For my birthday this year, I thought it’d be cool to visit the city I was born in (which I haven’t seen in years!). Once I arrived, I was taken aback by the city’s beauty – a hidden gem in its own right. In this blog post, I will share 7 top things to do in Riga for anyone looking to explore the best of the best.
Riga, the capital of Latvia, is a city full of history, culture, and entertainment, making it a great destination for travelers of all ages and interests. From the charming Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to its vibrant nightlife and culinary scene, there are plenty of things to do in Riga that will leave you enchanted.
The top things to do in Riga that you shouldn’t miss.
#1 Explore the Old Town
The Old Town of Riga is a must-visit attraction for every traveler. It is a picturesque area that offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history and architecture. The narrow cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and historic monuments make it a perfect place for a leisurely stroll. The Old Town also features many cafes, restaurants, and shops, where you can try traditional Latvian cuisine and buy souvenirs.
#2 Visit the Art Nouveau District
Riga is known for its Art Nouveau architecture, which can be found throughout the city. However, the Art Nouveau District, located just outside the Old Town, is particularly stunning. The district features several buildings designed by the famous Latvian architect Mikhail Eisenstein, including the iconic building at Alberta iela 12. Take a guided tour or explore the area on your own to appreciate the intricate details and unique style of the buildings.
#3 Check out the Central Market
The Central Market is one of the top things to do in Riga and the largest and most vibrant market in Europe. It is located in five former zeppelin hangars and offers a variety of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and seafood, as well as souvenirs and handmade crafts. The market is a great place to experience the local culture and sample traditional Latvian foods, such as smoked fish and black bread.
#4 Visit the House of Blackheads
The House of Blackheads is a historic building located in the heart of Riga’s Old Town. It was built in the 14th century as a meeting place for merchants and later became the headquarters of the Blackheads Brotherhood, a guild for unmarried German merchants. Today, the House of Blackheads is a museum and event space that hosts exhibitions, concerts, and other cultural events.
#5 Dine at Lido Restaurants
Lido is a chain of Latvian restaurants that offers traditional Latvian cuisine in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurants feature a variety of Latvian dishes, such as pork ribs, potato pancakes, and sauerkraut, as well as a range of beers and other beverages. Lido is a great place to try authentic Latvian food and experience the local hospitality.
#6 Take a River Cruise
Riga is located on the banks of the Daugava River, which offers stunning views of the city from the water. Take a leisurely river cruise to see Riga’s skyline and landmarks from a different perspective. There are several companies offering boat tours, some of which include dinner and live music.
#7 Visit St. Peter’s Church
St. Peter’s Church is a historic church located in the heart of Riga’s Old Town. The church was originally built in the 13th century but has undergone many renovations over the years. Visitors can climb to the top of the church tower to enjoy panoramic views of the city. The tower also houses a small museum that tells the story of the church and its role in Riga’s history.
READ ALSO: “Latvia on a Budget”
Riga, the capital of Latvia is a charming and enchanting city offering a diverse set of experiences for travelers of all kinds. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history with a visit to the iconic St. Peter’s Church or venture into the unique Central Market that’s housed inside a series of huge zeppelin hangars.
When it comes to food, Riga offers a range of eclectic restaurants serving both traditional Latvian cuisine and international delicacies. And once the sun goes down, the city’s many bars and clubs come alive, providing a buzzing and vibrant nightlife that keeps party-goers enthralled.
Of course, there are many more things to do in Riga than what is on my list. So whether you’re looking for adventure, scenic vistas, or just want to revel in Latvian hospitality, Riga is the place to be!
This is a guest post. All the websites and companies included here are based on the author’s personal travel experiences. Please note that some of these links contain personal affiliate links and with no extra cost to you. I may earn a small commission that helps me run this website and helps me share my adventures and travel tips which can help you.