Where to go in Riga

Table of contents:

Where to go in Riga
Where to go in Riga
photo: Where to go in Riga
photo: Where to go in Riga
  • Riga Old Town
  • Northern modern
  • Riga in winter
  • Riga seaside
  • To Riga with children
  • Gastronomic Riga
  • Shopping in Riga

Riga is the largest, the most diverse, the most "Russian-speaking" and the most visited of all the Baltic capitals. Getting to Riga is not difficult at all: a bus service has been established, thanks to the Latvian low-cost carrier AirBaltic, air service is also quite accessible, trains run from both capitals. The cost of hotels and cafes in Riga is lower than in neighboring Estonia, and much lower than the average European level, while the quality is in no way inferior. The abundance of places to go and see in Riga makes the Latvian capital a great place to spend a few days here.

What is Riga? It is a well-restored Old Town, larger in area than neighboring Tallinn and Vilnius, with small streets, high spiers, majestic cathedrals and cobblestones. This is a whole block, built up with buildings in the Art Nouveau style (Northern Art Nouveau or Art Nouveau), which you will not see anywhere else in the Baltics. These are cozy taverns with a national flavor and live music. These are long white beaches and a string of charming coastal villages just twenty minutes from the city center. And of course, these are amber, balm and sprats!

Riga Old Town


The Old Town is over 700 years old; it was in the 13th century that the main buildings of the center were formed inside the city wall. The city wall, in contrast to neighboring Tallinn, has practically not survived. During the seven centuries of its existence, Riga has managed to fly under the flags of different states. There was also the Hanseatic League (the famous community of trading cities of the Middle Ages), the Teutonic Order, and the Poles, and at one time Riga even belonged to Sweden. Each of these periods contributes to the diversity of the Old City, while the city center looks very harmonious.

The Old Town of Riga is located between Zigfrida Annas, Meierovica bulvaris, Aspazijas bulvaris, 13.janvara iela and Krasta iela streets. It is not difficult to get here - you just need to go through the underground passage from the square where the bus and railway stations are located.

The main attractions of Old Riga:

  • The Dome Cathedral is the majestic cathedral of Riga, the largest such building in the Baltic States, one of the hallmarks of the capital. Take a look inside, you might be lucky to hear a local organ.
  • The Riga Castle seems to be assembled from different pieces. The fact is that the structures that make up its ensemble were built in different eras, so there is no uniformity in its silhouette. The official residence of the President of the country.
  • St. Peter's Basilica dating from the 15th century. A truly majestic structure, but no less grandiose is the view from its observation deck, located at a height of 72 meters. The cathedral's weather vane depicts a rooster, which, according to legend, protects Riga from adversity.
  • But another inhabitant of the Riga spire is better known - a cat on top of a building known as the Cat's House. This cat is a kind of symbol of the city and is often depicted on souvenirs.
  • The House of the Blackheads is a luxurious building of the guild of foreign merchants, which looks equally impressive during the day and with night illumination.

Of course, these are not all the sights of Old Riga. We will also note the monument to the Bremen Town Musicians, the Town Hall, the complex of houses "Three Brothers", the buildings of the Great and Small Guilds, the Courtyard of the Convention, the Powder Tower and many others.

Northern modern

If you want to see more than medieval Riga, then head north from the Old Town, where the New Town begins. Here are the streets of Albert and Elizabeth, built up with buildings in the style of "Northern Art Nouveau", aka "Jugendstil", aka "Art Nouveau".

In these quarters, you will discover a completely different Riga with turrets, floral ornaments, bends of buildings at incredible angles and surprisingly harmonious buildings, the decorations of which will make you break your head. By the way, the Riga Art Nouveau Museum is also located here.

Riga in winter

Winter in Riga does not indulge in good weather, there is no severe cold here, but it is often quite windy. However, traveling to Riga in winter, especially around Christmas and New Years, has its advantages. The city looks great in festive decorations, there is a Christmas market on the main square of the Old Town. And in small stalls throughout the city they sell hot mulled wine and beer. You can catch the winter New Year mood in photogenic Riga.

And if you freeze, you can visit an art gallery with works by Roerich, museums of porcelain, city history, navigation, Art Nouveau and chocolate. After all, the Laima chocolate factory, known far beyond the borders of the country, is located in Riga.

Riga seaside

Literally 20 minutes away by car or train from the center of Riga, there is a chain of resorts united into one city - the famous Jurmala ("seaside").

Jurmala has beaches 19 km long and up to 3 km wide. These are dunes up to 15 m high, the purest pine air, white fine quartz sand and the sea suitable for swimming for everyone, from small to large. The local spa air is very favorable for the body. There is no stifling heat here, as in southern countries, tanning does not dry out and does not injure the skin, "lasts" longer than southern ones. The combination of salty sea air and pine scent is beneficial to health.

Jurmala is conditionally divided into the following resorts that stretch along the coast: Lielupe, Bulduri, Dzintari, Majori, Meluzhi and Asari. All beaches are landscaped, there are sun loungers, cafes, sports and dance floors. Thanks to the incredibly wide beaches, you will always find a free space.

Jurmala is built up with luxurious mansions from different periods of the 19-21 centuries, resort hotels and planted with pine trees. There are many shops, cafes and other entertainment around. It is a pleasure to walk and relax here.

To Riga with children


There are many museums in Riga that will interest children. It is worth noting that almost all of them will have inscriptions in Russian or a Russian-speaking guide.

Let's note a few museums that will definitely not leave little tourists indifferent. Large, however, too.

  • At the Laima Chocolate Museum, you can make a chocolate bar with your own hands and eat it right there.
  • Riga Zoo. Here it is called a zoo and is distinguished by a large amount of greenery and a small number of visitors on weekdays;
  • The Riga Ethnographic Museum is a real treasure trove of information about the history of the country. More than 120 buildings have been built in the recreated Latvian village, including a mill, a school and fishermen's houses. It is especially interesting here during fairs.
  • In the Aviation Museum, you can look at 40 aircraft models and even climb into some of them.
  • There is also a unique Museum of the Sun, which contains a collection of 400 figurines in the form of the sun made of wood, glass and ceramics, and on excursions they tell about the myths of different peoples about the Sun.

Children are very fond of the monument to the Bremen Town Musicians in the Old Town and the Cat's House, in the neighboring house where there is a souvenir shop, where many different figurines of cats are exhibited.

Gastronomic Riga

Of course, when you come to another country, you want to try the local cuisine. And Riga is no exception here. In Old Riga you can find quite a few establishments specializing in Latvian cuisine. You can be sure that only local products are used in each of them.

Here is some of them:

  • The Zilā govs (Blue Cow) restaurant is famous for its meat dishes from the best ecological farms in the country. Try barley rolls with sprats, you will take a fresh look at the country's main delicacy;
  • restaurant "Salve" is located in the building of the House of Blackheads, its interior is designed in the Dutch style of the 18th century. Here you can taste herring tartare with beetroot and apple marmalade, pumpkin soup with almonds, pike perch fillet and veal and pork sausage;
  • the pub "Piejura" (Primorye) is located next to the Town Hall. The atmosphere of a village Latvian tavern is perfectly recreated here. Here you can find national Latvian dishes: potato salad with chopped herring, fish platter (several varieties of smoked and salted fish), cold beetroot, fried trout with “Latvian lemon” (quince) sauce.

Talking about restaurants in Riga, it is necessary to say about Lido, perhaps the most famous restaurant complex in the city. It is a large two-storey complex with a children's room, a cozy Latvian village atmosphere and an extensive menu. The restaurant is arranged like a buffet.

Be sure to try the local honey beer!

Shopping in Riga

Many European and world brands are represented in Riga, however, the prices cannot be called very attractive. Although, during the sales period, discounts can be up to 90%. Particular attention should be paid to local producers.

Kristiana Barona Street is one of the main shopping streets. There are shops of many brands, such as Max Mara, Brunston, Gerry Veber, Apriori. The local women's knitwear brand Vaide is quite good. On the same street there is a cozy Nice Place Mansards bookstore, where you can find handmade postcards, unique souvenirs, as well as sit with a glass of wine, leafing through your favorite book. A little further down the street is Galerija Istaba, where exhibitions are held, and you can also buy your favorite painting and hand-made jewelry. Boutiques of expensive and exclusive brands are concentrated on Valnu Street in the Old Town. On Brivibas street there are shops of more popular brands - Motivi, Esprit, Mango, Benetton.

Be sure to check out the Central Market near the station. This is the largest market in Europe. It has its own atmosphere with rich colors and amazing aromas. Everything that is grown or produced in Latvia can be found in the Central Market of Riga.


Where to go in Riga
Where to go in Riga
Where to go in Riga
Where to go in Riga
Where to go in Riga
Where to go in Riga
Where to go in Riga
Where to go in Riga