Sigula, Latvia

Area Code 29 $1=o.58Ls 6/7/2000

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Sigulda is the pride of Latvia. In winter it is home to the national bob sled team as Latvians come and ski looking over the medieval scenery. In summer hiking is popular around and through 13th century castles and legendary caves. At least two days should be spent riding a bike through the friendly town and its out skirts.

From the train station walk straight ahead on Pils iela which passes the information booth and Sigulda Hotel. Following the road will take you all the way to the Sigulda castle.

i
Information Office: Pils 4a , T 2971335, 09.00-18.00
Despite the tiny size of this booth, the woman that works there is extremely friendly and helpful in finding you accommodation, bike hire and information on all the sights.
$1 Riga Commercial Bank: Raina 1. Cashes Am Ex T/C for 2%. ATM outside.
$1 Latvian Unibank: Rigas 1
$1 Latvian Savings Bank: Pils 1
M0 Post office: Pils 2
M1 Telephone office: Pils 2
P Police: Miera 2 T 2972002
H Hospital: Lakstigalu 13, T 2972808
Hp Pharmacy-Vidzeme: Ausekja 5A, M-Sa9-19 Su10-17
Hp Siguldam: Pils 3, 9.00 - 17.00
s Supermarket - Globuss: Ventas 1A - 24 hour
s Supermarket Vita: Ausekja 9, 24 hour
la Laundry - Edene: Valdemara 4, 10.00 - 20.00

Transport
T Train station: Ausekja iela
To Riga (1 hour),
2Ls -12.47,14.50,16.19
To Cesis (1 hour) 1.80Ls -10.30, 14.15, 18.20.
B1 Bus: Raina 3 T 2972106 (From the station walk straight ahead down Raina iela, 100m on your left)
To Riga (1.5 hrs),
2.10Ls - 6.50, 7.50, 9.00, 9.50, 10.50, 12.50, 13.50, 14.50, 15.50, 16.50, 17.50, 18.50.
To Cesis (1.5 hrs),
1.10Ls - 9.20, 10.30, 11.45, 12.45, 14.45, 15.20, 17.20.


Local Transport
Local buses run from the main train station. Buses run up Turaidas iela to Turaida leave every 20mins, 0.25Ls a trip.

Entertainment
c Cinemas: Pils 10 T2972351 (films are dubbed into Latvian and subtitled into Russian at the same time!)

Festivals/National Holidays
January 1 News Years Day
April Good Friday and Catholic Easter
May 5-12 International Opera Music Festival
June 23 Midsummer festival
November 18 National Day
December Bobsled competitions
December 25 Christmas

@ Internet @
No internet access in Sigulda



Accommodation
LOW MIDDLE HIGH

HOTEL CODE
Sigulda has a good range of accommodation from the more expensive Hotel Sigulda to friendly guesthouses. Try to stay close to town, because you need to organize all the activites there are to do.
h Guesthouse Livonija: Pulkueza Brieza 55 (from the station head south on Raunas iela), T2973066.
sb s7Ls, d14Ls, La, I, K. bf C4, Friendly family run guesthouse is well placed just a five minute walk from town. Smallish but comfortable bedrooms litter the house. Because of its small size reservations are advised. Rec
h Youth Hostel: mednieku 3 (catch the cable car from Ainas iela) sb dr(4-6) 3Ls, Camping 1.5Ls, K, I, C2
The cheapest option in Sigulda and probably the only hostel in the world where a cable car is needed. Very basic accommodation in a pretty out of the way location, but it is good when visiting the nearby sites. Standard small rooms.
h Hotel Sigulda: Pils iela 6 (1 minutes north of station), T972263, www.vide.lv/hotelsigulda/
sb s20Ls d30Ls, TV, R, La, bf, C5
Perfect location, but this 100 year old hotel is not cheap. However for a touch of luxury in spoltless rooms with huge sunlights, this is the place to be. Highly Rec
h Hotel Senjela: Turaidas 4 (catch bus #12 and tell bus driver Senjela hotel) sb s12Ls, d20Ls, t45Ls,TV, R, I, C2. Old soviet building should probably be knocked down. The tourist office does not recommend it, and in fact seem embarrassed that it is still there. Very basic rooms with TV and private bathrooms. Last resort only.

Food
Cheap bistros line Sigulda and the recent tourist boom has seen them hiring English speaking staff. Try the huge meatballs with potato spicy salad, a dish that seems popular in every restaurant in Sigulda.
r Tris draugi: Pils 16, T971395 M/F8-02.00, 2-5Ls
Excellent value canteen style bistro where they determine the price by the weight of the food. The roast chicken and salad are good for just 2Ls.
Rec
r Pilsmuiza: Pils 16 T971395, 12.00-02.00, 4-8Ls
Excellent location in the 19th century Sigulda castle overlooking the 13th century castle neighby. Prices are reasonable for such a location. Serve pasta, meats and salad.
Highly Rec
r Juma Sigulda: Raina 1 (opposite station) 07.00-22.00.
1-3Ls, Canteen bistro which serves fresh salads with pork, beef and potatoes. Perfect for the early train ride, or late lunch when hoping off. Highly Rec
r Art Cafe Gallery: Raina 3, 8.00-22.00. 1-4Ls
There is no art gallery, just a few paintings hanging on the wall. However, putting the name aside it is a nice place to go and eat. Mainly
pastries and sweets for around 1Ls.


Sight

S1 Sigulda Castle: free
An excellently landscaped 18th century castle sits just in front of its 13th counterpart. Be sure to stop for a drink in the backyard of the new castle at Pilsmuiza restaurant.
S2 Turaida Castle: free
An impressive 13th century castle, that towers of the surrounding valley. Said to be 120 meters above sea level it is the highest point in this region of Latvia. On the grounds is the grave of Turaidas Rose, a Latvian women who died instead of giving in to the wishes of a wealthy noblemen.
S Hiking:
The information office has hiking maps which take you pass Sigulda`s caves. Each cave has a legend to it. Peters cave is said to of housed a priest trying to escape the war, Victors cave was made for his wife so she could see him coming home from work, and Gutmani`s cave was formed by the tears of a grieving maiden.
S Cycling:
There best way to Sigulda is to hire a bike. Bikes are rented for 4Ls a day, at Cesis 15. The best ride is down Gaujas iela through to Turaida, then back via the cable car.

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