Ventspils is the sixth largest city of Latvia. Latvia is located in the
eastern part of Europe by the Baltic Sea. Latvia borders on Estonia to the
north, Russian Federation to the east, Belarus to the south-east, and
Lithuania to the south. The territory of Latvia occupies 64.6 thousand km2.
There are more than 2.5 million inhabitants in Latvia, 55 % of whom are
Latvians. The capital of Latvia is Riga.
Ventspils is located in the north-west of Latvia at the estuary of the
river Venta into the Baltic Sea. A distance of 189 km separates Ventspils
from the capital of Latvia.[pic] [pic] Transport is the leading sphere of
economy and the basis of economic and social development of the city. Most
of the residents are employed by the enterprises related to the
transshipment, storage and transit of cargoes, as well as by companies
servicing Ventspils Free Port.[pic]
The city’s car rentals offer cars of different brands and at different
prices. The car rental Eurocar is located at the restaurant Vilnis, one of
the biggest hotel at another side of river Venta, the second car rental is
in J?kaba street in the direction of Kuld?ga.
The modern gas stations are located in close vicinity on the way to Riga –
Statoil and Shell, and on the way to Kuld?ga – Lukoil.
Taxi (calling, parking lots)
In Ventspils several taxi firms run their business and provide quality
services. Mercedes brand taxi mini-buses operate throughout the city, one
ticket costs LVL 0.25. Passengers may request to get off it wherever they
want. Taxi mini-buses operate intensely from 5 a.m. till midnight, but
during holidays till half past one in the morning.
Cars may be parked at the road sides in the specially designed parking
places, where they do not impede the traffic. However, there are several
paid parking lots offering their services as well.
Bus transport provides convenient inter-city traffic. The new Mercedes
buses, that mostly are used in the route Ventspils-Riga, meet modern
requirements and are equipped with air-conditioners, audio, TV and video.
On the half way to Riga the bus stops at the River Abava and passengers can
have some refreshments and fresh air. The traffic between Riga and
Ventspils is very intensive. Every hour it’s one bus to the capital of
Ventspils has seen tremendous changes in many spheres during the last ten
years. With the completion of the renovation works the Old City, many parks
and squares have regained their former beauty. The City Council has created
favourable conditions for the renovation of private dwellings. Large sums
of money are allotted each year to the maintenance of the city environment
and to the upgrading of the living standard of the residents.[pic] Because
also the Leasure and Hospitality spheres are highly developed.
Transport is dominant in the economy of Ventspils and employs the majority
of the residents. It functions as the basis of economic and social
development of the city. There are ancient traditions of fishery and
woodworking in Ventspils. A number of private companies active in fishery
and fish processing offer fresh, salted, smoked, canned and frozen products
both to local and export markets.
Chipboards, saw material and furniture are the basic kinds of production in
wood-working, and the largest part of production is exported. The
construction boom of the last years in Ventspils has promoted the expansion
of existing producers of construction materials, as well as the
establishment of new firms.
The Ventspils airport renovation project and discussions on the
construction of an oil processing plant in Venstpils have been
Ventspils Development Agency [pic]
As a developed port city and a place for successful business Ventspils has
entered international competition side by side with similar cities in the
world. The Ventspils Development Agency was founded by the business
organisations of Ventspils and the Ventspils City Council in February of
1998 in order to coordinate the publicity of the city and to implement its
The main spheres of activity of the Agency:-implementation of the city
marketing strategy;-study of the supply and demand structure of Ventspils
as a place for business;-local and international publicity of the city and
its economical and social partners; -standing up for the interests and
needs of Ventspils and its economic and social partners in local and
international institutions of the state and in the private sector.
A lot has been done in Ventspils during the last years to develop a rich
cultural life in the city. Different cultural activities of local and
international significance regularly take place in the city. The regional
Ventspils College has been created and the Old City, Ventspils Castle and
other historical objects have been renovated.
Regular theatre performances, concerts, different theme activities and
conferences take place at the Cultural Centre and the Recreation Centre
Juras Varti.( Sea Gates )
The cultural life of the city has also become very active. Various local
and international events, opera performances, concerts and art exhibitions
take place in Ventspils more and more frequently.
9 secondary schools and several professional educational establishments are
functioning in the city. Higher education can be acquired in Ventspils
College, the local branch of Riga Technical University, the branch of the
Russian Institute in the Baltics, and the branch of the Riga Pedagogical
and Educational Management School.
There are diverse recreation opportunities for the residents and guests of
Ventspils. One can visit museums and see historical objects and other
interesting places in the city and its vicinity in order to study the
history and development of Ventspils. In a 20 minutes walk from the city
centre one can find oneself on the sandy beach of the Baltic Sea. Sports
enthusiasts can enjoy sports in modern sports buildings – a stadium, many
sports clubs and the Olympic sports hall, completed in 1997, that
accomodates 3000 spectators.
Centre Amateur Art
There are 14 different ethnic and cultural societies functioning in
Ventspils. People of most different generations have engaged in very many
amateur art groups– choirs, dance groups, folklore groups, studios of
handicrafts and even two orchestras. The residents and guests of Ventspils
can study the history and culture of Ventspils and the vicinity by visiting
different: the renovated Ventspils Livonian Order Castle, Ventspils Museum,
Ventspils Maritime Open-Air Museum, and the Memorial Museum of the Writer
Ventspils has two 3-star hotels with a high level of servicing, convenient
parking lots and restaurants. The hotel Dzintarj?ra is located in the city
centre and has tourist-friendly prices. Services at the other hotel Vilnis,
which is located in P?rventa, are more business people-oriented.
