Kurzeme Region, Latvia
Ventspils is one of Latvia's most important ports, located on the Venta River and the Baltic Sea.
On Ferryhopper, you can find useful information about must-see places, local delicacies, and ferries to Ventspils and book your tickets easily and quickly!
The white and green lighthouse on Ventspils' southern pier
Vacation in Ventspils
This small town has a laid-back vibe and is great for families with kids thanks to its fantastic beach, parks and waterpark.
If you want to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, visit Ventspils' Old Town, which is home to many magnificent buildings, including the Livonian Order Castle, which now houses the local museum.
Many of Ventspils' attractions are located in the seaside area. Take a stroll around the neighborhood and admire the low-rise wooden villas and homes.
With "flower sculptures" and some of the most beautiful landscaping in the Baltic States, Ventspils is also known as Latvia's flower capital.
How to get to Ventspils
You can travel to Ventspils by car, bus, plane or ferry. With domestic and international flights, the Ventspils International Airport connects the city to a number of destinations. It is located about 10 minutes from the city of Ventspils and you can take a taxi or a bus to reach the city center from the airport.
If you choose to take a car or bus, it will take you about 3 hours to get from Riga to Ventspils and about 2 hours to get from Liepāja to Ventspils.
Alternatively, you can reach Ventspils by ferry. There are ferry crossings connecting Ventspils to Sweden. Traveling by ferry may take longer but you can embark your vehicle. For a more comfortable trip, we recommend that you book a cabin and enjoy the fascinating crossing and breathtaking views.
Discover more about ferries to Ventspils below!
What to do in Ventspils
You can learn all about handicrafts and Ventspils tradition by visiting the House of Crafts, which is housed in an 18th-century school building. The Creativity House (which houses a digital planetarium) and the Lutheran church of St.Nicholas in the main square are also important buildings in Ventspils' old town.
A stroll past the iconic Venta river facades, where transatlantic ships moor, is a must-do on any visit to Ventspils. West of Old Town, the Ostgals ("Port End") neighborhood with its low-rise houses, historic storehouses from the 17th century and cobblestone streets will not let you down.
The Seaside open air museum, which consists of numerous local peasant homes moved in from various locations throughout Courland, is a popular attraction for both younger and older visitors. In the summer, a narrow gauge railway (600 m) provides journeys around the nearby park that will take you back to another area.
For those looking to spend time with their families by the sea, the seaside park has an open-air free exhibition of old anchors as well as a children's play zone. If you do not visit Ventspils in the summer or do not enjoy swimming, you can simply gaze out at the sea from the lookout towers or take a walk along the southern pier, which ends at an impressive lighthouse.
The Evangelical Lutheran church of St. Nicholas
Sightseeing in Ventspils
Exploring historical sites, churches, open air museums, and strolling along the long promenade are just a few of the options available in the city.
Here is a list of the best things to do in Ventspils:
- the Livonian Order Castle, which houses an interactive local history and art museum.
- the House of Crafts, where local artisans tell stories and sell clay bowls
- the southern Promenade in Ventspils for a recreational walk
- the Ventspils Beach, especially popular during the summmer months
- the Seaside Open-Air Museum, with a collection of fishing crafts, anchors and traditional log houses
- the Ventspils Aqua Park, with several swimming pools and playgrounds
- the narrow-gauge railway, which runs for over 2 km through the city park
- the Monument to Krišjānis Valdemārs, the founder of Latvian seafaring
- the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Nicholas
- the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
- the Market Square of Ventspils, a popular shopping area for both locals and visitors
The colorful market square of Ventspils on a sunny day
Nightlife in Ventspils
Most restaurants and bars are located near Kuldīgas street, where you can find something to suit every taste.
More bars are open during the summer, and you can also enjoy a drink near the Venta River or the sea.
Food in Ventspils
Latvian cuisine is simple yet authentic, and there are a number of charming restaurants serving local dishes in Ventspils.
Here are some must-try foods in Ventspils:
- pelēkie zirņi ar speķi (stew made from dried chickpeas, fried onion and diced smoked bacon)
- sklandrausis (round pie with potato, carrots and a top with cream and cinnamon)
- karbonāde (a type of schnitzel with mushroom sauce, boiled potatoes and cabbage salad)
- frikadeļu zupa (meatball soup)
- rucavas baltais sviests (traditional butter)
- rupjmaize (a type of black bread)
- užavas (local beer)
Dessert made with traditional black bread and jam
Here are 4 tips for your stay in Ventspils:
- Remember that it is prohibited to consume alcohol on the street and you can get a fine.
- If you plan to make a picnic, make sure to use specially designated areas only.
- Make sure to exchange money at banks or exchange offices.
- The best time to visit Ventspils is between May and September when temperatures are mild.
Useful information about Ventspils
Ventspils is Latvia's sixth-largest city, a family-friendly city with all modern tourist facilities and year-round activities.
Whether you plan to stay for a night or several days, Ventspils has a variety of accommodation options to suit your style and budget.
As for hospitals, there are several options in the center of Ventspils and the suburbs in case of emergency.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Ventspils
Here are some useful contacts for your trip to Ventspils:
- Ventspils Port Authority: +3713622586
- Ventspils Police Department: +37128680808
- Ventspils Coach Terminal (inter-city bus services): +37163622789
- Ventspils Hospital: +37163624665
- Ventspils International Airport: +37163624262
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Ventspils
Ventspils is easily explored on foot or by bus. The bus terminal is about 3 minutes from the city center.
However, if you want to travel in the region, we recommend you rent a car to explore Latvia in comfort.
Colorful wooden houses In Ventspils
Ports in Ventspils
The port of Ventspils is located on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. It is close to the city center and offers ferry service to a variety of destinations both within and outside of Latvia.
The port can be easily reached by car on the E22 motorway and intercity buses arrive at Ventspils bus station, which is just a 7 minute walk from the port. The ferry to Nynäshamn departs from the Stena Line ferry terminal.
Ventspils ferry: schedules and tickets
The ferry from Nynäshamn to Ventspils connects Sweden with Latvia. There are up to 12 weekly connections between Nynäshamn and Ventspils that are operated by Stena Line all year round. The ferry trip can last about 8 hours and the ticket cost starts at €38.
The busy port of Ventspils
Where to book ferry tickets to Ventspils online
On Ferryhopper, you can find all available ferry routes to and from/to Ventspils, compare prices, departure times, and book cheap ferry tickets to Ventspils online at the same prices as ferry companies!