Balvi, Latvia. Travel, Accommodation and Safety Tips.

Table of Content

  • City Info
  • Best Places to Stay
  • Must see places
  • Local Foods to Try
  • Estimated Travelers Cost
  • Safety Tips for Travelers
  • F.A.Q’s

Balvi, Latvia: Exploring the Charm of Eastern Latgale

City Info:

Located in the picturesque region of Eastern Latgale, Balvi is a small, serene town in Latvia that offers a unique glimpse into the country’s cultural heritage. With a population of around 7,000 residents, Balvi is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, cultural traditions, and warm hospitality. The town boasts a rich history, dating back to the 16th century, and is surrounded by lush forests, pristine lakes, and charming countryside.

Best Locations to Stay:

1. Balvi City Center

Staying in the heart of Balvi will give you easy access to the town’s main attractions, including historic landmarks, local markets, and charming cafes. Accommodations in Balvi City Center range from cozy guesthouses to budget-friendly hotels, offering a comfortable and convenient stay.

2. Lake Balvi

For those seeking a tranquil retreat, staying near Lake Balvi is a perfect choice. Enjoy the mesmerizing views of the lake, go for leisurely walks along the shore, and witness the stunning sunsets. There are a few guesthouses and holiday homes available in this area, providing a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

3. Birzgale

If you are a nature enthusiast, consider staying in Birzgale, a nearby village surrounded by lush forests and pristine landscapes. Experience the charm of traditional Latvian countryside living in beautifully restored farmhouses or eco-friendly guesthouses. Immerse yourself in nature by exploring nearby hiking trails, fishing spots, and picturesque picnic areas.

4. Vilani

Located just a short drive away from Balvi, Vilani offers a mix of history and nature. This small town is known for its well-preserved historical buildings, including the Vilani Manor House and the Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity. For travelers seeking a balance between cultural exploration and outdoor activities, Vilani is an excellent choice.

Best Places to See:

1. Balvi Regional Museum – Delve into the town’s rich history and cultural heritage by visiting the Balvi Regional Museum. Explore the fascinating exhibits showcasing local artifacts, traditional costumes, and historical photographs.

2. Balvi Lutheran Church – Admire the elegant architecture of Balvi’s iconic Lutheran Church, a testament to the town’s religious and cultural importance. Take a moment to appreciate the tranquility inside the church and its beautiful surroundings.

3. Balvi Central Park – Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life by strolling through the picturesque Balvi Central Park. Enjoy the serene atmosphere, lush greenery, and charming paths perfect for leisurely walks or a peaceful picnic.

4. Balvi Lake Nature Park – Immerse yourself in nature at the Balvi Lake Nature Park. Take a boat ride on the peaceful lake, explore the walking trails, and marvel at the diverse flora and fauna that call this park home.

Local Foods to Try:

When in Balvi, make sure to indulge in the delicious local cuisine that showcases the flavors of Latvian traditions. Some must-try dishes include:

– Sklandrausis: A traditional Latvian pastry made with rye dough and filled with sweetened carrot and potato mixture.
– Rasols: A hearty salad made with boiled potatoes, eggs, pickles, and often accompanied by herring or meat.
– Kvass: A refreshing, non-alcoholic beverage made from fermented rye bread that has a unique sweet-sour taste.

Estimated Daily Cost for Travelers:

The estimated daily cost for travelers in Balvi, Latvia, can range from $50 to $100, depending on personal preferences and accommodation choices. Budget-friendly guesthouses and self-catering options are available, allowing travelers to save on meals. Dining out at local restaurants can be reasonably priced, and public transportation is affordable. Entrance fees to attractions are generally inexpensive.

Safety Tips for Travelers:

While Balvi is a safe destination, it’s always advisable to follow general travel safety guidelines:

1. Take precautions against pickpocketing and keep your valuables secure.
2. Ensure you have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.
3. Carry a copy of your identification and important travel documents.
4. Respect local customs and traditions.
5. Stay informed about the local weather conditions and dress accordingly.
6. Follow any guidelines or instructions provided by local authorities.


1. How do I get to Balvi?

Balvi is well-connected to major Latvian cities. The nearest international airport is Riga International Airport, located approximately 240 kilometers away. From Riga, you can take a bus or rent a car to reach Balvi.

2. Is it necessary to rent a car in Balvi?

While having a car can provide more flexibility in exploring the surrounding areas, it is not necessary to rent a car in Balvi. The town center is easily navigable on foot, and public transportation options, such as buses, are available for nearby attractions.