Daugavpils Travel Guide: Things to Do in Daugavpils, Latvia

Welcome to Daugavpils, a city steeped in history and rich in cultural heritage. Located in southeastern Latvia, Daugavpils is the second-largest city in the country and offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy. Known for its diverse architectural styles, cultural landmarks, and artistic treasures, this city promises an enriching travel experience.

As you explore Daugavpils, you’ll be captivated by its well-preserved historical sites, reflecting its past as a melting pot of different cultures and influences. The city’s strategic location at the crossroads of ancient trade routes has shaped its fascinating history, leaving behind a tapestry of stories and traditions.

The multicultural heritage of Daugavpils is evident in its diverse population and the vibrant local culture. Discover a fusion of Latvian, Russian, Polish, and other cultures that have influenced the city’s cuisine, traditions, and festivals. From savoring traditional Latvian dishes to immersing yourself in the works of local artists, Daugavpils offers a feast for the senses.

Nature lovers will also find solace in the city’s picturesque surroundings. Daugavpils is situated near beautiful lakes, rivers, and forests, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, and bird-watching.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff, or a nature lover, Daugavpils welcomes you with its warm hospitality and a multitude of attractions. From its magnificent fortress to its renowned museums, charming streets, and cultural events, this city invites you to embark on a journey of discovery.

Indulge in the local cuisine, explore the historical landmarks, immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene, and uncover the hidden gems that make Daugavpils a truly remarkable destination. Get ready to be enthralled by the history, culture, and natural beauty that await you in this captivating city.

Daugavpils Travel Guide: Things to do in Daugavpils, Lithuania

Daugavpils City Guide: A Brief History Of Daugavpils, Latvia

Daugavpils, located in southeastern Latvia, has a rich and diverse history that spans several centuries. The city’s history is closely intertwined with the events that shaped the region and the influences of various cultures that have left their mark on its development.

The origins of Daugavpils can be traced back to the 13th century when Livonian Order, a medieval military and religious order, established a fortress on the banks of the Daugava River. The fortress played a crucial role in protecting Livonia from invasions and served as a strategic stronghold for centuries.

Over the years, Daugavpils witnessed the rise and fall of different powers. In the 16th century, the city came under the control of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and became an important center for trade and commerce. It was during this time that Daugavpils experienced significant growth and development, with the construction of churches, merchant houses, and fortifications.

In the early 18th century, the city came under Russian rule following the Great Northern War. Under Russian influence, Daugavpils underwent further expansion and modernization. The construction of military fortifications, such as the Daugavpils Fortress, became a major project, solidifying the city’s importance as a strategic stronghold.

During the 19th century, Daugavpils experienced an influx of different ethnic groups, including Russians, Jews, Poles, and Germans. This multicultural environment led to a diverse cultural landscape, with each community contributing to the city’s unique identity.

The 20th century brought significant changes to Daugavpils as it went through periods of political shifts and occupations. It became part of the Soviet Union, endured the hardships of World War II, and later came under the control of independent Latvia. Throughout these turbulent times, the city’s cultural heritage and resilience prevailed.

Today, Daugavpils stands as a testament to its historical legacy. Visitors can explore the well-preserved Daugavpils Fortress, which now houses several museums and cultural institutions. The city is also known for its architectural landmarks, including the Unity House, St. Boris and Gleb Cathedral, and the Church Hill ensemble.

As you wander through the streets of Daugavpils, you’ll discover the layers of history that have shaped the city’s identity. From medieval fortresses to elegant churches and cultural diversity, the history of Daugavpils is a fascinating narrative waiting to be explored by curious travelers.

Daugavpils Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Latvia

While Riga hogs the spotlight, Daugavpils, an industrial city that is the second-largest in Latvia, languishes. It’s a shame, as this centre is home to several attractions that will interest off-the-beaten-track travellers.

It has a massive fortress Napoleon failed to penetrate. You’ll also come across a museum honouring a local alcoholic drink. Most of all, in Daugavpils, you’ll see how everyday Latvians go about their lives.

Come check out our Daugavpils travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Daugavpils, Latvia.

Shortly after arriving in town, make the Daugavpils Fortress your first stop. Government planners built this military fortification in response to the threat posed by Napoleon’s army in the 19th century. Circumstances proved their worries to be correct, as the French attacked during its construction.

Fortunately, a detachment of over 3,000 soldiers, armed with over 200 pieces of artillery, was in place. They fought off the advance, keeping the region in Russian hands. Russian nobles visited this fortress often, as it was on the route between Saint Petersburg and Europe.

In the 20th century, it was a base for the Latvian army and a Nazi prison for Russian POWs. In the 1990s, Latvian officials opened it to the public. Within, you’ll find a museum that details the history of the fort. However, don’t forget the walk the ramparts and put yourself in the boots of soldiers of generations past.

Within the walls of the Daugavpils Fortress, you’ll find the Mark Rothko Art Centre. As the name suggests, this gallery mostly dedicates itself to the works of Mark Rothko, an American-Latvian painter. This famous creative was a practitioner of abstract expressionism, a controversial form of visual art.

As you make your way through this gallery, his pieces will challenge your subjective interpretation. When you’ve finished checking them out, learn more about his personal life in another exhibit. This facility also provides room for artists-in-residence. As such, you’ll also get to check out contemporary art from locals.

This museum charges admission of 12 Euros. However, older travellers should note there is a 50% discount for seniors.

Next, be sure to check out the Svente Manor and the Museum of Military Vehicles. This guest house and museum was once the royal residence for Count Plater-Siebergs. Today, it is a stately hotel that boasts amenities that includes a Russian sauna.

However, casual visitors will want to check out its collection of WWII-era military vehicles. Here, you’ll find Red Army tanks, combat vehicles, and the Soviet version of Jeeps. Admission is Two Euros – one Euro for children.

Finally, those looking for a noteworthy local church will not want to miss the Saints Boris and Gleb Cathedral. Its founders named this Russian Orthodox church after brothers murdered by a power-hungry prince, Sviatopolk the Accursed.

