Things to Do in Riga

Riga Dome Cathedral


Perched at the edge of Dome Square, this ornate Lutheran cathedral’s a sight to behold. Venture inside for architectural wonderment (its history spans many centuries). Or do as locals do and take up your position on a café terrace in the square instead. Cuba Café’s the beloved pub for many a Rigan and provides a great ground-level view. Cheers to that!

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The Three Brothers


There’s no older dwelling in all of Riga than this trio of houses, known playfully as “brothers”. The eldest of the three dates from the late 15th century. Blonde, green and eggshell in colour, the worn look of the buildings gives a half-haunted, half-hallowed feeling to onlookers. Architecture shows signs of Gothic, Renaissance, and Dutch influence.

Accommodations near The Three Brothers
  • Mazā Pils iela 17, 19, 21, Rīga
St. Peter's Church


Riga’s cityscape wouldn’t be the same without St. Peter’s iconic spire. The most famous cockerel in Riga has been perched on the top as a weather vane since 1690. Climb the observation tower for urban panoramas. After you’ve descended, check out the church hall, where rotating art exhibits turn the space into a veritable culture house.

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Daugava Promenade


Riga’s lucky to be on the water, and even luckier to have the Daugava Promenade. Enjoyed by many a summer stroller, it’s also lovely on crisp winter days. Nearby Central Market’s the place to accrue picnic supplies before hunkering down near the river and dabbling in Latvian local food. Watch as exercise-junkies zip by as part of their daily running regiment.

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Bastion Hill


City parks – what’s not to love? Nothing says urban respite like this garden of green. Rising up next to the Freedom Monument, Bastion Hill serves Rigans with a dose of nature and tranquillity. Bridges are adorned with lovelocks, and canals have boats ready to sail in the summer. When the sun sets in Riga, there’s no better place to go.

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Latvian National Opera


Dress to impress at the Latvian National Opera. Heralded as one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses, this handsome neo-classical building’s exclusive air is just as magnificent on the inside. Debuting in 1919, just after Latvian independence, the company represents a significant piece of Riga’s history. Choose your performance poison - be it ballet or opera.

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Central Market

Popular Areas

Riga’s liveliest bazaar isn’t just functional, local, and lovely, it’s also part of the Historic Centre of Riga, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Hemp butter, amber jewellery, sandthorn syrup, red bilberries, mountain ash, pig snouts, sauerkraut and kvass are just a few of the treats sold at this sustainable city market (1000+ stalls!). Drop in for an apt sample of Latvia’s past and contemporary flavours.

Accommodations near Central Market
  • Nēģu iela 7, Rīga
  • Open Monday-Sunday 07:00-17:00
National Library of Latvia


Built to resemble the Hill of Glass from a famous Latvian play about cultural freedom, this library is a modern addition to the city. Also called, “The Castle of Light,” the building is chock-full of metaphorical symbolism. In Latvian lore, the castle of light symbolises the ability of wisdom to rise above darkness caused by war and occupation.

Accommodations near National Library of Latvia
  • Mūkusalas iela 3, Rīga
  • Open Monday-Friday 12:00-20:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00-17:00
Arena Riga

Stadiums or Arenas

Ice hockey fans rejoice: you can practically smell the sweat from these stands. Arena Riga shines the spotlight on many an entertainer – be in pop star, rock band or comedy act. Basketball games also set the air abuzz. In the Baltics, this arena stands out as one of the region’s more modern, and most significant sports and entertainment hubs.

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Latvian Ethnographic Museum


Brandish your farming tools and brush up on your foraging skills – this is one of Europe’s largest open-air museums. Stroll through reconstructed farmsteads to see how the lives, tools and daily items of long-ago fisherman, craftsmen and farmers looked. Nestled next to Jugla Lake, winter at the museum marks the perfect time to try your hand at ice-fishing, sledging or skiing.

