Daugavpils is a riverside city where you can discover Latvian art, culture and history. Explore a 19th-century fortress, learn about the city’s Jewish heritage and visit a museum dedicated to legendary Latvian-born artist, Mark Rothko. The Daugava River flows through Daugavpils and is lined with leafy parks and gardens.
Things to do in Daugavpils
Daugavpils Fortress commands a strategic setting on the banks of the Daugava River. The citadel was built to defend the city against the Napoleonic army and has survived wars, sieges, occupations and revolutions over the centuries. Walk around the grass-covered grounds, climb up to the bastions and explore the remains of a former Russian military academy.
Daugavpils Synagogue was built in the 1800s and recalls the city’s Jewish heritage. The synagogue has been beautifully restored and features beautiful arched windows and decorative stonework. Upstairs is a small but engaging museum dedicated to local Jewish history.
The Mark Rothko Art Centre showcases original works by the iconic Latvian artist. It’s housed in the former Russian armoury inside Daugavpils Fortress and charts the legacy of the abstract painter, who was born in Daugavpils and later emigrated to America. The upper floor is dedicated to contemporary Latvian artists.
Church Hill is capped with a cluster of Christian churches and cathedrals. Martin Luther Cathedral towers over the group and features a dramatic Neo Gothic façade. Holy Virgin Cathedral hosts Catholic services and welcomes you with a stark white exterior and soaring Neo Baroque towers. The Russian Orthodox church is topped with gleaming gold domes and is one of the newest in the group.
Getting around Daugavpils
Daugavpils is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot, while trams are a fast and affordable way to get around the city. Trains run from Riga in 3.5 hours and Vilnius in three hours. Riga International Airport is a three-hour drive away.