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What to do in Liepāja - Latvia's Hidden Gem by the Sea

Liepāja, Latvia's third-largest city, is a captivating blend of historical richness, cultural vibrancy, and natural beauty

Liepaja is the capital of culture in 2027

Designated as the 2027 European Capital of Culture, Liepāja is set to showcase its rich cultural tapestry to the world. Whether you're a solo adventurer, a family on holiday, or anyone in between, Liepāja welcomes you with open arms, offering myriad activities and sights that promise excitement throughout the year. If you're pondering what to do in Liepāja or what to see in this dynamic city, you're in for a delightful journey enriched by a celebratory atmosphere and an array of cultural festivities.

Liepāja Concert Hall, known as Great Amber (Lielais Dzintars)
Liepāja Concert Hall, known as Great Amber (Lielais Dzintars)

Historical and Cultural Explorations

The Liepāja Naval Port (Karosta) once served as a secret military base during the Tsarist and Soviet eras. Today, it stands as a testament to the city's strategic importance, with guided tours offering a glimpse into its storied past. The Karosta Lighthouse, standing tall against the backdrop of the Baltic sea, offers breathtaking views and a unique insight into maritime life.

For a touch of the arts, the Liepāja Theatre is one of the oldest theatres in Latvia, offering an excellent array of performances ranging from classical plays to modern productions. Its exquisite architecture and vibrant program make it a cornerstone of Liepāja's cultural scene.

The Peter's Market (Pētertirgus) is not only a place for local commerce but also a cultural landmark, encapsulating the daily life and traditions of Liepāja's residents. This bustling market, housed in a historic building, offers everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts, providing a glimpse into the local lifestyle.

Liepāja Concert Hall, known as Great Amber (Lielais Dzintars), stands as a beacon of culture and art in the Baltic region. Since its inception in 2015, this iconic venue has not only been a stunning piece of architecture but also a vibrant center for a diverse range of artistic expressions. The hall serves as a multifunctional art center of both national and European significance. It plays a pivotal role in hosting an array of contemporary cultural services, including performances by both Latvian and international talents in music, dance, visual, and new media arts. Great Amber is dedicated to maintaining the presence of professional art in the region, thereby fostering intellectual engagement, leisure activities, and public education through its dynamic programming. The venue also offers its space for both public and private events, enhancing its role as a central hub for cultural and social interactions in Liepāja.

In addition to these attractions, the Liepāja Museum of Occupation offers insightful exhibitions on Latvia's 20th-century history, focusing on the resilience and resistance of its people during periods of occupation. This museum not only educates but also inspires, highlighting the indomitable spirit of the Latvian people.

Embracing Nature's Beauty

The Northern Forts
The Northern Forts

Liepāja's natural landscapes are equally compelling, with the Liepāja Beach serving as a perfect getaway throughout the year. The beach's expansive sands and the tranquil Baltic Sea set the stage for relaxation and reflection. For those seeking tranquility, the serene waters of Liepāja Lake and the verdant surroundings offer a peaceful retreat from the urban hustle.

Seaside Park (Jūrmalas parks), stretching along the city's coastline, is a verdant oasis offering leisure and recreation for all ages. With its well-maintained paths, playgrounds, and the enchanting possibility for birdwatching, the park is a perfect spot for family outings.

For those seeking tranquility, Zirgu Island in Liepāja Lake is accessible by a pedestrian bridge and offers a peaceful retreat with its picnic areas, walking trails, and unspoiled natural settings. It's an ideal spot for quiet reflection or a leisurely day spent in nature.

Adventure seekers will find their thrill in Liepāja's dunes. The dunes offer a unique landscape for hiking and are home to diverse flora and fauna. The experience of walking through the shifting sands, with the Baltic Sea's soundtrack in the background, is both invigorating and serene.

The Northern Forts, remnants of a bygone era, have been reclaimed by nature, creating a surreal landscape where history and natural beauty intertwine. These abandoned fortifications, partly submerged and eroded by the sea, offer a hauntingly beautiful backdrop for photographers, history enthusiasts, and explorers. Walking among these ruins, visitors can marvel at the power of nature to transform human constructions into works of art.

Lake Tosmare is another natural gem, offering picturesque views and opportunities for fishing, boating, and bird watching. The lake's surroundings are perfect for leisurely walks or cycling, allowing visitors to enjoy the calm waters and the area's natural beauty.

Lastly, the Liepāja Thermal Bath provides a unique blend of relaxation and nature. This facility utilizes geothermal water, offering a spa experience that is both rejuvenating and environmentally friendly. Surrounded by nature, it's a perfect way to unwind after a day of exploration.