Accommodations near Latvian Ethnographic Museum
Riga Dome Cathedral


Riga’s Cathedral has been through a lot in its eight centuries of existence: near-destruction, war, rebuilds, refurbishments, conversion to a concert hall, reconversion to a cathedral. No wonder it’s confused! In its sparse interior is an ornate pulpit and organ – the only signs of artistic embellishment. The main attraction is the cloisters, where assorted artifacts from years past are on display around the edges.

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St. Peter’s Church


St. Peter’s Church tower has been destroyed and rebuilt more times than you’d even care to count. It burned down in 1666 and after reconstruction, builders decided to "test" how long it would last by throwing a piece of glass off the tower. The more pieces it broke into, the longer it would last. Legend has it that the glass landed on some straw and barely broke. Sure enough, the spire burned down again just one year later.

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Latvian National Museum of Art


It’s always interesting to view a country’s history through the lens of its art. Take a trip down Latvia’s memory lane, through Impressionism, Cubism and more. Then reach the Soviet era and see how art becomes explicit propaganda, before reverting back after the 1980s. You might even discover some great artists along the way!

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Reviews of Riga


Very good

October 22, 2016

Have to visit the national library! Besides the architecture, the atmosphere there was quite nice. :) I thought it would be a little bit dangerous in the night, but it turned to be not that scary because there were some shops still opening until seven or right or even longe ... Show more r. Show less
1 review

Very good

October 23, 2016

its a place to go and visit if only for the beer clean place it has charm the market is very good. Yes i am going to go again and as Ryanair has cheap flight it is easy to get to.
United Kingdom
7 reviews

Very good

October 22, 2016

great city for couple of nights stay. Nice night life and for hanging out with your date. Delicious food, especially make sure you visit the central market if you want to bring back home some delicious cheeses, biscuits etc from the soviet tradition!
5 reviews


October 23, 2016

Good old town. Various shops. Great bars and restaurants. Riga is weak for kids - not much to do in Riga.
11 reviews


October 23, 2016

Beautiful city. Lovely people. Great choice of places to eat / drink. Great selection of shops. Plenty of interesting and / or beautiful places to visit
United Kingdom
7 reviews


October 23, 2016

Riga is brilliant... Just go there and you will see... ;) full of character...
United Kingdom
1 review

Very good

October 21, 2016

If you are a hockey fan Pick a week with some KHL games and Opera evenings and you will have a good time, Do not forget the Old car museum. New with latest tech.
11 reviews


October 23, 2016

Beautiful city with stunning architecture. Lovely restaurant and diverse culture.
United Kingdom
1 review


October 22, 2016

Easy city to walk around plenty of eating and drinking places, excellent train system very cheap
United Kingdom
20 reviews

Accommodations and Hotels in Riga

Radisson Blu Latvija Conference & Spa Hotel, Riga

8.6 Excellent

Score from 2073 reviews


Average price per night
  • Elizabetes iela 55, City Center, Riga
Wellton Centrum Hotel & SPA

9.1 Wonderful

Score from 4991 reviews


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  • Kalēju iela 33, Riga Old Town, Riga
Wellton Riga Hotel & SPA

9 Wonderful

Score from 4886 reviews


Average price per night
  • Vaļņu iela 49, Riga Old Town, Riga
Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel, Riga

8.9 Excellent

Score from 1040 reviews


Average price per night
  • Elizabetes iela 73, City Center, Riga
Hotel Roma

8.8 Excellent

Score from 1121 reviews


Average price per night
  • Kaļķu iela 28, Riga Old Town, Riga
Radisson Blu Daugava Hotel, Riga

8.2 Very good

Score from 1624 reviews


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  • Kuģu iela 24, Agenskalns, Riga
Avalon Hotel & Conferences

8.9 Excellent

Score from 3555 reviews


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  • 13. Janvāra iela 19, Riga Old Town, Riga
Hotel Gutenbergs

8.7 Excellent

Score from 1109 reviews


Average price per night
  • Doma Laukums 1, Riga Old Town, Riga
Tallink Hotel Riga

8.5 Very good

Score from 2012 reviews


Average price per night
  • Elizabetes iela 24, City Center, Riga
Discover Riga

Popular Neighborhoods in Riga

City Center

277 properties

Stroll among the centre’s Art Nouveau architecture – it rivals any in the world. Or buy the city’s most charming groceries from the city’s most bustling market – Riga Central Market. Latvians love their drama. Classical values can be found in Latvian National Theatre. Bring your phrasebook though – it might not be in English!

