On the Ground: Riga Now when most of European cities are already thriving and blossoming, Riga has just started waking up from the long winter sleep, but the rapid climate change that makes the snow melt, birds sing and grass grow in less than a month time is definitely worth feeling on your own skin if you want to know what real spring is all about.
GET THE VIBE... From the Middle Ages to the present days What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you hear the word Riga? Art Nouveau, Baltic Sea or cheap drinks? Wellâ€Ś you are right, but apart from that there is so much more to discover when it comes to the more than 800 years old Latvian capital.
second half of the 12 century, Riga has now grown into a modern European city of great character and resilience that has gone through a long and severe history to become a shining star on the Baltic stage.
Home to almost one million people,
through the narrow streets of the old
equally divided between ethnic Latvians
town, which, in fact, can be another
and Russians, Riga has the feel of a
great adventure when in Riga.
large city saturated with the aura of a small town. With the impressive Old Town and busy commercial districts that surround it, the city combines the ancient
contrasts similar to none other city in Europe.
Apart from all that, Riga also has a long sea line, which may seem much more tempting destination in summer due to its numerous sunny and sandy Baltic Sea beaches, but even in spring it is a lovely place to go to, if you want to escape the busy city life, free your mind and
Riga’s diverse architecture is a very
catch the first rays of sun, besides
phenomenal thing to see. From the
getting there takes no more than just
half an hour by the public transport
Nouveau buildings to Soviet-era block
(you will be surprised again how cheap
the tickets are!).
constructions that miraculously have still been preserved. Not without a reason the historic center of Riga was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, so don’t forget to take your camera with you, because Riga is like a photo album – you just can’t get enough. The city’s nightlife is also second to none. You can find modern night clubs equipped with the latest technologies, funky bar lounges and even medieval style taverns situated next to each other, so that you can explore travelling through time yourself. And moreover, drinks are available for incredibly low prices starting from just as little as LVL1 for a pint of beer (around £ 1.50) if you are patient enough to wander
“Riga has always been located at a juncture
therefore, it is a multicultural city which means there are a lot of things to see and visit here. A weekend in Riga is a great way to gather new impressions and to relax,” says Brigita Stroda, the director of the Latvian Tourism Bureau in London. No matter what you decide to visit or see, Riga won’t disappoint you, as there is always something for everyone. And, although
completely everything and take a piece of the city with you, you are always welcome to come back for more.
ON THE STREET...
untraditional social occasions Kipsala
A little bit of culture From modern cinemas to numerous eyecatching museums, art galleries and concert halls, Riga offers its inhabitants and visitors to become acquainted not only with the Latvian culture, but also discover impressive achievements by different foreign artists, musicians and cultural workers.
www.rigaexpo.lv) is the place No 1 to go to across the whole Baltic region. Offering a diverse program of activities, it
generations by organizing such annual exhibitions as Baltic Book Fair, Baltic Beauty, Erots, Baltic Boat Show and many more every month.
Although the history of Latvian opera is
AT THE HOTEL...
just 100 years old, which may seem nothing comparing to other European
A place to stay
cultures, over the years The Latvian
They say that Riga is a sleepless city
National Opera (1. www.opera.lv) has
with something going on all night long
proved itself as one of the major
until the sun rises and a new day comes,
cultural centers, welcoming such world
but even if you want to be a part of it,
famous guest artists as Tania Kross,
eventually you will need to get some
performing next to the local talents. Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum
adventure, and that is when a good accommodation comes just on time.
(2. www.brivdabasmuzejs.lv) is one of
In the midst of the vibrant business and
the eldest outdoor museums in Europe.
shopping district, Grand Palace Hotel
Situated by the coasts of Juglas lake it
(4. standard room from 154.00 EUR for
occupies 87, 66 he (215 acres) large
territory of pine tree forests and it is
offers its visitors a place of warmth and
also the main place where Latvian craft
comfort, accompanied by attentive high
class service. It has also been voted a
festivals are held and exhibitions of
Latviaâ€™s Leading Hotel by the body of
traditional art are deployed. If you are
World Travel Awards for seven years
a nature lover, this is a definite must-
now, and besides it is the only member
of "The Leading Hotels of The World"
and "Virtuoso" in Latvia.
Situated on the left bank of Daugava
that. Pork ribs, braised cabbage, gray
River, Radisson Blu Daugava Hotel (5.
peas, homemade bread and kefir are
just a few dished you can taste, while
www.radissonblu.com/hotel-riga) is one of the best international chain hotels in Riga. Combining saunas, sunbeds, spas and
conference rooms, the hotel is the perfect place to stay if you want to avoid
enjoying the free tavern atmosphere. If you are one of those who fancy a posh dinner without worrying about your bill price,
www.restorans.lv) will justify all your expectations. Not only contemporary interior but also the awareness that such famous people as Elton John,
Prince Charles and Pierre Richard have
rooms from 49.00 EUR www.tomo.lv),
also enjoyed their food there, makes
situated 10 minutes away from the Old
Town is also a lovely and quiet place to
stay at, especially if your financial resources are limited.
And finally, if you are a fan of more original and bohemian dinner, Galerija
ON THE TABLE...
Come dine with us
e.php?id=14602) a cafe made in a form
When the magnificent city and its points
of an art gallery, will be the perfect
of interest have taken all your energy,
place for you. Apart from the creative
it is the best time to retain a delicious
interior and open-minded atmosphere,
meal in one of the many quality
another peculiar thing about this place
restaurants or cosy medieval style pubs.
is that they donâ€™t have a menu (really!).
Just as any other modern city, Riga as well is full of Italian, Japanese and Turkish
something special about the traditional Latvian food, and Lido Leisure Centre (7. www.lido.lv) is a great proof of
You need to talk to the chef and tell him all your wishes in order to have a meal, which means you can have anything
anything. Just donâ€™t forget to grab a dictionary, and let the great fiesta a la Latvians
Contact Details: 1. The Latvian National Opera 3 Aspazijas Bulvaris, Riga, LV-1050, tel.: +371 67 073 777 2. Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum 440 Brivibas gatve, Riga, LV - 1024, Tel.: +371 7994106 3. Kipsala International Exhibition Centre 8 Kipsalas Street, Riga, LV-1048, tel.: +371 67067509 4. Grand Palace Hotel 12 Pils Street, Riga, LV-1050, tel.: +371 6704 4000 5. Radisson Blu Daugava Hotel 24 Kugu Street, Riga, LV-1048, tel.: +371 6706 1111 6. Conference Hotel TOMO 44 Raunas Street, Riga, LV â€“ 1039, tel.:+371 67870787 7. Lido Leisure Centre 76 Krasta Street, Riga, LV-1019, tel.: +371 6 7700 000 8. Vincents Restaurant 19 Elizabetes Street, Riga, LV-1010, tel.: +371 67332830 9. Galerija Istaba 31a Kr. Barona Street, Riga, LV- 1011, tel.: +371 27281141