One day in Riga
Sightseeing Old town
Landing in old town of Riga you will have an exciting privileged feeling that you have taken a trip down the road of history.
It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The historic city will overwhelm your senses - that’s for sure. If you have one day you will have enough time to see lots of beautiful sights. Riga was established in the 12th century and gaining city rights in 1225. If you had a tiring journey getting here you can start with a visit to the Lutheran cathedral, the largest church in the baltic region. It is well known for its organ. It happens to be one of the greatest musical instruments of the world. Sweden Gate, not far from it, is the only surviving city gate. St Peter’s Church can be seen at the same time nearby. The 130 m high tower gives the best possible view of the old town. In the same trip you can easily cover the 13th century St. John’s Church (a small chapel) and the merchant houses like the 24 warehouses and the Three Brothers. Other historical buildings that are worth watching before lunch are the Great and Small Guild Halls and House of Cats. If you can manage to take a few steps outside the old town before lunch, you can witness the thirties-built Freedom Monument commemorating the spirit of Latvian independence. Even the common preserved buildings of Riga (40% of the buildings) are a thing of beauty for their shape and artful architecture.
Restaurants in Riga
Lunchtime! Check you the menu at El Charlitos, and Ali Karamba, serving American menus; or Aragats, and Kert, serving Caucasian delicacies. If you want to go the Asian way, then definitely step into Hanoja, Sanghaija or Soho. Does spicy food bring water to your mouth? Then you should not miss the kebabs and biryani at Nataraja, or Sue’s Indian Raja. For pizza lovers there is Bella Italia or Fellini.
In the post lunch session you can continue your one day in Riga schedule by taking a trip to Sigulda, 50 km east of Riga. The picturesque place set in hills with lakes to add to its beauty, is a hikers’ paradise. Gauja National Park being nearby, it is an irresistible temptation for anyone visiting the place to try a hiking expedition to the national park. Taste the spirit of adventure in visiting the sandy caves. The ruins of the Sigulda Castle, built by the Germans in the 13th century and the Turaida Castle (part of the Turaida Museum Reserve) are ‘must see’ items. A cable car trip across the Gauja river valley will be memorable.
You can spend the evening after a long day by watching a show at the opera house or by just leisurely spending the time making friends at any of the many renovated pubs or restaurants.
If have a second day then take a look at the Motor Museum with lots items from the Soviet era, head to Vemanes Garden (the oldest public garden) or take a look at the Radio / Tv Tower which ist still the 3rd highest in Europe.