Guest house R?te is located in the very centre of Old Ventspils and
corresponds to the level of youth hostels. Motel/guest house Le?i is
situated 13 km off Ventspils on Ventspils-Kuld?ga highway close to the
Venta. It offers the following facilities: boat rental, water bicycles, a
bath house, a small shop, fishing on the river Venta.
Ventspils is surrounded by great recreation facilities for nature lovers.
Several camps are set up at a picturesque place near Lake Usma. Liepene is
located at the seaside. The camps offer a variety of recreational
activities, including participation in sea fishing with nets.
At sunny week-ends local residents and visitors of Ventspils like to walk
down Ostas street along the River Venta; other popular places are the
fountain “Boats of The Sun” and the tidy and modern city centre. During
summers the most popular spot is the city beach, that has been awarded the
Blue Flag. The city parks and squares are nice places for having a chat.
Some people might love to have good time at the skate-park, but children
gather at the Children’s Town (the Children’s Recreation park).
The city theatre company is 20 actors and actresses. The most outstanding
productions have been Alice in Wonderland by L. Carroll, Chairs by Eigen
Junesco, Macbeth, etc.
A popular museum in the city is the Open-air museum with its most
remarkable exhibit - the functioning Little Train, especially beloved by
Ventspils’ guests. In summers this is the place for various cultural
events. School children and local writers often visit the Memorial Museum
of the writer Herberts Dorbe. Ventspils Museum of History and Arts holds
exhibitions of local and visiting Latvian and foreign artists.
The cinema Rio in Old Ventspils holds different events for young people:
teen discotheques and parties for students.
The most popular dance clubs are Livonija and Kurzeme, that are located in
the city centre where it is easy to park the car or use services of the
adjacent taxi parking lots. The clubs offer delicious and substantial
meals. Prices are very low and many young peoples visit thiese clubs.
Game and Gambling clubs
The most popular gambling clubs are Melnais ka?is (Black cat), Bumerangs,
Klondaika and J?rnieku klubs (Seamen club). Visitors may listen to music,
have some drink and play billiards or darts. For those who prefer bowling
Ventspils offers the bowling club and the restaurant ?pis. Different
competitions and events are organised at game and gambling clubs.
Just at the very bank of the River Venta the nice restaurant ?pis is
located, where visitors may play some bowling on the ground floor, and
dance at week-ends. A classic restaurant Vilnis is located in the hotel’s
premises on the right bank of the Venta. Kurzeme is a restaurant that won
the first award of the previous-year competition on the best restaurant. It
offers disco dancing. The restaurant Kr?ta, MG in the Seamen’s
Entertainment Centre, after a substantial meal offers a play of billiard or
dancing in its lovely atmosphere. The special interior design of the
restaurant Dzintarj?ra reveals the closeness of the sea. Good meals are
offered also at the restaurant Olivers.
Bars and Pubs
A popular student spot is the bar Cits Ostgals, where the jovial waiter
offers also the special brand of U?ava beer and garlic toasts. An intimate
atmosphere is in the small bar Landora in the city centre. Recently a new
bar was opened in the culture centre J?ras v?rti (Sea gate) with live music
Cafes and bistros
The cafe Kika, located in the city centre, lures in all coffee and cake
lovers. It is also a calm place for a private chat or just for spoiling
your kids with some sweets. The café K?pa, which is located in P?rventa, is
an appropriate place for a refreshment together with friends
Many local residents of Ventspils prefer shopping in the big shopping
centres which are located in the most intense housing. One of the most
popular shopping centres Di?na, is located at Ventspils College near the 9-
storey block houses; the shopping centre K?pa is on the right bank of the
Venta. Before travelling round Ventspils district, it is advisable to do
shopping in these shopping centres, as the range of goods supplied in the
shops outside Ventspils is not so wide. The rest part of the city,
especially its central part, is spotted by various small shops.
Ventspils has several under-roof markets with a wide range of goods sold at
comparatively low prices. The market in the Old Town is especially busy and
offers the widest range of goods on Saturday mornings while on the week
days it is open only till the noon. The market offers fresh food, meat and
fish products, vegetables, fruit, honey, etc. During fairs traders from all
the regions of Latvia and also Lithuania gather in the market of the Old
Along with Ventspils Tourism Information Centre also several tourism
agencies offer their services which include guiding round Ventspils,
sightseeing tours, excursions, visas and insurance, air and ferry tickets.
The tourism agency Ventspils Excursion Bureau is located on the Town Square
in the very centre of Old Ventspils, but the tourism agency Tobago is
located in the city centre.
Ventspils Tourism Information Centre provides all the information on
tourism. Other information about the municipality may be obtained at
different municipal institutions.
Ventspils sister-city in Sweden is Vesterviik. Both cities have established
close contacts and co-operate in different spheres.
For Latvia visitors now I think is very good time. Our inhabitants are very
frendly and most part of them knows English. If tourists needs to find some
place or to know about something, latvian will help them.
Also Tourism Information Centre are highly developed last few years. In
airports, stations, and in every hotel or guest house tourists will recieve
necessary information about a city and Latvia.
No problems in association between foreign and local peoples.