Area: 100 km2 (40 mi2)
Dialing Code: +371
Electricity Adapter: 230 V, 50 Hz, Plug Types C / F
Time Zone: Eastern European Time (UTC +2); Eastern European Summer Time (UTC +3)
Jūrmala is a town along the Baltic Sea coast, located about 25 km (16 mi) west of Latvia’s capital city, Riga; it was actually once a part of Riga. A resort town, Jūrmala is considered as something of a French Riviera of the Baltic. With about 33 km (21 mi) of white, quartz sand beachfront, it lays claim to having the longest beach in Northern Europe.
When Latvia was under the Soviet Union’s control, it was a favorite holiday spot of many high-ranking Soviet officials; today, it is still an excellent place for family holidays, with many Latvians and Russians descending upon its beaches during the summertime.
Jūrmala is home to some unique wooden architecture dating back to the 19th century and the early 20th. According to the the town’s official tourism website, “the architectural features of Classicism, Art Nouveau, National Romanticism, and Functionalism harmoniously co-exist here. 414 buildings have been included in the List of Architectural Monuments, but there are more than 4000 historical buildings.” This is quite a feat, especially when you consider that the entire population of Jūrmala is but 55,000 or so.
Aside from the beach, Jūrmala offers visitors other activities and attractions to round out time spent there. There are dozens of restaurants catering to almost any desired cuisine, along with many others serving some quintessential Latvian and Russian plates. Līvu Akvaparks, one of the largest water-themed amusement parks in northern Europe, is located here; its many rides and attractions are great for family outings. During the summer, there are almost daily concerts to be found at the Dzintari Concert Hall.