Riga is a charming capital of Latvia – a small European country on the picturesque Baltic seaside. Beautiful unspoiled nature, rich architectural heritage, white sandy beaches and gourmet local food is what makes this city a perfect destination for a European city break or even a long term holiday. But if you come to Riga for the first time, you might get a bit frustrated – there are so many sightseeing opportunities and so many activities that it turns out really hard to choose only few. This list is aimed to help you to make the right choice and get the best out of your Latvian holidays! So, here comes the Top 10 things to do in Riga Latvia:
Get lost in the labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets of the Old Town
Just let yourself get lost in this beautiful corner of the city: narrow streets, charming houses dating back to the 16th-18th centuries. Visit beautiful squares of the Old Town: Dome square with impressive Dome cathedral and Livu square with wide range of open air restaurants.
Take a ride on the boat on the city canals
The center of Riga is situated in the ring of city canals and the river Daugava. Enjoy a relaxing ride on the tourist boat that will take you around the Old Town or hire a little pedal boat to explore city canals by your own.
Visit Riga’s Central Market
This buzzing overcrowded place will give you an opportunity to taste some of the best local food and buy some tasty souvenirs to bring back home. My personal must-taste top 5 includes Latvian rye bread, birch tree juice (unfortunately available only in March-April), Latvian eel, sauerkraut made by local farmers, local dairy products which are known for being the best in the whole region.
Check Riga from a bird’s-eye
Head to one of the places with best panorama of the city: St.Peter’s church’s tower in the Old Town, Skyline bar at the 26th floor of the hotel Radisson Blu Latvia or enjoy a cocktail and great views siting on the Terrace Riga in the shopping moll Galleria Riga.
Taste Riga Black Balsam
Slightly bitter scent reminding of summer even in mid-winter, golden brown color and unmistakable taste – Riga Black Balsam is Latvia’s most characteristic alcoholic drink. It is served in any bar or restaurant, but the best place in town to enjoy this drink is Riga Black Balsam Bar in the Old Town.
Visit the Art Nouveau district
Riga is internationally famous for its beautiful art nouveau quarter that lies a bit away from the Old Town. Head to Alberta street, raise your eyes upwards and discover Europe’s most beautiful art nouveau buildings. Other Art Nouveau jams are situated on the nearby streets Elizabetes, Dzirnavu and Antonijas.
Enjoy Riga’s nightlife
From Friday to Sunday the Old Town becomes one huge buzzing night club. Dozens of different nightclubs and dance bars open their doors on Kalku street. You can stroll from one to another, enjoying great music, tasty Latvian beer and friendly atmosphere.
Visit Latvian farmer’s market in Kalnciema quarter
The most bohemian quarter of the city lies a bit away from tourist routes, across the Daugava river. Each Saturday it hosts a Latvian farmer market with best local delicacies that you can both taste on spot and buy.
Travel to the nearby seaside resort Jurmala
Jurmala lies only half an hour drive from the city center and offer wide long sandy beaches, gourmet restaurants and lively atmosphere of a seaside resort. It is called Latvian Summer Capital and is known by its beautiful historic wooden architecture.
Enjoy Latvian style feast at the Lido recreation center
This recreation center feature a huge self-service restaurant with delicious food and lots of open air attractions for kids and adults. A very popular place among locals and tourists.
These are only the most important things that Riga has to offer to a traveler, but there are so much more. Come and check yourself!
Have you been to Riga? What do you think of our Top 10 things to do in Riga Latvia?