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What to do in Daugavpils?

5 min

Daugavpils, Latvia's second-largest city, with its historical architecture, serene parks, and engaging museums offer something for everyone, accessible all year round

Whether you're a solo traveler, a family on the lookout for an unforgettable adventure, or a local Latvian keen to explore the treasures of your homeland, Daugavpils offers a plethora of activities and sights that promise to captivate and inspire. Situated in the southeastern part of the country, Daugavpils is a treasure trove of cultural and natural wonders, inviting locals and travelers alike to delve into its rich tapestry. From the strategic significance of the Daugavpils Fortress to the tranquil beauty of the Daugava River, prepare to be enchanted by what Daugavpils has to offer.

Daugavpils Fortress
Daugavpils Fortress

Historical Marvels and Artistic Delights

Daugavpils, a city with a storied past and a vibrant present, beckons to those who like to unravel history and immerse themselves in artistic expressions. Here's a deeper exploration into the historical and cultural tapestry that makes Daugavpils a must-visit destination for history buffs and art aficionados alike.

Daugavpils Fortress

This sprawling 19th-century fortress, one of the most well-preserved fortifications in Eastern Europe, encapsulates centuries of military strategy and architectural brilliance. Visitors can wander through its vast grounds, explore the ramparts and bastions, and even venture into old ammunition storages that are now repurposed as exhibition spaces. The fortress's history is a testament to the city's strategic importance, serving various empires and witnessing numerous historical events.

Mark Rothko Art Centre

Nestled within the walls of the Daugavpils Fortress, the Mark Rothko Art Centre is a homage to the city's most famous son, Mark Rothko. Born in Daugavpils, Rothko went on to become a titan of the abstract expressionist movement. The centre not only features original works by Rothko but also hosts rotating exhibitions of contemporary art from around the globe. It's a place where art transcends boundaries, inviting visitors to engage with creativity in its most unadulterated forms.

Unity House

The Unity House stands as a beacon of cultural and social life in Daugavpils. This architectural marvel, designed in the Modernist style, is a hub for arts and performances, housing the Daugavpils Theatre, various art galleries, and the city's symphony orchestra. The Unity House exemplifies the city's commitment to cultural enrichment and community engagement, offering a year-round calendar of events, performances, and exhibitions.

Latvian Culture and Crafts: The Martin Luther Cathedral and More

Beyond the fortress and galleries, Daugavpils' rich tapestry of history and art extends to religious and civic buildings that tell the story of the city's diverse cultural heritage. The Martin Luther Cathedral, with its imposing red brick facade, offers insights into the religious architecture and Lutheran heritage of the region. 

Visitors can also explore local crafts and Latvian traditions at various cultural centers and workshops scattered throughout the city, providing a hands-on experience of the country's rich artistic legacy.

Exploring the Jewish Heritage

Daugavpils has a significant Jewish heritage, with the city being home to one of the oldest synagogues in Latvia, the Great Choral Synagogue. A visit to this historical site offers a glimpse into the life of the Jewish community in Daugavpils, contributing to the diverse cultural mosaic of the city.

Nature's Beauty and Outdoor Adventures

For those who find solace in the arms of nature and thrill in outdoor adventures, Daugavpils offers a variety of experiences that connect you with the great outdoors, no matter the season.

The Daugava River

The Daugava River, the lifeblood of Daugavpils, offers stunning natural scenery and a plethora of activities for nature lovers. Along its banks, you can find tranquil spots for picnicking, serene paths for walking or cycling, and picturesque settings for photography enthusiasts. Fishing enthusiasts can also find solace along the quieter stretches of the river, where the waters are teeming with fish.

Stropi Forest and Beach

Just a short distance from the city center lies the Stropi Forest and Beach, a popular retreat for both locals and visitors. This area combines the dense, green embrace of the forest with the gentle shores of a beach, offering a unique setting for relaxation and recreation. In the summer, the beach becomes a favorite spot for swimming and sunbathing, while the forest trails invite hikers and nature walkers to explore the flora and fauna of the region.

