Ziepniekkalns Hike

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Ziepniekkalns is a neighborhood in Riga.

Situated on the outskirts of the city, it’s a place from where you can go on a nice walk in Riga. But don’t get me wrong — the neighborhood itself isn’t a good place for walking, the forest right next to it is. Consisting of mostly Soviet-built 10 story apartment buildings it may also look like a scary place for many.

Take the main street – Valdeku street – and head right through it.

The forest is right across the road from all the Soviet monstrosity.

1. Ziepniekkalns – Balozi – Ziepniekkalns Hike: Basics

There are multiple trails and forest roads in the area.

All of that makes it also a nice place where to go cycling in Riga.

You can take a bus or taxi to the forest, or you can do like I did — walking from wherever you are in Riga. In my case it meant walking from Tornakalns to Ziepniekkalns, Balozi and back.

MY ROUTE:

TIME & DISTANCE: around 6 miles / 9.6 km (around 2 hours).

That’s if you take a taxi or bus to forest and don’t walk through Ziepniekkalns.

I started walking and also finished in Tornakalns, making the walk longer.

TIPS: The walk is super easy, it’s mostly walking in a straight line, and hence it’s a popular place for those living nearby. To avoid the crowds, go earlier or on weekdays. As a very populated area, Ziepniekkalns has quite a lot of shops, if you’ll want to buy something.

2. How to Get to Ziepniekkalns from the Old Town

There are two best options – trolleybus or taxi (Bolt or Yandex).

If you’ll take a taxi, go to this place.

If you’ll go by public transportation, take a trolleybus 4 and get off at “Ozolciema iela”. It’s right next to the above mentioned place.

3. Ziepniekkalns – Balozi – Ziepniekkalns Hike: My Experience

Soviet apartment buildings
Soviet apartment buildings

And here, I’m saying it again.

Having been living in Riga for over 15 years, I hadn’t been to this place.

It was just a coincidence that noticing a friends workout on Strava app, I decided to find out what’s there and is there some place where to go for a walk near Ziepniekkalns? Turned out that there is, and a quite a cool place. Apart from that, being a person who kind of likes Soviet architecture, I enjoyed the walk in the neighbourhood the same as much.

Seeing the longest residential building in all the Baltics? The building also known as the Great Wall of Riga or the Great Wall of Ziepniekkalns? Check.

Here are a few photos from my Ziepniekkalns hike.

The Great Wall of Riga
The Great Wall of Riga / The Great Wall of Ziepniekkalns

Soviet architecture in Riga

Forest near Ziepniekkalns
This is the forest road you’ll take

Babushkas walking in the forest in Ziepniekkalns

Ziepniekkalns forest hike

Ziepniekkalns forest roads in winter

Have you been to Riga? Did you go hiking in Riga or somewhere nearby? What was your experience?