Sightseeing in Riga
Latvia has been a former Russian colony, as a result it has remnants of Soviet left overs visibly present in its architecture. In our Riga guide we recommend a short trip to the northwest corner of the city where you can visit the abandoned Spilve Airport which was highly in use in the soviet times. The Russian tradition of the hammer and sickle can still be seen painted on the facade of the Terminal building. The Opera House in Riga is one of the biggest and best in the world. Latvia has the tradition of creative and unique theatre-sets and the theatre is very inexpensive compared to other countries, and providing classical entertainment for the entire family at a very low price. You can also enjoy a long peaceful and mesmerising walk along the Art Nouveau buildings with decorative and eclectic masterpieces built around 1900. Crowning the effect of Riga’s rich historical past is Alberta Street which has the world’s largest collection of Art Nouveau buildings.
Another unique feature to Latvia’s beautiful sight-seeing qualities is a moving memorial to the victims of the Nazi regime. You can have a look at it walking just a few minutes to the east of the city centre. An easy trip to the forest by a trolly bus is also an enjoyable experience.
Hotels in Riga
- Reval Hotel Ridzene (5 star), Reimersa St., 1
- Radisson SAS Daugava Hotel (5 star).
- Hotel De Rome (5 star), Kalku St., 28
- Grand Palace Hotel (5 star), Pils St., 12
- Riga Hotel (4 star), Aspazijas Blvd., 22
- Metropole Hotel (4 star), Aspazijas Blvd., 36/38
- Gutenbergs Hotel (4 star), Doma Sq., 1
- Maritim Park Hotel (4 star), Slokas St., 1.
- Forum Hotel (3 star), Valnu St., 45
- Konventa Seta Hotel (3 star), Kaleju St., 9/11.
- Reval Hotel Latvija (3 star), Elizabetes St., 55.
- Baltpark Hotel (3 star), Pernavas St., 36
- Karavella Hotel (3 star), Katrinas dambis St., 27
Apartments in Riga
There are also lets of agencies providing apartments in great locations in the very city center. This can be a good alternative to hotels when traveling to Riga.
If you are only here for a short period of time be sure to read our section about one day in Riga.
Shopping in Riga
Every Riga guide is incomplete if it does not mention one of the largest markets in the whole of Europe. Its located next to the international bus station. The speciality is that it is situated partly outdoors and partly housed in an old German blimp hanger. You can just imagine how delicious it appears with a beautiful building full of cheese and saucy meat. Its a great place for you to get some knitted wool socks for someone special for Christmas. Riga is a happening place for winter shopping and you can enjoy some hot wine and a traditional Latvian gingerbread cookie!
In Riga you will find the widest choice of shopping in Latvia, you can find several modern shopping centres. Check out Alfa mall (Brivibas 372) or Spice mall (Lielirbes 29). The favorite of many is Centrs (Audeju 15) which is Riga’s oldest mall dating back to the 1920s.
The most shops are located within the Old Town or nearby.
The Central Market, Negu 7 is the main market where you can find everything from small items to larger items. Antiques and collectables from Latvia can be purchased cheaply from the Inspection Board for History and Culture and the Protection of Monuments, Pils 22, or private shops like Tango, Dzirnavu 66 and Volmar, Brivibas 39. Items like porcelain, paintings, and books are all available in these shops at reasonable price. If you are looking for souvenirs then head to include Souvenir, Aspazijas 30 and Ezerciems, Kalku 7-9. For clothing go to one of the malls or look for smaller fashion shops throughout the city center. While most shops maintain 9 to 5 timings (on weekdays), supermarkets and department stores remain open untill 10PM in the evening.