcard-perfect rural churches.
Located about 4 kilometers outside of Sigulda, ride Latvia’s only cable car across the valley and explore Krimulda Village before walking through wooded paths up to Turaida Castle where you can visit a small museum and enjoy excellent views from the upper level of the tower over the valley and the river. We recommend visiting in autumn when the forest canopy turns the leaves red and gold.
The walking stick is a symbol of Sigulda whereby locals have made walking sticks since the 19th century to help tourists walk up and down the Gauja Valley. Visit the quirky Walking Stick Park and buy one as a souvenir from the Tourist Office.
For a double dose of castles, stop by the Sigulda New Castle and the Sigulda Medieval Castle Ruins. The New Castle has a restaurant inside, and the Medieval Castle has 2 restored towers where you can try on armor and get panoramic views. In summer, there are open air performances.
Get your adrenaline pumping by bobsledding down the Sigulda Bobsled Track and Luge. In summer, the bobsleds are converted with wheels and in winter you can also go skiing in the resort.
Hire a canoe for a jaunt along the River Gauja. There are many rental companies lining the river banks near Sigulda, and popular short canoe trips are between Sigulda and Ligatne or Murjani. Intrepid adventurers can take 2 or 3 days to paddle the river between Sigulda and Cesis or Valmiera with overnight stays in riverside campsites.
Mezakakis Adventure Park is for true forest dwellers! Clip on a harness and cross the bridges, platforms and obstacles in the trees finishing with a zip line at each stage. There is also a kids course for little ones.
Twenty kilometers from Sigulda is Ligatne, a countryside town with a paper milling history set on the fringe of the Gauja National Park. Visit for a few hours where you can wander the village with paper mill residences, take a flashlight to explore the underground sandstone caves and cellars or see a preserved Soviet bunker created for shelter during nuclear war.
Riga, Latvia’s capital is situated 50 kilometers from Sigulda and a fantastic city to explore. Get lost in the cobbled streets of Riga’s Old Town (Vecrīga) that is part of a UNESCO World Heritage listed area, take your pick from the local produce at Central Market or board a river boat for a scenic cruise on Riga Canal.