Jūrmala is a resort city with a beautiful beach and stretches for slightly over 26 kilometers. It is the perfect place to go if you are looking for a resort town to enjoy a weekend – or even a whole week – of summer vacation.

Guided Tours visiting Jurmala

History of Jūrmala

happy woman at jurmala beach in latvia at sunset

The first guests came to Kaugurciems in the 1730s. At first, holidaymakers stayed in rooms rented from local shepherds but with the development of local transport, especially with the opening of the railway in 1877, the construction of summer houses boomed and the first sanatoriums and warm seaside resorts appeared.

Where is Jūrmala

aerial view of jurmala liepuje river and baltic seaside in latvia

This resort city is on the Gulf of Riga and is located 15 kilometers west of Riga. Jūrmala is surrounded by water on two sides. The southern side of the city borders the coast of the River Lielupe for 30 kilometers and the northern edge of the city borders the Gulf of Riga for 26 kilometers. At its narrowest point, the city is only 380 meters wide. Jūrmala is the second-largest city in Latvia by area and the fifth-largest city by population.

How to get to Jūrmala

night lights of jurmala streets near baltic sea in latvia

Choose whichever way of transport that suits you best: train, bus, car or boat.

Car

Jūrmala lies about 20 km west of Riga along the A10/ E22 highway. From April 1 to September 30, upon entering the special area of Jūrmala city, one shall acquire a one-time entry pass (2 EUR).

Ferry

The New Way ferry runs daily between Riga and Jūrmala from April 15 to October 15.

It leaves the landing by the Lielais Kristaps statue, which is on the banks of the Daugava River in Riga, at 11:00 am. En route to Jūrmala, you’ll see the Riga Port, the old mouth of the Lielupe River and the riverbanks of Bolderāja.

Train

railway train station in jurmala in latvia

The train leaves from Central Station. The station is very close to Old Town – virtually across the road from it. Destination stations are Dubulti, Kemeri, Sloka and Tukums.

Trains are quite frequent, especially in the summer season. Tickets can be bought right at the station before departure.

Bus

The bus journey time between Riga and Jūrmala is around 34 minutes and covers a distance of around 26 km. The fastest bus normally takes 27 minutes. Buses are operated by AS "Liepājas autobusu parks" and others.

Some facts about Jūrmala

big rock monument in the city center of Jurmala city in latvia
  1. The name Jūrmala derives from Latvian jūra ("sea") and mala ("edge," "side," "margin"). Thus in English it is called "seaside."
  2. As a result of the administrative-territorial reform of Latvia in 2009, Jūrmala became one of the republican cities of Latvia.
  3. The Baltic Open tennis tournament, part of the WTA Tour, will be held in July at the National Tennis Center Lielupe in Jūrmala from 2019.
  4. The Jūrmala population is 49,325 as of January 1, 2019.
  5. Jūrmala has the following partnerships: Admiralteysky District, Russia; Alushta, Ukraine; Anadia, Portugal; Anaklia, and many other cities.
  6. The city has an official list of 414 historic buildings under protection and over 4,000 wooden structures.
  7. Jūrmala is the fifth-largest city in Latvia.
  8. The first bathers came to Kaugurciems in the 1730s. Around this time, the first seaside resorts also opened in England and France. The development of bathing in Kaugurciems was stopped in 1812 because of the war between Russia and France.
  9. The beach of Jūrmala, just over 24 km long, is made of fine white quartz sand brought here by the coastal current over the millennia.
  10. In January 2012, the World Winter Swimming Championships were held in Jūrmala with a record number of 1,129 participants. This made Latvia the third international host since its inception in 2000 in Helsinki, Finland.

What to do in Jurmala

Jomas Street

jomas street in jurmala with colourful blossoming flowers in latvia

Jomas Street is one of the oldest and most central streets of Jūrmala. It is lined with restaurants, summer terraces, hotels and cafes. The name of the street in Latvian means “parallel lines in the sand of the dunes.” A little more than a kilometer long, Pedestrian Street  is worth walking along.

Summer House of Mr. Morberg

The house was built at the end of the 19th century and was owned by Latvian architect and patron Kristaps Morbergs. His summer house is a monument of the neo-Gothic wooden architecture of that time. The present owner of the building is the University of Latvia. The house features high ceilings, large windows, ornate stained glass, terraces and towers.

Dzintari Forest Park

Two-hundred-year-old pine trees and the bilberry bush are the greatest treasures of Dzintari forest park. The park is intended for fans of both active and relaxing leisure activities.

The Architecture of Villas and Private Houses

private old architecture house in jurmala city in latvia at summer

Wooden architecture is one of the characteristic features of Jūrmala, especially the picturesque houses with decorative turrets and glazed verandas. They were built in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, mostly as summer villas. Characteristic features of these buildings are the ornate and imaginative carvings that decorate the window frames, facades and roofs.

Best places to eat in Jūrmala

restaurant tables at a beach in jurmala near baltic sea

Cafe Trio is located next to Aquapark Livu at Vienības prospekt 37 in Lielupe. The café serves simple home cooking. There are tables both inside and outside and on weekdays you can have lunch here for only 3 euros!

Chebureks in Dubulti is considered to serve the "best chebureks in Jurmala" according to the locals. It is located right by the beach exit near Kinza restaurant at Baznīcas iela 2. You can sit on a small terrace and order a huge cheburek with cheese and meat.

Kalnakrastu Rausu Fabrika is one of the best pastry shops and bakeries in Jurmala. The pastry shop is located in Lielupe opposite Cafe Trio at Vienībs Prospekts 35. They make the freshest pastries and stunning cakes. The cafe is always crowded!

Giardino is an Italian oasis in Jūrmala. The outdoor tables are located in a cozy green garden. The food and interior can be described in one word: exquisite. This restaurant is located at Krišjāņa Barona iela 4A.

Where to stay in Jūrmala

jurmala city center main avenue view in summer at sunset

Baltic Beach Hotel & SPA

Baltic Beach Hotel & SPA offers impeccable service and all the essential amenities to invigorate travelers. There is free Wi-Fi in all rooms 24 hours a day. The hotel provides room service, 24-hour security, daily housekeeping, and taxi service to ensure their guests the greatest comfort.

Hotel Jurmala Spa

Not only is there free Wi-Fi in public areas at the modern Hotel Jurmala Spa, but  free parking spaces are also available on site. The hotel has a 2-story spa and wellness center with a range of massages and hydrotherapy treatments.

Beltes Street Guest House

Beltes Street Guest House offers accommodation for the whole family as well as your pets. The large area is suitable for various activities. Free Wi-Fi and private parking are available during your stay. For an additional fee, guests can warm up in the wood-fired Russian bath with brooms and rent bicycles. A few meters from the Beltes Street Guest House, there is a EuroVelo cycle path. A sandy Baltic beach is just 1 km away, and the center of Jūrmala – with its many cafés, bars and restaurants – is close by.

Villa Alvine Family Apart-Hotel

Villa Alvīne is located in the center of Jūrmala, 350 meters from the beach. It offers spacious and bright classic-style apartments with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi.