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Riga: TOP sights

Riga is the capital of Latvia and largest city in Baltic states. It is a city with more than 800 year old history, and offers exquisite range of great tourism sights. It has not only inspiring medieval heritage but also impressive architecture collection of 20th Century beginning (mainly Art Nouveau), as well as Functionalism.

Main facts
POPULATION: 698 098 (01.01.2015)
AREA: 304 sq km (nature: ~40%, residential built-up: ~22%, industrial areas: ~17%, streets: ~15%)
GDP (Per capita): 17 790 EUR (2012)
TOURISTS: 1 112 990 (2013)

Click on map to see photos and descriptions of Riga tourist attractions and follow links for detailed exploration:


Dom square. One of most beautiful squares of the city which hosts main Christmas market and many public events (concerts, political gatherings, etc.). The square is surrounded by great architecture - largest Cathedral in Baltic states, Museum of foreign art, Latvian Radio building, etc.

Townhall square. Main historical square, administrative, cultural and political centre of Riga from medieval times until 19th Century. Here tourists gather to wonder about House of Blackheads ornated building, Townhall and Roland statue. Also highest church of Riga - St. Peter’s is just around the corner.

Alberta street. Most unique area of Riga with truly exquisite Art Nouveau buildings. Be surprised by an unimaginable flight of fantasy of the weird faces, animals and decorations on the buildings' facades. This is what Riga is famous for. Check out also nearby Elizabetes street buildings.

Opera and it’s garden. National Opera and it’s charming garden is a part of Boulevard Ring area which is like a man-shaped nature oasis in the middle of city's hustle. Riga canal is it’s backbone but Opera and nearby Liberty monument - main architecture attractions and two of Riga’s most symbolic landmarks.

Līvu square. Another important (and most lively!) square of Old Town Riga. Here a several restaurants, street cafes and bars offers tasty meals and (often) live music, horse carriages and rikshaws provides a different kind of transport through the city, street artists demonstrates their talents - in a word, this is the place where many things happen. And also this square offers views to great historical architecture - the exquisite Small Guild building, fairy tale-like complex of three 17th Century buildings in Meistaru iela, Russian Drama theatre, etc.

Ķīpsala waterfront. Riverside at Ķīpsala island is offering the most beautiful views to Riga Old Town’s skyline. Due to arcuated shoreline it’s also very dynamically changing - just a few steps and you see yet another composition of medieval church spires! Go also to AB dam to see most classical skyline view.

Central Market. One of the largest roof-covered markets in the world, located in uniquely designed five huge semi-round shaped pavilions (former Zeppelin hangars from World War 1), built in 30ies. Here you can get quality food right from the farmers, something which is hard to find in common supermarkets.

Ģertrūdes church area. Old Gertrude church is one of most scenic Riga churches and it is surrounded by bunch of very beautiful buildings from the beginning of 20th Century. Check out also nearby Skolas and Baznīcas streets - calm, silent and architectonically rich oasis.

Esplanāde park. Esplanāde is a park in central Riga where three important architecture and cultural buildings are located - amazing Christ’s Birth Orthodox church (in picture), National Art Museum and Latvian Art Academy. In between, there are numerous silent corners to relax in greenery.

Ziemeļblāzma palace and park. Ziemeļblāzma palace is recently renovated Art Nouveau palace in northern part of Riga, Vecmīlgrāvis district. The building is surrounded by a beautiful french style park, freshly restored and re-landscaped, dating from 1903. There is also an observation tower which is offering wide views over Riga.

Left bank modern Riga. While right bank of Daugava river is dominated by Riga’s historical symbols, modern landmarks of the city groups on left bank, opposite to Old Town. There you see unique shape of National Library building (in picture), great design of Swedbank office tower and cool, three-legged TV tower.

Railway bridge.  Impressive industrial-era style railway bridge is one of largest and most eye-catching objects at Daugava riverfront. It's beautifully lightened at night, shining all in blue.

TV Tower. Triangle-shaped Riga TV Tower with it's 368 m height is 3rd highest free-standing structure in Europe. Tower design is unique in global scale, and it offers great panoramic views from 90 m observation deck, one of the nicest places to see the city from above.

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Riga: TOP sights Reviewed by Ikars Kublins on Monday, March 10, 2008 Rating: 5

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