If you are travelling to Riga and wondering about what are the Top things to do in Riga Latvia then in this post I will be talking about all the places which I covered when I visited to Riga last year in 2021.
Riga, the capital of Latvia, is one of the most exciting cities in Eastern Europe. Despite having been through a long period of Soviet rule, Riga has managed to retain much of its unique character and Old World charm.
Visitors who come to Riga will be able to experience a unique blend of cultures and traditions, as the city has been influenced by a variety of different nations and empires, including the Germans, Swedes, Russians, and Poles.
Today, Riga is a fascinating blend of cultures, with a unique style that is unlike any other Eastern European city.
By the end of this post you will get to know what all things which you can visit in Riga within the city or maybe in the vicinity.
Last year I went on the Scandinavia and Baltic trip for a week and this particular country was one in this list of the countries which I visit. So if you want to get a Free Itininerary for Scandinavia and Baltic country then you can check this post.
Check Riga Latvia Vlog
Let’s explore the best things to do in Riga:
Best things to do in Riga
On the right bank of the Daugava River, the historic center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Riga’s oldest residences and churches may be found on these bustling cobblestone alleyways and social squares.
Restaurants, nightclubs, art galleries, and museums abound in Vecrga.
If you go to a cafe, you must get Vecrga’s dessert, which is comprised of choux pastry filled with curd and vanilla cream and sprinkled with icing sugar.
Rozena iela is so narrow that you can walk down it and touch both sides, while Skru Street features an arts and crafts market where you may pick up a unique souvenir.
The Great and Small Guild Halls date from the time when Riga was a bustling Hanseatic city, trading across the Baltic and beyond.
Art Nouveau Architecture
In the late 19th century, a new architectural style emerged in Europe and the United States. Known as Art Nouveau, or “new art,” this style was characterized by organic, flowing shapes, bright colors, and elaborate patterns. The style was so named because it was considered the successor to traditional academic styles, such as Renaissance and Baroque architecture
House of Blackheads
The most famous Art Nouveau building is the House of the Blackheads, also known as the La Maison de la Fontaine. The house is located in the village of Rennes-le-Château, in the south of France.
The house has two distinct sections, with the two sections joined by a central staircase. The two sections of the house are connected by arches, which are decorated with bas-reliefs and sculptures.
If you honestly ask me I really liked this place you would get some cool shots here if you are into vlogging and you want to capture some stunning timelapse and no doubt it is the best things to do in Riga Latvia.
Now this place could also be refferred to as the town hall square because just opposite to this building you will find the Town Hall of Riga Latvia.
If you are planning to go inside the House of Black Heads then here is the ticket for the same Riga: Entrance Ticket – House of the Black Heads
The three brothers who are most associated with the Art Nouveau style are Henri, Paul, and Maurice Beaudin. Henri Beaudin designed the Bank of Montreal’s Main Branch building in Montreal, which is one of the most famous Art Nouveau buildings in the world.
Paul Beaudin designed the Montreal Stock Exchange, the Palais des Congres de Montreal, and many other significant buildings. Maurice Beaudin was a sculptor, and created many of the most famous sculptures in Montreal, such as the statues of Louis-Philippe and Saint-Patrick in Square Victoria.
This melancholy landmark east of Vecrga commemorates the warriors who died battling Soviet forces during the Latvian War of Independence (1918-20). The Freedom Monument (1935), which stands 42 meters tall and is topped by a copper sculpture of Liberty holding three golden stars, is made of red granite and travertine.
This monument serves as the focal point for the city’s formal memory events.
As you approach the base, you’ll notice 13 relief groups depicting national heroes, allegories, images from Latvian culture, and significant episodes in the country’s history such as the Russian Revolution of 1905 and the War of Independence.
The Bastejkalna Forest Park is the oldest and biggest forest park in Riga, Latvia. It is a popular recreational area and includes a wide range of sports and leisure facilities.
The park is home to a zoo, the Riga Botanical Gardens, the Riga Zoo and the Forest Aquarium. There are also two large ponds, the Līvõ Park and the Lake of the Gods, which are popular for fishing and bird watching.
Riga Central Market
The Riga Central Monument is a monument in central Riga, Latvia, that was built to commemorate the centenary of the city’s foundation. The monument is a tall, spire-like structure with a statue of a soldier on top.
The statue’s sword is raised in a motion that symbolizes the fall of the city to the Soviet Union in 1940. The monument is near other important sites in the city, including the Riga Castle, the Riga Cathedral, and the Riga City Hall.