The church honouring them rose in the early 20th century. To this day, it is the biggest church in Daugavpils and Latvia, with a capacity of 5,000 worshippers. Built in the Neo-Russian style, its exterior will impress visitors. However, its insides are just as appealing, as they boast several interesting murals.

Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Daugavpils, Latvia

In Latvia, the Daugavpils area is known for its spirits. Learn about this heritage with a visit to the Shmakovka Museum. As you walk through this facility, you’ll learn not just how they make shmakovka, but its cultural importance.

You’ll see how distillers created this potent liquor in the past, and how they do it today. At the end of the tour, your guide will give you a shot of the good stuff. Be safe – arrange alternate transportation if you’ve rented a car!

Learn about the Daugavpils region at the Daugavpils Museum of Regional History and Art. The building itself is beautiful, as it was an Art Noveau structure built in 1883. Inside, you’ll find a variety of displays that chart the development of Daugavpils over time.

All captions are in Latvian and Russian. To understand what you are looking at, procure an audio guide at the front desk. Admission is only 1 Euro and change, making it an excellent value.

Have children in tow? If so, make time in your schedule for the Latgale Zoological Garden. Otherwise known as the Daugavpils Zoo, you’ll get to see a variety of tropical animals here.

Pythons, macaques, caimans, and koi are just a few that you’ll see as you walk around. With admission fees under a Euro per person, it’s easy on the wallet as well.

Take a rest from sightseeing in Daugavpils by checking out Dubrovin Park. The local government built this green space in the late 19th century to honour long-time mayor Pavel Dubrovin. Within the park, you’ll find a memorial that honours the sacrifice of Soviet soldiers during the Second World War.

source: Easy Russian on YouTube

Top 22 Things To Do in Daugavpils, Latvia For Visitors

Here are the top 22 things to do in Daugavpils:

  1. Explore Daugavpils Fortress: Step back in time as you explore the extensive Daugavpils Fortress, an impressive 19th-century defensive structure. Wander through its imposing walls, bastions, and underground passages, and learn about its fascinating history.
  2. Visit the Mark Rothko Art Centre: Immerse yourself in the world of renowned artist Mark Rothko at the Mark Rothko Art Centre. Admire a vast collection of his abstract paintings and gain insights into his artistic journey through informative exhibits and multimedia presentations.
  3. Wander through the Daugavpils Clay Art Centre: Dive into the world of ceramics at the Daugavpils Clay Art Centre. Explore its galleries filled with stunning ceramic artworks, watch skilled artists at work, and even try your hand at creating your own pottery masterpiece.
  4. Marvel at St. Boris and Gleb Cathedral: Take in the grandeur of St. Boris and Gleb Cathedral, an architectural marvel and one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Admire the intricate Orthodox design, stunning frescoes, and ornate decorations inside the cathedral.
  5. Enjoy nature at Daugavas Loki Nature Park: Escape the bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the tranquility of Daugavas Loki Nature Park. Explore its picturesque trails, enjoy bird-watching along the Daugava River, and relish a relaxing picnic surrounded by the beauty of nature.
  6. Discover Latgale Cultural Heritage Museum: Delve into the rich cultural heritage of the Latgale region at the Latgale Cultural Heritage Museum. Explore exhibits showcasing traditional crafts, unique costumes, historical artifacts, and gain insights into the customs and traditions of the local community.
  7. Admire the beauty of Unity House: Marvel at the architectural beauty of Unity House, a striking building adorned with intricate sculptures and decorative elements. Take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship and artistic details that make this building a true gem of the city.
  8. Visit the Church Hill ensemble: Explore the captivating Church Hill ensemble, a collection of religious buildings that showcase different architectural styles and religious traditions. Visit the Church of the Holy Trinity, the Catholic Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and immerse yourself in their spiritual atmosphere.
  9. Take a stroll through the Pedestrian Street: Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the Pedestrian Street. Take a leisurely stroll, browse through charming shops, sample local delicacies, and soak up the vibrant ambiance of this bustling area.
  10. Explore the Latgale Zoo: Spend a delightful day at the Latgale Zoo and encounter a variety of fascinating animal species. Marvel at the diverse wildlife, engage in educational exhibits, and enjoy interactive experiences that will delight both children and adults.
  11. Discover the Daugavpils Regional Studies and Art Museum: Delve into the city’s history, culture, and art at the Daugavpils Regional Studies and Art Museum. Explore its extensive collection of historical artifacts, artworks, archaeological exhibits, and gain a deeper understanding of the region’s heritage.
  12. Experience the Daugavpils Theatre: Immerse yourself in the world of performing arts at the Daugavpils Theatre. Attend a captivating theater performance, enjoy live music concerts, or witness the grace of ballet and contemporary dance.
  13. Enjoy water sports at Lake Svente: Escape to the pristine shores of Lake Svente and indulge in a variety of water activities. Swim in its crystal-clear waters, rent a boat to explore the lake, or try your hand at fishing and reel in some local catch.
  14. Visit the Garden of Destiny: Reflect and find inspiration at the thought-provoking Garden of Destiny. This unique park features sculptures and installations that symbolize the aspirations and dreams of humanity. Take a leisurely stroll through the garden, observe the intriguing artworks, and allow yourself to be moved by the profound messages they convey.
  1. Take a boat ride on the Daugava River: Embark on a scenic boat ride along the majestic Daugava River. Enjoy breathtaking views of the city’s landscape, witness the picturesque riverbanks, and capture memorable moments as you glide through the gentle waters.
  2. Discover the Latvian Railway History Museum: Uncover the fascinating history of railways in Latvia at the Latvian Railway History Museum. Explore the collection of vintage locomotives, carriages, and railway memorabilia that offer a glimpse into the country’s railway heritage.
  3. Go hiking in the surrounding nature parks: Surround yourself with the natural beauty of the surrounding nature parks. Embark on hiking trails that meander through lush forests, enchanting meadows, and serene lakes. Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the sounds of nature, and spot local wildlife along the way.
  4. Enjoy a day at the Aquapark: Beat the heat and have a fun-filled day at the Aquapark. Experience thrilling water slides, relax in refreshing pools, float along lazy rivers, and enjoy water-based activities suitable for all ages.
  5. Visit the Daugavpils Theatre and Music Museum: Immerse yourself in the rich history of performing arts at the Daugavpils Theatre and Music Museum. Explore exhibits showcasing the evolution of theater and music in the region, learn about prominent artists, and delve into the cultural significance of these art forms.
  6. Explore the Latgale Open-Air Ethnographic Museum: Step into the past at the Latgale Open-Air Ethnographic Museum, which presents an authentic rural Latvian village setting. Explore traditional wooden houses, farmsteads, and learn about the daily life and traditions of the Latvian countryside.
  7. Attend cultural festivals and events: Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene of Daugavpils by attending various festivals and events. From music concerts and art exhibitions to traditional celebrations and theatrical performances, there’s always something happening in the city that will captivate your senses.
  8. Indulge in local cuisine: Complete your visit to Daugavpils by savoring the flavors of traditional Latvian cuisine. Taste hearty dishes like cepelinai (potato dumplings), grey peas with bacon, and sweet treats like klingeris (ring-shaped cake) or sklandrausis (traditional Latvian pie). Explore local restaurants and cafes to experience the authentic culinary delights of the region.

