My name is Philip Birzulis, and I love showing people around Latvia! My grandparents all came from this beautiful Baltic country, but they left to escape the horrors of war and communism. So I grew up in the rich traditions of an emigre Latvian family in Australia. Folk dancing and choir singing, my mum's delicious piparkūkas (gingerbread) and pīrāgi (bacon buns), and much more...
After finishing a history degree, I decided to explore Latvia in 1994, supposedly for a few months. But I was so enchanted by the place I decided to stick around. The beer is excellent, the landscapes are stunning, and there's nothing like plunging into a hole in the ice after a hot sauna!
I've worked as a journalist, translated many books from Latvian to English, and have been a tour guide since 2015 . My tours reflect both my love of history and continuing fascination with Latvia today. There are loads of intriguing stories, plenty of jokes, and music to give a rich sense of the gorgeous places we visit.
I am the co-author of The Latvian ABC, a humorous guide to all things Latvian. And I have written many articles for various publications about Latvian politics, business and interesting Latvians. My favourite characters include "bottle gardener" Anna Zīle and "spiritual handyman" Juris Audzijonis.
So let me be your guide for a wonderful Latvian adventure! Book one of my free tours in Riga and Jurmala free walks, or contact me to personally tailor your tour of Riga's Soviet history or wooden heritage, a full day around Jurmala or a day trip in Kurzeme.