The largest city in the Baltic states as well as the capital of Latvia is Riga, a city that has recently experienced a renaissance of sorts with numerous large-scale renovation projects completed in recent years. It is by far, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire Baltic Region and features a number of popular sightseeing venues. The history of Riga dates back to the beginning of the 1200’s when it was originally settled by Albert of Bremen as a Northern Crusades base of operations.
photo by ishmaeldaro
There are several districts worth visiting when traveling to Riga especially the area surrounding the Freedom Monument and Old Town. Here are 5 things not to miss whenever you are vacationing in the city:
Old Town Square and Surrounds – consider visiting any of the following attractions whenever you are in this area of Riga:
- House of Blackheads
- Museum of Occupations
- Porcelain Museum
- St. John’s Church
- St. Peter’s Church
- Statue of Roland
- Sun Museum
- Town Hall
Riga Castle/Rigas Pils – although the castle appears somewhat uninteresting, it houses two museums worth visiting – the Museum of Foreign Art and the National History Museum of Latvia. Both of them are open from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm. However, the former is open from Tuesday through Sunday while the latter is opened from Wednesday through Sunday.
Dome Square and Surrounds – there are several venues here worth seeing when you are in this area of Riga. These include:
- Dome Cathedral
- Latvian Parliament
- Museum of the Barricades of 1991
- Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation
- The Three Brothers
Powder Tower & City Wall – one of the lesser publicized tourist venues in Riga, the Museum of War and St. Jacob’s Barracks make this area worthy of your exploration.
Freedom Monument area – again, this is an area of the city that offers a wealth of sightseeing attractions things to do. The Freedom Monument itself is considered as being one of the national symbols of Latvia. However, the following are other venues to consider:
- Esplanade Park – including the clock tower, the National Museum or Art, and the Riga Orthodox Cathedral. The park was designed by the German spy Georg Kuphaldt who was expelled from Latvia in 1915.
- Art Nouveau Buildings – the best place for viewing the creations of the renowned architect Eisenstein known for his penchant for Art Nouveau architectural designs.
- Bastejkalns – located between Basteja Bulvaris and Raina Bulvaris, this small yet picturesque park surrounds the area known as Brivibas Bulvaris and features the Bridge of Love, as well as a Chinese and Japanese structure that are worth visiting.
Hotels in Riga
Old Riga Palace Hotel
Average Price: €31
Average Rating: 7.6
Maritim Park Hotel Riga
Average Price: €34
Average Rating: 8.4
Average Price: €43
Average Rating: 8.5