From churches to parks and museums to art galleries, Riga is filled with interesting sites and attractions.
In Old Town, check out the impressive Riga Dome Cathedral along with St. Jacob’s Church. Head up the tower at St. Peter’s and you’ll find some of the best views out across the city. A walk around this area also provides you with the opportunity to see interesting buildings such as Riga Castle, the House of the Blackheads, the Town Hall and the oldest dwellings in the city, the Three Brothers.
Heading up towards Brivibas iela, you’ll come across the Freedom Monument, another major place of interest in Riga. From there, it's not far to Elizabetes and Alberta streets where you'll find impressive examples of art nouveau architecture.
Two of the city’s most popular museums are the Latvian Museum of Occupation and the Latvian Museum of Fine Art. A 15-minute trip outside of Riga, you’ll find the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, which is also well worth a visit.
If you’re up for a little day trip, Sigulda is the place to go. Not only can you find a hugely popular bobsleigh track here, there’s also the cable car, Gauja National Park and the interesting 13th century Turaida Castle.
So whether you’re looking for culture or a more active escape, you’ll find it in Riga.
Skārņu 19, Old Town, Riga, Latvia
Not only does this church offer stunning views out across the city, it provides an elevator to get up to the top of the tower. When you step out from the lift, you’ll be able to walk around and take in the panoramic sight of the city, from Old Town to the Central Market and out across the Daugava River. Latvia’s biggest Gothic Church, it was originally built in the 13th century and stretches up 123 metres.
Open Tues-Sun 10am-6pm, closed Mon; admission 2Ls.
Brīvības gatve, Lake Yugla, Riga, Latvia
From the homes of fishermen, potters and peasants to animal dwelling and religious structures, this open-air museum is home to around 118 different buildings brought here from all over Lativa. Spread across 80 hectares of breathtaking countryside, here you can wander around and take in the natural beauty while learning about Latvian life in days gone by.
Open daily 10am-5pm; admission 1.50Ls.
Doma laukums 1, Old Town, Riga, Latvia
Home to a hugely impressive organ, the Cathedral hosts various musical events. It’s an immense space inside, filled with interesting side altars, stained glass windows and religious artefacts. Construction on this notable place of worship began in the 13th century, and it displays a hodgepodge of different architectural styles.
Open daily 10am-5pm; admission 2Ls.
Kr. Valdemāra 10a, Riga, Latvia
Housed in an early 20th century building which was purposefully built to serve as an art gallery, the Latvian National Museum of Fine Art is home to over 52,000 paintings and sculptures by Latvian, Baltic and Russian artists.
Open Wed-Mon 11am-5pm, closed Tuesday; admission 3Ls.
Brivibas piemineklis, Riga, Latvia
This monument, which bears the inscription ‘For the Fatherland and Freedom’, was funded by public donations and is close to the hearts of the Latvian people. It stretches up for 42 metres and was built between 1930 and 1935.
Catch the changing of the guard here each day on the hour from 9am to 6pm.
Strelnieku laukums 1, Riga, Latvia
Latvia was occupied by two different regimes for 51 years between 1940 and 1991. This museum, which is filled with artefacts such as clothes, arms, documents, books, photographs, ornately carved chess sets, musical instruments, toys and even hair, tells the story of this occupation and the people it affected. Founded in 1993, it sees 100,000 visitors each year.
Open Tues-Sun 11am-5pm, closed Mon.
Jekaba 9, Old Town, Riga, Latvia
St. Jacob’s has a pleasantly welcoming interior. Not as ornate as some of Riga’s churches, it is still home to some very impressive designs and an impressive spire. This tall point is home to the church’s most notable feature, a church bell lying outside the confines of the tower.
Open daily 7am-5pm.
Brivibas 23, Riga, Latvia
The smell of incense hits you as you step inside Riga’s majestic Russian Orthodox church. Covered in ornate designs and wall paintings, this church is a stunning example of Byzantine design with its numerous domes. It was built between 1876 and 1884.
Open daily 8am-5pm.
Maza Pils 17, 19 & 21, Riga, Latvia
These three buildings stand side-by-side and are said to be the oldest dwellings in the city. The eldest brother, located at no. 17 Mazā Pils, is now home to the Museum of Architecture and dates back to the 15th century.