Welcome to Riga, Latvia’s capital and a city full of surprises and delights! Located on the banks of the Daugava River and overlooking the Gulf of Riga, this beautiful city is a blend of historical charm and contemporary energy. Riga is a city that truly has something for everyone – from the UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town and impressive architecture to buzzing nightlife and delicious cuisine. In this post, we’ll take you on a tour of the best attractions and things to do in Riga, so get ready to explore this vibrant city!
The 9 Best Fun Stuff To Do In Riga
- Riga 15 Hour Latvian Wine Tasting Experience
- Riga 2 Hour Central Market Secrets Tour
- Riga Half Day Jewish History Tour
- Art Nouveau Walking Tour in Riga
- Riga 1 Hour Sightseeing by Canal Boat
- Private Tour of Riga
- Riga Self Guided Mobile Scavenger Hunt and Walking Tour
- Riga Murder Mystery City Exploration Game
- Riga Hop on Hop Off Tour
The 9 Best Fun Stuff To Do In Riga
1. Riga 15 Hour Latvian Wine Tasting Experience
Discover the hidden gems of Latvian wines with this 15-hour wine-tasting experience in Riga. You’ll visit a magical medieval dungeon in the heart of Riga, where local monks will reveal the secrets of Latvian wine production. Get ready to uncork some fun and learn about a typical wine-tasting process, as well as the local products Latvians use to make their wine. You’ll enjoy 6 authentic Latvian wines and learn about traditional wine production in Latvia, as well as fun facts and mystical legends. The tour includes local snacks and a tour guide. Please note that this tour is not suitable for pregnant women.
2. Riga 2 Hour Central Market Secrets Tour
Explore the secrets of Riga Central Market in a 2-hour guided tour with a professional local guide. Hear interesting legends and stories about the market and learn about its rich history. Discover the various Latvian foods and unexpected product combinations while tasting them throughout the tour. You’ll have the opportunity to see interesting cellars of the market and the places around it. This exciting excursion includes a friendly guide, tasting fees of foods and drinks during the tour, and a chance to experience the specialties of the Riga Central Market such as fresh salads, sandwiches, and juices. Walk around and visit historical attractions as you find interesting and unexpected product combinations. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the secrets of the Riga Central Market!
3. Riga Half Day Jewish History Tour
Explore Riga’s Jewish history and culture with our Half Day Jewish History Tour. During this Old Town walking tour, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Riga Synagogue (Peitav Shul), the only synagogue that survived the Nazi period and is still in use today. You’ll also see the Great Choral Synagogue and Rumbula Memorial. Additionally, we’ll walk through the Maskavas suburb with its unique wooden housing. Riga is a city with a rich history, and this tour offers a unique lens into the city’s Jewish heritage. Don’t miss your chance to learn about the history and culture of Riga’s Jewish community with our Half Day Jewish History Tour.
4. Art Nouveau Walking Tour in Riga
Discover some of Europe’s most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings on this guided walking tour through Riga. The Latvian capital has long been known to have one of the world’s greatest collections of Art Nouveau architecture so let your guide show you around central Riga’s elegant neighborhoods.
The Art Nouveau architectural style arose in the late-19th century in Brussels at a time when Riga and Latvia in general were at their peak of economic prosperity. The Art Nouveau architectural style quickly became popular and today there are about 800 Art Nouveau buildings still standing in Riga.
This tour includes a walk down Elizabetes Street and Alberta Street both home to the city’s most ornate and impressive Art Nouveau buildings. You will also have the chance to spend time walking through Riga’s vibrant city center while admiring its beautiful architecture.
During the tour, your knowledgeable guide will share information about the city’s unique Art Nouveau history and its role in the city’s culture. If you love architecture or simply admire the intricate beauty of Art Nouveau designs, don’t miss the opportunity to take this fascinating walking tour in Riga.
5. Riga 1 Hour Sightseeing by Canal Boat
Climb aboard an eco-friendly canal boat and experience the beauty of Riga from a unique perspective with the 1 Hour Sightseeing tour. Cruise along the Riga City Canal and the Daugava River to discover the historical center and its iconic landmarks such as the Spīķeri Quarter, the Latvian National Opera, and the Riga Central Market – Europe’s largest bazaar. Escape the crowds of the city center and enjoy stunning views of Old Riga as you cruise towards the Riga Passenger Terminal and Yacht Club Andrejosta. The tour offers you complete flexibility to use your tickets when it suits you. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore Riga’s top attractions and sights from the water on this unforgettable tour.
6. Private Tour of Riga
Explore the historic capital of Latvia, Riga, on a personalized 2-hour walking tour. Ideal for first-time visitors seeking a personalized sightseeing experience, this private tour will take you through the Old City Riga (Vecriga) where you will learn about the city’s 800-year-old history. Your knowledgeable local guide will show you top attractions such as St. Peter’s Church, Riga Dome Cathedral, and the Gunpowder Tower. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included for your convenience. You can choose from a morning or afternoon departure time. The tour includes a local guide, hotel pickup and drop-off, and is private. Entrance fees (if any), food, drinks, and gratuities are not included. Confirm the start time with the local provider in advance and select a pickup point. Experience Riga in a unique way with this private tour.
7. Riga Self Guided Mobile Scavenger Hunt and Walking Tour
Get ready to discover Riga in a unique and interactive way with this self-guided mobile scavenger hunt and walking tour. Designed for visitors who prefer exploring at their own pace, this tour experience allows you to decipher riddles and engage with the most important attractions of the city while unlocking interesting facts and legends. Perfect for couples, families, groups, and even as a team-building activity, you’ll get plenty of time to snap beautiful photos and discover hidden gems throughout the city.
