Issuu on Google+

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? Well‌ 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.

Founded mercenaries

by and

German crusaders

traders, in

the

th

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

and

contemporary

lifestyle

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

great

19

th

Art

half an hour by the public transport

Nouveau buildings to Soviet-era block

(you will be surprised again how cheap

houses

the tickets are!).

and

and

th

even

20

centuries

complex

wooden

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

of

trading

routes

and,

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

you

can

never

explore

completely everything and take a piece of the city with you, you are always welcome to come back for more.


ON THE STREET...

For

breath

taking

exhibitions

and

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.

International

Exhibition

Centre

(3.

www.rigaexpo.lv) is the place No 1 to go to across the whole Baltic region. Offering a diverse program of activities, it

brings

together

people

of

all

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

Raffaele

sleep

Sepe

and

Corby

Welch

performing next to the local talents. Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum

to

get

ready

for

the

next

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

a

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

workers

traditional

class service. It has also been voted a

festivals are held and exhibitions of

Latvia’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

see object.

of "The Leading Hotels of The World"

work,

Latvian

person

www.grandpalaceriga.com)

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

single

just a few dished you can taste, while

room

from

69.00 EUR

www.radissonblu.com/hotel-riga) is one of the best international chain hotels in Riga. Combining saunas, sunbeds, spas and

beauty

salons,

as

well

as

conference rooms, the hotel is the perfect place to stay if you want to avoid

the

busy

city

centre

accommodations. Conference

Hotel

enjoying the free tavern atmosphere. If you are one of those who fancy a posh dinner without worrying about your bill price,

restaurant

Vincents

(8.

www.restorans.lv) will justify all your expectations. Not only contemporary interior but also the awareness that such famous people as Elton John,

TOMO

(6.

Single

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

the

Town is also a lovely and quiet place to

special.

stay at, especially if your financial resources are limited.

dining

experience

even

more

And finally, if you are a fan of more original and bohemian dinner, Galerija

ON THE TABLE...

Istaba,

(9.

www.irlaiks.lv/places/drink/pubs/articl

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 don’t have a menu (really!).

Just as any other modern city, Riga as well is full of Italian, Japanese and Turkish

restaurants,

but

there

is

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

you

want.

Well‌almost

anything. Just don’t forget to grab a dictionary, and let the great fiesta a la Latvians

begin!


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 – 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


Travel Feature