Riga Old Town

132 properties

A living history lesson. This dense cobbled district is a riverside grab bag of architectural delights. Lovers wait under the Laima Clock, Old Town’s unofficial entry point. Peruse epic art museums or spoil yourself at one of the world’s best opera houses. When the sun sets, “Omas Briljants” is the bar to be in.


49 properties

This up-and-coming area’s best seen during daylight. Get to grips with your basic Latvian in Avoti’s top-notch second-hand shops, scrumptious bakeries and cheap eateries where Latvian is the only language spoken. Cold beetroot soup’s a local favourite, especially during sweltering summers. For trendy ‘tudes, join the local hipsters at Chomsky Bar after hours.


32 properties

Leafy Ageskalns’s cobbled streets are full of quirky museums built to pay homage to poets, stage artists, and railways. In lush Victory Park, the Freedom Monument is a controversial point of interest. On Saturdays wander the authentic markets at Kalnciema kvartāls in search of local treats like sparkling birch tree wine.


5 properties

Once a fishing village, this island is the only one that’s still inhabited. Cycle from one end to the other and check out the range of homes, from wooden houses to luxury suites. Stop off at Kipsala Beach for a summer sunbathe. Get your dose of culture with a show at the Kipsala International Exhibition Centre or a stirring performance at the concert hall.

Local Tips for Riga

Cemetery "Meža kapi" (Riga Forest Cemetery)
Anita by Anita

Anita is born and raised in Riga and loves the capital’s busy life and many cultural activities.

Cemeteries and life after death play a big role in Latvian culture. Head to one of Riga's cemeteries – locally known as "Meža kapi" - to sense how well Latvians take care of their ancestors' graves. It almost looks like a park or a garden with all the fresh flowers and alleys.

  • Aizsaules 2, Rīga
  • Open Monday-Sunday 00:00–24:00.
Kalnciema Quarter
Tõnis by Tõnis

Tõnis has lived in Riga for 1 year and loves discovering the locals’ favourite spots.

Kalnciema Quarter is the best getaway. It's like being in another world, where there’s a market, a party spot, a concert venue and delicious food on offer. The atmosphere is amazing and people are always nice and open minded.

  • Kalnciema 35, Rīga
  • Open Monday-Sunday 10:00-22:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Cinema Splendid Palace
Zane by Zane

Zane has lived in Riga for 25 years and loves all sorts of culture - from graffiti to Van Gogh!

Opening in 1923, this popcorn-free movie theatre was the first freestanding building in Riga intended exclusively for film screening. I simply love it because it has this 1920’s majestic and luxurious style that makes it classy, cosy and alternative, all at the same time.

Riga Cruises
Andris by Andris

Andris has lived 29 years in the city and spends his free time at the gym or on the dance floor.

If the weather is nice, take one of the Daugava River cruises. Both short canal cruises and longer trips are available. You can cruise out to the beach resort of Jūrmala or the popular Mežaparks region, where the biggest city park and the Riga Zoo are located.

  • 11. novembra krastmala, Riga
  • Open Monday-Sunday 11:30-18:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Berga Bazārs
Valdis by Valdis

Valdis has spent 15 years in Riga and loves biking through the city’s streets.

An area where history meets present! You will find century-old wood and brick buildings renovated with utmost care, and numerous restaurants – from modest to fancy – serving top-class local cuisine here.

  • Elizabetes 85, Riga
  • Open Monday-Sunday 09:00-22:00. Check website for details.
Spīķeri Quarter
Liene by Liene

Liene loves nature but can’t stay away from the buzzing city life for very long.

Right between the Riga Central Market and the Daugava River you will find a lively warehouse district that now houses cafés, restaurants, venues for art events, as well as a concert hall. In addition, a picturesque promenade along the river starts here.

