Riga

Riga is the capital of Latvia. With its 700,000 inhabitants, it's the largest city in the Baltic States and home to one in three Latvians.

17 things to do

All Places Latvia



Fontaine Delisnack

A 24-hour diner with an extensive menu, this restaurant chain is popular at all hours of the day and night. Try the large CB Burger for €5! Free delivery for orders over €25, otherwise there is a €3 delivery fee.


Latvian Song and Dance Festival

An annual song and dance festival in July, with an even larger festival every 5 years. One of the key cultural events in Latvia, which started in 1873 as a singing festival.



Lido

A network of 8 restaurants offering decent hearty Latvian food, including desserts, at good prices. The restaurants are either cafeteria-style or feature English menus.

EAT   —  Map

Jāņi

On June 24, Latvians celebrate the summer solstice with the midsummer festival called Jāņi. Before the celebration, flea markets are held in many places.

DO   —  Map


Latviabeerfest

Takes place annually at the end of May. The largest international beer festival in the Baltics.


Count of May

Medieval festival. Takes place annually in mid-May.

DO   —  Spīķeru laukums


Rīga City Day

Takes place on 14-16 Aug

DO   —  Map

Čili Pica

Cheap but good pizza.

EAT   —  Several locations


Easter

Egg fights!

DO   —  Map

About Riga

Riga is famous for its world heritage listed old town (Vecrīga) and city center (Centrs), in which over 800 buildings — a third of all buildings — are of the Art Nouveau (aka Jugendstil) style of architecture and thus Riga is one of the best destinations to see this architectural style. Chiefly built in the first years of the 20th century, many of Riga's Art Noveau buildings were created by ethnic Latvian architects as opposed to earlier buildings in the city <!--WP:Art Nouveau architecture in Riga#Background -->. The Art Nouveau style involves intricate building facades, with carvings of flowers and mythological creatures, and ornate doorways and windows.

A considerable part of the old town was either destroyed by fire or destroyed by the Germans in World War II <!--Russian and Latvian WP do say Vecriga was devastated during WWII with a third of all buildings destroyed --> but many old buildings were also spared. The old town was a draw of the city during the Soviet times and it received protected status in 1967. The damaged parts, most notably the House of the Blackheads, were restored in the late 1990s, mainly to make Riga more attractive as a tourist destination. Another thing that attracts visitors, especially young adults, is the lively nightlife and discount airlines that offer cheap flights to/from much of Europe.

Riga is bisected by the river Daugava. Old (medieval) town is in the center of the city on the east side of the river. It is surrounded by a ring of ~19th–early 20th century architecture including the Art Noveau buildings described above, followed by a mix of private 2-floor house districts (many also pre-WW2) and Soviet-era 5-18 floor apartment districts. Especially near railroad lines they are interspersed with industrial plants from different eras; some of them already from the Imperial Russian time.


Source: wikivoyage