Attractions in Riga
Latvian National Art Museum
The museum’s mission is to preserve and display a wide range of Baltic and Latvian art treasures from the 18th century to the present day. Latvian National Art Museum consists of two buildings and is located in 10a Krisjana Valdemara Leia and 1 Torna Leia.
Museum of Foreign Art
This museum is located on the street Pils Laukums 3, tel. 722 6467. Opening hours are at From 1100 to 1700. It’s closed on Mondays. The Museum of Foreign Art has statues, pictures and other art from ancient Egypt, ancient Greece and Rome, the Middle East and India and more.
Museum Unfortunately, this museum is often bypassed. It is located in a less beautiful building from the communist era in Riga. Opening hours are at 1100-1700 every day except January and February, when the museum is closed. The Occupation Museum shows Latvia from the Nazi occupation during World War II and the Soviet occupation from the end of the war until independence in 1991. You can find the museum in Strelnieku Laukum’s 1st right next to The Blackheads House near St. Peters Church.
War Museum in Riga The
War Museum is perhaps the most interesting museum in Riga. A section shows the war of liberty in which Latvia fought against both the Soviet and Germany. You can find the museum in Smilsu Leia 20, and opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday at. 1000-1700.
House of the Blackheads
This is a magnificent Gothic building, originally from the 14th century, that became the headquarters of a group of unmarried merchants (Blackheads). The house was destroyed during World War II, but was rebuilt in the 1990s. You will find the house in Ratslaukums 7, and it is open every day at. 1000–1700 except Monday.
Cathedral of the Cathedral
This is perhaps the most famous religious building in Riga. The foundation of the cathedral was started in 1211, and in the 1880s it became one of the world’s largest and most famous church organs. The address is Doma Laukums 1 and there is free access all days except Sundays and Mondays. Weekdays the cathedral is open at. 1300-1800, Saturdays at. 1,000 to 1,400.
St. Peter’s Church (Petera Baznica)
This church is made for the city saint. The brick used is typical of the Baltic, and the church dates back to 1408. The church’s spire was once Europe’s highest. During World War II, the church was bombed. A copy (about 130 meters high) was built in 1973, and it is possible to take the elevator to the top of the church tower. You will find the church at Skarnu Leia 19, and the opening hours are at. 1000-1715. The church is not open on Mondays.
The Freedom Monument (Brivibas Piemineklis) The
Freedom Monument has a very special place among people in Riga and Latvia. The monument was created in 1935 and is the largest of its kind in Europe. The monument is important both as a symbolic value and as a meeting place for the youth. You will find the Freedom Monument between the streets of Brivibas Bulvaris and Raina Bulvaris east of the historic center.
This castle is now the residence of the president, and the flag of the republic is always waving at the top of the castle. You will find several museums here (including the Museum of Foreign Art and Historical Art) and a theater. The address of the castle is Pils Iela 3.
Arch This portal / arch can be found in the city wall dating to 1689. History tells that the building was once owned by a wealthy merchant. This man did not want to pay taxes every time he took goods out and in of the city. So he made his own entrance to the city. This is the only entrance to the historic center that has retained its original appearance.
The name reflects on three particularly well-preserved houses in the street Maza Pils. The name of the street means “the gate of the small castle”, and here you will find some of the most beautiful medieval buildings in Riga. The houses are from the late 15th century.
Riga’s TV tower is 368.5 meters high and Europe’s third tallest tower. The TV tower is located in the middle of the river on an island called Zakusala.
Church of Mary Magdalene
This church is the only building that has survived the epoch of the Cistercian nun (from the middle of the 13th century to the end of the 16th century). In 1746 the church was renovated and given a more Baroque style. Today it is the Catholic Church that owns the church.
St. Georges Church
This is the oldest building in Riga. St. Georges Church was initially designed for meetings and later became a chapel. The building has special architecture. Note that it only has two small windows and thick walls. Today there is a museum in the building.
Tourist in Riga
Riga is still cheap, both in terms of clothes and good food. It has stunning medieval architecture and is world renowned for its art nouveau style. All this we will enrich and experience during a weekend. Riga is bigger than Oslo, but still small enough to reach everything on foot.
Day 1 in Riga
If you do not start early, we recommend that you first visit Reval Hotell Latvija. The hotel is located on Elizabetes Ieal 50 Street. If you walk this street to the hotel, you will see several beautiful art nouveau buildings. Take the elevator to the top, the Skyline Bar, and you will have a view of the whole of Riga. Try to get an overview of the city, not least the Cathedral and Freedom Monument will be natural reference points for you in Riga.
We start by going to the Freedom Monument. Here you will also find Laima Clock. You will find the square with the Freedom Monument and Laima Clock between the streets of Brivibas and Aspazijas. The Freedom Monument is in many ways the boundary between the old town (the historic center) and the modern center. Laima Clock has been Riga’s natural point of contact since 1924, where workers met to come to work on time.
