Latvia’s Centennial celebrations start in May 2017, and culminate on November 18, 2018. Come to visit any time – we will be expecting you.

For starters, we offer you some tips on places to visit and people to meet on your Latvia100 journey.

Search for amber on the rugged beaches of Liepāja

The wild landscape of Latvia’s West coast hides many treasures – try your luck and look for amber in the sands of Liepāja’s Blue Flag beach. If you don’t find a piece of amber of your own, don’t despair – there is the “Great Amber”, a concert hall boasting superb acoustics and cutting edge architecture. The venue is offering a rich cultural programme all year round.

While in Liepāja, go to the historic military district, the Karosta - step into the shoes of a Soviet-era prisoner or walk the steps of a soldier through the underground labyrinths of the fort. And don’t forget to visit the Suiti ethnic group in Alsunga village just outside Liepāja; the Suiti cultural space has been recognised by UNESCO. Their culture is characterised by colourful traditional costumes, unique wedding traditions and special harmonic drone-singing.

/ greatamber.lv | suitunovads.lv /

Roll up your sleeves for some good work

Photo: Didzis Grodzs
Join the Talka, the Big Clean-up Campaign, in April – all around Latvia! Shoulder to shoulder, all of us (including the President!) will be there, pursuing the aim of making Latvia the greenest place on earth for its centennial celebrations! We will plant trees, clean up littered areas and renovate neglected backyards in the suburbs, inviting the rest of the world to join in – the Latvian communities all over the globe can show you how. If you are busy in April, don’t worry about having missed out – take part in the global clean-up “Let’s Do It! Campaign”, inspired by the Latvian Talka movement, on September 15, 2018..

/ talkas.lv | letsdoitworld.org /

Savour local cuisine in the beautiful Riga-Gauja region

Photo: Didzis Grodzs
After a good work-out in the fresh air, a hearty meal is served – explore the menu of the Riga-Gauja European Region of Gastronomy 2017. Food festivals and weekends devoted to good food, wholesome meals in restaurants and cafes of Riga, Sigulda and Cēsis – tasty adventures for everyone!

By the way, make sure you pop into the modern Cēsis Concert Hall for an uplifting musical experience, check out the Wall of Books at the Latvian National Library in Riga and look for Riga’s best-hidden museum, the Žanis Lipke Memorial on Ķīpsala Island, telling a story of a local family who had provided a hiding place for Jewish people during WWII. And follow the footsteps of Reformation-500 across the region.

/ rigagauja.lv | cesukoncertzale.lv | lnb.lv | lipke.lv | lnmm.lv /

A rendezvous with Mark Rothko’s colour magic in Daugavpils

Photo: Latvian Institute
Mark Rothko Art Centre in Daugavpils, the birthplace of the founder of abstract expressionism, Mark Rothko, is the only place in the North-Eastern Europe where his original works are exhibited on a permanent basis. It is located inside the Daugavpils Fortress, the last 19th-century bastion-style military fortification in this part of the world. Rothko’s birthday on September 22nd might be a good reason to stop by.

Latgale, the eastern borderland of Europe, is the place to recharge your spiritual batteries with its high density and variety of holy sites – the Catholic basilica in Aglona, the recently restored Baltic’s oldest wooden synagogue in Ludza or St. Boris and Gleb Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Daugavpils are just a few stopping places on your journey around Latgale.

/ Rothkocenter.com /

Sing along and tone your muscles at the Song and Dance Celebration

Photo: LNCC
Yes, this is the ultimate experience! Dating back to 1873, the Latvian Song and Dance Celebration is the grandest festival in the Baltics in terms of scope, authenticity and style – no wonder it has been included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. End of June 2018, Riga becomes a buzzing stage for folk singers and dancers, young and old, dressed in folk costumes, living the tradition. Music, sense of togetherness and plenty of positive energy is in the air. If you are really lucky, you might even get the tickets for the final Gala Concert in the Mežaparks amphitheatre. In any case, celebrations, music and fun will be around you everywhere you go – in the streets, parks and squares.

Watch a video about the Latvian Song and Dance Celebration here!

 

For more inspiration on what to see and do in Latvia and Riga, the capital, visit:

Latvia.travel | liveriga.com