If you are a food lover then you might wanna take the Food Tour in the Riga Central Market
Latvia’s history is a long and storied one, and Riga Cathedral is a prime example of this. The imposing structure has stood tall for hundreds of years, acting as a place of worship, a landmark, and a symbol of Latvia’s history and culture.
Today, Riga Cathedral serves as the official church of Latvia, and has been the site of many historic events. The church was first built in the 14th century, and has been on the site of its current location since the 15th century.
The Swedish Gate in Riga is one of the most recognisable sights in the city. It is a large arch formed by the Swedish and German embassies on one side and the Latvian and Russian embassies on the other side. The gate is one of the oldest structures in Riga and has been a symbol of the city for centuries.
The Swedish and German embassies have used the gate as a symbol of their countries’ friendship, but the Latvians have a different interpretation of the gate.
St Peter’s Church
St Peter’s Church in Riga is often regarded as one of the most beautiful churches in the city. The first building was built in the 13th century, and the current church was constructed in the Late Baroque style in 1737.
It is one of the most impressive examples of Baroque architecture in the city. The church has been closed since the occupation by the Soviet Union and is now used as a concert hall.
Latvian National Opera and Ballet
The Latvian National Opera and Ballet is the national opera and ballet company of Latvia. For 90 years it has performed in the opera and ballet buildings of the Riga State Opera.
The company also performs abroad and has toured Russia, Belarus, and other countries. Most of its productions are in the Russian language, although there are some in Latvian and English.
Riga Motor Museum
The Riga Motor Museum is a collection of vehicles and motorcycles spanning the past century. The museum is located in the center of Riga, Latvia, and is a must-visit for vehicle enthusiasts.
The collection includes cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and other vehicles, including some unique and rare items. The museum also hosts special exhibits, such as a collection of motorcycles from the Soviet Union.
Okay so not that interesting if you ask me and barely visible if you are just strolling below to check the Cat House but I am sure you want to visit this place when you are visiting Riga Latvia during your trip.
A building to be seen from the outside while you navigate Vecrīga, the Cat House is a Medieval-inspired Art Nouveau house on Meistaru Street.
It was drawn up by the architect Friedrich Scheffel for a wealthy Latvian merchant, and is named for the copper cats that stand on the corner turrets.
The story goes that these cats were designed with their backsides turned towards Riga’s House of the Great Guild because of a grudge held by the Latvian owner for not being allowed in the mostly German Great Guild.
After a court case cats were turned back the right way and the owner was admitted to the guild.
Go on wine tasting Tour in Riga Latvia
How about taking a break and going on a wine tasting Tour in Riga Latvia. Another nice thing to try if you are travelling as group to Riga Latvia.
It’s been a few years since I last visited Vērmanes Garden. It’s a small park in the center of Rīga, surrounded by buildings, monuments, and other parks. It’s easy to miss, but once you’re there you can see why it’s worth visiting. As you walk through the park, you can’t help but notice how many different plants there are.
Nativity of Christ Cathedral
As you walk through the park, you’ll come across one of the biggest church buildings in the city. It’s called the Nativity of Christ Cathedral, and it’s worth a visit. It’s been around for centuries, and it still serves as a place of worship for many. The building is beautiful, but that’s not why you’re here.
When you first enter the cathedral, you’ll see the main altar on the left. The altar is massive, and it’s where church services are held. On the right side of the main aisle is a large window. It displays a painting of the Nativity of Christ, which dates back to the 1500s.
Check out also one wierd but yet beautiful tree next to the Cathedral it was kind interesting for me to see that, if you know what is it for then do tell me in the comments below what is that.
Museum of Occupation
The Museum of the Occupation, in Riga, is a modern space that tells the story of the German occupation of Latvia.
The museum is quiet and respectful; you are invited to explore and reflect at your own pace. There are no labels or explanations on the exhibits; instead, you are encouraged to read the stories and experiences of the people who lived through the occupation.
You can sense the feeling of oppression and confinement in the dark rooms, but there is also an optimism, a resilience, a sense that life would go on.
Latvian National Museum of Art
The Latvian National Museum of Art, in Riga, focuses on the history of art in Latvia and Northern Europe from the Middle Ages to the present. The museum features European and Russian artwork, including medieval manuscripts, Baroque painting, and modern art by Latvian artists.
The museum also offers an impressive collection of Russian icons, many of which are medieval manuscripts that were hidden from the Soviet regime. The museum is worth a visit even if you are not interested in art; the collection is an impressive window into Latvian history and culture.
Enjoy the Canal Boat Tour
Take a 1-hour cruise along the Daugava River and Riga City Canal on board an eco-friendly boat and see the most popular sights of the historic city center, including the Freedom Monument and Latvian National Theatre.