With these diverse and captivating activities, Daugavpils invites you to explore its rich cultural heritage, immerse yourself in its natural beauty, and engage with its vibrant arts scene. Whether you’re seeking history, art, nature, or simply a taste of local life, this city offers a wealth of experiences that will leave you with lasting memories.

Cepelinai is a must try dish for visitors to Lithuania

What To Eat and Drink in Daugavpils, Latvia

When it comes to culinary delights, Daugavpils offers a range of traditional Latvian dishes, international cuisines, and delightful beverages to satisfy every palate. Here are some must-try foods and drinks in Daugavpils:

  1. Cepelinai: These hearty potato dumplings stuffed with meat or cottage cheese are a staple of Latvian cuisine. Served with sour cream and topped with crispy bacon, they are a true comfort food delight.
  2. Pelmeni: Try the Russian-style dumplings filled with meat, mushrooms, or cheese. These bite-sized delights are often served with sour cream and make for a tasty appetizer or main course.
  3. Rye Bread: Sample the rich and flavorful Latvian rye bread, known for its dense texture and robust taste. Pair it with local cheeses or use it as a base for open-faced sandwiches.
  4. Grey Peas with Bacon: This traditional Latvian dish combines boiled grey peas with fried bacon, creating a savory and satisfying flavor. It’s a popular side dish and often accompanies meat or fish dishes.
  5. Latvian Pancakes: Indulge in Latvian-style pancakes, which are thinner and larger than traditional pancakes. They can be served sweet with berry compote or savory with fillings like cheese, mushrooms, or minced meat.
  6. Sklandrausis: Treat yourself to a sweet delight with sklandrausis, a traditional Latvian pie. Made with a rye flour crust, the filling consists of sweetened mashed potatoes, carrots, and seasoned with spices like cinnamon and cloves.
  7. Smoked Fish: Sample the local smoked fish, such as trout or sprat. These delicacies are often served as appetizers, accompanied by bread, sour cream, and fresh herbs.
  8. Latvian Beer: Quench your thirst with a glass of Latvian beer. Experience the flavors of local breweries, which produce a variety of lagers, ales, and craft beers. Look out for popular brands like Aldaris, Valmiermuiža, and Labietis.
  9. Black Balsam: Enjoy a taste of the famous Latvian herbal liqueur, Black Balsam. This strong and aromatic beverage is made from a blend of various herbs, roots, and spices. Sip it straight or try it in cocktails for a unique experience.
  10. Herbal Tea: Relax and unwind with a cup of herbal tea made from locally grown herbs. Chamomile, peppermint, and lemon balm are popular choices that offer soothing and refreshing flavors.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the local restaurants, cafes, and markets in Daugavpils, where you can savor these traditional dishes and discover even more culinary delights. Embrace the flavors of the region and let your taste buds take a delightful journey through the gastronomic wonders of Daugavpils.

Top Restaurants In Daugavpils, Latvia

Daugavpils boasts a diverse culinary scene, with a range of restaurants offering flavors from traditional Latvian cuisine to international delicacies. Here are some top restaurants in Daugavpils that are highly recommended:

  1. Restaurant “Fortuna”: Located in the heart of Daugavpils, this elegant restaurant offers a blend of Latvian and European cuisine. With its cozy ambiance and attentive service, it provides a delightful dining experience. Don’t miss their signature dishes like duck breast or beef steak.
  2. Restaurant “Skanētājs”: This family-friendly restaurant specializes in Latvian cuisine, serving up traditional dishes with a modern twist. From hearty soups and grilled meats to flavorful fish dishes and mouthwatering desserts, Skanētājs offers a wide range of options to please every palate.
  3. Restaurant “Kupfernams”: Situated in a historic building, Kupfernams serves a fusion of Latvian and European cuisines. With its cozy interior and charming atmosphere, it’s a great spot for a romantic dinner or a gathering with friends. Try their delicious seafood dishes or savor their juicy steaks.
  4. Restaurant “Bordeļa kazarmas”: Set in a beautifully restored building that once served as a military brothel, Bordeļa kazarmas offers a unique dining experience. The menu features a combination of Latvian and international dishes, prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Their homemade bread and creative desserts are highly recommended.
  5. Restaurant “Lido”: Known for its self-service concept, Lido is a popular chain restaurant offering a wide selection of Latvian dishes. The spacious and family-friendly environment, along with its buffet-style options, makes it an ideal choice for a casual meal or a quick bite.
  6. Restaurant “Upe”: Nestled on the banks of the Daugava River, Upe offers scenic views and a relaxed atmosphere. Their menu features a mix of Latvian and international flavors, with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and seasonal specialties. Enjoy their delicious grilled fish or try their vegetarian options.
  7. Restaurant “Rātes Vārti”: Located near the Rātslaukums Square, Rātes Vārti is a cozy restaurant with a rustic ambiance. Their menu showcases a variety of Latvian and European dishes, including hearty soups, grilled meats, and delectable desserts. Don’t miss their selection of local beers and wines.
  8. Restaurant “Felicita”: Offering a mix of Italian and Latvian cuisine, Felicita is a popular spot for pizza, pasta, and other Italian specialties. The cozy interior, friendly service, and delicious food make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

These are just a few of the many restaurants in Daugavpils that cater to different tastes and preferences. Whether you’re seeking traditional Latvian dishes, international flavors, or a fusion of both, these establishments promise an unforgettable culinary experience in the heart of the city.

