Having fun at Riga's Old Town
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Riga best places to visit – The ultimate guide to Riga!

After visiting the beautiful capital of Estonia- Tallinn, we were really excited to continue our road trip to the west. This first stop was Riga, the biggest city and the capital of Latvia. We have been searching for Riga best places to visit in the Internet and found some interesting informations about this city. It is situated at the Baltic Sea and approximately one third of Latvians live there. Don’t think Riga is a big city though- the population of it is less than 700,000 which is similar to Las Vegas in the US or Phuket in Thailand. Just to compare- it is 1⁄4 of Rome and 1/10 of Washington, DC.

Despite of its size, Riga has a lot to offer to the travellers. Amazing art nouveau buildings, rich history, delicious food and beautiful nature are things that we love about this city. After spending here more than a week, we have gathered all the informations together and created this Riga guide. You will find here all the informations you need to spend an amazing time in the capital of Latvia!

 Riga best places to visit Riga travel tips

Riga best places to visit

#1 Latvian Academy of Sciences

The building of Latvian Academy of Sciences looked very familiar to us. It has typical Soviet design and architecture, exactly the same like Palac Kultury in Warsaw or State University in Moscow.

The reason why it is worth to go there is the observation desk situated at the 17th floor. For 5 euro you can get the top of the building and take some amazing panoramic photos of Riga.

TIP: Go there only when the weather is good. Visiting 
Latvian Academy of Sciences in the cloudy day is a waste
of time and money.

View on Riga from the above

Riga best places to visit

#2 The Three Brothers

The Three Brothers are the most beautiful buildings that we have seen in Riga. They are connected and each of them represents different architectural style: Dutch Renaissance, Dutch Mannerism and Baroque.

It is only the legend that they were built by the three brothers- it is impossible. The oldest dwelling house was built in 15th century and the youngest in 17th. It is believed though that they were built by the members of the same family.

TIP: After taking the photos of Three Brothers, be sure to
get inside and visit the Latvian Museum of Architecture!

The Three Brothers

Riga best places to visit

#3 Riga Town Hall Square

The Town Hall Square is quite small but really lovely! It is must visit place for all the travellers. You can find there Tourist Information Centre, famous Blackheads House (unmarried German tradesmen living in Riga), Town Hall, The Statue of Roland and the new Museum of the Occupation of Latvia.

So many attractions in just one place! When the weather is good, you can see there musicians playing beautiful songs. The atmosphere of Town Hall Square is incredible and can’t be compared to anything else in Riga.

TIP: Visit the Tourist Information Centre and get the free map
of Riga. Sightseeing is so much easier when you know where to go!

Town Hall in Riga

Riga best places to visit

#4 Central Market

Central Market is a truly local place! It is situated very close the Old Town of Riga and it is definitely worth visiting. You can buy there literally EVERYTHING- food, clothes, shoes, cigarettes and more.

The prices are very low and you can always bargain to make it even lower ;).

TIP: There are many pickpockets at Central Market. Be sure to keep
your money & documents in the safe place.

Strawberries at Central Market in Riga

Riga best places to visit

#5 St Peter’s Church

St Peter’s Church is beautiful, high and monumental. It is one of the best tourist attractions in Riga but still we felt ripped of. Paying 3 euro to get inside the sacral building is just too much. And 9 euro to get to the tower is ridiculously expensive.

It wasn’t worth this price. So our advice is to go there, take some photos from the outside and don’t bother getting inside the church.

TIP: With the Riga Card (that you can buy at Tourist Information
Centre), you get 50% discount for visiting St. Peter's Observation

St Peter Basilica Riga

Riga best places to visit

#6 Nativity of Christ Cathedral

Nativity of Christ Cathedral is our favourite church in Riga. It is situated on the outskirts of the Old Town but it is really worth to go there. It is the largest orthodox church in Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia).

The cathedral looks beautiful both from the inside and from the outside. It is currently under the renovation, so it will be even better in the future.

TIP: Nativity of Christ church is quite close to the Freedom 

Nativity of Christ Cathedral

Riga best places to visit

#7 Freedom Monument

The Freedom Monument is one of the most important monuments in Riga. It was built in memory of the soldiers who died in the battle for independence, less than hundred years ago. It is considered as the symbol of free, independent and sovereign Latvia. What’s beautiful, there are always two soldiers there who are protecting the monument. It’s the metaphor & the sign that the government and army will always guard the independence of Latvia.

TIP: Be sure to visit the Freedom Monument at the full hour 
between 9am and 6pm to see the guards changing.

Freedom monument Riga

Riga best places to visit

#8 Riga Cathedral & Dome Square

We absolutely love the Dome Square. It is a vibrant place, full of cafes, restaurants and people. It is perfect to visit both during a day or at night.

The main attraction of the Dome Square is Riga Cathedral. It is the landmark of the city, built in 13th century.

TIP: Dome Square is the best meeting point in Riga. 
Most tours start there.

Dome in Riga

Riga best places to visit

#9 Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum

Riga Ghetto is not a fun place… But it is still worth visiting! This museum was established in memory to all the Jews that were killed by Nazis during World War II.

If you are interested about the history of Europe and the WWII, read out posts about the biggest Nazis concentration camp- Auschwitz and Warsaw Uprising Museum.

The admission to Latvian Holocaust Museum and Riga Ghetto 
is free but donations are more than welcomed (suggested 
amount is 5 euro)

Ghetto in Riga

Riga best places to visit

#10 River cruise

Riga has nice river and canals that go through the most important places in the city.

Going on the river cruise is the amazing idea to spend a relaxing time and see the beauty of Riga. There are many Latvian companies that offer river cruises: you can take them during a day but also in the afternoon to watch the sunset.

TIP: Take your camera! You can take photos of Riga from the
completely different perspective.

Boat in Riga

Riga travel tips

#1 Choose the right place to stay.

We have been staying in the lovely 3-star hotel, situated only 15 minutes from the Old Town. We found everything we needed at Riverside Hotel Riga: comfy bed, good WiFi and the parking. The breakfast was delicious and the staff made us feel like home.

Riverside Hotel in Riga

#2 Be prepared for the changing weather.

Riga is situated at the Baltic Sea, so the weather in the city can change really fast. The sun may be shinning beautiful and then suddenly it may start raining.

It is good to always have a raincoat with you, just in case.

The Railway Bridge in Riga

Disclosure: We want to thank Riverside Hotel for complimentary stay. All opinions presented in this post are honest and our own.

Which of these places in Riga do you like the most? Share your thoughts in comments!


  1. Have to say that I know little about the eastern part of Europe, although when I worked in a restaurant and our polish head chef spent two weeks in Riga on holidays he couldn’t say enough good things about Riga, which in turn made me want to go and visit haha

    Really liked the guide, the useful tips and the pictures. I’ll bookmark it so when I manage to visit Riga I’ll go through it again 😀
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