  • Maskavas 4, Riga
  • Open Monday-Sunday 11:00-23:00. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Julija by Julija

Julia has lived in Riga for 27 years andenjoys roller skating and biking in the city.

Not far from the city centre is a recreation park where you can go on a nice bike ride or walk. This family-friendly oasis features a variety of entertainment options for kids, including the Riga Zoo.

  • Mežaparks, Riga
Andrejsala Creative Quarter
Viesturs by Viesturs

Viesturs has lived in Riga for 20 years and loves skiing, festivals and beer.

Andrejsala (or Andrew Island) is a district in the former industrial port area, with nice alternative events, art studios, workshops and non-traditional shopping possibilities. You can enjoy a beer by the water while admiring the spectacular view of the ferries and yachts passing by.

  • Andrejostas iela 4, Riga
Inese by Inese

Inese likes to get away from the busy centre to enjoy nature and go fishing with her daughter.

This park is an urban oasis, where both children and adults can relax. You can go for a picnic, a swim in the river or partake in water sports during the summer months, just a stone’s throw from the city centre. Live music events are also organised here.

  • Lucavsala, Riga
See what other visitors said

Recommended in Riga

Riga is the biggest of the Baltic capitals, and it is the only one that really feels like a big city. Just walking the streets there is a lot to see, as the city has a beautiful mix of architectural styles. Especially impressive is the art nouveau architecture that accompanied the city's expansion at the turn of the 20th century.

Old city a bit of a maze. Interesting to search out features: churches, squares, architectural features: black cat, three Wall Street, three brothers houses etc.

We travelled early September and the city was quiet with enough atmosphere to be enjoyable. The spell of good weather made this memorable. asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Riga for food?

Gan Bei for best Asian foods, Cili pica for best pizzas and Lido for best home cooked country style Latvian food, amazing!

We book a food tour of Riga which was excellent! It provided history as well as an urban picnic.Superb!

Lots of history of region at town museum war museum. Travel out to Sigulda

Excellent guide in museum of 51 years of occupation

KGB Museum Aviation Museum at airport asked travelers...

Why do people recommend Riga for the parks?

V green and good for walks


Riga Transportation

Air – Riga International Airport

Buses, taxis and airport shuttles link Riga International Airport with the centre. Bus 22 departs opposite the terminal roughly every 15 minutes from 05:45–23:40 and takes about 25 minutes. Single tickets cost EUR 1.20 at travel information desks. Official taxis are green or red and take you to the centre in 20 minutes for approx. EUR 20. Airport Express Shuttles that stop at some of the city’s major hotels can be booked online in advance for EUR 5.


Riga’s train lines are not your best option for getting around within the city, but are great for reaching nearby cities, such as Jūrmala, Jelgava, Sigulda, Baltezers and Saulkrasti. Trains operate from around 05:00 until midnight, and departures are more frequent for certain destinations. Tickets are cheaper if bought from a station ticket office, but can also be bought as you board the train. Discounts are available for children and seniors.


Riga’s bus network covers most parts of the city and is a practical means of transport. Buses operate from 05:00 until midnight, and special night buses run after this. Tickets can be bought from newsagents around the city, and are also valid for trams and trolleybuses. A single ticket costs EUR 1.20, but tickets for 1, 2 or 3 days are also available. The Riga Card gives you access to all public transport, as well as discounts at many museums, restaurants and shops.


The most tourist-friendly taxis in the city are either green or red. Opt for these to avoid costly and unnecessarily long taxi rides. Most drivers speak English and green taxis accept credit cards. The prices are found on the passenger door, and you can choose to pay per kilometre or per minute. Big hotels have taxi stands, but you can also hail a car on the streets. If you order by phone, the operator can give you a taxi fare quote for your route.


The city tram has 9 routes – which overlap with several bus routes – and are the quicker option when getting around. Tickets for trams, trolleybuses and buses are the same and can be purchased at newsagents around the city.


The trolleybuses run less frequently than the ordinary buses in Riga, but are probably more charming to travel in. Stepping on to some of the well-preserved trolleybuses gives you a taste of what public transport looked like in the old days. Tickets can be bought from newsagents across the city.