Tours For Visitors To Daugavpils, Latvia

  1. City Sightseeing Tour: Embark on a guided city sightseeing tour to discover the highlights of Daugavpils. Visit iconic landmarks, such as the Daugavpils Fortress, St. Boris and Gleb Cathedral, and the Mark Rothko Art Centre. Learn about the city’s history, culture, and architecture as you explore its streets and landmarks.
  2. Latgale Craftsmen Village Tour: Immerse yourself in the traditional crafts of the Latgale region with a visit to the Latgale Craftsmen Village. Explore workshops and studios where artisans create beautiful pottery, woodwork, textiles, and other traditional crafts. Learn about the techniques and processes involved and even try your hand at creating your own masterpiece.
  3. Cultural Heritage Tour: Delve into the rich cultural heritage of Daugavpils and its surrounding region with a guided cultural heritage tour. Visit museums, art galleries, and historic sites that showcase the city’s history, art, and traditions. Gain insights into the diverse cultural influences that have shaped Daugavpils over the centuries.
  4. Bird-Watching Tour: Discover the diverse birdlife of the Daugavpils region with a bird-watching tour. Explore nature reserves, wetlands, and forests that serve as habitats for various bird species. With the help of experienced guides, spot and identify different bird species, including rare and migratory birds.
  5. Culinary Tour: Embark on a culinary tour to experience the flavors of Daugavpils. Visit local markets, food stalls, and restaurants to taste traditional Latvian dishes and regional specialties. Learn about the ingredients used, cooking techniques, and the cultural significance of food in the region.
  6. Cycling Tour: Explore the city and its surroundings on a guided cycling tour. Ride along scenic routes, visit parks, lakes, and other points of interest while enjoying the fresh air and beautiful landscapes. Whether you’re a casual cyclist or an experienced rider, there are routes suitable for all skill levels.
  7. Photography Tour: Capture the beauty of Daugavpils through the lens on a photography tour. Visit picturesque locations, architectural gems, and natural landscapes to capture stunning images. Learn techniques and tips from professional photographers to enhance your photography skills.
  8. Rothko Art Centre Tour: Dive into the world of abstract expressionism with a tour of the Mark Rothko Art Centre. Explore the gallery spaces showcasing the works of Mark Rothko and other contemporary artists. Gain insights into the artistic movement and the impact of Rothko’s work on the art world.
  9. Daugava River Cruise: Relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Daugava River on a leisurely river cruise. Cruise along the river, taking in panoramic views of the city’s skyline and the surrounding nature. Learn about the history and significance of the river as you glide through its tranquil waters.
  10. Forest Adventure Tour: Embark on an exciting forest adventure tour in the Daugavpils region. Explore the forests, hike along nature trails, and engage in activities like ziplining, tree climbing, and obstacle courses. Discover the natural wonders of the region and get your adrenaline pumping.

These tours offer unique experiences and insights into the diverse aspects of Daugavpils. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, nature, or culinary delights, there’s a tour to suit your preferences and provide you with a memorable exploration of the city and its surroundings.

Daugavpils Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels

Daugavpils offers a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels, cozy guesthouses, or budget-friendly hostels, you’ll find a variety of choices. Here’s a guide to help you find the perfect accommodation in Daugavpils:

  1. Luxury Hotels: If you prefer upscale accommodations, Daugavpils has several luxury hotels that offer a blend of comfort and elegance. These hotels provide top-notch amenities, spacious rooms, and exceptional service. Some of the notable luxury hotels in Daugavpils include Hotel Dinaburg, Good Stay Dinaburg Spa Hotel, and Park Hotel Latgola.
  2. Mid-Range Hotels: Daugavpils also has a good selection of mid-range hotels that offer comfortable rooms and convenient amenities at a more affordable price. Hotel Leo, Hotel Kolonna, and Hotel Paradize are some popular choices that provide quality accommodation with a range of facilities.
  3. Guesthouses and Bed and Breakfasts: For a more intimate and personalized experience, consider staying at a guesthouse or bed and breakfast. These accommodations often offer cozy rooms, friendly hosts, and a homely atmosphere. Guesthouses like Hotel Erfolg, Guest House Aleksandria, and Guest House Duets are worth considering.
  4. Hostels and Budget Accommodations: If you’re traveling on a budget or prefer a more social atmosphere, Daugavpils has a few hostels and budget-friendly accommodations. Hostel Latvia, Guest House Lena, and Guest House Viola are some options that provide affordable dormitory rooms or private rooms with shared facilities.
  5. Apartment Rentals: Another popular option for travelers is renting an apartment or holiday home. This allows you to have more space and flexibility during your stay. Websites like Airbnb, Booking.com, and HomeAway offer a range of apartments and holiday homes in Daugavpils.

When choosing accommodation in Daugavpils, consider factors such as location, amenities, and reviews from previous guests. Most accommodations are centrally located, allowing easy access to major attractions, dining options, and public transportation. Additionally, check if the hotel offers amenities such as free Wi-Fi, parking, breakfast, and facilities like fitness centers or spa services.

It’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons or if you’re visiting during popular events. This ensures that you secure the best options and have a hassle-free stay in Daugavpils.

