- Location: On the Baltic Sea coast on the mouth of the river Daugava
- Best time to Visit: On the Baltic Sea coast on the mouth of the river Daugava
- How to Get:With its strategic location among the Baltic States, Riga has excellent connections to the region as well as from Scandinavia and continental Europe. The city has its own international airport. Tallink operates a daily ferry service between Stockholm and Riga. You will also get trains from Riga Rail Station.
- Nearest international airport: Riga International Airport
- Nearest railway station: Riga Railway Station
Riga’s got talent! And even when they are not from Riga, they arrive here from other parts of Latvia and neighboring countries adding to the number of the great street musicians of this old and historic city. In Riga, look out for amazing street musicians, playing traditional Latvian airs, classical pieces and even, occasionally, your favorite pop number. Art is everywhere in Riga, from the great old buildings and to the winding medieval roads which are Kafkaesque in charm. Traveling in the old city area, for some, can be like walking in the labyrinthine matrix of winding roads of an existentialist fantasy, making this medieval old town modern in a peculiar way. With its rich history, exquisite architecture, beautiful gardens and parks, magnificent museums, stunning art galleries and world-class opera, Riga has always been a great attraction for sensitive visitors with a taste of history and culture. Key attractions
Riga has a number of attractions and must-see sights that you should not miss during your visit.
- Alberta iela: Riga boasts of the finest collection of art nouveau architecture and the most remarkable collection of buildings is found on Alberta iela.
- The Freedom Monument: Constructed by sculptor Karlis Zale and architect Ernests Stalbergs, the Freedom Monument was built with money contributed by the people.
- Jurmala: Located only 20 kilometers from the capital, Jurmala was regarded as the finest resort in the Soviet Union. Its scenic coastline and collection of spa hotels attract travelers from all over the world.
- The Musicians of Bremen: This fascinating piece of art was a gift from Riga’s twin city, Hansa in 1990. The exquisite sculpture, which is an exact imitation of the one in Bremen City Hall, portrays the 4 animals from the story.
- National Opera House: National Opera House, one of Europe’s most wonderful opera buildings, truly reveals Latvian cultural life.
- The Occupation Museum: No visit to Latvia would be complete without a visit to the Occupation Museum which conveys the traumatic tale of Latvia’s occupation by Soviet and German forces.
- Riga Central Market: It is one of Europe’s largest marketplaces where you will find almost everything.
- Riga’s churches: Riga is famous for its collection of churches, starting from an Orthodox Cathedral up to Vecriga’s 13th century Lutheran Dome Cathedral.
- Riga’s old town (Vecriga): Riga’s old town, declared UNESCO World Heritage site, offers something for everybody. It is home to centuries-old warehouses and ancient churches which are located along the cobbled streets and squares. Apart from them, Old Riga is also home to the best clubs, bars and restaurants of the city.
- Swedish Gate (Zviedru varti): The period of Swedish rule is truly depicted in the Swedish Gate, Zviedru varti. The tower, known as the Powder Tower, was first referred to in the mid-14th century but completely annihilated by the invading Swedes. They restored it in 1650.
Dining and entertainment
Strongly influenced by Poland, Russia and Germany, typical Latvian cuisine includes pork, potatoes and cabbage in abundant quantity. Latvians also have their own variety of the ubiquitous East European dumpling, locally known as ‘piragi”. Riga has a wide selection of eateries serving every dish under the sun, from Japanese sushi to Swiss rosti.
Nightlife in Riga is vibrant. The Old Town is dotted with a number of bars which offer everything from lounge style hangouts with DJs, comfy couches, funky visuals and obviously exclusive drinks.
Where to stay
Finding accommodation in Riga is not at all a problem. There are an increasing number of top range hotels thriving in and around the Old Town.
There are plenty of things to do for visitors in Riga. Apart from the city’s illustrious history, it also has diverse things to enjoy.
Related Links :
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=o3ezl85cPao: Check out the quaint charm of Riga and its major landmarks in this comprehensive slideshow!
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=hEN3n4Ubado&feature=related: To understand how it feels to be in the old and winding roads of Riga, watch this video! This is as close as it gets to the real experience.