Latvia is best known for its wellness and medical tourism. But also the Art Nouveau, which is still very nice to see in Riga, the hearty Latvian cuisine and of course the song festival are typical for Latvia. You can find more information on these topics here.
Hearty food is very common in Latvia: rye bread, pork ribs, braised pork, bacon cakes, sauerkraut, fried potatoes, soups and stews are on the traditional menus. Sweet desserts should not be missing. Traditional dishes are particularly popular on public holidays such as Easter or the Midsummer Festival.
Latvian cuisine was also inspired by other nations. A Ukrainian borscht is just as natural as Polish carp or a Russian bacon cake with cabbage and mushrooms. German cuisine can also be found here: During the times of the Baltic German nobility, many Latvians worked in the kitchens of the manor houses. The first German cookbook in Latvian was written as early as the 18th century, translated by Christoph Herder, Rubene’s pastor at the time.
Latvia is also famous for its beer, caraway cheese and smoked sprats (Riga sprats). The Rigaer Schwarzer Balsam is also typical – a bittersweet herbal schnapps, which was originally made as a medicine and which, in addition to various herbs, also contains various berries, flowers and oils.
The Lieven, on the other hand, have their own kitchen. At Cape Kolka, on the Usi farm, visitors can learn how to make the traditional Bukstinbiezputra porridge and Sklandrausi flatbread. Good Appetite!
Of course, the modern kitchen has also found its way into many places today. There are now numerous pizza, sushi, kebab restaurants and modern cafés across the country.
Riga experienced a building boom at the beginning of the 20th century. During this time, numerous splendid Art Nouveau buildings with rich ornamentation, nicely decorated facades, oriels and neat window elements were built in the Latvian capital, as are typical of this architectural style.
Today visitors can admire around 800 Art Nouveau buildings in Riga. Most of them are in the center, in the embassy district and in Alberta iela. A walk in the footsteps of the Art Nouveau houses is highly recommended!
Between 1905 and 1911 houses with an unmistakable national expression of Art Nouveau were also built: At this time, Latvian symbols and materials found their way into the designs mainly from local architects.
Michail Eisenstein, Konstantins Peksens, Alexandrs Vanags and Eizens Laube are the best-known names among Art Nouveau architects. Michail Eisenstein designed six of the houses on Alberta iela alone, but also three on Elizabetes iela.
The Art Nouveau Museum has existed in Riga since 2009. It was set up in the former apartment of the architect Konstantins Peksens in Alberta iela. If you want to explore Riga as part of a city trip, you will surely find it with the Baltic specialist Schnieder Reisen.
In addition to Riga, Liepaja is also known for its Art Nouveau buildings.
The term “Singing Revolution” established itself in the course of independence from the Soviet Union and made the Baltic States famous for this peaceful type of demonstration. In 1989 two million people formed a chain from Tallinn via Riga to Vilnius and protested for the independence of the Baltic states. The song festivals in Latvia, as in the whole of the Baltic States, have a much longer history: The first dance and song festival took place in Latvia as early as 1873. The song festivals are an expression of national identity and an indispensable part of Latvian culture; they have also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for some time.
This culture could be preserved and so the song festival takes place in Riga every five years.
Wellness and medical tourism
Jurmala in particular has long been known for spa and recreational tourism. The healthy maritime climate, healing peat, digested sludge and sulfur springs are traditionally included in the spa treatments. As early as 1838, Tsar Nicholas I had the first bathing establishment, a mud bath, built in Kemeri. The first sanatorium was opened in 1870. The region became popular for recreational tourism and has been able to maintain this status to this day.
Most of Latvia’s spa facilities are located in Jurmala. That is why there are numerous hotels here with spa and wellness offers. Medical cures, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, water aerobics, air-conditioning therapy, salt cures and much more is possible. Purification and juice cures or beauty treatments are also possible.
The seaside resort is a member of the European Spas Association and specializes in diseases of the cardiovascular system and the digestive system, metabolic disorders and skin diseases as well as diseases of the nervous system.
As a country located in North Europe defined by Countryaah, Latvia is also known for medical tourism: medical services in the field of ophthalmology, dental treatment, plastic surgery and addiction treatments are offered.