Centred around a UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, Riga is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Baltics. Its charismatic architecture spans Medieval, Art Nouveau and Soviet-era styles and its lively nightlife has made it a popular weekend getaway.
Things to do in Riga
While Riga’s Old Town has many beautiful churches to discover, don’t miss a visit to St. Peter’s. Its towering spire boasts the best views across the cobble streets and the historic area, the Art Nouveau district and the Daugava River.
The Art Nouveau district boasts colourful late-19th-century buildings that feature distinctly Classical and Romantic Nationalism decorations. Albert Street lies at the heart of this neighbourhood and is home to the Riga Art Nouveau Museum where period furnishings and interior designs highlight the style’s evolution in the Baltics.
Gain a better understanding of Riga’s 20th-century history at the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, which follows the period from 1940 to 1991. Exhibits and artefacts detail the city under both Soviet and Nazi occupation and are complemented by a visit to the Riga Ghetto and the Latvian Holocaust Museum.
Need some retail therapy? Head to the Riga Central Market where you can purchase Latvian-grown produce and hand-made crafts. It’s built upon old German Zeppelin hangars in an Art Nouveau style.
Getting around Riga
Riga International Airport is 30 minutes’ drive west of the city centre. There are frequent long-distance buses to Tallinn and Vilnius, as well as train services across Latvia. The Old Town is pedestrian-only, so best explored on foot, while self-serve bicycle rentals can be found at stands across the city.