Dubrovin Park

Dubrovin Park, located in the heart of Daugavpils, is a testament to the city's commitment to preserving green spaces. This meticulously landscaped park, with its array of flowers, ornamental shrubs, and ancient trees, provides a peaceful escape from the urban hustle. The park's paths are perfect for leisurely walks, jogging, or even outdoor yoga sessions, making it a versatile spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

Latgale Zoo

Nestled within a scenic pine forest, the Latgale Zoo is a haven for wildlife and nature lovers. It houses a variety of animals from different parts of the world, offering visitors a chance to get up close with creatures they might not otherwise encounter. The zoo's setting in a natural forest environment allows for a more immersive experience, emphasizing conservation and education about the natural world.

The Aglona Basilica and Its Surrounding Natural Splendor

While primarily known for its religious significance, the Aglona Basilica, located a short drive from Daugavpils, is also surrounded by breathtaking natural landscapes. The area around the basilica is ripe for exploration, with serene lakes, lush forests, and gentle hills offering a picturesque backdrop for spiritual and reflective journeys.

Biking and Hiking Trails

For the more adventurous, Daugavpils and its surroundings are crisscrossed with biking and hiking trails that cater to all levels of fitness and expertise. These trails not only offer a great way to stay active but also provide unique vantage points to appreciate the beauty of the Latvian countryside, with marked routes leading through forests, along riverbanks, and past historical sites.

Savoring Daugavpils' Culinary Landscape

Traditional Latvian Cuisine

Gubernators stands as a distinguished dining establishment in Daugavpils, renowned for offering its guests an immersive experience that transcends the ordinary culinary journey. This restaurant takes pride in its rich selection of traditional Eastern European and specifically Russian cuisine, serving dishes that are both authentic and exquisitely prepared. The ambiance of Gubernators reflects the grandeur and opulence of a bygone era, creating an atmosphere that is both inviting and historically resonant.

Modern Flavors and Fusion Cuisine

Daugavpils’ culinary scene also boasts establishments that infuse traditional recipes with modern twists and international flavors. The Art Hub Restaurant, situated within the Mark Rothko Art Centre, serves up contemporary dishes that are as visually appealing as they are delicious, perfect for a leisurely lunch after exploring the art collections. For a fusion of flavors, Gastrobar Yoggy Bear combines Latvian ingredients with global culinary techniques, offering a menu that changes with the seasons to ensure freshness and variety.

A Cozy Cafe

Cat Cafe "KOTOFFSKI" is a haven for cat lovers and coffee enthusiasts alike. This charming cafe offers a cozy atmosphere where guests can enjoy a variety of beverages and snacks surrounded by friendly felines. The concept of a cat cafe, where visitors can pet and play with cats while sipping on their coffee, originated in Asia and has since gained popularity worldwide. "KOTOFFSKI" brings this unique concept to Daugavpils, offering a relaxing environment for animal lovers to unwind.

Daugavpils Church Hill
Daugavpils Church Hill

How to Get to Daugavpils?

As the go-to choice for many travelers across the Baltics, Lux Express is thrilled to unveil one of our latest additions: the Riga to Daugavpils route, commencing this spring! This new route is not merely a means of transportation; it represents a gateway to one of Latvia's most intriguing cities, Daugavpils, known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes.

At Lux Express, we believe that the journey should be as memorable as the destination. That’s why we've gone above and beyond to ensure your travel to Daugavpils is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. From the moment you step aboard our bus in Riga, you'll enjoy the full range of Lux Express amenities. Our passengers are treated to complimentary Wi-Fi, spacious adjustable seating, and an onboard entertainment system, all curated to enhance your travel experience.

Our Riga-Daugavpils and Liepaja-Riga-Daugavpils routes are the perfect solution to getting to Daugavpils comfortably. Whether you're looking for a quick weekend escape, setting off on a solo exploration, or planning a trip with family or friends, we aim to make your journey to Daugavpils seamless and worry-free.

Why choose Lux Express on your journey to Daugavpils? 

Because we're committed to ensuring that your travel is as enjoyable as the explorations that await you. Relax in comfort and enjoy the scenic vistas as we transport you to Daugavpils, a city teeming with opportunities for discovery.