Day Trips From Daugavpils, Latvia

While Daugavpils itself offers a wealth of attractions and activities, there are also several captivating destinations within a short distance that make for excellent day trips. Here are some enticing day trip options from Daugavpils:

  1. Rundāle Palace: Located in neighboring Latvia, Rundāle Palace is a magnificent Baroque palace known for its stunning architecture and expansive gardens. Explore the lavishly decorated rooms, admire the ornate furnishings, and stroll through the meticulously landscaped gardens. The palace is approximately a two-hour drive from Daugavpils.
  2. Aglona Basilica: Situated about 50 kilometers from Daugavpils, the Aglona Basilica is a significant pilgrimage site in Latvia. The basilica is a stunning example of Baroque architecture and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Explore the interior adorned with beautiful religious artwork, visit the adjacent museum, and attend one of the religious ceremonies if you’re interested.
  3. Ludza Castle: Journey to Ludza, a historic town approximately 75 kilometers from Daugavpils, to visit Ludza Castle. This medieval fortress offers a glimpse into the region’s past with its well-preserved walls and towers. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and learn about the castle’s history at the onsite museum.
  4. Lake Razna: Just a short drive from Daugavpils, Lake Razna is the second-largest lake in Latvia and a popular spot for outdoor activities. Enjoy swimming, fishing, or simply relax by the lakeshore surrounded by beautiful scenery. There are also hiking trails nearby, providing opportunities for scenic walks and nature exploration.
  5. Grutas Park: Located across the border in Lithuania, Grutas Park is a unique open-air museum showcasing Soviet-era sculptures and monuments. Explore the expansive park, which features statues of Lenin, Stalin, and other Soviet leaders, as well as exhibits that shed light on Lithuania’s communist past. It’s an intriguing and thought-provoking day trip from Daugavpils.
  6. Daugavpils Regional Museum Reserve “Dinaburg”: Step back in time with a visit to this open-air museum located within Daugavpils. The museum showcases historic buildings and structures that have been relocated and preserved to recreate a traditional Latvian village setting. Explore the farmsteads, wooden houses, and learn about the region’s rural heritage.
  7. Krāslava Castle: Travel to Krāslava, a charming town on the Daugava River, and visit Krāslava Castle. This medieval fortress has undergone renovations and now houses a museum showcasing local history and culture. Climb the tower for panoramic views of the town and the river.

These day trips offer a chance to explore the wider region surrounding Daugavpils and discover more of its cultural, historical, and natural treasures. Whether you’re interested in architecture, history, nature, or simply experiencing a different side of Latvia and its neighboring countries, these destinations provide enriching experiences within a comfortable distance from Daugavpils.

Daugavpils Transportation Guide

Getting around Daugavpils is relatively easy, thanks to its well-connected transportation system. Here’s a guide to help you navigate the city:

  1. Public Transport: Daugavpils has a reliable public transportation network consisting of buses and minibusses. The bus routes cover the city and its suburbs, allowing you to reach various attractions and neighborhoods. Bus tickets can be purchased from the driver or at ticket booths located at major bus stops.
  2. Taxis: Taxis are a convenient mode of transportation in Daugavpils. You can find taxis at designated taxi stands or book one through a mobile app. It’s recommended to use licensed taxi services to ensure safety and fair pricing. Make sure the taxi has a working meter or agree on a fare before the journey.
  3. Rental Cars: If you prefer the flexibility of having your own vehicle, you can rent a car from various rental agencies in Daugavpils. Having a car allows you to explore the city and its surroundings at your own pace. However, keep in mind that parking can be limited in some areas, especially in the city center.
  4. Bicycles: Daugavpils is a bicycle-friendly city, and cycling is a popular mode of transport for locals and visitors alike. You can rent bicycles from bike rental shops located throughout the city. Exploring Daugavpils on two wheels allows you to enjoy the sights and sounds at a leisurely pace.
  5. Walking: Many of Daugavpils’ attractions are within walking distance of each other, especially in the city center. Walking is a great way to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere and discover hidden gems. Remember to wear comfortable shoes, especially if you plan on exploring for an extended period.
  6. Train: Daugavpils is well connected to other cities in Latvia by train. The Daugavpils Central Station is the main railway hub, offering connections to Riga and other major Latvian cities. Trains provide a comfortable and scenic mode of transportation, allowing you to enjoy the landscapes as you travel.
  7. Airport: Daugavpils does not have its own international airport. The nearest airport is Riga International Airport, which is approximately 230 kilometers away. From the airport, you can take a direct bus or taxi to reach Daugavpils.

Navigating Daugavpils is relatively straightforward, and with these transportation options, you can easily explore the city’s attractions, venture into the surrounding areas, and enjoy a seamless travel experience.

Daugavpils 1 Day Travel Itinerary

If you have just one day to explore Daugavpils, you can make the most of your time by following this suggested itinerary. Begin your day by visiting the Daugavpils Fortress, a historic landmark and one of the city’s main attractions. Explore the fortress grounds, walk along its defensive walls, and visit the Mark Rothko Art Centre located within the fortress complex. Take your time to appreciate the art and learn about the life and work of the famous artist.

After immersing yourself in art, head to St. Boris and Gleb Cathedral, a beautiful Orthodox cathedral known for its stunning architecture and vibrant interior. Admire the ornate decorations and icons, and take a moment for quiet reflection. Next, explore the Latgale Culture and History Museum, located near the cathedral. Learn about the history, culture, and traditions of the Latgale region through exhibits and artifacts.

In the afternoon, take a leisurely stroll along the scenic Daugava River promenade. Enjoy the views of the river and the city’s skyline, and find a spot to relax in one of the cafes or benches along the way. Continuing your exploration, visit the Latvian Independence Monument, a symbol of Latvia’s freedom. Located in the central part of the city, the monument is surrounded by a park where you can take a peaceful break.

Delve into the local art scene by visiting the Daugavpils Regional Art Museum. The museum houses a diverse collection of Latvian and international art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations. After immersing yourself in the world of art, it’s time to indulge in the local cuisine. Explore one of the traditional Latvian restaurants in the city and savor dishes like grey peas with bacon, Latvian dumplings, or the popular Latvian smoked fish.

As the day winds down, take a leisurely stroll through the city center. Explore the shops, boutiques, and local markets, where you can pick up some souvenirs or handmade crafts as a memento of your visit.

This itinerary provides a glimpse into the cultural, artistic, and historical aspects of Daugavpils in a day. Of course, feel free to adjust the schedule based on your personal preferences and interests.

