Riga, Latvia’s capital is known as the eastern Paris set on the Baltic sea. A cultural centre known for it’s old buildings, museums and concert halls as well as a pedestrian only old town full of restaurants and bars.
My main reason for coming to Riga was the flight price, it was my birthday weekend and I saw flights to a place I’d never even heard of before and thought, why the heck not? I spent three days in Riga and as always, have broken down my review into three simple sections; where to eat, what to do and where to stay.
BOOKING THE TRIP
Use my ‘How I book my holidays – top tips’ to help you book your mini break if you’re wanting to fly. I used Skyscanner to book my flight (as always) and managed to find a flight from East Midlands to Riga for £50 – so I immediately booked it. I then used google maps to find places that were close to the centre to find somewhere suitable to stay. I booked a hotel through booking.com for 3 nights at a cost of £190 in ‘Old Riga’, the hotel was lovely (Wellton Old Riga Palace Hotel) and included a 2 hour spa package, and once I’d seen the expected weather I was very grateful!
WHERE TO STAY
The Old Town is the place to go. It has everything you need. Attractions, Shopping and Nightlife – need I say more? The centre of Riga is small and you will be able to walk to all close attractions easily. If you are on a budget the new town is slightly cheaper. There are plenty of hotel options and I would definitely recommend the one I stayed at.
WHERE TO EAT
Be prepared! That’s all I can say. The food portions are huge and are not for the healthy.
A place that is recommended by many is Folkklubs ALA – if you want to discover Latvian Cuisine this is the place you need to visit! The venue itself is open until 6am and is very popular with tourists and locals.
If you want a small snack head to the Central Market – I’m pretty sure we had a typical English meal of Fish and Chips here not long after arriving in Riga. It was delicious.
Other places to try:
- Domini Canes
- For upmarket food try Kolonade
- Restoran’s 3
We went to an irish bar along the way and I had burger and chips! Standard.
Make sure you try the Latvian vodka. It is deathly.
WHAT TO DO
What you’ll notice as we post more blogs about travel is that a lot of my time spent in European cities includes war related trips because I’m obsessed. I love learning so much about our history and the horrors in which people went through and lived. Riga is becoming increasingly popular, filled with cobbled narrow streets, beautiful architecture and colourful houses. There is so much you can do here, a few things I’d recommend are:
- Central Market – for the food and experience, we tried a few Latvian beers shortly after arriving
- Walk down Jauniela – an Art Nouveau style street, very beautiful
- Visit Zanis Lipke Memorial – out of the way but amazing views along the way. It’s a small memorial showing a positive story to World War 2 and is free to enter
- KGB Building – this is a tour and there are English Guides who are very engaging
- Panorama Observation deck
- Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum
- Freedom Monument
- House of the Blackheads – a landmark that was rebuilt after WW2
- St Peter’s Church
- Take part in a walking tour!
- Take comfortable footwear because you’ll be doing a lot of walking and exploring!
- Get a city map as soon as you get there as they often have deals and discounts in for your trips and meals out. You can then easily work out how far away you are from the attractions you’re wanting to see.
- If you go in winter, it. is. COLD. -16 Degrees Celsius made for an unforgettable trip. BE PREPARED.
What did you do in Riga? Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments!