25 best attractions in Riga


The cap­i­tal of Latvia is called the Scan­di­na­vian blonde with a fiery heart. It is the largest metrop­o­lis in the Baltics and home to one third of the entire pop­u­la­tion of the state. Youth is in the air in Riga, which man­i­fests itself in a vibrant nightlife, trendy restau­rants, high-tech build­ings. The city has an excit­ing 800-year his­to­ry — the Medieval Hanseat­ic League, the author­i­ties of Swe­den, Poland, the Russ­ian Empire and the USSR had an influ­ence on its for­ma­tion.


Who and why should come to Riga

Many sights of cen­tral Riga are UNESCO World Her­itage Sites. These are medieval build­ings, as well as wood­en struc­tures of the 19th cen­tu­ry and strik­ing exam­ples of Art Nou­veau archi­tec­ture that are unlike any oth­er. On the streets of Albert and Mer­lec, even ordi­nary res­i­den­tial build­ings with their bizarre facades are worth the atten­tion of con­nois­seurs of beau­ty.

Vis­it­ing Riga is also an excit­ing adven­ture for real gourmets. The huge Cen­tral Mar­ket is tru­ly a trea­sure trove of fla­vors. The famous black pud­ding, cheeses, black bread, smoked fish — you will not be able to try any del­i­ca­cies here. For drinks, trav­el­ers pre­fer tast­ing Riga Black Bal­sam, which is served in many bars through­out the city.

It is worth going to the cap­i­tal of Latvia for a few days to enjoy not only urban recre­ation, but also coun­try­side. Active tourists explore the nat­ur­al beau­ties of Sigul­da with its fab­u­lous cas­tles and roman­tic streets. And oth­ers go to admire the mag­nif­i­cence of the baroque and roco­co of the Run­dale Palace in the vil­lage of Pil­srun­dale.


Museum of the Occupation of Latvia

musei okkupacii

Despite being one of the best muse­ums in the coun­try, it is con­sid­ered an eerie reminder of what Latvia went through in the 20th cen­tu­ry. The scale of the destruc­tion caused by the bomb­ing of the city dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, the result of the strug­gle of local res­i­dents for inde­pen­dence — all this is reflect­ed in the unique exhibits.

Ethnographic open-air museum

ethno museum

The muse­um is locat­ed out­side the city and is a great place to get acquaint­ed with the cul­ture of Latvia. Espe­cial­ly it will appeal to those who have lit­tle time. The com­po­si­tions pro­vide an oppor­tu­ni­ty to see the entire spec­trum of local cul­ture: the life of the peo­ple of the 18th and 19th cen­turies is well rep­re­sent­ed in the form of arti­facts, re-cre­at­ed wood­en hous­es, church­es and even wind­mills.

Porcelain Museum

musei farfora

Pre­vi­ous­ly, the muse­um was part of the Riga Porce­lain Fac­to­ry. The plant was found­ed in the 1960s and closed in the 90s. After the eval­u­a­tion of porce­lain prod­ucts by an expert com­mis­sion, the Riga Porce­lain Muse­um was cre­at­ed, which stores unique prod­ucts.

Latvian War Museum

musei warriors

One of the largest and old­est muse­ums in Latvia was found­ed in 1916. Then it was called the muse­um of the Lat­vian rifle­men. It is locat­ed in a his­tor­i­cal build­ing — in the Pow­der Tow­er of the XIV cen­tu­ry, which was once a for­ti­fi­ca­tion.

The muse­um was cre­at­ed with the aim of edu­cat­ing vis­i­tors about the com­plex mil­i­tary and polit­i­cal his­to­ry of Latvia, with a spe­cial focus on the strug­gle of Lat­vians for inde­pen­dence.

“World of Hats”

mir shliap

The col­lec­tion of this muse­um includes head­dress­es from dif­fer­ent eras, col­lect­ed all over the world. Here vis­i­tors will find antique jew­eled crowns, shaman hats, African masks and hel­mets, human hair caps, Balkan Sind­hi top­is, Mari shi­mak­shis and much more.

Cultural and historical sights

National Opera and Ballet Theater

nac teatr opera

The Lat­vian Opera and Bal­let The­atre, built in neo­clas­si­cal style, was built in 1863. Its inte­ri­ors were designed and designed by August Foltz, who also worked on the cre­ation of the stat­ue of Roland and the alle­gor­i­cal sculp­tures of the facade of the House of the Black­heads.



The Old Cen­ter of Riga on the right bank of the Dau­ga­va is a UNESCO World Her­itage Site. The cob­bled streets and squares of Vekri­ga are home to old hous­es and church­es, art gal­leries and muse­ums.

Rosen Street in the Old Town is the nar­row­est, and on Skar­nu you can find an arts and crafts mar­ket sell­ing exquis­ite sou­venirs, includ­ing edi­ble ones. Vekri­ga lost a third of its his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ments dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, but most of them were restored after the inde­pen­dence of Latvia in 1990.

Riga castle

rigski female

The majes­tic clas­si­cal build­ing, locat­ed on the banks of the Dau­ga­va, was built in 1330. A fire destroyed it six years ago, but the author­i­ties man­aged to restore the dam­aged cas­tle. Today it serves as the res­i­dence of the Pres­i­dent of Latvia and has sev­er­al muse­ums open to the pub­lic.

“Three brothers”

tri brata

On Maza Pils street at num­bers 17, 19 and 21, there is the old­est com­plex of hous­es in Riga, which was built in the 15th cen­tu­ry. In the first build­ing, Goth­ic and Renais­sance styles were mixed, in the sec­ond — the Renais­sance with Dutch man­ner­ism, in the third, the Baroque dom­i­nates. House No. 19 hous­es the Lat­vian Muse­um of Archi­tec­ture.

swedish gate

swedski gate

In the Mid­dle Ages, Riga was pro­tect­ed by a pow­er­ful wall with 20 tow­ers and a 90-meter-wide moat, which lat­er became the Pilse­tas Canal. Of the eight gates that were installed at the entrance to the city, these are the only ones that have sur­vived — Swedish.

True, a hun­dred years ago they were almost demol­ished along with the house in which they were cut through. But the soci­ety of archi­tects man­aged to defend the mon­u­ment, and then the build­ing itself was seri­ous­ly repaired.

Architectural monuments

Town Hall Square

ratushna ploshad

In wartime, most of the medieval build­ings and struc­tures of the square were destroyed. How­ev­er, with­in a few years, the city author­i­ties man­aged to restore them. Now here medieval mon­u­ments of archi­tec­ture coex­ist with mod­ern build­ings.

On the streets lead­ing from the Town Hall Square deep into the city, there are numer­ous cafes and restau­rants, there are shops where you can buy mem­o­rable sou­venirs.

House of the Blackheads

dom shernogolovih

One of the most lux­u­ri­ous hous­es in Riga was built in 1300 and is a rec­og­niz­able land­mark of the city. It can be seen on almost all post­cards and many local sou­venirs. In the 14th cen­tu­ry, the build­ing in the style of the Dutch Renais­sance was built by the union of crafts­men for pub­lic needs.

Black­head is the name of St. George, the patron saint of knights and war­riors. A broth­er­hood was cre­at­ed in his hon­or, which includ­ed for­eign mer­chants and itin­er­ant traders.

small guild

mala gilidia

Locat­ed in the very cen­ter of the city. The build­ing of the Small Guild was designed by the out­stand­ing archi­tect Ya.D. Fel­sko, and from 1352 to 1936 it was a kind of head­quar­ters for crafts­men.

The inte­ri­ors of the premis­es are as beau­ti­ful as the build­ing itself. Inside you can admire ter­raz­zo mosaics, stained glass win­dows, win­dow shut­ters with Goth­ic sym­bols. Today, the Small Guild is main­ly used for cel­e­bra­tions, busi­ness meet­ings, con­fer­ences, pre­sen­ta­tions, balls and con­certs.

“The Bremen Town Musicians”

bremenski musicanti

On Skar­nu Street there is a sculp­ture cre­at­ed based on the fairy tale by the Broth­ers Grimm “The Bre­men Town Musi­cians”. The sto­ry of four aged domes­tic ani­mals — a don­key, a dog, a roost­er and a cat, who went to Bre­men to play music, is known all over the world.

It is believed that the mon­u­ment in Riga, which was donat­ed by the Bre­men author­i­ties in 1990, sym­bol­izes Gor­bachev’s per­e­stroi­ka. Tourists also believe that if you rub the face of each ani­mal, you can find good luck. As a result, for 29 years the Bre­men town musi­cians have been pol­ished to a shine.

Freedom Monument

pamiatnik svobodi

Like most land­marks and land­marks that sym­bol­ize the land’s free­dom from its oppres­sors, the Free­dom Mon­u­ment is a tall struc­ture with a proud woman stand­ing on top of a col­umn. She has three stars in her hand — each sym­bol­izes the regions of Latvia.

It was for their inde­pen­dence that the locals fought. Dur­ing the annex­a­tions, they belonged to dif­fer­ent col­o­niz­ers, and the author­i­ties sought to unite them.

cat house

catkin don

No tour of Riga is com­plete with­out a vis­it to the House of Cats. This is a build­ing locat­ed at 10 Meis­taru, on the roof of which there is a stat­ue of a cat arch­ing its back and prepar­ing to jump.

The leg­end says that the mer­chants refused the own­er of the house to join the Riga Mer­chan­t’s Guild. As a sign of silent protest, he built this sculp­ture with a tail to the Guild build­ing. Lat­er, he was accept­ed into soci­ety and turned the cat in the oth­er direc­tion.

Memorial of Zanis Lipke

memorial sanisa

Zanis Lip­ke was a dock work­er and a brave man who saved about 50 Jews from the Nazis dur­ing World War II by hid­ing them in a shel­tered bunker.

The Ger­man police nev­er found the hide­out, and Lip­ke was nev­er caught, and none of the peo­ple involved were betrayed. The memo­r­i­al was built right next to Lip­ke’s house in 2012. The build­ing has a col­lec­tion of tes­ti­mo­ni­als from the lives of peo­ple res­cued by the loader.

Albert street

ulica alberta

The street is known for its Art Nou­veau res­i­den­tial build­ings. Many of the build­ings were designed by the famous archi­tect Mikhail Eisen­stein. Lovers of art, his­to­ry and archi­tec­ture will def­i­nite­ly appre­ci­ate the facades of build­ings num­bered 2, 2a, 4, 8 and 13. Yes, and the pho­tos here are amaz­ing.

Religious sites

The Dome Cathedral

domski sobor

St. Mary’s Dome Cathe­dral or Riga House is a pop­u­lar tourist attrac­tion in the city. The con­struc­tion of the build­ing began in 1211. A stun­ning archi­tec­tur­al mon­u­ment is vis­it­ed with plea­sure not only by believ­ers and pil­grims, but also by lovers of beau­ti­ful pho­tographs, his­to­ry and medieval objects. This cathe­dral hous­es one of the largest organs in the world.

Church of Saint Gertrude

cerkov st gertrudi

This is a Luther­an church, which is part of the Evan­gel­i­cal Luther­an Church of Latvia. The actu­al date of the cre­ation of the Old Church of St. Gertrude in Riga is unknown, but accord­ing to chron­i­cles, it exist­ed even before 1418.

St. Peter’s Church

cerkov st petra

The mas­ter­piece of Riga archi­tec­tur­al art has 800 years of his­to­ry. Peter’s Church was recon­struct­ed sev­er­al times, the last restora­tion was car­ried out in 1941. Despite the fact that the inte­ri­or of the cathe­dral is rather sparse, tourists love to vis­it this place. Here you can climb to the obser­va­tion deck, which offers a stun­ning view of the whole of Riga.

Cathedral of the Nativity

rogdestvenski sobor

The Riga Nativ­i­ty Cathe­dral was built between 1876 and 1883 and is the largest Russ­ian Ortho­dox cathe­dral in the Baltics. The exte­ri­or is made in neo-Byzan­tine style, and the inte­ri­or is dec­o­rat­ed with tra­di­tion­al icons of Ortho­dox cathe­drals. Some of them were writ­ten by the famous Vasi­ly Vereshcha­gin. In Sovi­et times, the cathe­dral was turned into a plan­e­tar­i­um.

Natural attractions and parks

Riga Zoo


The zoo was found­ed in mid-Octo­ber 1912, and only 80 years lat­er it was includ­ed in the list of the Euro­pean Asso­ci­a­tion of Zoos and Aquar­i­ums. Here you should def­i­nite­ly go to the ani­mal feed­ing show.

Employ­ees arrange such events with hip­pos, wild boars, giraffes, rein­deer, meerkats, seals and oth­er pets. The zoo cov­ers an impres­sive area of ​​20 hectares and is home to 3,000 ani­mals, not count­ing insects and inver­te­brates.

Pilsetas Canal


This is the old for­ti­fi­ca­tion moat of Riga. Once it pro­tect­ed the city from invaders, but today the area around the moat has turned into a beau­ti­ful park area. Lat­vians come here with their fam­i­lies to spend an unfor­get­table day in nature. And for tourists orga­nize small trips by boat through the canal.

Vermanes garden

vermanski sad

The park is locat­ed in the very cen­ter of the city and is the sec­ond old­est pub­lic park in Riga. Cre­at­ed at the begin­ning of the 19th cen­tu­ry, it is named after Anna Gertrud Wehrman, a wealthy wid­ow who pro­vid­ed a plot of land and a gen­er­ous dona­tion for the for­ma­tion of the gar­den. Here you can see sev­er­al sights at once.

Among them are sculp­tur­al struc­tures, includ­ing the stat­ue of Anna Gertrude and the Four Sea­sons foun­tain, mon­u­ments ded­i­cat­ed to famous Lat­vian per­son­al­i­ties, and a wood­en amphithe­ater.


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