Riga is the largest city in the Baltic States and is one of Latvia’s
main cultural, political, and economic centers.
Riga’s Old Town is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A visit in summer is highly recommended, where the city awakens, with squares populated
by tourists and Latvians sitting in the bars and restaurants of the historic center.
After an 18-hour cruise from Stockholm, we arrived at Riga’s port.
From the port, we walked towards the historic center where our accommodation was located.
The streets of the old town are uneven and with ancient stones (like Tallinn), so it was very
difficult and tiring to walk and pull the suitcases.
The city is compact so you can calmly go around in one day to visit the old city.
- St. Peter’s Church [Sv. Pētera baznīca]
- Bremen Town Musicians [Brēmenes muzikanti]
- Town Hall Square [Rātslaukums]
- House of the Blackheads [Melngalvju Nams]
- Riga Cathedral [Rīgas Doms]
- Our Lady of Sorrows Church [Sāpju Dievmātes Romas katoļu baznīca]
- The Three Brothers [Trīs Brāļi]
- Cat House [Kaķu nams]
- Livu Square [Līvu laukums]
- Latvian Riflemen Monument [Latviesu Strelnieku piemineklis]
- Accommodations in Riga
- Take the long-distance LUX EXPRESS BUS to Tallinn, Estonia
St. Peter’s Church [Sv. Pētera baznīca]
The St. Peter’s Church was originally built in wood in 1209, it was destroyed by fire, bombing and lightning strikes multiple times over the past centuries and was rebuilt in the 18th century in red brick.
During the last reconstruction, an elevator was installed!
The tower is 123-meters high and is one of the tallest in Europe
From the top of its tower, you have a stunning 360-degree view of the city.
Address: Reformācijas Laukums 1, Centra rajons, Rīga
Opening hours: September-April: Tuesday-Saturday 10 -18, Sunday 12-18;
May-August: Tuesday-Saturday 10 – 19, Sunday 12 – 19
Closed on Mondays
Price: Adults € 9 / Students € 7 / up to 7 years free
Bremen Town Musicians [Brēmenes muzikanti]
The monument was gifted by Bremen, the German city, in 1990.
The Bremen Town Musicians statue is based on the fairy tale by the Grimm brothers.
Legend has it that touching the statue brings luck and happiness.
Address: Pēterbaznīcas iela, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia
Town Hall Square [Rātslaukums]
Town Hall Square was the economic and administrative centre of Riga.
In the center of the square stands the statue of Roland, symbolizing the freedom
and an expression of the economic prosperity of the city.
One of the major structures of the square was the Town hall.
It’s a three-storied building with a tower and a clock on it.
Address: Kaļķu iela, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia
House of the Blackheads [Melngalvju Nams]
The House of the Blackheads stands on Town Hall Square.
It was built in 1334, for an association of unmarried merchants, ship owners, and craftsmen.
The building has been destroyed during the Second World War and restored in 1999.
However, in the basements, you can still see the original walls.
Address: Rātslaukums 7, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia
Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10.00 – 17.00
Price adults: € 7
Riga Cathedral [Rīgas Doms]
Riga Cathedral is the largest medieval church in the whole Baltics countries.
It was built in 1211, and it combines some Baroque, Gothic, and Romanesque architecture.
Its main attractions are found inside. Admire the magnificent organ with its 6718 pipes
and make sure you visit the cloister, which is one of the oldest parts of the Cathedral.
Address: Herdera laukums 6, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia
Opening hours: 9 -17
Entry fee: €5 – Concerts fee: €9
When we visited the Cathedral there were people dressed in national dresses…
maybe there was an event.
Riga has 800-year history. In 1997, the historic center of Riga was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List primarily due to its historic architecture.
Our Lady of Sorrows Church [Sāpju Dievmātes Romas katoļu baznīca]
The white and blue church was the first stone church built in Riga after the Reformation.
Address: Pils iela 5, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia
Opening hours: 10 – 17
The city is compact and most of the sites are concentrated in the historical area,
all accessible on foot.
The city is composed of a mixture of different architectural styles
such as Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque.
The Three Brothers [Trīs Brāļi]
These three houses are amongst the oldest in Riga, dating from the 15th century.
The buildings go back to different time periods.
The white house is from the 15th century (Dutch influence in the architecture), the yellow is from the 16th ( the wealthiest of all three houses), and the green is from the 17th century.
They are part of the Latvian Museum of Architecture.
Address: Mazā Pils iela 19, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia
Opening hours: 09 – 16
Cat House [Kaķu nams]
It was designed by the architect Friedrich Schefel, and was built in 1909.
Although the true meaning of these cats remains unclear, one legend suggests that the building owner was denied entrance to the Great Guild so he had two scared cats with arched backs placed on his house, posteriors pointed towards the offending guild.
The cats were only turned around when he finally gained admittance.
Address:Meistaru iela 10/12, Centra rajons, Rīga
Livu Square [Līvu laukums]
Address:Līvu laukums, Centra rajons, Rīga
Livu Square is centrally located in the historic center.
The area around this square is full of trendy cafes and restaurants.
There are a few stalls that include handmade accessories, leather goods, accessories, etc.
Latvian Riflemen Monument [Latviesu Strelnieku piemineklis]
Built in 1971 by Valdis Albergs, the monument is located next to the “Occupation Museum”
This statue is dedicated to the Latvian Riflemen.
Address: Latviešu strēlnieku laukums 1, Centra rajons, Rīga
Accommodations in Riga
If you plan to visit Riga for a day, we recommend staying in the historical center.
We spent one night in an apartment near Livu Square
Since it’s in the old town there was no elevator and to get to our apartment we had to go up
an irregular spiral staircase up to the 4th floor. The apartment was very spacious
it had 2 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom, with all the necessities
such as iron and a washing machine.
Nearby there was everything you could need:
there were supermarkets, pubs, cafes, and restaurants.
Take the long-distance LUX EXPRESS BUS to Tallinn, Estonia
The next morning I left Riga and headed to Tallinn, Estonia, on the LUX EXPRESS BUS.
Lux Express is a long-distance bus connecting various cities in the Baltic region
but also Russia and Poland.
There is no bathroom break on the way, but there is a bathroom on board. I don’t recommend
the bathroom at the bus station in Riga as it’s not very clean and you have to pay 20 cents.
We arrived in Tallinn after 4 hours and 25 minutes,
Bus prices range from € 14 to € 19 (depending on the time of day).
The interior of the bus is spacious and has a reclining seat.
In addition to Lux Express, you can check these other buses: ECOLINES, Eurolines
Riga is a stunning city that preserved the beauty of medieval Europe.
If I had more time, I would have liked to stay longer.
After visiting Sweden with its high prices it was a pleasure to visit Riga, very cheap!