Jurmala Beach, Riga
Jurmala - town between the south bank of Riga Bay and Lielupe river. The extent of its territory is 33 kilometres and includes such regions as: Lielupe, Bouldoury, Dzintary, Majori, Douboulty. Yurmala is a seaside resort. There are factories of knitted and fancy goods. Jurmala is famous for its Historical Museum, Museum os Fine Arts, Museum-dacha of Y.Rajnis poet.
If you fancy something of a change from the city, then I can very well recommend a visit to the water park at Jurmala. It must be a good 20 miles out of town, but you can get there very quickly and cheaply by utilising the shared minibus system (see transport tip).
It's certainly not cheap at 11 lat for a four-hour visit, but it is simply one of the best water parks I've ever seen. Open all year, much of it is inside with an array of slides, tunnels and lazy rides to keep everybody happy. Spead-freak junkies will especially appreciate the 'black hole' that as a water slide starts off slow but builds into a near vertical final whoosh ! It even has a timing clock at the bottom.
The ride in which you share a rubber boat and end up going down an almighty plughole also seemed very popular. If you ring up they should tell you when it is a bit quieter - the queues to some rides will drag a bit. On the plus side the Latvians are a very good looking race - enhanced by the addition of racy swimming costumes. Bravo.
If you are in Riga for a little more than just the weekend, it is worth taking a day trip to Jurmala, beach resort that was very famous in its hey day in the early 20th century. Ever since, this has been the place for rest and recreation and at one point in the Soviet era, the top bureaucrats and cosmonauts came here to relax and enjoy the endless sand beaches.
This place is definitely the best at the height of summer, as the beach is stunningly beautiful and just made to be enjoyed when the quicksilver is rising towards 30 and it is too balmy in the city to bear.
The cheapest (and probably the best) way to enjoy Jurmala is to get there in the morning, walk around the town which stretches for kilometers, and have a look at the beautiful villas, some which are still being restored. Meza prospekts and environs is one option for villa spotting. There are also new private housing and hotels popping up all around, but I personally prefer the old wooden villas. Then go somewhere nice for lunch (see eating tip!) around Jomas ieal and then head off to the beach to enjoy the scenery.
Then the more chic option is to stay the night at one of the spa hotels, go enjoy some treatments and the beach, then head off to a restaurant and spend the hours of the night at one of the bars and sleep it off in the room or on the beach the next day.
The beach literally stretches for kilometers both directions along the Gulf of Riga, and its very wide so you'll probably find a good spot. If the weather is cool, just walk along the waterfront and maybe if you are lucky you can find amber (well... not likely).
Jurmala is fast becoming the spa centre for Latvia and as such, is attracting busloads of tourists and also the rich and famous of Latvia. In my opinion, however, Jurmala is lovely for a day or possibly two, but not really a place where there is a lot going on and a lot to see. My bet is on staying in Riga and then going to Jurmala for the day.
About 30 Km of big golden-sand beach and pine forest, with some little town, and some estabilishment along the coast.
A beautiful place where relaxing under the sun in summer, or simply going for a walk near the sea.
Take the train to Dubulti. The region Jurmala has many beautiful places, but here it`s easy to find a place on the beach. The train is easier to get to from central station than the autobus.