Book flights to Riga to experience the incredible architecture, food, nightlife, culture and atmosphere of Latvia’s lovely capital city, and see just why Riga is the 2014 European City of Culture. You might know Riga as a top stag party destination, and it certainly is, but it’s got a lot more going on than just boozy nights and Black Balsam (that’s not to say you shouldn’t sample plenty of Riga’s signature drink). It’s a chic and cosmopolitan place – and if you book flights to Riga in the summertime, you might even get to take a trip to the blue-flag beach in nearby Jurmala for a dip in the Baltic!
Population
658,640
Currency
Euro (EUR) €1 = 100 cents (Replaced Latvian lats on January 1st 2014)
Weather forecast
+3 ... 7°C
You can discover Riga on your own, or maybe visit friends. Guided tours normally depart from the Old Town Square. Many of the most beautiful and interesting sights are concentrated in Old Town, so it is a good idea to start your "city tour" here.
The Freedom Monument

The Freedom Monument, or "Milda" among the people of Riga, towers gracefully between the Old Town and the city. The 42-metre tall statue is a symbol of Latvia’s freedom and independence. The honour guard changes shifts every hour, on the hour, from morning until evening.

​Address: Centra rajons, Rīga​More info: Cross Brivibas and Raina, in the heart of the city
Three Brothers

The Three Brothers are the oldest stone residential buildings in the city, situated in the picturesque Maza Pils alley in the Old Town. Each of the three houses represents different stages in the architectural époques of Riga, from Medieval to Baroque.

​Address: 17, 19, 21 Maza Pils, Riga​More info: In the Old Town
St. Peter’s Cathedral

From the viewing platform around the church spire, you can walk 360 degrees around the tower. From St. Peter’s Cathedral you can see the whole of Riga laid out before you.

​Address: 19 Skarnu, Riga​Phone: +37 6718 1941​Website: www.peterbaznica.riga.lv
Museum of War

The so-called Powder Tower, last remnant of the 13th-century wall that once surrounded the heart of Riga, is now hosting a war museum. Here you can learn about Latvia’s dramatic history.

​Address: Smilšu iela 20, Riga​Phone: +371 722 8147​Website: www.karamuzejs.lv
Riga Castle

The Latvian president Andris Bērziņš lives in one of the wings of this yellow 14th-century castle, situated by the mouth of the Daugava River in the harbour area. The castle has been rebuilt several times throughout the centuries, and the style is a charming muddle of different architectural époques. Several art museums are housed in the castle.

​Address: 3 Pils Laukums, Riga​Phone: +371 6709 2106​Website: www.president.lv
Dome Cathedral

The largest place of worship in the Baltic, measures 187 times 43 metres, with walls two metres thick. Dome Cathedral also has one of the biggest organs in Europe with 6,768 pipes.

​Address: Doma Laukums, Riga​Website: www.doms.lv
Doma Laukums

The Dome Square, in the very heart of Old Riga, is a good departure or end point for wanderers. In July, the square turns into a huge beer garden.

​Address: Doma Laukums, Riga
Riga Motor Museum

Riga Motor Museum is an absolute bliss for car lovers. The museum displays Western as well as Soviet cars and motorcycles, topped with wax dolls of the old Soviet party leaders.

​Address: Sarkanmuiza 6, Riga​Phone: +371 6702 5887​Website: www.motormuzejs.lv​Opening hours: Daily 10 am-6 pm
The Circus

Riga has a permanent circus where guests can witness some very special acts. Come to see performing pigs, bears, horses and dogs, as well as the "non-performing" domestic cats. This circus is open from October to April.

​Address: 4 Merkela, Riga​Phone: +371 6721 3479​Website: www.cirks.lv
The Old Town

An absolute must for visitors to see is the labyrinth of cobbled streets in the Old Town. This live open-air museum is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A walk along the winding streets goes past over 150 historical and architectural monuments, the oldest from the 13th century. Do not be afraid to get lost in the narrow alleys, it is part of the experience.

