Interesting facts about Tukums and vicinity for WRC 2024 visitors

Which 3 objects of interests are a must see in Tukums and vicinity?

TOP 3 places to visit in Tukums

Tukums Old Town, the layout of which formed already back in the 14th –18th century, but in the 19th century and early 20th century, its visual appearance, which still characterises the town today, took shape. Here, you will find many older, little-rebuilt log-built household and residential buildings. Interestingly, a photograph dating back to 1900 already shows that wooden flower boxes were arranged in front of the windows. This tradition is continued by the old town dwellers also in the 21st century.

The Museum of Art of Tukums with limited exhibition space (for now) offers a very valuable art collection. The exhibitions change every season, but they are always based on the works of the old masters of Latvian painting available in the Museum’s collection. Interestingly that, by combining fragments of 5 paintings, each visitor can create a modern collage and send their own postcard to a friend anywhere in the world.

Durbe Manor – one of the unmissable attractions in the area of Tukums as it is known for its castles, palaces and manors. The Durbe Manor in Tukums is one of the most splendid classical-style palaces in the Kurzeme region — it has recovered from the devastation suffered during the Soviet era, as the building housed both a hospital and a sanatorium.

TOP 3 places to visit in the vicinity of Tukums

“Classic Car & Motorcycle” garage in Milzkalne will most definitely be appreciated by car enthusiasts and drivers alike. It is no ordinary garage, but a place where you can see old cars and reminisce about the past, looking at American and classic cars as well as Soviet-era motorbikes. Here, visitors can feel the spirit of America — the ambience in the garage really is reminiscent of America in mid-20th century, where Rock ‘n’ Roll is blasting and glamorous cars are a sight for sore eyes.

“Inverted House” is a house built upside down! The interior of the house is designed using real, everyday household objects to create the effect of a real home. The inverted house is at a diagonal angle of 7 degrees, so visiting it will challenge to your vestibular system. In the autumn, “Inverted House” will be accompanied by “Inverted Garage”.

The white dune of Plieņciems will be the nature territory that we will distinguish among other nature territories — the Ķemeri National Park, the Nature Park “Lake Engure” or the Nature Park “Abavas senleja” (Ancient Abava River Valley). It is a unique section on the shore — one of the largest open white sand depressions, some even say, it is nearly like a desert. Back in the day the area was used for drying nets (Vabas), but today it is a specially protected nature area that can be explored by walking along wooden boardwalks.

Which dish or drink is a must when you visit us?

The special Tukums dish — “Tukums rolls in cherry sauce” — can be enjoyed at the restaurant-bar “Smukausis” in Tukums and at the café “Apsīte” in Apšuciems. You can also make it at home following this recipe here.

However if you do not want to cook for yourself, you can enjoy delicious meals such as medieval treats at the Jaunpils Castle Tavern.

The special drink of Tukums is the “Tukums rose cocktail”, which can be enjoyed in the Jaunpils Castle Tavern. The recipe is available here. A variety of drinks — stronger and sparkling, with alcohol or non-alcoholic — can be enjoyed at the “Abava” winery’s tavern.

As there are 2 large dairy processing companies operating in the municipality of Tukums, be sure to try “Jaunpils ice cream” and other dairy products at the “Jaunpils pienotava” shop in Tukums and Jaunpils, as well as dairy and culinary products at the “Tukuma piens” shop.

On market days, you can enjoy fish from the market and cakes at “AMSA” pastry shop, but if you want lots of fish, head to the coast, where you can find freshly smoked fish in almost every stall, and seafood at the fish restaurant “Bermudas”.

5 #instaspot places to capture yourself and friends in photos or videos

1. TUKUMS letters in Brīvības Square — in the very heart of the town — a chance to catch the beauty of Tukums (Tukum Smukum) that many are talking about and looking for

2. In the courtyard of Durbe Manor, you can create a picture with Rainis, the greatest Latvian poet and political figure from 100 years ago, and Gustavs Zemgals, the first President of Latvia

3. The Great Ķemeri Bog Boardwalk in Ķemeri National Park — an unusual marshy landscape that is rarely seen in Europe. Photos are best taken while walking in swamp shoes with #Purvubridēji or as you sit in a boat watching the sunrise or sunset with #ozolaivas

4. Reed boardwalk (Niedrāja laipa) in Ķemeri National Park on Lake Kaņieris — experience what it feels like to be a bird and live in reeds

5. Ragaciems piers (sedumi) — old coastal fishermen’s boat huts, where fishing gear is still stored and where you can meet a fisherman who is getting ready to go fishing or has simply come to watch the sea

TOP 3 places with the most beautiful views of Tukums

1. The town’s greenery and patterned rooftops are best seen from the observation tower of the Tukums Lutheran Church. The town can be seen in all four directions.

