The small town of Tukums, bordered by gardens, is located on the western coast of the Gulf of Riga, just 65 km from the Latvian capital. Founded at the crossroads of trade routes leading to Prussia, Tukums has been under the rule of the Livonian Order for almost three centuries, for whose needs a stone castle was built at the end of the 13th century. After the fall of the order in 1561, this castle, together with the settlement formed around it, passes to the Duke of Courland.
At the beginning of the 18th century, the castle, destroyed as a result of numerous wars, loses its strategic importance. Today, the only reminder of the old days is the castle tower that has survived since then – now the museum of the history of the city. Check liuxers for customs and traditions of Latvia.
Tukums Information Center is located at: Talsu Street 5. Working hours: Mon.-Fri. 9:00-18:00, Sat. 9:00-15:00 (May-September), Sun 10:00-14:00 (June-August).
How to get there
Intercity buses from Riga stop every hour in Tukums, following to Kuldiga, Talsi, Ventspils and Liepaja. Travel time from 1 hour to 1 hour 40 minutes depending on the route.
From the same Riga to the Tukums railway station, trains run about 13 times a day. Travel time 1 h 20 min.
You can admire a stunning bird’s-eye view of the city from the observation deck of the 20-meter tower of the Holy Trinity Church, one of the oldest buildings in the city.
Entertainment and attractions of Tukums
One of the main attractions of Tukums is Durbe Castle, built in 1671 in the classical style. Repeatedly rebuilt, the castle acquired its present appearance only much later, in 1820-1923. Today, Durbe is adorned with a landscape park with a rotunda and a stone bridge across the ravine, laid out here in the 19th century. On the ground floor of the castle, the interiors of the 19th century have been preserved, and in one of the outbuildings there is an exhibition of ancient Latvian household items. For visitors, the castle is open daily except Monday 10:00-17:00, Sun. 11:00-16:00, entrance ticket price – 2 EUR.
City History Museum
The exposition of the museum of the history of the city, located in the tower of the ancient castle of the Livonian Order, will tell the guests about the inhabitants of Tukums. The museum is open to visitors every day except Monday 10:00-17:00, Sun. 11:00-16:00. One of the oldest wooden buildings in the city houses the Durvis Gallery of Contemporary Art, founded in 1988. The gallery is open to visitors Mon.-Sat. 09:00-15:00, Tue-Fri. 09:00-15:00, admission is free.
Church of the Holy Trinity
You can admire a stunning bird’s-eye view of the city from the observation deck of the 20-meter tower of the Holy Trinity Church, one of the oldest buildings in the city. The church is notable for four colored stained-glass windows and a clock tower that strikes the time every quarter of an hour. The tower is open to visitors every day except Monday and Saturday 09:00-17:00, Sun. 09:45-10:45, entrance ticket price – 1 EUR.
Brivibas Square, decorated with a fountain, flower beds and benches for relaxation, is considered a favorite place not only for citizens, but also for guests of the city, where a rose festival is held annually in early July.
In the Old Town of Tukums, concentrated within Harmonijas, Darza, Zirgu, Jauna, Talsu and Liela streets, there are still many old buildings built in the log cabin style.
Art Museum and straw workshop
Tukums is home to the first art museum in Latvia and the first straw workshop. The Tukums Art Museum, which has existed for more than 75 years, is known for one of the most valuable collections of Latvian art from the first half of the 20th century. To date, its collection is represented by works by Janis Rozentals, Wilhelms Purwit, Gedert Elias, Janis Walter, Uga Skulme and other artists. The museum is open to visitors every day except Monday 11:00-17:00, Sat-Sun. 11:00-16:00, entrance ticket price – 2 EUR.
The Tukums straw workshop displays decorative figurines and souvenirs made from 100% natural materials that will perfectly decorate your home or garden. Visiting – by prior call on tel. +371 29495746, entrance fee 2 EUR.
Surroundings of Tukums
In the vicinity of Tukums, there are the most beautiful castles and estates – these are Jaunmoku Castle, Jaunpils Castle, Kuksu Manor and others.
Jaunmoku Castle, which once served as a hunting residence, was built in 1901 by order of the mayor of Riga, George Armistead, and today is one of the most famous brick buildings in Latvia.