Daugavpils 3-4 Days Travel Itinerary

If you have 3-4 days to explore Daugavpils and its surrounding areas, here’s a suggested itinerary to help you make the most of your time:

Day 1:

  • Start your exploration of Daugavpils by visiting the Daugavpils Fortress, a historic landmark and cultural center. Explore the fortress grounds, walk along its defensive walls, and visit the Mark Rothko Art Centre located within the fortress complex.
  • Afterward, head to St. Boris and Gleb Cathedral, a beautiful Orthodox cathedral known for its stunning architecture and vibrant interior. Admire the ornate decorations and icons.
  • Spend the afternoon exploring the Daugavpils Regional Art Museum, which houses a diverse collection of Latvian and international art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations.
  • In the evening, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Daugava River promenade, taking in the scenic views and stopping at local cafes for a drink or a meal.

Day 2:

  • Take a day trip to Rundāle Palace, located in neighboring Latvia. Explore the magnificent Baroque palace, known for its stunning architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens.
  • Afterward, visit the nearby Bauska Castle, a medieval fortress with a rich history. Explore the castle’s towers, walls, and courtyards, and learn about its significance in the region.
  • On your way back to Daugavpils, stop by the Aglona Basilica, a significant pilgrimage site known for its religious importance and beautiful architecture.

Day 3:

  • Start your day by visiting the Latgale Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, located just outside of Daugavpils. Explore the reconstructed traditional Latvian farmsteads and learn about rural life in the region.
  • Afterward, head to the Latgale Crafts Center, where you can witness artisans at work and purchase traditional Latvian crafts as souvenirs.
  • Spend the afternoon at the Daugavpils Zoo, home to a diverse range of animal species from around the world. Enjoy observing and learning about the animals in a natural and well-maintained environment.

Day 4:

  • Explore the natural beauty of the Daugavpils region by visiting Lake Svente, a picturesque lake surrounded by forests. Enjoy a peaceful walk along the lake, go fishing, or rent a boat for a tranquil experience.
  • Visit the Daugavas Loki Nature Park, known for its unique rock formations and hiking trails. Explore the park’s natural wonders and take in the scenic views of the Daugava River.
  • In the evening, visit the Latgale Sculpture Park, located near the Daugava River. Marvel at the impressive sculptures created by local artists and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the park.

This itinerary offers a mix of cultural, historical, and natural experiences in and around Daugavpils. Feel free to adjust the schedule based on your interests and preferences, and take the time to immerse yourself in the unique charm of this Latvian city.

Daugavpils 1 Week Travel Itinerary

If you have a week to spend in Daugavpils and want to thoroughly explore the city and its surroundings, here’s a suggested itinerary:

Day 1: Daugavpils City Exploration

  • Start your day by visiting the Daugavpils Fortress, a historic landmark and cultural center. Explore the fortress grounds, walk along its defensive walls, and visit the Mark Rothko Art Centre located within the fortress complex.
  • Afterward, head to St. Boris and Gleb Cathedral, a beautiful Orthodox cathedral known for its stunning architecture and vibrant interior. Admire the ornate decorations and icons.
  • Spend the afternoon exploring the Daugavpils Regional Art Museum, which houses a diverse collection of Latvian and international art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations.
  • In the evening, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Daugava River promenade, taking in the scenic views and stopping at local cafes and restaurants for a delightful meal.

Day 2: Rundāle Palace and Bauska Castle

  • Take a day trip to Rundāle Palace, located in neighboring Latvia. Explore the magnificent Baroque palace, known for its stunning architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens.
  • Afterward, visit the nearby Bauska Castle, a medieval fortress with a rich history. Explore the castle’s towers, walls, and courtyards, and learn about its significance in the region.
  • On your way back to Daugavpils, stop by the Aglona Basilica, a significant pilgrimage site known for its religious importance and beautiful architecture.

Day 3: Nature and Outdoor Activities

  • Spend the day exploring the natural beauty of the Daugavpils region. Visit Lake Svente, a picturesque lake surrounded by forests. Enjoy a peaceful walk along the lake, go fishing, or rent a boat for a tranquil experience.
  • Explore the Daugavas Loki Nature Park, known for its unique rock formations and hiking trails. Spend time in nature, enjoy a picnic, and take in the scenic views of the Daugava River.

Day 4: Latgale Ethnographic and Cultural Experiences

  • Start your day by visiting the Latgale Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, located just outside of Daugavpils. Explore the reconstructed traditional Latvian farmsteads, witness traditional crafts demonstrations, and learn about rural life in the region.
  • Visit the Latgale Crafts Center, where you can witness artisans at work and purchase traditional Latvian crafts as souvenirs.
  • In the evening, attend a traditional Latgalian folklore performance or concert to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Day 5: Daugavpils Zoo and Park Exploration

  • Spend the day at the Daugavpils Zoo, home to a diverse range of animal species from around the world. Enjoy observing and learning about the animals in a natural and well-maintained environment.
  • Afterward, visit the Daugavpils City Park, a charming green space with walking paths, flower gardens, and recreational facilities. Take a leisurely stroll, have a picnic, or rent a bike to explore the park.

Day 6: Excursion to Silene and Silene Manor

  • Take a day trip to the small village of Silene, located about an hour’s drive from Daugavpils. Visit the Silene Manor, a historic manor house surrounded by a beautiful park. Explore the elegant interiors, stroll through the gardens, and learn about the manor’s history.
  • Afterward, explore the surrounding countryside, go for a hike, or visit nearby attractions like the Skrunda-1 Ghost Town or the Silene Sculpture Park.

7: Cultural Exploration and Local Delights

  • Spend the day immersing yourself in the cultural offerings of Daugavpils. Visit the Daugavpils Theatre to catch a performance, whether it’s a play, ballet, or concert, and appreciate the local talent.
  • Explore the Daugavpils Clay Art Centre, known for its ceramics and pottery. Attend a workshop or browse through the exhibits to learn about the traditional craft and its contemporary expressions.
  • Indulge in the local cuisine by visiting traditional Latvian restaurants and cafes. Try dishes like grey peas with bacon, Latvian dumplings, and the beloved Latvian rye bread. Sample local drinks like Kvass, a traditional fermented beverage, or explore Latvian craft beers at one of the city’s pubs.