Cycling is a popular way of getting around the city. Sixt offers a self-service bike rental system, with over 250 bicycles parked at stations in Riga and Jūrmala. You can cycle from the centre of the capital to the seaside freely; just register online or directly onsite. Designated cycling routes also link the Western parts of the city to the Eastern parts.


Getting around the city’s centre is more practical via public transport than by car, although traffic is generally not too bad – except during rush hours (08:00–10:00 and 17:00–19:00). Keep in mind that many streets in the Old Town are one-way, and outdoor parking spots are limited. Several car parks are found next to blue P-marked signs around the centre. A number of car rental companies offer their services at Riga International Airport.

Food in Riga

Top Restaurants in Riga

Cheap Eats
Šefpavārs Vilhelms
  • Šķūņu 6, Rīga
  • Open Monday–Friday 09:00–21:00, Saturday–Sunday 10:00–21:00.
  • 00371 67228214
Cheap Eats
Lido Alus sēta
Mid-Range Fare
Sweetday Café
Mid-Range Fare
Tokyo City
Upscale Dining
Upscale Dining
Restorāns "1221
Mid-Range Fare
Indian Raja
Mid-Range Fare
  • Palasta 7, Rīga
  • Open Monday 11:00–21:00, Tuesday–Saturday 11:00–23:00.
  • 00371 29765445
Mid-Range Fare
  • Kaļķu 2, Rīga
  • Open Monday–Thursday 09:00–22:00, Friday 09:00–23:00, Saturday–Sunday 12:00–22:00.
  • 00371 25455566
Mid-Range Fare
Queens Pub
  • Kaļķu 2, Rīga
  • Open Monday–Thursday 10:00–01:00, Friday–Saturday 10:00–02:00, Sunday 10:00–01:00.
  • 00371 67800001
Upscale Dining
Tēvocis Vaņa
Upscale Dining
  • 11. novembra krastmala 9, Rīga
  • Open every day 11:00–23:00.
  • 00371 67503964
Upscale Dining
Zvejnieka dēls
Cheap Eats
Bar Bites
Tims Mints
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Kaspara Dilana konditoreja
  • Vaļņu 2, Rīga
  • Open Monday–Friday 08:00–21:00, Saturday–Sunday 10:00-20:00. Check website for details.
  • 00371 67220032
Mid-Range Fare
Mad House
  • Kaļķu 11, Rīga
  • Open Monday-Tuesday 10:00-01:00, Wednesday-Thursday 10:00-03:00, Friday 10:00-05:00, Saturday 11:00-05:00, Sunday 11:00-01:00.
  • 00371 67220556
Mid-Range Fare
3 Pavāru restorāns – Tam labam būs augt
Upscale Dining
Upscale Dining
Domini Canes
Cheap Eats
Pizza LuLu
  • Grēcinieku 7, Rīga
  • Open Monday–Wednesday 09:00–23:00, Thursday–Saturday 00:00–23:59, Sunday 09:00–23:00
  • 00371 67601306
Mid-Range Fare
Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs
  • Peldu 19, Rīga
  • Open Monday–Tuesday 12:00–04:00, Wednesday 12:00–05:00, Thursday–Friday 12:00–07:00, Saturday 14:00–07:00, Sunday 14:00–04:00.
  • 00371 27796914
Mid-Range Fare
  • Brīvības bulvāris 26, Rīga
  • Open Monday–Wednesday 08:30–22:30, Thursday–Friday 08:30–00:00, Saturday 10:00–00:00, Sunday 10:00–22:00.
  • 00371 26608882
Mid-Range Fare
Cheap Eats
  • Audēju 15, Rīga
  • Open Monday–Saturday 10:00–21:00, Sunday 10:00–19:00.
Cheap Eats
Mārtiņa Beķereja
  • Vaļņu 28, Rīga
  • Open Monday–Friday 07:30–21:00, Saturday–Sunday 08:00–21:00. Check website for details.
  • 00371 67213314
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