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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

—  Town  —
Castle at Sigulda

Coat of arms
Nickname(s): German: Segewold
Sigulda is located in Latvia
Location in Latvia
Coordinates: 57°09′N 24°52′E / 57.15°N 24.867°E / 57.15; 24.867
Country  Latvia
District Sigulda municipality
Town rights 1928
 - Mayor Uģis Mitrevics
 - Total 18.2 km2 (7 sq mi)
 - Total 16,679 (86% Latvians)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code LV-2150
Calling code +371 67
Number of city council members 15

Sigulda (About this sound pronunciation ) is a town in the Vidzeme Region of Latvia, 53 km from the capital city Riga.



Sigulda is situated on a picturesque stretch of the primeval Gauja river valley. Because of the reddish Devonian sandstone which forms steep rocks and caves on both banks of the river, Sigulda has been called the "Switzerland of Vidzeme".

After the restoration of Latvian independence in 1991, an emphasis was placed on conserving Sigulda's public monuments and parks as well as improving the town's tourist sector. Supported by the town council, a traditional Opera Festival takes place in an open-air music hall in the castle ruins each summer. A Town Festival is celebrated in May when cherry trees blossom, while Sigulda is known for the colors of its trees in autumn. Sports such as skiing, bobsledding, and the luge are popular in wintertime and bungee jumping is practiced during the rest of the year.

The Gutmanis Cave lies halfway between Sigulda Castle and Turaida Castle and has a small stream flowing from it. It is the largest cave in the Baltics, measuring 19 m (62.34 ft) deep, 12 m (39.37 ft) wide and 10 m (32.81 ft) high. The cave still bears inscriptions from as early as the 17th century; drinking the water is supposed to be healthy and is said to increase one's lifespan. From the cave it is possible to climb into the hills and take the cable car over the river valley.

City population has been growing every year since 2000. 86% of population is Latvians 9% Russians, 3% Belorussians, 2% others.

Points of interest

International relations


Twin towns - Sister cities

Sigulda is a member of the Douzelage, a town twinning association of 23 towns across the European Union. This active town twinning began in 1991 and there are regular events, such as a produce market from each of the other countries and festivals.[1][2]

Other twinnings


  • Official website (Latvian), (Russian), (English), (German), (Finnish), and (Swedish)


  1. ^ " Home". Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w " Member Towns". Retrieved 2009-10-21. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Sigulda's bobsled and luge track snakes its way into the valley.
Sigulda's bobsled and luge track snakes its way into the valley.

Sigulda [1] is in the Vidzeme Region of Latvia, some 50 kilometers to the east of Riga. Located in the picturesque Gauja valley, with its steep banks and cliffs, Sigulda has become known as the 'Switzerland of Latvia'.

Get in

Sigulda can be reached from Riga (53km) by bus or by train. The trip takes about 75 minutes by train, and a day return ticket costs L3.02 (November 2009). Timetables at [2]. The bus and the train take about 1 hour and 15 minute to go to Sigulda from Riga.

If going there by own transport, watch out for some traffic jams during nice summer weekends - lots of people go there during season, sometimes it's better to take the train.

Sigulda New Castle.
Sigulda New Castle.

Sigulda is a small town, and every major sight is easily accessible on foot. In winter, some hiking paths are even cleared of snow. Local bus goes to Turaida and Krimulda every day and takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Turaida castle is about 4km outside of Sigulda and a major sight. It's been rebuilt in the Soviet area and now houses exhibition space and a small café. It also has fabulous views over the valley and the river.
  • Gutmanis cave lies half-way between Sigulda and Turaida castle and has a little creek flowing from it. A legend states that the water in the creek emenates from Gutmanis' tears, and drinking it is supposed to be healthy and boosting one's lifespan. Try it at your own risk, or just watch people stopping by to fill entire bottles.
  • Krimulda Palace and Ruins are located about 800 m further from Gutmanis Cave up the Serpentine road. The Cable car take tourists to Sigulda side every half hour.
  • Sigulda New Castle built in the end of 19th century. Restaurant and city council is located in castle.
  • Sigulda Medieval Castle Ruins located next to the Sigulda New castle. Built in 1207 by the Order of the Brethren of the Sword. Opena air stage is located in ruins nowadays.
  • Walking-stick Square opened in 2007. Walking-stick is a symbol of Sigulda town. Locals has made walking-stick since 19th century to help tourists walk up and down the Primeval valley of the Gauja River.
  • Do a canoe tour in the national park. Take care of your arms. :-)
  • Ride Latvia's only cable car across the Gauja valley and enjoy the view. L2 one way (Nov 2009 correct)
  • Walk the wooded trails to Turaida. Take the cable car across the valley, then up and down a variety of paths and steps to Turaida village and castle, before returning along the river valley and a visit to Gutman's Cave. Distance is around 10km.
  • In winter, slide down the artificial bobsled track or ski in the mini ski resort. During summer weekends, the bobsled run is also converted for use by 'wheel-bobs'.
  • Experience a toboggan ride down the hill.
  • Amusement park Wild cat. Adventure Park Mežakaķis is a sporty activity or a walk in the trees, and it is designed for people that are fond of active lifestyle and spending time in open air.
  • Aerodium is the free flight simulator - first vertical wind tunnel in Eastern Europe. It breaks gravity rules and allows you to fly with the help of newest technologies!
  • Aparjods music club next to the hotel and restaurant Aparjods.
  • Latroze located next to the main highway A2.
  • Melnais Kaķis located in the city centre. Open every evening from 22.00 p.m. to 2.00 a.m. Everu weekend is disco opened from 22.00 p.m. to 4.00 a.m.
  • Elvi Bouling 1 Vidus Street, Sigulda, Ph: +371 67970007
  • City card Siguldas spieķis is the key to unique Sigulda experience for the individual travelers. What you will get with your City card: Free entry in main sights and museum, Money saving special offers, Choice, flexibility & convenience.
  • City card Siguldas spieķis


In the centre of town (Pils Iela) are two large buffet / cafés open throughout the day all week from Breakfast until late evening opposite the main shopping area. There is also a Hesburger outlet beyond the bobsleigh course but this is a good walk from everything else.

In Turaida we found no hot food options for lunch beyond a microwaved hot dog at the village store.

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