With around 650,000 inhabitants, Riga is not only Latvia’s largest city, but also the country’s capital. According to DigoPaul, the city is especially known for its well-preserved history, which is especially reflected in the striking architecture and buildings from the Middle Ages in the “old town”. This is where most tourists come, as most of the sights, attractions and bustling crowds are in this neighborhood.
In recent years, Riga has emerged as a very popular tourist destination for Norwegians. The Latvian capital is cheap, has a good cultural offer and a warm summer climate. Here you travel best from May to September, and in the middle of June you will probably meet the best summer month. Riga has something to offer whether you are interested in history and culture, looking for an affordable weekend trip, or want to shop and vacation reasonably in an European capital.
Recommended hotels in Riga
- Grand Poet Hotel by Semarah –Great five star hotel in beautiful surroundings in the heart of Riga. Right outside the hotel door you will find a beautiful park, and it is also a short walk to the old town and you are only 3 minutes away from the shopping streets of Riga. The rooms are spacious, clean and neat and the staff are very nice and service minded. Breakfast with a good selection is included in the price. The hotel also has several facilities such as a great spa, indoor swimming pool, saunas and fitness center. Although this is a high standard hotel, it does not cost the shirt to stay here.
- Neiburgs Hotel- The Neigburgs Hotel is a good 4.5-star hotel located in the Old Town of Riga. Here you live in the middle of nowhere with walking distance to most of the sights. Good shoes are a good tip, as there are a lot of cobblestones in Riga. The hotel has nice and clean rooms, as well as very good service.
- Wellton Centrum Hotel & Spa– Relatively affordable four star hotel in the Old Town of Riga. It is centrally located, a short walk from a number of sights. The hotel has a free and good breakfast, its own restaurant, full-service spa and indoor pool. Clean, nice and affordable!
Travel to Riga
The flight to Riga and Latvia takes just under two hours with direct flights from Oslo Airport, and several airlines take you time for very cheap money. Therefore, many Norwegians choose and rather spit in a little extra on the overnight stay, which also does not have to cost the shirt. The euro was introduced as the official currency in 2014, and as is well known, 1 euro corresponds to approximately eight and a half Norwegian kroner. The price level will in any case be perceived as low for Norwegians. A beer at a nightclub or restaurant rarely costs more than three euros, unless you are in the middle of the worst tourist soup.
Riga is considered a safe destination for tourists to stay in, and most people who work or live in the old town are tourist-friendly and pleasant. In any case, beware of pickpocketing in large crowds and especially in tourist places. The drinking water should be bought in a bottle and not from the tap.
Hotels and restaurants in Riga
Accommodation in Riga is often far cheaper than in Norway, and you can get a good standard and location for an affordable price. The city center hotels in the old town tend to get paid better, because this is where most tourists want to stay, due to walking distance to sights, restaurants, markets and so on. If you choose to settle further away, the price will be cheaper, but it can be eaten up by costs for transport and waiting time in traffic.
Have you ever eaten a dish from Latvian cuisine? Probably not – they are not particularly known for their dishes, other than that it is similar to most other things from Eastern European cuisine. The restaurants serve menus from all over the world, including Scandinavian dishes. Most of the restaurants that tourists eat at are located in the old town, but if you want to eat cheaply and locally, you should seek out restaurants outside the very heart of the city.
Attractions in Riga
A walk through Riga’s old town and the many historic buildings there is for many a sight in itself. The city can offer many museums for those interested in history, and has a generally very good cultural offer.
St. Peter’s Church
Perhaps the most famous tourist attraction in Riga is St. Peter ‘s Church, which has been in the center of the old town since the beginning of the 15th century. It was unfortunately bombed to pieces during World War II, but is still stable after a complete reconstruction.
The Orthodox cathedrals and the Domedicles
A more modern masterpiece is the Orthodox Cathedral of Riga, which is clearly a masterpiece of an architect and the most detailed construction in the entire city. A visit to the Cathedral of the Cathedral can also be recommended, in what is one of the oldest and best-preserved churches in the country with a history from the early 13th century.
Museums in Riga
Riga is also an eldorado for museum goers. If you like art, the National Art Museum can offer works of art by local artists dating back to the 18th century, to the present day. If you would rather experience foreign art, there is a separate museum for this. The War Museum is also very relevant and interesting for historians, where all the country’s involved wars are addressed. Also bring the Occupation Museum, which tells stories from World War II.
The TV tower in Riga
Riga is a city that looks good from ground level, but if possible maybe even better from the height. Like most Eastern European cities, Riga also has a giant TV tower in the city center. It extends almost 370 meters above the ground, and has a lookout point of 97 meters that tourists can reach up to via an elevator.