Experience cobble stoned avenues and amazing Art Nouveau architecture in Riga, the largest of the three Baltic capitals. Read more...
Charming Riga, Latvia's capital, is situated at the mouth of the River Daguava on the Baltic Sea. An important strategic position for years, the city is rich with history and culture, while the Art Nouveau flourishes in its architecture tell of the city's prosperity.
The largest of the three Baltic capitals, Riga's skyline is dominated by Gothic spires, while the Old Town is UNESCO-listed for the craftsmanship of the 19th century wooden architecture. Although the city was founded in 1201 CE, today it is very much a modern melting pot of Baltic sensibilities, holding significant cultural events throughout the year, such as Eurovision in 2003, or the European Capital of Culture in 2014.
Riga's cobble stoned streets have seen much in their life, with an 800 year history of occupation, conquering and flourishing. It has remained an important trade port for everyone who has come across it, from the Norse kings to German Dukes to the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany Occupation and then back to the Soviet Union before Latvia became its own republic in 1991. All of these
Take a tour of the city's UNESCO Old Town with a knowledgeable guide; explore and sample the delicious local goods such as black bread and cheese at the large central market; enjoy a stay at a spa hotel; or learn about Latvian history in an interactive way at the Open Air Ethnogrphic Museum. Sigulda, the fairytale land of castles, the 13th century Knights Stronghold of Turaida and many romantic vistas, is a short day trip away.
Although understated, the city is home to many hip bars, cafes, modern art centres and restaurants with interesting experimental menus. Perched on the edge of the gulf that shares its name, Riga is well worth your time and is easily incorporated into a tour of the Baltic States, such as Leisurely Latvia, the Beautiful Baltics or Refined Baltics.