“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Augustine of Hippo
There are so many things to do in the city of Riga besides the fact that you get some serious value for your money on your expenses and it’s cheap. The popular Old Town is a UNESCO protected area and most of the major sites are located here. However, this area is covered with architectural masterpieces and unique buildings and it’s quite easy to spend a whole day exploring this part of the town as it has many restaurants and cafés, so you won’t have to venture outside for lunch or dinner. There’s a great selection of wellness centers and spas, historic buildings and markets, aside from sightseeing. Believe me, you’ll never run out of things!
Whether you have more than a week or only a few days, below is a list of the best things and places to see and do in Riga.
1.NOTICE THE ARCHITECTURE
Location: Everywhere in the city of Riga
So charming and so cozy. Yes, this phrase is what exactly describes the beautiful architectural museums here. The architecture in Riga goes from art nouveau to wooden buildings, and from Gothic to Modernism. Depending on which part of town you are walking through, it would definitely seem like a different landscape and you’ll also be able to find unique wooden compounds, colorful houses, and statues of cats here. You’d surely want to snap pictures, so make sure you bring your camera along!
2.VISIT HOUSE OF THE BLACKHEADS
Location: It is situated at the Town Hall Square in Old Town.
You’d certainly have a room at the House of the Blackheads if you were single in the Middle Ages and were a German merchant. This house was initially built for the upper class and was used as a venue for banquets and meetings. It was constructed in 1334. What the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, similarly the House of the Blackheads is to Riga.
3.VISIT THE THREE BROTHERS
Location: It is situated on the Maza Pils Street in Old Town.
The Three Brothers are almost impossible to capture on the photo but are pretty nonetheless. Morelilekly the houses together are known to form the oldest complex of dwelling houses in the city. The white house here belongs to the 15th century and the yellow one is from the 16th and the green from the 17th century.
4.RELAX IN THE PARK
Location: It is situated close to the Freedom Monument and Old Town.
Away from the downtown horns and busy streets, you’ll find this beautiful park in Riga. It has a bridge with love locks and a canal running through it. It’s a great place for a boat ride, for a picnic or relaxation, and for a jog and you can also feed the ducks living on the canal in the winter.
5.VISIT THE ART NOUVEAU DISTRICT
Location: It is situated at Albert Street, at 20-30 minutes of walk from the Old Town.
You should head straight to the Elizabeth Street and Albert Street, aside from the Old Town in which most of the major sights in Riga are housed. You’ll find the fascinating Art Nouveau architecture here which is absolutely worth a visit.
6.NATIVITY OF CHRIST CATHEDRAL
Location: It is situated close to the Freedom Monument.
This cathedral is one of the most spectacular things in the city. Not many people know about it but its beautiful structure and flashy Russian style is truly one of a kind. In fact, mind that you can’t wear shorts here as per the dress code. Also, women must cover their heads. This cathedral is definitely worth a visit!
7.LEARN ABOUT THE OCCUPATION OF LATVIA
Location: It is situated close to the Old Town and the park.
Freedom is a very important factor for Latvians as this country has a long history of being occupied by foreign powers. Moreover, you’ll find the Freedom Monument right next to the park which is dedicated to the Latvian heroes who fought for freedom from 1918-1920 and is a significant symbol.
8.SHOP AT CENTRAL MARKET
Location: It is situated by the river, next to the Old Town.
Are you in the mood for people watching or are just hungry? If either is the case then don’t think twice and just head to the Central Market. It is considered one of the largest marketplaces in Europe and locals here sell anything from vegetables to fresh fruits, cakes to dairy, and bags to clothes. Moreover, you could easily spend about 45-60 minutes at the different market stalls here as there’s both an outside and an inside area.
In case you are curious about visiting any of these areas then there are multiple specialized guided tours available. So make sure you pick the most suitable one and enjoy your trip to the fullest.