Valka is a town in northern Latvia, on the border with Estonia. It and the Estonian town of Valga are actually one town, with the border running through it. The border was marked out in 1920 by an international jury headed by British Colonel Tallents. After the expansion of Schengen Agreement to Latvia and Estonia in 2007 all the border crossing-points and fences were removed.
The town lies 160 km from Riga, the capital. With 6,000 people, it is one of the smallest cities in Latvia, but Valga has another 13,000 residents.
The train from Valga and bus connects Valka to Riga several times a day.
There are buses serving the town but actually the best way is going by foot or bicycle. At the end of 2007 the new route running through Valka and Valga was opened.
- Valka Local History Museum, Rīgas iela 64. In the former building of Vidzeme teacher's seminary.
- St. Catherine’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Valka, Viewing Tower, Rīgas iela 17. The town can be viewed from the tower.
- Culture Park with an open-air stage and the sculpture “The Kokle Player”. The Pedele river runs between the stage and the audience.
- Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, Ausekla iela 14. Completed in 2005.
- The building of former Valka railway station, Poruka iela 4. Beautiful red brick building, now almost in ruins.
- Former military bunkers of USSR army, Talavas iela 23. The 3 bunkers are full of legends and are in poor condition at present. There is a design under development to make a photo, video and music club in there.
- The War Cemetery Memorial. A monumental piece of landscape architecture dedicated to the Soviet soldiers killed in the Second World War. The granite wall of the memorial has 414 names inscribed. The memorial is situated between Lugaži Cemetery with an access path starting from Rīgas St.
- Pedele recreational area. A 350 m continuation of Pedele recreational zone in Valga, although constructed in wood (rather than the asphalt tracks on Estonian side). From the watching platform on Putraskalns there is a nice view over Valka and Valga. The intent is to extend it throughout the city as far as Lake Zagezers (6 km of tracks in total).
There is nothing much to do in Valka at the moment, however, it's a must to visit the Estonian side once you are here. As the local government is consistently trying to develop their town, the new International Studies Centre of University of Latvia will be located in Valka with the aim to attract foreigners. Still a lot of work must be done to make Valka interesting for tourists.
- Bistro "Jumis", Rigas iela 10.
- Guest house "Otra elpa", Zvaigznu iela 12.
- Guest house "Jumis", Rigas iela 10.
The area code for the town is 47. The local public library has a public internet access (address - 22 Rigas Street)
- Seda - located some 20 km southwest from Valka, was founded in 1953 in an uninhabited area, it still embodies the pomp of Communist shock-work. The design and structure of the town centre is a wonderful example of the monumental architecture of Stalinist times, which has not been ruined by any new building yet.
- South Estonia