There is much more to Riga than meets the eye. Today, Latvia’s capital is an exciting European metropolis. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site of cobblestone and breathtaking river views.
Riga is also an adventure for the taste buds. The enormous Central Market is a treasure trove of earthy sausage, cheese and black bread, smoked fish and much more.
Must-sees include the Dome cathedral and its surrounding square, the bustling Central Market and the Art Nouveau district – an assembly of jewel-like architectural masterpieces dating from the early years of the last century.
Visit Riga’s Old Town
Over 800 buildings are of the Art Nouveau style of architecture. This style involves intricate building facades, with carvings of flowers and mythological creatures.
House of Blackheads
This is where the merchants-to-be had their guild. Part of this building the tourist information office, but the rest is a fascinating museum.
Taste Latvia’s Balzams
A potent liqueur in a black bottle distilled to 45-percent proof. Contents include raspberries, bilberries, ginger, nutmeg, linden blossom and valerian root.
Check out the Freedom Monument
This is one of Latvia’s national symbols. It was erected during the first independence and surprisingly never taken down.
Eat Traditional Latvian Cuisine
The restaurant scene in Riga has come a long way. Traditional cuisine is closely linked to Germany, Russia and Sweden.
Buy some Souvenirs
At the central market in Riga. This striking building near the central train station is an excellent place to buy fresh produce and meat, but is also very good for souvenirs.
Dome Hotel & Spa
A 2-minute walk from both the Museum of Foreign Art and Riga’s Dome Cathedral, this sophisticated hotel in a building dating from the 13th century is also a 4-minute walk from the Cat House building.
The polished rooms and suites come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, DVD players and Nespresso machines, plus minibars, designer toiletries and plush linens. Suites add antiques, artwork and sitting areas, and some have Dome Cathedral views.
Breakfast is complimentary. There’s an elegant seafood restaurant, plus 2 seasonal terraces with city views. Other amenities include a spa with a Finnish sauna and a hammam.
Grand Palace Hotel
This venerable polished hotel, set in a former bank built in 1877, is a minute’s walk from the Museum of Foreign Art and a 6-minute walk from St. Peter’s Church.
Plush room with subdued tones and contemporary decor feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minibars and heated bathroom floors; some add sitting areas and tea and coffeemakers. Suites include smart TVs and Blu-ray players. Room service is available 24/7.
A free breakfast buffet is served in an opulent, art deco-style restaurant; there’s also a luxe lounge with a fireplace and a sophisticated bar with hunting trophies. Other amenities include chauffeur service and an exercise room.
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