Day 8: Departure or Further Exploration

  • If it’s your departure day, take some time to relax and reflect on your experiences in Daugavpils. Visit one last attraction or take a leisurely stroll through the city center to bid farewell to the city.
  • If you have more time, consider extending your stay or exploring nearby destinations. You can venture further into Latvia to explore the beautiful capital city of Riga, with its charming Old Town and vibrant cultural scene. Alternatively, you can head to other nearby countries, such as Lithuania or Belarus, for new adventures.

This one-week itinerary offers a diverse mix of cultural, historical, natural, and culinary experiences in and around Daugavpils. Feel free to modify the schedule based on your interests and preferences, and take the time to immerse yourself in the unique charm of this Latvian city.

Is Daugavpils A Safe City To Visit?

Daugavpils is generally considered a safe city to visit. Like any other destination, it’s important to exercise caution and follow basic safety precautions to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. Here are some tips to help you stay safe during your visit:

  1. Stay aware of your surroundings: Keep an eye on your belongings and be mindful of your surroundings, particularly in crowded areas or public transportation. Avoid displaying valuable items openly and use lockers or hotel safes to store your valuables when possible.
  2. Use licensed taxis or reputable transportation services: When using taxis or other transportation services, opt for licensed and reputable companies. Ensure that the taxi has a functioning meter or agree on a fare before starting the journey. Ride-sharing services are also available in Daugavpils and can provide a safe and convenient option.
  3. Follow local laws and regulations: Familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations of Daugavpils and abide by them during your visit. Be respectful of cultural norms, customs, and traditions, and observe any local guidelines or restrictions.
  4. Stay informed about current events: Before and during your trip, stay informed about any local events, demonstrations, or safety advisories that may affect your visit. It’s advisable to follow the guidance of local authorities and adjust your plans accordingly if necessary.
  5. Stay connected: Keep important contact numbers, including emergency services and your embassy or consulate, handy in case of any unforeseen situations. Have a means of communication, such as a mobile phone, with you at all times.
  6. Trust your instincts: If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe in any situation, trust your instincts and take necessary precautions. It’s always better to prioritize your safety and well-being.

By following these general safety tips and using common sense, you can have a safe and enjoyable visit to Daugavpils. Remember that safety is a shared responsibility, so staying informed, being prepared, and taking necessary precautions will contribute to a positive travel experience.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Daugavpils?

The best time to visit Daugavpils largely depends on your personal preferences and the activities you plan to engage in during your trip. Here’s an overview of the different seasons in Daugavpils to help you decide:

  1. Spring (April to June): Spring in Daugavpils is characterized by mild temperatures and the blossoming of flowers. It’s a great time to enjoy outdoor activities, visit parks and gardens, and witness the city come to life after the winter months. The weather is generally pleasant, although some rain can be expected.
  2. Summer (June to August): Summer is the peak tourist season in Daugavpils, with warm temperatures and longer daylight hours. It’s an ideal time for outdoor exploration, including visits to lakes, hiking trails, and outdoor events. However, popular attractions may be more crowded during this time, and accommodation prices can be higher.
  3. Autumn (September to November): Autumn in Daugavpils brings cooler temperatures and colorful foliage. It’s a beautiful time to explore the city’s parks and enjoy nature walks. The city is less crowded during this season, making it a good time for a relaxed visit. Remember to pack layers, as temperatures can vary throughout the day.
  4. Winter (December to February): Winter in Daugavpils is characterized by cold temperatures, snowfall, and a festive atmosphere. It’s an excellent time for winter sports enthusiasts, as the nearby regions offer skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating opportunities. The city also hosts winter festivals and Christmas markets, adding to the charm of the season.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Daugavpils depends on your interests and the kind of experience you are seeking. Consider factors such as weather preferences, desired activities, and crowd levels to choose a time that suits you best.

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Daugavpils?

