How to fall in love with Riga
A ROMANTIC GETAWAY
An old town full of cosy cafés, kilometers of promenades along the river, and a myriad of flower shops – if Riga were a movie, it would definitely be a romantic one. Explore Riga from a completely different point of view, by floating along the historical canal through the city centre and then cross the widest river in Latvia. Stop for a picnic on the river’s edge or wait until the sun goes down and see how the city lights twinkle in the dark. You can rent a kayak or an SUP board from the Lūzumpunkts adventure organisation at their Rīgas Laivas rental office.
Have a toast to a day full of adventures at the wine, design, and boutique champagne concept store Modernists. Drink a glass of bubbly on one of the shop’s chic sofas or grab a bottle to take away. Definitely, try one of their boutique champagnes!
With so many museums, parks, and playgrounds, Riga is a great destination for holidays with the kids. Did you know there was once an automobile named Latvija? That and dozens of other unique autos can be seen at the Riga Motor Museum. The exhibition, which is complemented by modern multimedia technologies, is organised to catch every child’s attention with an exciting interactive story about one-of-a-kind vehicles, notable persons, and the most significant events in the history of the automotive industry.
Take the children and visit the Jump Space Riga trampoline park to experience the child-like excitement of jumping high in the air. It offers countless platforms, foam pits, a climbing wall, and much more. By the way, did you know that jumping on a trampoline is good for your health? It strengthens the bones and joints, and some even say it’s as effective a fat-burner as jogging.
Art Nouveau architecture (mostly located in the city centre, especially on Alberta, Elizabetes, and Vīlandes Streets) is one of Riga’s claims to fame, and no Riga itinerary is complete without viewing at least some of these sites.
One of the best places to combine a spectacular sunset with dining is the Andrejsala neighbourhood. This industrial area is a host to various foodie locales. Muusu Terase’s chef, Kaspars Jansons, one of the best chefs in Riga, makes the dishes as visually exciting as the sunset.
There’s not an edifice the locals are more proud of than the Latvian National Museum of Art. Renovated and reopened in 2016, this majestic building is home to the most significant Latvian artwork. The permanent exposition gives an in-depth overview of Latvian art in both the 19th and 20th centuries. The landscapes painted by Vilhelms Purvītis (1872–1945) will leave no lover of impressionism uninspired.
FOR THE VERY HIP
Pervading the city’s cafés, bars, and coffee shops, in the warm season Riga seems to be governed by hip youngsters. Want to hang out with the locals? At Kaņepes Kultūras Centrs there’s something going on almost every night of the week: a concert on the terrace, a DJ set in the ‘living room’, movie screenings in its own little cinema, lectures, workshops, etc. Check its Facebook page to see what’s happening at KKC, as locals call it. Or just stop by and enjoy a beer while sitting under the strings of colourful lights on the backyard terrace.
One of the newest magical locales in Riga is C. C. von Stritzky’s villa. The former brewer’s mansion has been reborn as a spectacular event venue. Come here to enjoy everything from concerts on the backyard stage (on rainy evenings they move inside the villa) to open-air cinema.
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