After my friend Judith and I had spent two days in Riga – one being ridiculously active and one being lazy and hungover – we decided we needed to get out of the city and see what's going on in the rest of tiny Latvia we had already fallen in love with.
And if there is a chance for us to stick our feet into the sand, the decision where to go is pretty much made.
We went to Jurmala, a sweet beach town just a 30min train ride from Riga.
Side note 1:
I've included a little map at the end of this post to make sure you don't get lost.
Side note 2:
The train station in Jurmala is called “Majori”, not Jurmala. This might spare you a very confusing conversation with a Latvian ticket vendor.
We still managed to board a beautiful old train and reached Majori / Jurmala half an hour later.
1. Jomas Iela 29
Getting off the train, the first building worth looking at is just on the other side of the road:
This beautiful hotel with it's flashing green copper roof puts a nice colour accent to the otherwise grey-ish surrounding.
It was built in 1925 in the style of historicism. Unfortunately, this large hotel which once had 100 rooms is now closed.
2. Haunted Houses
Walking down Jomas Iela you will find abandoned houses wrapped in green nets like presents, like we've seen them all over Latvia. This one if my favourite:
And just like in Riga, you will find adorable doll houses, right next to these haunted ones:
3. Orthodox church of St. Vladimir in Dubulti
This one is a 20min walk away to Strēlnieku prospekts 26 but definitely worth it!
Probably the most colourful church I've ever seen, the interior as beautiful as the exterior.
I don't think I've ever been to an orthodox church before and the colours absolutely blew me away.
To walk back towards Majori, you can either take the street you just came from or walk on the beach (guess what we chose)
The for sale sign on this former bath-house on Pilsoņu iela 1 really broke my heart (who wants to chip in for a beach house in Latvia?).
It was built between 1911 and 1916 and served as a very fancy bath house during Sovjet times, offering all kinds of treatments.
5. Dzintaru Mezapark
Another 20min walk later, you'll reach Dzintaru Mezapark.
This park in the middle of all these traditional houses really surprised me:
design benches, mirrored containers and a modern observation tower?
Not what I expected and worth a visit!
(I've written an entire post about the observation tower, which you can find here)
In between these stops, you will find more doll houses, cute cafés and lots of beach.
We strolled around this small town for an entire day, put our feet in the (very cold) sand, had lunch from a traditional sauerkraut buffet and saw cats eating actual fish like from a comic book.
I'll definitely have to return in the summer, for a proper beach day!
How to get there:
Take a train to Majori from Riga
the train is about 1,50€