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Liepaja is a city of successful changes, where people who have lived here between the Amber Sea and the lake for more than 750 years have always been tough and clever. The charm of the city lies hidden in its special atmosphere. Perhaps the city of Liepaja is bit reserved and rough, but it’s also noble and rebellious.


Guided tours visiting Liepaja

History of Liepaja

old architecture building in liepaja city center in latvia

First mentioned in 1253 as a small Curonian settlement, Liepaja was the site of a fortress built by the knights of the Teutonic Order in 1263. During the Great Northern War, Liepaja was conquered by Charles XII of Sweden, but after the end of the war, the city was in Polish possession. In the Third Partition of Poland, in 1795, it was captured by Russia. 

Modern Liepaja has important industries producing steel, agricultural machinery, linoleum, sugar, canned fish, textiles, and shoes. It is a base for deep-sea fishing and has several schools, including a college of navigation and a branch of Riga Polytechnic Institute. After Latvia joined the European Union in 2004, the city became a popular summer holiday destination for foreign tourists.

Where is Liepaja

GPS: 56° 30′ 42″ N, 21° 0′ 50″ E 

Liepaja is a city located in western Latvia, on the Baltic Sea. It is the largest city in the Kurzeme Region and the third-largest city in the country after Riga and Daugavpils. It is an important ice-free port. 

How to Get to Liepaja

By plane

Liepaja has its own airport and there are Air Baltic flights to/from Riga in just 30 minutes. Riga International Airport offers many direct flights to Europe and Asia, including cheap Ryanair, Air Baltic and Wizz Air routes. It is located 220 km east of Liepaja city.

By car

central market outside building view in liepaja city in latvia

There are two main roads leading to Liepaja. One is the A9 from Riga, the other is the A11 from Klaipeda. Other roads are the P111 to/from Ventspils and many regional roads.

By bus

Liepaja is connected by bus with Riga (several times a day), Klaipeda, Palanga, Ventspils, Kuldiga, and other towns and smaller villages in the Liepaja region. The bus station is located some distance from the center.

By train

public transport bus in liepaja city streets in latvia

A nice and relatively fast train runs twice a week to and from Riga. The train to Riga also stops in Skrunda, Saldus, Dobele and Jelgava. On the train, you can watch a DVD movie or drink a cup of coffee from a vending machine.

Some facts about Liepaja

entrance to the saint nicholas church in liepaja
  1. Liepaja was the first city (1899) in the Baltic States to have an electric tram line - the most modern means of transport of the time.
  2. The largest historical military area, Karosta, covers about a third of the city.
  3. Liepaja Symphony Orchestra is the oldest orchestra in the Baltics.
  4. Liepaja has the only diving school in the Baltics.
  5. The tallest domed building in the Baltics - St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Naval Cathedral - is located in Liepaja.
  6. Liepaja is the first city to acquire the title of European City of Sports.
  7. It’s the second city in Latvia with such a rich heritage of Art Nouveau. There are over 70 Art Nouveau buildings in the city.
  8. Liepaja is the only city besides Riga that offers transportation by air, land and sea. One can fly from Liepaja to Riga in 27 minutes.
  9. The 3-km-long Liepaja Seaside Park is one of the largest planted parks in Latvia with an area of 50 hectares. There are about 140 different native and foreign tree species to see in the park.
  10. The longest amber necklace can be found in the House of Craftsmen.

What to do in Liepaja

Karosta Prison

karosta prison remains near baltic sea in Liepaja

Latvia’s very own version of Alcatraz, but without the water, the sharks or the view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The ominous brick building has been witness to some ghastly crimes over the past century.

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

It has many unique qualities that are sure to please everyone. Its well-preserved interior masterpieces, artwork, 13-meter high sacred altar and one of the biggest organs in the world creates outstanding music.

Tram Ride Through The City

tram train in liepaja city in latvia

The oldest electric tram line on the territory of the Baltic States curves from north to south through the residential areas of the city. The Liepāja tramway was put into service in 1899. Liepāja was the first city in the Baltics to introduce the most modern means of transport of the time. It is also worth noting that this nature-friendly form of public transport is available in only three cities in Latvia.

Peter's Market

The market is located right in the center of town. The pavilion of the market was designed by the architect Melvil and opened in 1910. The pavilion had an innovative shape for the time. Did you know that the St. Peter's Market Pavilion was recognized as one of the most beautiful market pavilions in Europe?

Best Time to Visit Liepaja

summer sunset near a small harbor in liepaja city in latvia

Since the city is one of the most beloved holiday resorts in Latvia, the best time to visit is in the spring or summer. Between January and April, the climate is harsh. It rains about 14% of the time in April and January is extremely cold.

Best Places to Eat in Liepaja

latvian cold beetroot soup auksta zupa
  • Pastnieka Maja (Frica Brivzemnieka iela 53, Liepaja 3401, Latvia) 

The restaurant is located in the center of Liepaja, but away from the bustle and noise of the city. It’s a good place to hide from the outside world. The restaurant is located on two floors, where you can organize banquets, seminars, business dinners, and family celebrations. It is possible to book the whole restaurant or parts of it. 

  • Restaurant Upe (Liela iela 11, Liepaja 3401, Latvia) 

The restaurant is known for its international cuisine and friendly service. Every customer who walks through the restaurant's door is either a friend or will become one. Whether it's a quick lunch in the middle of the day or a cozy evening with friends over a glass of wine, "Upe" always guarantees the right atmosphere and service. 

  • Hot Potato (Jāņa iela 1, Liepaja, Latvia) 

People have noticed that the restaurant here serves well-cooked potato pancakes, bacon and BBQ ribs. Ordering good stuffed pancakes is what most visitors recommend. According to the guests, the craft beer is delicious. Order the great coffee that is offered here. In the evening you can listen to live music. 

  • Roze Restaurant (Rožu iela 37, Liepaja, Latvija) 

The cooks in this restaurant do their best to provide good fish to visitors. This place is known for its delicious wine. The cozy atmosphere of Roze Restaurant allows customers to relax after a hard day's work. The service here is said to be nice.

Where to Stay in Liepaja

  • Amrita Hotel 

The 4-star Hotel "Amrita" is probably the best choice for your visit to Liepaja during your leisure or business trip. The hotel offers 83 comfortable, fully renovated guest rooms (the last renovation was completed in November 2019). 

  • Liva Hotel 

Centrally located Hotel Liva is Liepaja's largest hotel and is within walking distance of Liepaja's main attractions. Liepaja's sandy beach is just a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The hotel’s own Restaurant Upe is one of the city's top restaurants. 

  • Hotel Kolumbs 

Opened in 2007, the hotel is located in one of the most beautiful cities in Latvia - in the Kurzeme region of Liepaja, and offers modern yet comfortable accommodation. The hotel's leisure center includes a sauna, whirlpool and solarium so you can relax. In the surrounding area, you will find a range of attractions and activities, such as cycling. 

  • Promenade Hotel Liepaja 

The hotel offers a well-equipped business center, free Wi-Fi, conference and meeting facilities, and a business lunch menu in the restaurant. The hotel is within walking distance from Liepaja's main attractions and is a good choice for culture lovers who want to explore Liepaja's Old Town.