Web sites help plan summer holiday


The online events listing notikumi.lv is a comprehensive guide to what’s on in Latvia.

If your holiday plans this year include a trip to Latvia, then read on. Where is the best place to turn to find out what’s happening when you get there? Sure, there are the pocket tourist guides, the local newspapers and good old-fashioned billboards out on the street. But nothing beats the Internet when it comes to information gathering.

The first port of call should be notikumi.lv, a great site as events searches can be made by subject, date, age (with a separate kids’ category) and other criteria so you’re not left sifting through wads of information that is of no interest to you. You will still get the biggest listing in Latvian, but English and German are the two other languages on offer. The site is sometimes lacking; around Easter time we couldn’t find anything on the folkloric Easter celebrations planned in Rīga.

If you’re more of a classical music buff, then Latvijas Koncerti is your site. Elegant design is jam-packed with content, which is interspersed with some great quotes such as the Zimbabwean proverb, “Ja tu vari paiet, tu vari arī padejot. Ja tu vari parunāt, tu vari arī padziedāt” (If you can walk, you can dance. If you can talk, you can sing). The site is a great all-rounder as it includes the latest not just on strictly classical events but also jazz, contemporary music, kids and youth concerts, and even world music.

The Rīga Convention Bureau’s Inspiration Rīga  can give you ideas for exhibitions, concerts, fairs and festivals, while the Latvian Institute has a good list of all main cultural events planned for 2007.

Many venture to the homeland to experience Latvian folkore in its native setting. Ansis Ataols Bērziņš’ Folklora.lv has much information about folklore, including a list of events, but it is by no means comprehensive. The Latvian Open Air Ethnographic Museum (Latvijas Etnogrāfiskais Brīvdabas muzejs) in Rīga, a favorite tourist spot, offers information about activities through its virtual museum as well as through Latvijas Ceļvedis, an online guide to tourist attractions throughout the country.

Two of the main portals in Latvia, Delfi and Apollo, are good for locating events depending on your interests and tastes. Go to notikumi.delfi.lv or Apollo’s Izklaide section to track what’s happening on the club and pub scene. Opera, concert and theatregoers can turn in here, too, as can those in Rīga with young kids desperately trying to locate a restaurant that can accommodate the brood.

If it’s not just Rīga you are interested in, event listings can also be located on regional Web sites such as www.cesis.lv, www.madona.lv, www.kuldiga.lv and so on.

Every summer in Latvia is filled with activities. You don’t have to wait for a Song Festival to come around to experience and taste Latvia. But if you are planning the big trip for next year then www.dziesmusvetki2008.lv will certainly be worth a visit. At the moment, however, the site is still under construction.


Daina Gross is editor of Latvians Online. An Australian-Latvian she is also a migration researcher at the University of Latvia, PhD from the University of Sussex, formerly a member of the board of the World Federation of Free Latvians, author and translator/ editor/ proofreader from Latvian into English of an eclectic mix of publications of different genres.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *