Liepāja – West Coast of Latvia
Liepāja – the city where the wind was born. So says an old Latvian song. But don’t let that scare you away. Although it can be a bit windy from time to time, it is a charming city with big and beautiful coastline. It took me 3 hours to drive from Riga and you can also get there buy train, bus, plane (charter of private plane if you got one) or ferry (from Lubeck, Germany).
Route “Liepāja kā pa notīm!” meaning “Liepāja – notes to follow!” is a good way to see the city. You simply follow the music notes painted on the street. Music is a huge part of the heritage of Liepāja as many famous Latvian musicians come from Liepāja.
This summer I went to one of the music festivals in Liepāja called “Summer Sound Liepāja”. They mostly have local bands but also of few international artists let The Petshop Boys.
As you can see, the best part of the festival is that it is right on the beach. Liepāja has wide sandy beaches and a few nice, relaxed beach bars.
We were not lucky with the weather so the pictures did not turn out as I wish, but still looks quite OK even though the sun is not out.
As you can see I mostly hang out the beach, but there are plenty of things to do in Liepāja, the 3rd biggest city in Latvia. You can walk on the the Northern breakwater (Ziemelu mols) that is 1800m long so you can walk pretty far out in the sea. It was built for the Liepāja’s Navy ships to come into port. It is in the area of old war port so it has a completely different vibe than the rest of the city. You can also find the old Naval Port Prison (Karaostas cietums) that offers executions, shows & spy games and even an overnight stay. It is quite an experience I have heard, but did not get to experience as we were a few minutes late and were not let in, buy this old man in a uniform. I guess we got a preview hot intense the show is in there.
You will notice a lot of souvenir shops selling jewelry made of amber. After a strong wind you can find some pieces of amber washed ashore on the beach if you are lucky. If your are in a sporty mood you can go windsurfing, wakeboarding, rent a boat or a bicycle.
Oh yes, since one of the days it was cold and rainy, we wet to the new swimming pool and wellness center in Liepajas Olimpiskais Centrs to enjoy saunas and jacuzzi.But if the weather is good, make sure not to miss sunset on the beach :)
The restaurants are simple with friendly prices and we also checked out a cozy cafe called “Darbnīca” meaning a place where you can have coffee, conversations and business meetings – so a quirky coffee shop with an office function. They have a free wifi and you can even print documents if you need. Or just have a warm drink and a lunch. Cool concept.
Overall I had a nice experience in Liepāja. Many buildings need a caring hand and renovation but other than that the city has a lot to over to its visitors