Top Attractions in Riga
Top Attractions in Riga
The largest of all 3 Baltic capitals, Riga is home to over 1/3rd of Latvia’s total population and boasts of gorgeous architecture, varied cultural attractions, vibrant nightlife, and great opportunities for shopping. Whether it’s the cobblestone streets of Old Riga or the 19th-century wooden architecture, the Latvian capital promises something for everyone. This city is a blend of medieval times and modern lifestyle befitting every style of traveler. Though the city appears to be very quiet on the outside, you will be pleasantly surprised with the high-spirited vibes inside bars, art centers and experimental restaurants. Having bagged the tag of being the European Capital of Culture in 2014, this city turns into a venue for major international cultural events. Boasting of architectural and culinary highlights, Riga welcomes its visitors with open arms and has a lot plenty to make it a memorable holiday.
Sited right in the heart of the city, the Freedom Monument is 42.7 meters tall memorial devoted to the Latvian heroes in the fight for freedom 1918-1920. Affectionately known as 'Milda’, the monument is the focal point of the city and was financed entirely by public donations. Presently, the Freedom Monument is the most snapshotted monument across all Baltic states and one of the chief attractions in the city.
St. Peter’s Church:
Dedicated to St. Peter, St. Peter’s Church is the tallest church in Riga and offers an unbeatable view of the city. Built in 1209, it was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1997 and is thronged by visitors all year round. Situated in the historic center of the city, this Lutheran church is one of the most monumental architectural masterpieces in the city and is a chief example of the 13th-century Gothic style architecture.
Covering an area of 12 acres in the city center, the Vērmanes Park tagged as the 2nd oldest park often hosts free concerts and other events throughout the year. One can also find beautiful sculptures and statues of many popular Latvian artists. You will find good eateries while strolling across the park with BIBLIOTĒKA №1 being the best serving mouth-watering Latvian dishes and desserts coupled with an excellent list of wines. A good place to relax and unwind, it is a chirpy spot for people of all ages and interests right from children to hipsters.
Tagged as the oldest zoo in the Baltics, Riga Zoo is an abode to over 90 species of wild animals from around the globe. The surrounding area of Mežaparks, a hilly pine forest, provides a lot of other activities for people to make their outing enjoyable. Spot Japanese macaques, African zebras, lions, tigers, Galapagos tortoises, Asian red pandas and European bears as well as rare birds, snakes, and frogs in the tropical house.
Spread across 11.92 hectares, the Kronvolda Park is split into 2 parts by the city canal and depicts a blend of old time along with modernity. An abode to over 104 foreign species and bushes, and a magnificent fountain proffering light and color shows at night, this verdant shade card of green is thronged by visitors and locals alike. You may enjoy boat and water bicycle rides in the canal and let your children enjoy in the playground or roller-skating tracks.
One of the oldest sacred buildings and the largest medieval church in the Baltics, this cathedral stands as an icon of Old Town of Riga and is a blend of different architectural styles. Marvel at the renowned organ of the dome cathedral made in 1884 and standing as the biggest organ in the world comprising of 6718 pipes. Featuring Romanesque, early Gothic, Baroque, and Art Nouveau styles, it is known as the largest medieval church across Latvia and Baltic states.
House of the Blackheads:
One of the most stunning edifices in Riga, House of the Blackheads, formerly known as the New House, stands as an architectural treasure since 1334. Dominating the heart of Riga's Old Town in the Town Hall Square, gaze at the opulent facade of the masterpiece depicting diverse architectural styles, go through the works of artisans and craftsmen portrayed in chandeliers, painted ceilings, armor sets, portraits, stained glass adorned with ornamentation, and Blackheads’ Coat of Arms.
Lucavsala recreational park:
Head to this natural setting situated in between the hustle and bustle of the city on an island in Riga. Attracting majority of the children, it turns out to be a huge play area for kids and heaven for residents who wish to enjoy nature right in the city center. To add to the beauty, there is also a swimming facility available with changing cabins, a huge playground for children, and a 230-metre long cable system for wakeboarding.
Riga Motor Museum:
Listen to some exhilarating stories and spot a massive and distinct collection of antique motor vehicles at this museum where the exhibition speaks about unique vehicles, renowned people and the most prominent historical events related to the automotive world. Let your children take over the interactive elements installed throughout the museum to gain knowledge. Head here if you are an automobile aficionado or a fan of Soviet memorabilia
Named after the Bastion Hill that it houses, the Bastejkalna Park is a beautiful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city and makes for a good place to visit and stroll around. You'll spot beautiful bridges, flower beds, as well as benches to sit on and relax in the lap of nature or get yourself a good Instagram upload. You may also rent a boat and have a ride across the canal or hang a love-lock on the bridge with your better-half to pledge your attachment.