Russia & Baltics Tours

Top 5 must-sees in Riga

Top 5 must-sees in Riga
08.12.2019

Top 5 must-sees in Riga

From magnificent cathedrals to fresh food markets and opera to a one-of-a-kind car museum, Riga has everything for a memorable visit. This inspiring city will make you smile!

1.Timeless charm

Steeped in over 800 years of history and recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, Old Riga is the heart and soul of Latvia’s capital.

Many nations have helped build this unique place, and famous figures from Peter the Great to Richard Wagner have spent time here. Magnificent churches, architectural masterpieces like the House of Blackheads, romantic cobblestone lanes, squares bursting with summer life and much more await you.

Travel through the centuries at House of the Blackheads
  • Admire the opulent facade of the House of the Blackheads featuring various architectural styles and artistic trends of various periods,
  • Take a tour of the House of the Blackheads and picture in your imagination the receptions and concerts that were held at the sumptuous Conference Hall during the times of the Blackheads Society.
  • Take a look at the works of our artisans, craftsmen and antique restorers: crystal chandeliers, the painted ceiling of the Conference Hall, the exact replicas of 19th century chairs and sofas, weaponry and armor sets, portraits of the nobility in gilded frames, stained glass with colorful ornamentation, the Blackheads’ Coat of Arms and girandoles.
  • Inspect the museum’s treasures at the Medieval cellar;
  • See the items that once belonged to the Brotherhood of Blackheads: snuffboxes, silverware, paintings and pottery;
  • Explore not only the oldest historical exhibits but also those from more recent times;
  • Attend festive events which in the interiors of House of the Blackheads will have a special aura and a truly festive atmosphere;
  • See the replica of the Statue of Roland, symbol of the Medieval Hanseatic cities, with the original located in St. Peter’s Church.

2. Shopping on a grand scale

For a shopping experience like no other, head to Riga’s Central Market.
You can get closer to Latvian culture and traditions in the Central Market. Merchants will offer typical and unique products here – you will meet food used here for a long time as well as new flavors of Latvia.

One of the largest markets in Europe, the vast territory is dominated by five zeppelin hangars filled with cheese, fish, smoked meat, honey, fresh fruit and vegetables and lots more superb seasonal produce.
The atmosphere is friendly and filled with local colour.

3. Lady liberty

Latvians have struggled hard for their country’s independence, and the sacrifice and triumph are summed up in one magnificent work of art in Riga.
Unveiled in 1935, the Freedom Monument has also played a major role in the country’s subsequent tumultuous history. The Freedom Monument has been Riga's central landmark for almost a century. This 42.7 m tall granite and copper work of art is a symbol of the Latvian nation's striving for freedom and independence. The woman on top of the monument is holding up three golden stars, which represent Latvia's historical regions of Kurzeme, Vidzeme, and Latgale. The motto "For the Fatherland and Freedom" is inscribed upon the base. It was unveiled on 18 November 1935 and financed entirely from public donations.
The Freedom Monument was erected according to the design by the outstanding Latvian sculptor Kārlis Zāle (1888–1942); he was also artist for the Memorial Ensemble at the Brethren Cemetery. Zāle's idea was implemented by architect Ernests Štālbergs (1883–1958); the construction lasted for four years. The Freedom Monument is an architectural representation of the idea of freedom — the large-scale sculptures, arranged on several levels, depict significant events and personalities in the Latvian history.
Fifty six sculptures are arranged in thirteen groups on four levels.

4. The art of the city

Riga experienced its golden age in the early 20th century just as Art Nouveau architecture was coming into fashion, and so the city has one of the world’s richest collections of this exuberant style.
There are over 800 amazing Art Nouveau structures throughout the city, but the greatest concentration is on Alberta iela, a street largely built in a flurry of creativity by a single architect, Mikhail Eisenstein.

5. A treat for eyes and ears

The birthplace of stars from dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov to diva Elīna Garanča, Riga is a city with a musical soul. Nowhere is this better showcased than the Latvian National Opera and Ballet, a magnificent neo classical building dating from 1882 in the heart of town.
Attend a performance, take a guided tour behind the scenes, and on a sunny day relax by the Opera Nymph fountain and enjoy the beautiful opera gardens.

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