What to see in Riga, Latvia

Photo: Rachel Shulman

Riga, Latvia is often skipped over on European trips but as it was largely untouched in WWII, this Eastern European Baltic city should not be missed. It does get cold in the winter so plan your trip accordingly and make sure not to miss these must-dos and check out even more of what to do in Latvia.

Photo: Rachel Shulman

Walk around the Old Town of Riga

The Old Town of Riga is the most central and busiest part of Riga and of course, the most beautiful. Within the Old Town, get lost in the windy streets for as long as possible. This is the best thing to do during your time in Riga as well as sitting in one of the many squares and people watching.

For sightseeing in the Old Town of Riga, make sure to see the House of the Blackheads, St. Peters Church (take the elevator to the top for the best views of Riga), Livu Square (the best for people watching in Riga), the famous Cat House and the Occupation Museum.

Visit Riga’s Central Market (Centraltirgus)

This market is one of the largest and busiest markets in all of Eastern Europe and is a must-visit. Get lunch here! It’s only a 15-minute walk from the Old Town and is a really nice walk.

Photo: Rachel Shulman

See the “The Three Brothers” building

Both really beautiful buildings architecturally. The appeal of these buildings is from the outside so no need to go inside.

Walk on Albert Street (Alberta Ieta)

The main street is famous for its amazing Art Nouveau architecture. It’s also about a 15-minute walk from the Old Town of Riga.

Photo: Rachel Shulman

See the Freedom Monument and Nativity Cathedral

On the walk back Albert Street to the Old Town, walk by and around the Nativity Cathedral – a stunning and massive cathedral that must be photographed from the outside. Continue walking through Bastejkalna Park until you make it back to Old Town. The Freedom Monument is located within the park.

Take a canal cruise

If you are there in the warmer months take a canal cruise through the city!

Photo: Rachel Shulman

Go shopping

Check out local Latvian stores such as Riija, Amoralle, Zofa and Modernists.

Eat and drink

Riga is a super hot spot for bachelor parties for Europeans and the food and nightlife scene is amazing and underrated. Breakfast recommendations: Rocket Bean Café, Big Bad Bagels, Miit Coffee and Kuuka Café. Coffee Break recommendations: Aspara Tea House and Anna Darsz.

Some recommended dinner spots: Restaurant 3 (I had one of the best meals ever here), Vincents, Rozengrals, Biblioteka no 1, Muusu, Folkklubs and 3 Pavaru Restorans. Bar recommendations: Easy Wine (a self-service wine bar), Radisson Blue Sky Bar (best views of the city), and Black Magic Apothecary Bar. Wherever you eat or drink in Riga, you can’t go wrong.

Photo: Rachel Shulman

Accommodation

Definitely stay in the Old Town. One of my favorite hotels is Hotel Justus and you can read more about my stay at Hotel Justus here.

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Rachel Shulman is a seasoned travel blogger specializing in planning in-depth guides for destinations around the world. She has lived in 4 major cities in her 27 years of life (New York, New Orleans, Prague and Tel Aviv) and has traveled to 30+ countries with no intention of stopping soon. She owns From East To West, a travel blog outlining her travels and writing detailed, efficient guides and itineraries for cities and countries as well as reviewing locations, accommodations, restaurants and tips and tricks for traveling.