Included with this tour is a mobile app and login credentials for easy navigation, along with a live guide to assist you throughout your journey. Please note that this tour is not suitable for people with mobility impairments, as it is a walking tour. And with social distancing in mind, you can enjoy this tour while still adhering to necessary safety measures. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience in Riga!
8. Riga Murder Mystery City Exploration Game
If you’re looking for a unique way to explore the inner city of Riga, why not try out the Riga Murder Mystery City Exploration Game? This fun outdoor event is perfect for groups of 2-6 participants and allows you to test your detective skills while discovering famous landmarks like the Raiņa piemineklis, The Freedom Monument, and Rigas Doms.
To start the game, simply download the app and use the exclusive code provided to log in. You’ll receive a map with marked places and witnesses to visit, where you’ll search for clues, test your knowledge, and solve the murder mystery. The game is designed to be a fun and engaging way to spend a day in the city, with plenty of opportunities to compete against your friends or family and become the best detectives.
Overall, the Riga Murder Mystery City Exploration Game is a unique and exciting way to explore Riga’s famous landmarks and test your problem-solving skills. With its fun and engaging format, this event is perfect for anyone looking to have a good time while exploring the city.
9. Riga Hop on Hop Off Tour
Explore the beautiful city of Riga with our hop-on and hop-off bus tour. See the stunning architecture of the Old Town and the Art Nouveau District, as well as the Riga Ferry Terminal at the harbor. You’ll have the opportunity to stop off at quaint restaurants and stores in the old city center and see beautiful baroque buildings along the way.
Our double-decker buses depart from the Town Hall Square daily between 10:45 AM-14: 45 PM, offering 11 main stops and around 16 additional stops along the routes. With this pass, you’ll have the flexibility to make the most of the hop-on-hop-off style within a 2 day period.
The tour covers three districts, starting with Pardaugava, an area overlooking ancient cathedrals on the left bank of the river Daugava. You’ll then cross the Stone Bridge and see the majestic panorama of the Old City. The bus then travels toward the city center, where many of the city’s main attractions are located. Don’t miss out on the chance to see all that Riga has to offer with our hop-on and hop-off tour.
Frequently Asked Questions about RigaRiga, the capital city of Latvia, is a charming and vibrant city with a rich history, impressive architecture, and a thriving cultural scene. As a popular tourist destination, travelers often have many questions about the city. In this post, we’ll address some of the most frequently asked questions about Riga.
1. What is the best time to visit Riga?The best time to visit Riga depends on your interests and preferences. The city has a humid continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters. The peak tourist season is during the summer months from June to August when the weather is favorable and many cultural events take place. However, if you prefer fewer crowds, lower prices, and festive holiday markets, then you may want to consider visiting Riga during the winter season from November to February.
2. What language do people speak in Riga?The official language of Riga is Latvian, a Baltic language closely related to Lithuanian. However, most people in Riga speak English, especially those who work in the hospitality and tourism industry. Russian is also widely spoken, particularly among the older generations who grew up during the Soviet era.
3. What currency is used in Riga?The currency used in Riga is the euro, which Latvia adopted in 2014. Most shops, restaurants, and hotels accept major credit cards, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand for small transactions and street vendors.
4. Is Riga a safe city?Riga is generally a safe city, but like any other city, there are some areas that are best avoided, especially at night. It’s also advisable to be aware of petty theft, such as pickpocketing, particularly in crowded tourist areas like Old Town. Basic precautions, such as not leaving valuables unattended and being aware of your surroundings, can go a long way in keeping you safe.
5. What are some must-see attractions in Riga?Riga is a city with a rich cultural and architectural heritage, and there are many must-see attractions in the city. Here are some of the most popular ones:
5.1 Old TownRiga’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is renowned for its art nouveau architecture, cobbled streets, and vibrant atmosphere. It’s home to many of the city’s top attractions such as Riga Castle, the Freedom Monument, and St. Peter’s Church.
5.2 Art Nouveau DistrictRiga has one of the largest and best-preserved collections of art nouveau architecture in Europe, and the Art Nouveau District is a must-see for architecture enthusiasts. Located in the central part of the city, the Art Nouveau District features lavishly decorated facades, intricate details, and ornate sculptures.
5.3 Central MarketThe Central Market is the largest and oldest market in Riga and is a must-visit for foodies. The market features five large pavilions that sell everything from fresh produce and seafood to meat and dairy products. The market is a great place to sample traditional Latvian foods and buy souvenirs.
5.4 Riga Motor MuseumThe Riga Motor Museum is a must-visit for car enthusiasts, featuring an impressive collection of vintage and modern cars, bikes, and other vehicles. The museum is located on the outskirts of the city and can be easily reached by public transport.
6. What is the public transportation system like in Riga?Riga has an efficient and extensive public transportation system consisting of buses, trams, trolleybuses, and minibusses. The tickets are sold at automated vending machines and can be used for all modes of transportation. The public transport system operates from early morning until midnight, and some routes offer 24-hour service.
7. What is traditional Latvian food?Latvian cuisine is a unique blend of Baltic, Scandinavian, and Russian influences, and features hearty and wholesome dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Some traditional Latvian foods to try include:
- Rupjmaize – A dark sourdough bread that is a staple of Latvian cuisine.
- Piragi – A type of Latvian pastry that is filled with bacon and onion.
- Sklandrausis – A sweet and savory pie made with rye flour and filled with carrot and potato.
- Grey Peas and Bacon – A hearty dish made with peas, bacon, and a sour cream sauce.
- Latvian Black Balsam – A strong alcoholic herbal liqueur that is a popular after-dinner drink.