​Address: The Old Town, Riga
Traditional Latvian food culture is dominated by typical Russian and Eastern European dishes, using a lot of potato, cabbage, beef, pork and fish, served in big portions. Riga also offers countless opportunities to try international favourites, from American steakhouses to Indian veggie food, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Russian or Ukrainian specialities. Visitors must try Riga’s famous Black Balsam, a thick and black yet smooth and velvety alcoholic liqueur. The 45 percent alcoholic drink is said to cure sore throats as well as hangovers. The exact recipe is a closely guarded secret, but basic ingredients include ginger, oak bark, bitter orange peel and cognac.
Stock Pot

This is a very popular restaurant in the Old Town. The cuisine from different parts of the world makes the lunch very enjoyable. The lunch menu usually contains 6 different dishes, one or two salads and a mini snack wrap. The atmosphere is really nice and the owners are very attentive patrons.

​Address: Ģetrūdes iela 6, Riga​Website: www.stockpot.lv
Lido Log House

As the flagship restaurant of Latvian success food chain, Lido offers a variety of appetising Latvian foods. The dishes are served quickly and directly by the chefs.

​Address: 76 Krasta, Riga​Phone: +371 6781 2182​Website: www.ac.lido.lv​Opening hours: Daily 1 pm-11 pm
Pelmeni XL

Pelmeni XL is a self-service restaurant serving Pelmeni, the Russian or Ukrainian version of ravioli or tortellini. The Pelmenis are filled either with chicken, pork, lamb, vegetables or cheese.

​Address: Kalķu 7, Rīga​Phone: +371 722 2728​Website: www.xlpelmeni.lv
Seasons

This exclusive restaurant has one of Riga’s finest menus. The menu includes dishes like grilled eel with orange, sautéed goose liver and pheasant breast confit with forest mushroom risotto, cowberry, onion marmalade and juniper berry sauce.

​Address: 12 Pils, Riga​Phone: +371 6704 4000​Website: www.grandpalaceriga.com​More info: Grand Palace Hotel
Pomodoro

Pomodoro is a friendly Italian restaurant centrally located in the city. Here you can find everything from pasta, pizza, strong coffee and creamy deserts on the menu.

​Address: Dzirnavu 67, Riga​Phone: +371 67 288 325​Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 am-1 am
Here below you can find some nice places in Riga that have pleasant interiors and also serve good coffee and pastries. Many cafés in Riga are also open for breakfast if you feel like eating out or grabbing something on-the-go.
Apsara Tea House

This delightful teahouse has a strong Turkish-Russian feel, and a large selection of non-bag teas as well as Turkish water pipes. Located in the Vermanes Garden, lovely place to relax on a nice spring and summer day.

​Address: Vermanes Garden, 2 Terbatas, Riga​Phone: +371 721 2436
Kapucino Bars

Kapucino Bars offers excellent strong Java coffee, juices, tea, pastries and sandwiches. All these tasty treats are served in a smoke-free and cosy basement cafeteria.

​Address: 4c Torna, Riga​Phone: +371 67323058
Montekristo

Montekristo is a stylish café in the Art Nouveau quarters with coffee grinds from the whole world. The trendy, young and wealthy meet in this classy venue.

​Address: Ģertrūdes ielā 27, Riga​Phone: +371 6731 0010​Website: www.montekristo.lv
Smilsu Pulkstenis

Smilsu Pulkstenis is a tiny but very cosy teashop in the Old Town. Here you can eat delicious homemade cakes, pastries and freshly squeezed juices.

​Address: 8 Meistaru, Riga​Phone: +371 26 49 47 77​Opening hours: 8.30 am-8 pm. Sat 10 am-8 pm. Closed on Sundays
Cadets De Gascogne

This cosy French-owned café/bakery is located in Pinki, and offers a wide range of homemade French pastries. Cadets De Gascogne is an excellent place for a coffee break when exploring the city. This is a non-smoking café and open 7 days a week.

