Six Unforgettable Experiences in Liepaja
It’s not just a myth, there really is the wind in Liepāja. Since 1999 this truth has also been memorialized in the city’s anthem – Pilsēta, kurā piedzimst vējš (The City Where the Wind is Born). Regardless of the season, the wind blows in Liepāja every day. We all know that the wind blows right through us, carrying away negative energy, impurities, and everything superfluous – this is the place to come for wind-healing. Those who need hurricane-strength purification should head to the Northern Pier –1800 meters long and 7,35 meters wide, the pier was built as a part of the Liepāja Naval Port military complex. For a milder wind-cleanse, go the Lake Liepāja side of town and bathe in the wind on the dock all the way at the end of Lauku iela.
The Northern Fort
The Northern Fort is a unique monument to Russian Empire’s fortification plans for Liepāja in the 19th century. Work on the Naval Port military complex was started in 1893 with digging the canal and building the Northern Fort, but the project was soon deemed a strategic mistake. Some of the cannons were dismantled and taken to the forts in Kaunas, Lithuania, while the rest were melted down and recast. Some unsuccessful attempts were made to blow up the bunkers and the gunpowder warehouse, but these impressive ruins have survived until the present day, eaten away by time and the sea. It is still possible to explore the old labyrinthine underground bunkers accompanied by a guide.
Bicycles and where to park them
Liepāja is ideal for cycling. The city is large and flat, and 45 km of bicycle paths cover the city in a network. Most everyone in Liepāja has a bicycle, and the city also has one of the most stylish bicycle stands in all of Latvia made by hometown eco-artist Reinis Kuncītis. The elegant 19th century bicycle that inspired him can be seen in the Liepāja Museum.
A picture was taken from @veloriba_latvia.
A force of nature and tea at the Rietumkrasts café
A storm is raging all around, but you are sitting comfortably 30 meters out from shore – watching the elements and enjoying some hot tea. Like a giant yellow toy block, the Rietumkrasts café was built in the middle of the Northern Pier only because of the amazing panorama view there. It really deserves a mention in 1000 Places to See Before You Die, but it’s probably best that it isn’t listed yet. Otherwise, you might have trouble getting a table in this 12m x 2,42m x 2,58m area. Open every day from 12.00 to 18.00.
An amber sunset at the Lielais Dzintars
Liepāja is also the city of amber – after a storm, it is still possible to find some legendary ‘pine tears’ on the beach. Since 2015 the city also prides itself on Lielais Dzintars (The Big Amber concert hall) designed by Austrian architect Volker Giencke. Not only does the concert hall have excellent acoustics and a fabulous concert program that has catapulted it into the European concert circuit, but it also has a rather unique bar. Situated on the sixth floor of the concert hall, the Tinto bar offers a truly unique opportunity to enjoy some wine and appetizers as you look down on the panoramic view of the city through ‘amber glasses’ – as if you were to in the land of an endless sunset! FYI: on days when there are no concerts, the bar is only accessible through advance reservations.
A Restaurant Table in the Middle of the Street
Have you ever had lunch at a table sitting right in the middle of the street? Maybe only the free-thinkers in Liepāja can come up with something like that. This rather exclusive table can be found in the domain of the otherwise cosy eatery Red Sun Buffet – known to have the best burgers in town. They are made from 100% ecologically-raised Latvian beef and are definitely worth trying.
Read the full story in airBaltic in-flight magazine Baltic Outlook June 2017 issue!