The Summer Sound festival

The "Summer Sound" festival, celebrated in Liepāja, has quickly become the largest festival in Latvia and a standout summer event across the Baltics. Returning for its next edition on August 2-3, 2024, the festival continues to draw massive crowds, with over 40,000 attendees last year alone. Spanning two exhilarating days, festival-goers can look forward to performances from more than 70 domestic and international artists. Beyond the music, the festival is packed with various attractions and shows, adding to the vibrant atmosphere. Set against the stunning backdrop of one of Europe's most beautiful beaches, "Summer Sound" provides the perfect combination of thrilling entertainment and beachside relaxation, making it an essential destination for summer fun.

Gastronomy in Liepaja

Exploring Liepāja's culinary scene is a journey of its own. The city's cafes and restaurants serve up an enticing mix of traditional Latvian cuisine and international flavors, catering to all tastes. 

Liepāja's culinary landscape is as diverse as its culture, offering everything from traditional Latvian cuisine to innovative contemporary dishes. Among the beloved local specialties is Liepājas menciņi, a traditional fish dish that captures the essence of the city's seaside heritage. The city's cafes, restaurants, and bars reflect its rich history and modern vibrancy, making it an ideal spot for those looking to enjoy a lively night out. Whether you're indulging in the savory flavors of Liepājas menciņi or exploring the creative menus of modern eateries, Liepāja offers a dining experience that is as rich and varied as the city itself.

Traditional Latvian Cuisine 

For a true taste of Latvia, Vecais Kapteiņis is a must-visit place. This restaurant, renowned for its cozy ambiance and authentic dishes, serves up specialties like grey peas with bacon, smoked fish, and rye bread pudding. It's a culinary journey into the heart of Latvian tradition.

Cafe Culture

Liepāja's vibrant cafe scene is best represented by Darbnica Cafe, a charming spot known for its delicious cakes, pastries, and coffee. It's the perfect place for a leisurely breakfast or an afternoon break, offering a warm welcome and a taste of local baking at its finest.

Craft Beer and Casual Bites

Bruno Bar is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. At Bruno Bar, you can savor the simple pleasure of a cold beer paired with a delightful dinner, choosing from a menu that caters to every preference, whether you're in the mood for a classic dish or something more innovative. Notably, here you can also enjoy the traditional dish of Liepāja, Liepājas menciņi, a local favorite that perfectly captures the culinary spirit of the city. Whether you opt for this beloved classic or explore other menu options, Bruno Bar offers a welcoming atmosphere to relax and dine.

Nightlife in Liepaja

As night falls, the city's vibrant nightlife comes alive, with a variety of bars and clubs offering music, dance, and local brews to round off your day.

Hot Potato is a cellar bar that has become a local favorite, known for its relaxed vibe and excellent selection of beers and spirits. It's a great place to start the evening, engage in conversations with friends or locals, and enjoy some live music performances, which are a regular feature.

For live music and a spirited atmosphere, Fontaine Palace is an iconic venue that hosts bands and DJs, offering a mix of genres to dance the night away. Its eclectic decor and energetic vibe make it a nightlife staple in Liepāja.

Cocktails with a View

The Red Sun Buffet is Liepāja's go-to beach bar, offering a laid-back atmosphere perfect for those who enjoy sipping cocktails with their toes in the sand. During the summer months, it transforms into a lively hub of music and dance, with DJs spinning tracks well into the night. It's an ideal spot for those looking to unwind by the sea.

How to get to Liepāja?

As the preferred choice for countless travelers across the Baltics, we at Lux Express are excited to announce the launch of one of our newest routes: Riga to Liepāja, starting May 2nd! 

At Lux Express, we understand that the journey is just as important as the destination. That's why we've tailored our service to ensure that your trip to Liepāja is nothing short of comfortable and enjoyable. Enjoy the convenience of free Wi-Fi, the comfort of adjustable seats, and the pleasure of our onboard entertainment system, all designed to make your trip fly by.

Our new Riga-Liepāja route is designed with your convenience in mind, offering multiple departures daily to fit seamlessly into your travel plans. Whether you're escaping for a weekend getaway, embarking on a solo adventure, or planning a family vacation, we're here to ensure that your journey to Liepāja is smooth and stress-free.

Why choose Lux Express for your journey to Liepāja?

Because we believe that the journey should be as enriching as the destination itself. Sit back, relax, and take in the scenic views as we take you to Liepāja, where an array of experiences await. From its stunning beaches and historical landmarks to its vibrant cultural scene and natural wonders, Liepāja is a treasure trove of experiences just waiting to be discovered.

Mark your calendars for May 2nd and be among the first to explore Liepāja with Lux Express. We're not just taking you to Liepāja; we're inviting you on an adventure. Welcome aboard!