​Address: 6 Basteja bulv​Phone: +371 732 0103 ​Website: www.cadets.lv
Riga has countless restaurants, bars and nightclubs, featuring entertainment that will satisfy most music tastes and clubbing preferences. During the summer, Old Riga bursts with open-air cafés and beer gardens, while those who rather fancy cocktail sipping or dancing can enjoy the night in any of the numerous lounges and clubs of the city centre.
Orange Bar

Orange Bar is a cosy bar for tourists and locals in search for an alternative to mainstream nightclubbing. On Friday and Saturday nights local DJ's show off their skills.

​Address: Jana Seta 5, Riga​Phone: +37 129 563 887​Website: www.orange-bar.lv
B-bar

The B-bar was opened in 2004 and is located in the heart of the historical centre, near the Dome Cathedral. It is a stylish and trendy cocktail bar with a chic designer interior. It is very nice to enjoy a drink outside on their lovely terrace.

​Address: 2 Doma Laukums, Riga​Phone: +371 722 8842​Website: www.bbars.lv
Skyline Bar

To reach this romantic bar on the 26th floor of the Reval Hotel Latvija, you have to take a slow ride in the glass lift which rises along the hotel façade. The bird’s-eye view of virtually the entire Latvian capital is reason enough to come here.

​Address: Elizabetes 55, Riga​Phone: +371 677 7 2222​Website: www.revalhotels.com
Nobody Writes to the Colonel

Nobody Writes to the Colonel is an underground club that attracts an alternative crowd from the local artistic circle. With music varying from punk to fusion to Latin moves, with rap, hip-hop and UK house music mixed-in, it is the hippest spot to hang out at.

​Address: 26-28 Peldu, Riga​Phone: +371 721 3886​Website: www.pulkvedis.lv
PUSH

PUSH is by far Riga’s most popular night spot, situated right in the middle of city centre. Each weekend features themed parties with special dress code and crazy decorations.

​Address: Tērbatas iela 2, Riga​Phone: +371 2022 3322​Website: www.push.lv
The shopping scene in Riga is rapidly changing, with many chic brand-name stores opening outlets in central Riga. The main shopping heart of town is in and around the Old Town. Audeju is the main shopping street, with a number of designer shops and also home to Centrs, the city’s oldest shopping mall. Centrs is Riga’s oldest and best-known department store has successfully cast off its old Soviet label of empty shelves. Recently renovated, the department store offers trendy cafés and shops, upscale prêt-a-porter boutiques, and a more-than-full grocery store in the basement. Another upscale shopping complex is the Berga Bazars, just outside the Old City, housing a range of fine specialty shops such as boutique Emihla Gustava, where exquisite chocolate sweets are handmade and packed in exclusive gift boxes. Hugo Boss and Armani have just opened their first boutiques in the galleria. The high-quality, six-storey department store Stockmann has the usual fashion, electric appliances and other items for the home, but also houses a huge selection of tableware, the biggest cosmetics shop in Riga and, best of all, the Stockmann supermarket and delicatessen store in the basement. A lunch break with Latvian pancakes and tea can be enjoyed on the shopping complex’s top floor. For those of you who enjoy marketplaces, the Centraltirgus is an enormous marketplace spread over several blocks around the railway station area. Meat and vegetables are sold inside four giant Zeppelin hangars. Outside, an oriental style bazaar offers just about anything at prices lower than elsewhere in the city.
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Riga International Airport

Riga International Airport/Lidosta is located 8 kilometres from the city centre. Bus no.22 to Riga Central Station leaves from a spot behind the airport car park every 10-30 minutes from early morning. The journey takes around 30 minutes and tickets can be purchased from the driver. A ticket for unlimited trips during 24 hours costs €2.70. www.rigassatiksme.lv In addition to the regular bus, there is also a shuttle bus which connects the airport with many hotels. A ticket costs €5. www.airbaltic.com A taxi ride takes about 10-20 minutes from the airport to the city centre. A journey costs approximately €11.38-€14.23.

​Address: Riga International Airport, Riga​Phone: +371 720 7009​Website: http://www.riga-airport.com / http://www.rigassatiksme.lv​More info: Prices updated January 2014
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