2. When entering the town by car from Riga, we recommend stopping at Mālkalns. The newly set-up paths will allow you to see the town from many different angles. The town is most beautiful in spring, when it is drowning in white clouds of fruit blossom, it is most delicious in summer, when the cherries are ripening, most colourful in autumn, when the town is covered in a blanket of speckled leaves, and most heart-warming on a snowy winter’s day.

3. When you visit the halls of Durbe Manor, you can see forest-covered hills through the windows, which sometimes lose their greenery due to the sun, fog or other weather conditions and then they resemble a calm, gently rolling sea.

What is your town known for in Latvia, the Baltics, Europe or the world?

Tukums is known as the Town of Roses. During the Rose Festival, the largest wreath of rose flowers is created. In 2023, the pink wreath was made up of 10 143 larger and smaller rose flowers.

Not far from Tukums is the “Cinevilla” Cinema Park — the only outdoor scenery village in the Baltics used by film studios from all over the world.

The building blocks of today’s London and other European cities are being manufactured in Tukums by “Skonto Plan Ltd.”, which makes anodised aluminium façade panels, as well as designs and makes perforated aluminium panels of special designs.

The slogan of Tukums is “Uz Tukumu pēc smukuma!” (“Beautiful Tukums!”). No one really knows how it came about. Some say that it originated many centuries ago owing to the beautiful landscape, today they say it’s all about the pretty girls.

A souvenir you can’t leave Tukums without

A rose — a plant to put in your garden, or a porcelain rose flower as a pendant, brooch or earrings for a woman you love or a lapel pin for a man. If you are not keen on jewellery, a rose magnet on your fridge will always be a pleasant reminder of your visit to Tukums.

A T-shirt with a Tukums town drawing on the chest — a souvenir that will help you take part in the campaign — “Bring Tukums as far as you can!”: when you go home or travel, wear a Tukums T-shirt, take a picture and upload it to social media with the hashtag #BringTukumsAsFarAsYouCan (#AizvedTukumaVārduPasaulē).

Local goods or products — whether artisan or home-made, to eat or drink! Look for local goods and products either in small shops or workshops. If you would like something for kids, the sweet cheesecake “Baltais” or Shake plum cocktail from “Baltais” shop will surely be appreciated; if it is for adults, products from local wineries or small breweries could be the right choice. By the way, we believe that the most authentic Latvian wine is rhubarb wine, because there is a rhubarb variety called “Tukums V”, and rhubarb wines and ciders are also produced by the local winery “Abavas”.

7 interesting facts not everyone knows about Tukums

1. The Tukums Art Museum is the first art museum in Latvia to be established outside the capital. Today, the museum owns the second largest public collection of Latvian paintings after the Latvian National Museum of Art.

2. Tukums has the highest number of beauty salons per capita. This is confirmed by statistical data.

3. 100 years ago, there was a large lake in Tukums, which was a favourite place for the locals of Tukums to relax in both summer and winter. In summer, it was a place for swimming and going on romantic boat rides, and in winter, it turned into an ice-skating rink. Interestingly, the snow had to be cleared from the surface of the lake in winter by prisoners so that the local residents could skate.

4. The small, yellow plums — alycha or Caucasian plums — are called krēķis in Tukums. They are rather numerous in town gardens and public green spaces. In spring, the town is lusciously white when they blossom, and at the end of summer, the alycha plums are the first to turn the town’s sights yellow.

5. In the centre of Tukums, a petrol station stall of the former “Shell Company of Latvia Ltd. London Ltd.” still stands. There are currently no Shell Company fuel stations in the town, but the stall still stands here.

6. The largest oak tree in Latvia and the Baltics, the Kaive heritage oak tree (Kaives Senču ozols), grows in the Tukums region and can be seen in the rural municipality of Sēme. Its total circumference measures 10.6 metres.

7. Tukums earned the title of UNESCO Creative City, as it is a UNESCO City of Literature from 2023. The fact that great many all of the most prominent Latvian poets and writers were born, studied or worked in this region, including the Father of Latvian Folk Songs (Dainas)Krišjānis Barons, the Father of Latvian Fairy Tales Ansis Lerhis-Puškaitis, and Imants Ziedonis — the Gardener of the Thought (Domu Dārznieks), who is still very relevant in the lives of Latvians today, was of crucial importance in obtaining the title.