Jurmala is a nice getaway about 25 km from Riga, capital of Latvia. We arrived in Riga from Saiuliai, Lithuania by bus. Like always, our apartment was a short walk away from the bus station. As we reached right at noon, out host graciously kept our rucksacks while we grabbed some lunch in the Old Town and they got the apartment ready.
Jurmala can easily be a day trip from Riga. But for people who enjoy resort like atmosphere and proximity to cold waterfront/beach, maximum 2 night stay here is recommended. There are enough sights and activities to spend that much time there.
How to Get There
It is extremely easy & reasonable to reach Jurmala from Riga. We took the suburban train and the same day return ticket was about EUR 2.6 approximately. Most trains heading to Turkum/Sloka go to Jurmala and they take about 35 minutes. You de-board at a station named Majori. For additional information you can visit this Lativan Railways site. The station is right in the centre of this small town. There are also mini buses that come to Jurmala and they leave from right next to coach station in Riga.
What to Do & See
One you get off at Majori train station; turn right towards Jomas Street for market & restaurant area. It’s a long pedestrian only road with number of brilliant restaurants on it. Also, numbers of places offer free WiFi which is a boon for any traveller.
If you want to head straight for the beach, head straight out from station and keep walking. It’s about 10 minutes’ walk and through various narrow opening, you will see the water. The day we visited Majori, it was overcast & windy. Not much of a weather to get into the water but your truly still braved it. As expected, the Baltic was cold and I was out in no time. The beach has number of cafes that serve above average fare and are a good place to sip your hot chocolate and watch the waves. There are numerous changing stations on the beach itself so getting in & out of water is easy.
We headed to Jomas street after the beach and after a long walk, chanced upon an Asian restaurant aptly named Sue’s Asia. It served delicious India curries & nans. After being in Baltics for almost 17 days, we were really craving for it. We lapped up our native cuisine served by a lovely Latvian girl. As we felt too heavy after that, we decided to walk all the way till Bulduri station to catch the train back to Riga. It was about 3.5 km walk through leafy neighbourhoods and settled out food well.
- Pick a sunny day to make this trip
- Weekday would be better than the weekend when it is much more crowded.
- Step into Central Market Riga, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for evening snacks on your return from Jurmala. It is right next to Riga Train & Coach Station.
- A drink at any of the beach café/bar is recommended. Baltic Sea has its own wild charm. Soak it in!!!
There are other beaches (Bulduri, Dubulti, Pumpuri etc.) as well in & around Jurmala and each has its own unique offerings. Choose the one that suits your taste and it would be a day well spent. Also, there are more than enough AirBnBs around incase you are planning a sojourn here.