10 Must See Attractions in Riga, Latvia

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Lluis Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Riga is a small city, concentrated all around its historical center, built by medieval alleys intricate where walking is a real pleasure. Despite efficient public transport, it is possible to go around the city center on foot, as the distances are really small.
This will allow you to experience the best European capital richest in Art Nouveau and to come across aesthetic details that you would never encounter otherwise.


Index

  1. Riga Cathedral
  2. House of the Blackheads
  3. Roland statue
  4. Church of St. Peter
  5. Riga Castle
  6. Church of the Madonna Addolorata
  7. The Three Brothers
  8. House of the Cat
  9. Swedish door
  10. Powder Tower
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Riga Cathedral

Located in the historic center of the city, the Riga cathedral it was built in 1211 and today it is the most important Protestant church in all of Latvia. It can be defined without any doubt the largest medieval church in the whole Baltic and its style is a mixture of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque. The interior is very austere, as the Lutheran tradition dictates, but still shows decorated windows, wooden pulpit and altar of considerable interest. The church has one of the oldest functioning organs in the world, used for concerts of sacred music. The baroque spire that dominates the church tower is now the symbol of the city.


  • Herdera laukums 6, Centra rajons; from the station square: bus 9 to Grecinieku.
  • from 1 July to 30 September, Monday, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, from 9 to 18, Thursday from 9 to 17 and 30, Wednesday and Friday from 9 to 17; from 1 October to 30 June, every day from 9 to 17.
  • Free visit

2 - House of the Blackheads

Located in the town hall square, the House of the Blackheads is one of the symbols of the city. Built in the fourteenth century and restored during the 1800s, it came razed to the ground during the Second World War: today its faithful reconstruction can be visited. In addition to the tourist offices, the house will allow you to see the historical seat of the brotherhood of merchants said of the Black Heads, faithfully reconstructed thanks to historical and photographic documents that survived the war conflict.



  • Rātslaukums 7, Central District; from the station square: bus 9 to Grecinieku.
  • Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 17pm.
  • adults € 6,00, children, students and seniors € 3,00; one hour guided tour € 15,00; special families: 1 adult + 2 to 5 children € 9,00, 2 adults + 2 to 5 children € 15,00; special groups of 10 people or more: adults € 5,00 per person, children, students and seniors € 2,00, preschool children free, two disabled people with free carers.

3 - Statue of Roland

Of German influence, the statue of Roland, defender of the accused, dominates the center of the town hall square. The knight of the romantic song is represented with a shield and sword, and right from the tip of this all the distances that separate Riga from the other capitals of the world are calculated.

  • Rātslaukums 7, Central District; from the station square, bus 9 to Grecinieku.
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4 - Church of San Pietro

Imposing and austere, the church of San Pietro is well worth a visit for its fully restored internal crypt. But central attraction of this magnificent medieval construction it is undoubtedly his bell tower: go up yours 72 meters to get a complete panorama of the intricate streets of the old town, the Daugava River and the whole modern city.


  • Skārņu iela 19, Centra rajons; from the station: 10 minutes on foot via Audeju iela.
  • Tuesday to Saturday: from September 1st to April 30th, from 10am to 17pm; from 1 May to 31 August from 10 to 18; Sunday: from 1 September to 30 April, from 12 to 17; from 1 May to 31 August, from 12 to 18.
  • adults € 9,00, students € 7,00, children € 3,00, children under 7 free.

5 - Riga Castle

Today seat of the President of the Republic of Latvia, Riga Castle overlooks the Daugava River and seems to be inserted in a fairytale atmosphere. It is a classic fortified medieval building dating back to 1300 and restored in the th century, after its partial destruction by Sweden.
Inside you will discover the Foreign Museum of Arts and National History Museum of Latvia.


  • Central District, Riga; from the station: bus 57 to National Theater.
  • Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 17pm
  • adults € 3,00, citizens and students € 1,50, children € 0,75; family special: 2 adults and 2 children € 4,00

6 - Church of the Madonna Addolorata

Well recognizable for its white and blue facade, the Church of the Madonna Addolorata is located near the Castle. It is a Catholic church, built in stone in a classical style and modified with new details over the centuries, so much so that it presents some details in the Baroque style and others in the Neo-Renaissance style.


  • Pils iela 6-2, Centra rajons; from the station: bus 30 to National Theater.
  • daily from the 10 17
  • Free visit

7 - The Three Brothers

It is three stone buildings, similar to each other but attributable to three different eras: the oldest is in medieval style and dates back to the fifteenth century, the other two are in baroque style and were built in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The difference in color and style creates aextraordinary harmony between the three buildings, able to truly leave you speechless! The central building contains the Latvian Museum of Architecture.


  • Mazā Pils iela 17, 9, 21 Centra rajons; from the station: 15 minutes on foot via Valnu iela.
  • always open
  • free visit

8 - House of the Cat

Un yellow art noveau building that houses a cat on its dome in bronze! There legend tells that the owner of the building, a well-known trader from Riga, had the cat settled with its butt facing the Major Chamber of Commerce and only after a lawsuit did he decide to turn the cat in another direction!

  • Meistaru iela 10/12, Centra rajons; from the station: 12 minutes on foot via Riharda Vagnera iela.
  • always open
  • Free visit

9 - Swedish door

The Swedish Gate is theonly one of the 8 gates to the city still existing. Its construction holds many legends and is a real gem to see, especially for history buffs.

  • Atgriežu iela, Centra rajons; from the station: bus 27 to Grecinieku.
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10 - Powder Tower

Born as part of the walls in defense of the city, the Powder Tower was used as deposit for gunpowder and today hosts the war museum. Inside there are finds and documents especially on the First World War and on the independence of Latvia.

  • Smilšu iela 20, Centra rajons; from the station: 12 minutes on foot via Raina bulvaris.
  • Every day, from April to October from 10 to 18; from November to March from 10 to 17.
  • Free visit

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