Beer or Cider Bike Tour
If you are travelling with your friends to Riga then taking a Beer or Cide Bike Tour would one of the awesome things to do in Riga Latvia because you will have the fun of exploring the city beautiful places along with drinking your pint of beer.
Day Trips from Riga Latvia
Latvian Palaces and Medieval Castles Private Tour
Your private tour of Latvian palaces and medieval castles includes a visit to the Palace of the Dukes, the most impressive of the country’s many Baroque palaces, and a trip underground to explore Rumba, the largest and most remarkable of the country’s medieval castles.
You’ll also have time to explore Riga’s Old Town and take in the impressive architecture of the Latvian National Opera and the Riga Technical University. Your private tour of Latvia’s most impressive palaces and castles takes place during the day, so you can fully experience the splendors of this magical country without the crowds.
Your experienced guide provides commentary as you explore the sights, so there’s no need to read or write Latvian.
Kemeri National Park In One Day
Latvia’s Kemeri National Park is one of the country’s most stunning areas. With over 90 miles of trails, it’s an adventurer’s paradise. And best of all, it’s less than an hour from Riga, the country’s capital. The Kemeri National Park is a nature lover’s dream.
Explore some of the most amazing natural beauties of Latvia and Northern Europe – pristine boglands and forests, unique lagoon lake Kaņieris and stunning sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea – all in one day.
What all things which you can do on your Day Trip to Kameri National Park from Riga Latvia
- Hike in the boglands of Kemeri National Park: Take a morning walk on the famous Great Kemeri Bog Boardwalk
- Visit the unique Lake Kaņieris and admire the view from the bird watching tower
- Learn about the culture and traditions of Latvia
- Enjoy a special improv-travel approach
- Visit real natural wet forest of Northern Europe
- Experience famous Ķemeri Sulphur springs with your own nose
- Have a fresh breeze on a stunning sandy beach of the Gulf of Riga
- Feel the healing scent of the amazing Baltic costal pine forest
Discover Best of Sigulda and Gauja National Park
Wander through Sigulda and Gauja National Parks, and you’ll discover two of Latvia’s most captivating natural areas. Both offer hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities in their picturesque natural landscapes. You can also explore these parks by car, since they’re only a one-hour drive from Rīga. If you have a car, you can make the most of the Sigulda and Gauja National Parks.
What all things which you can do on your Day Trip to Gauja National Park from Riga Latvia
- Enjoy gorgeous hiking trails in Sigulda and Krimulda in Gauja National Park
- Have fun with the special Improv-travel approach
- Learn about the natural values of Gauja National Park and nature conservation in Latvia and Europe
Cēsis, Līgatne, Sigulda & Turaida Tour
Latvia is a small country with a lot to offer visitors. The Cēsis, Līgatne, Sigulda, and Turaida tour is the best way to see the highlights of this fascinating country.
On this day tour, you’ll visit a variety of exciting destinations, including Cēsis, the largest forest in the Baltics; Līgatne, Latvia’s largest national park; Sigulda, a charming resort town; and Turaida, a UNESCO World Heritage site with a fascinating history.
You’ll also spend time in the country’s vibrant capital, Riga, where you’ll have the opportunity to stroll through the cobblestone streets and admire the architecture of the Old Town, the nation’s finest medieval district.
You can also check this alternate trip
Half-Day Natural Ecosystems Hike
Discover Nature Park Piejūra, where pristine Latvian nature meets the capital city Riga. Hike through a green coastal pine forest, silent lakes and the gorgeous secluded beach of Riga Bay, right at the city’s doorstep.
What all things you can day of day trip to Natural Ecosystems Hike in Riga
- Enjoy amazing hike in the green coastline of the Baltic Sea and see 4 ecosystems in one place
- Have a fun day in the wilderness with the special improv-travel approach
- Learn more about Latvia, its nature, cultural values and unique traditions
Baltic Sea Coast and the Jūrmala Seaside Resort
Kastrumi Beach is one of the most scenic parts of the Baltic Sea Coast, located in Jūrmala. It is a long white sand beach that is very popular in the summer months. The water is crystal clear and the sand is soft and fine, making it a great place for children to play. The beach is very popular with day-trippers from Riga and other cities, who come to swim, sunbathe and enjoy the fresh sea air.
That was all the things about Top Things to do in Riga Latvia or maybe if you are done with that then some options for Day Trip from Riga Latvia
You can read my complete itinerary here One Week in Scandinavia and Baltic