One suggestion is now to make the trip in the direction of the river Daugava. You will see Riga’s opera building on your left when you reach the Aspazijas Bulvaris street. If you turn right, you come to the street Basteja Bulvaris. Our suggestion is that you turn left towards the opera, which is an elegant building, and which you should visit during a performance as well. Return to Laima Clock and walk straight down the Kalku Ieal Street towards St. Peters Church. You should be able to see the church tower quickly. The church is located in the street Skarnu Iela 19. In the area around St. Peter’s Church you will also find St. George’s Church which is the oldest building in Riga.
Right at St. Peter’s Church you will see Rätslaukums Square, which means you are now close to The Blackheads House. The address is Ratlaukum’s 7. The house was destroyed during the war, but was rebuilt in the 1990s. Once upon a time, this was the most beautiful house in the whole of Riga. From here you can walk to the Cathedral Cathedral. Follow the street Maza Jauniela until you reach a large square. The nearly 800-year-old dome is the most important religious church in Riga. From the Cathedral Cathedral you can continue west (the street is called Pils Iela) until you find Riga Castle, (the address is Pils Iela 3). At the castle you also have access to several museums. The country’s president lives in one of the castle’s wings.
Now walk the street Maza Pils Iela until you see “The Three Brothers”. This is Riga’s oldest stone house. From the three brothers you can go to Torna Iela street (turn right). Here you will find the Swedish Arch. Read more about Svenskebuen under attractions. Continue along the old and original city wall until you find the Tower of Pulvertornis on the corner of Torna and Smilsu Iela. This tower dates from the 1300s. Take a closer look at the tower walls, and you can still see nine cannonballs in the wall from the time the Russians attacked the Swedes. Sweden ruled in Riga in the 1600s.
You should now have a good overview of Riga’s historic center. Treat yourself to a nice pub or bar and prepare for dinner in Riga. Continue straight to Livu Laukums, a square with many opportunities for relaxation.
You will certainly have a pleasant evening at one of Riga’s Lido restaurants, and we suggest Lido Atputas Centrs. This is the largest Lido restaurant. The address is Krasta Iela 76, ie the street that runs along the river. If you live in the center of Riga, you must take a taxi. The price from the center is NOK 60-70. Here we try Latvian food and drink. The lido restaurants are affordable with large, high quality buffet tables and great atmosphere. The place is popular, so you may want to call for a reservation: +371 7504420
Day 2 in Riga
For Day 2 we have two suggestions. You can either take a short day trip to the beautiful Jurmala bath and spa located just off Riga. Alternatively, visit parks and shopping in and around Riga center.
Spa treatment in Jurmala
Take time out for an excursion out of Riga. We suggest a trip to Jurmala. First, it is only half an hour away from Riga itself, and it is easy and cheap to take the train or bus to Jurmala. Secondly, it is a great city, where you can get the ultimate spa treatment at a reasonable price. We suggest Hotel Jurmalas Spa in the pedestrian zone. They have many treatments, and one hour massage usually costs less than 200 kroner. Have a good lunch at the hotel or in Jurmala itself before heading back to Riga.
Park visits and shopping in Riga
Start your day at Central Market on the south side of the river. You will find it between the bus and train station in the Pardauga district. It can be combined with shopping in the Domina and Stockmans centers, both located at the train station. Both of these modern shopping centers offer everything the wallet can buy and it is easy to kill a few hours here.
After the shopping round we suggest you walk to the Freedom Monument which can also be a great starting point for a visit to the Esplanade Park. Here in the “new center” you will see many Art Nouveau houses on your way. The Freedom Monument may be the starting point for a visit to the Esplanade Park, not least north of the park where you will find Elizabetes Iela Street. Elizabetes Iela is known for its many fine art nouvau buildings (Art Nouveau houses). To the west, the park extends to K. Valdemara Iela street. On the other side of the street you will find another park if you want more relaxation. In the area around the park you will find several cozy shops, in terms of clothing, fashion and crafts.
If you have children with you on your trip to Riga you should take the time to Krasta Iela street and spend time in Lidoparken with its facilities, cf. your dinner destination on day 1. Here are usually vibrant people, and it is free to take part in activities. The attractions usually open at 1200 on weekdays and at 1000 this weekend. Bus 17A takes you to the park if you do not want to walk.
Evening Activities In the evening, do you deserve a better dinner and maybe a walk out on the town? We recommend you go down to the historic center and choose one of the many good restaurants there. Feel free to go to the teahouse after dinner. One suggestion is Tea Club Goija on the street 1a Strelnieku Iela, where you can relax and digest the food before any event on the town starts.
There are many lively nightclubs and pubs in Riga. Dickens Pub is an English-inspired pub located on Grecinieku Street 1-9. It is open until 10 p.m. 0200 on weekends.
For those who like a good bar, Jack Daniel’s in Kaleju 3/5 is the choice. Here’s the rule that everyone named Jack Daniel gets free whiskey. The bar closes when the last person has left. For those of you who want more style, we recommend the nightclubs at the exclusive hotels.
For you with children on the tour, a visit to the circus can be a successful activity. Furthermore, this is an activity that can be just as much an attraction for adults. Circus is more than just entertainment in Eastern Europe. The artists are world class, and the circus has a long and proud tradition. Visit the Riga Circus and marvel at talented artists and well-behaved animals. You can find Riga circus on Merkela Bulvaris 4 street.