After your trip to Daugavpils, there are several wonderful destinations nearby that you can consider visiting to further explore the region. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Riga: Latvia’s capital city, Riga, is located approximately 230 kilometers north of Daugavpils. Known for its beautiful architecture, charming Old Town, and vibrant cultural scene, Riga offers a mix of history, art, and gastronomy. Explore the cobbled streets, visit the iconic Riga Central Market, and immerse yourself in the city’s lively atmosphere.
  2. Cesis: Situated around 180 kilometers northwest of Daugavpils, Cesis is a picturesque town known for its medieval castle ruins, cobblestone streets, and charming wooden houses. Visit the Cesis Castle Complex, explore the historic Old Town, and take a walk in the scenic Gauja National Park, which surrounds the town.
  3. Jurmala: If you’re looking for some relaxation by the seaside, Jurmala is an excellent choice. Located approximately 250 kilometers northwest of Daugavpils, Jurmala is a popular beach resort town known for its sandy beaches, spa resorts, and wooden architecture. Enjoy a leisurely day at the beach, indulge in spa treatments, and explore the charming pedestrian street of Jomas iela.
  4. Vilnius: If you’re open to crossing the border into Lithuania, Vilnius, the capital city, is worth a visit. Situated around 300 kilometers southwest of Daugavpils, Vilnius boasts a well-preserved Old Town recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore its narrow streets, visit historic sites like Gediminas Castle and Vilnius Cathedral, and savor Lithuanian cuisine in local restaurants.
  5. Kaunas: Another captivating Lithuanian city to consider is Kaunas, located approximately 250 kilometers southwest of Daugavpils. Known for its vibrant arts scene, museums, and impressive architecture, Kaunas offers a blend of historical and contemporary attractions. Explore the old town, visit the impressive Kaunas Castle, and immerse yourself in the city’s cultural offerings.
  6. Sigulda: Situated approximately 170 kilometers west of Daugavpils, Sigulda is known as the “Switzerland of Latvia” due to its stunning natural landscapes. Explore the Turaida Castle, visit the Gutmanis Cave, and enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and bobsledding in the Gauja National Park.
  7. Trakai: Located in Lithuania, around 250 kilometers southwest of Daugavpils, Trakai is famous for its beautiful Trakai Island Castle. This medieval fortress sits on an island surrounded by picturesque lakes. Take a boat ride, explore the castle, and sample traditional Karaim cuisine in the town’s charming restaurants.
  8. Tartu: If you’re interested in visiting Estonia, consider a trip to Tartu, located approximately 320 kilometers northwest of Daugavpils. Tartu is Estonia’s second-largest city and a vibrant university town. Visit the historic Tartu University, explore the Tartu Old Town, and enjoy the city’s cultural and intellectual atmosphere.
  9. Parnu: Another delightful Estonian destination is Parnu, situated around 340 kilometers northwest of Daugavpils. Parnu is known for its long sandy beaches, beautiful parks, and well-preserved Old Town. Relax by the sea, visit the Parnu Museum, and indulge in local spas and wellness centers.
  10. Suwalki: If you’re interested in exploring Poland, Suwalki is a scenic town located approximately 290 kilometers southwest of Daugavpils. Discover the Suwalki Landscape Park, a picturesque area filled with lakes, forests, and charming villages. Enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region.
  11. Tallinn: If you haven’t already, consider visiting the capital city of Estonia, Tallinn. Located approximately 370 kilometers northwest of Daugavpils, Tallinn is known for its well-preserved medieval Old Town, charming cobblestone streets, and historic sites. Explore the city’s impressive architecture, visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and enjoy panoramic views from Toompea Hill.
  12. Pskov: For those interested in Russian history and culture, a visit to Pskov is a great choice. Located around 300 kilometers east of Daugavpils, Pskov is known for its medieval architecture and beautiful Pskov Kremlin. Explore the city’s historic sites, such as Trinity Cathedral and the Pogankin Chambers, and immerse yourself in the rich Russian heritage.
  13. Bialystok: If you’re willing to venture a bit further, consider a trip to Bialystok in Poland. Situated approximately 350 kilometers southwest of Daugavpils, Bialystok is a vibrant city known for its cultural diversity and architectural gems. Visit the Branicki Palace, explore the historic city center, and discover the city’s multicultural heritage.
  14. Vitebsk: Another fascinating destination to consider is Vitebsk in Belarus, located around 200 kilometers southeast of Daugavpils. Known as the cultural capital of Belarus, Vitebsk is famous for being the birthplace of renowned artist Marc Chagall. Explore the Marc Chagall Museum, visit the historic city center, and experience the city’s vibrant arts scene.
  15. Klaipeda: Located approximately 300 kilometers northwest of Daugavpils, Klaipeda is Lithuania’s third-largest city and a major seaport. Explore the city’s charming Old Town, visit the Maritime Museum, and take a ferry to the Curonian Spit, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning sand dunes and pristine beaches.
  16. Narva: Situated approximately 230 kilometers northeast of Daugavpils, Narva is a unique Estonian city known for its striking medieval fortress and the Narva Castle. Visit the Hermann Castle, stroll along the Narva River promenade, and experience the fusion of Estonian and Russian cultures in this border town.
  17. Grodno: If you’re interested in exploring Belarus further, consider a visit to Grodno, located around 220 kilometers southeast of Daugavpils. This historic city is known for its well-preserved medieval Old Town, beautiful castles, and vibrant cultural scene. Visit the Grodno Castle, explore the St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, and enjoy the city’s charming atmosphere.
  18. Rzeszow: For those who want to venture into Poland, Rzeszow is a city worth considering. Situated approximately 400 kilometers southwest of Daugavpils, Rzeszow offers a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Explore the Old Town, visit the Rzeszow Castle, and take a walk in the beautiful city parks.

These are just a few options for places to visit after your trip to Daugavpils. The Baltic region offers a diverse range of destinations with their own unique charm and attractions, so you can tailor your journey based on your interests and time constraints.

Daugavpils ornate church and cathedral worth visiting in Lithuania

Daugavpils Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

Daugavpils is a captivating city in Latvia that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From its impressive landmarks and museums to its charming streets and picturesque surroundings, there is much to discover and enjoy during your visit. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical sites, immersing yourself in art and culture, or simply enjoying the tranquility of nature, Daugavpils has something to offer.

Take the time to explore the city’s rich history at the Daugavpils Fortress, visit the art museums and galleries to admire the works of local and international artists, and wander through the cobblestone streets of the Old Town to soak up the charming atmosphere. Venture outside the city to discover the serene beauty of Daugavpils Lake or explore the nearby natural parks and forests for outdoor activities.

Indulge in the local cuisine, sample traditional Latvian dishes, and enjoy the warm hospitality of the local people. Take part in festivals and cultural events to experience the vibrant spirit of the city firsthand. Daugavpils truly offers a unique and memorable travel experience that will leave you with lasting impressions.

Remember to plan your trip based on your interests and preferences, and consider the seasons and weather conditions that align with your desired activities. Whether you’re visiting for a day, a weekend, or longer, Daugavpils has plenty to offer every type of traveler. So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and prepare to create unforgettable memories in this charming Latvian city.

In Daugavpils, where stories unfold, A city with tales of the past untold. Where history echoes through the ancient walls, And beauty resides in its grand halls.

Stroll through the streets, cobblestones underfoot, Discover the treasures hidden in each nook. From the Fortress proud, standing tall and strong, To the churches and cathedrals, singing their song.

The art comes alive in galleries bright, Where colors dance and emotions take flight. Captivating creations, both old and new, A testament to the talent that Daugavpils imbues.

Nature’s embrace, serene and grand, Daugavpils Lake, a tranquil wonderland. The forests and parks, a verdant delight, Inviting you to wander and take in the sight.

Taste the flavors, a culinary delight, Latvian cuisine, a pure delight. Savor the hearty dishes, rich and bold, A feast for the senses, stories to be told.

Embrace the warmth of the city’s embrace, Its people’s spirit, a smile on each face. Daugavpils, a journey of wonder and awe, A place where memories forever will draw.

So venture forth, explore its vibrant streets, Daugavpils, a destination that surely entreats. Let its charm captivate your very soul, As you embark on an adventure, making memories whole.

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