The Baltic’s version of the French Riviera, Jūrmala (pronounced yoor-muh-lah) is a long string of townships with Prussian-style villas, each unique in shape and decor. Even during the height of communism, Jūrmala was always a place to 'sea' and be seen. These days, Russian tycoons and their glamorous wives comprise a visible part of the population. Wealthy fashionistas flaunt their couture beachwear while worshipping the sun between spa treatments. On summer weekends, vehicles clog the roads when jetsetters and day-tripping Rīgans flock to the resort town for some serious fun in the sun.
Jūrmala’s 32km strip of land consists of 14 townships. If you don’t have a car or bicycle, you’ll want to head straight to the heart of the action – the townships of Majori and Dzintari. A 1km-long pedestrian street, Jomas iela, connects these two districts and is considered to be Jūrmala’s main drag, with loads of tourist-centric venues. Unlike many European resort towns, most of Jūrmala’s restaurants and hotels are several blocks away from the beach, which keeps the seashore (somewhat) pristine.