Jelgava, Latvia

According to, Jelgava is a small town located near Riga, near the Lielupe River. Thanks to historical events, it began to be called an aristocratic city, because in the past it was the capital of the Duchy of Courland, and its magnificent palace hosted the most eminent guests, including royalty, within its walls.

The foundation of Jelgava is associated with the construction of the castle of the Livonian Order and dates back to 1265. Then the city was given the name Mitava, which it bore until 1917. Interestingly, at the end of the 18th century it was part of the Russian Empire, but later became part of Latvia. Today, the infrastructure is well developed here, but the main value of Jelgava lies in the unique color and comfort, as well as the surrounding natural beauties. That is why the city is popular not only among Latvians, but also among travelers from other countries.

How to get to Jelgava

Jelgava is located 43 km from Riga. There are several ways to get here. The easiest option is to rent a car. You need to move along the A8 highway, the road will take about 45 minutes (GPS coordinates: 56.651829; 23.721445).

You can also get there by train. From the Riga railway station (address: Stacijas Laukums, 2) about 30 electric trains leave for Jelgava every day. They run from 5:31 to 23:21. Travel time is approximately 45 minutes, the ticket costs 2.88 EUR. Detailed information must be specified at the office. Riga railway station website.

Another way is to go by bus. More than 70 flights are operated daily from the Riga bus station (address: Pragas, 1) to Jelgava from 6:00 to 23:00. It takes about an hour to travel, a ticket costs 2.88 EUR. Schedule – off. bus station website.

And the last option is to use fixed-route taxis running from the Centrala Stacija Central Bus Station (located opposite the railway station near the Central Market) with an interval of 20 minutes. Drive 50 minutes, ticket price 4-6 EUR.

What to see

Jelgava is famous for its heritage of the Russian Empire and the Duchy of Courland and many architectural monuments. The doors of the Mitava Castle, the former residence of Ernst Biron and the governors of Courland, the Petrin Academy, the country’s first university, founded in the 18th century by Duke Peter Biron, are open to tourists. G. Elias. It is also recommended to visit the recently restored 9-storey Holy Trinity Tower with an observation deck, an information center, a museum exposition and a French restaurant. The tower deserves special attention, as it is the only surviving part of the main Lutheran church of the medieval duchy, built in 1573.

There is also a functioning Lutheran church – the Church of St. Anna of the 16th century. An oak grows near it, planted 200 years ago in honor of the founder of Lutheranism, Martin Luther. And on the outskirts of the city, to this day, there is a chic villa Medem, built according to the project of the famous architect I. Berlitz in 1818.

Other religious buildings include the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Simeon and Anna, the Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Baptist Church and the Orthodox Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. All buildings represent different eras.

Guests of the city will also enjoy visiting the crypt of the Dukes of Courland, the Museum of Fire Engineering, the Museum of the Gintermuiza Psychiatric Hospital, the Memorial Museum of A. Alunans, the Historical Museum of Railways and the Museum of Jelgava Palace.

Accommodation in Jelgava

There are many places for tourists to stay in Jelgava. These are popular Zemgale and Jelgava hotels, Anes Muiza, Zalje Atvari and Upmalj motels and guesthouses, as well as Grantini camping. Many of them are located in the bosom of nature. In addition to comfortable conditions, they will please with sports grounds, swimming pools, saunas and banquet halls. And in the camping there is a rental of catamarans, boats and fishing equipment. The average price per room for 2 people will be from 30 to 85 EUR.

Things to do

In addition to visiting interesting places, Jelgava offers many other ways to have a great time. An ideal place for walking and relaxing will be the two-level Drixas promenade with a boulevard, bike paths, benches, several viewing platforms, a pier and a cable-stayed pedestrian bridge. From here you can go down the stairs to the Lielupe River and spend time by the water, enjoying the coolness of the river.

Nearby is the beach – the only one in the city. Especially for vacationers, not only a children’s play area, a volleyball court, a bar, a shop, toilets and changing cabins were installed, but the bottom of the river was also cleaned and the shore covered with sand. And those who want to relax in a cozy place are invited to the area of ​​Katolyu and Pasta streets, where dozens of restaurants and cafes welcome visitors. In addition, there is a small market with all sorts of interesting things.

The oldest part of Jelgava is the Old Town, which began to be built up in the 18th century. To this day, the atmosphere of those times reigns in it, since it was miraculously not touched by the Second World War. A walk among the ancient wooden buildings leaves a very unusual impression.

Fans of spending time actively can have fun in the multifunctional Zemgale Olympic Center or Zemgale Sports Complex. Curling, ice skating, hockey, futsal, beach volleyball, basketball, tennis, bowling, skateboarding are just some of the entertainment options available here.


The territory of the city belongs to a temperate climate. The warmest period is from April to September. At this time, the average air temperature reaches +15…+17 °C. However, in summer the sky is often overcast and it rains. In total, the region has no more than 30-40 sunny days a year. Winter begins in mid-December, when the first snow falls, and lasts until mid-March, but in the coldest month – January – the thermometer rarely drops below -3… -7 ° С. You can come to Jelgava for vacation at any time of the year.

Jelgava, Latvia