What to see in Riga in one day

Who I am
Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Riga, capital of Latvia, and washed by the Daugava River, holds many pleasant surprises. In fact, in 2014 Riga it was the capital of culture and today it is one of the most popular destinations for a alternative and fun weekend.
Walking through the streets of the historic center of the city you will see what remains of its past history, but also buildings in pure Art Nouveau. These elements have contributed to making Riga among the heritages of humanityUnesco.

Are you curious to know what Riga offers you? Here is a 1 day itinerary for you, useful if you intend to indulge in a trip that touches various cities in Northern Europe.



Index

  1. One day itinerary in Riga: Morning
  2. One day itinerary in Riga: Afternoon
  3. One day itinerary in Riga: Evening
  4. User questions and comments

One day itinerary in Riga: Morning

1- Walk along Jauniela

The day in Riga starts from the Old Town of Riga and the Jauniela, one of the best known streets of Riga with its Art Nouveau buildings. In this street you will find numerous shops selling all kinds of goods and places where you can have a rich breakfast. After having breakfast at the Neiburgs Restaurant, which offers you excellent breakfasts at fairly reasonable prices (with € 15,00 or less you should get away with it).

2- Art Museum Riga Bourse, St. Mary Dome Cathedral and Riga Castle

Two must-see attractions await you in the immediate vicinity of Jauniela, theArt Museum Riga Bourse and St. Mary Dome Cathedral. The first will allow you to view the relations between the West and the East through collections of oriental art. The second one will surprise you with its characteristic red bricks that make it stand out among the buildings of Riga. The cathedral is also the largest church in the Baltic, it was built in 1211 using a very particular style: a mix of Gothic, Romanesque and baroque. Characteristic is the tower of the Duomo, symbol of the city, and the organ inside, one of the oldest in the world, which is still used today for very important concerts.
Continuing on Pils Iela you will arrive at Riga castle. Today this magnificent castle is the residence of the President of Latvia and is also home to the Foreign Museum of Arts and the National History Museum of Latvia, which with its million exhibits, tells the troubled history of this Republic.



In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 650 m / 8 min
  • places visited: Jauniela (free), Art Museum Riga Bourse (€ 6,00 approximately), St. Mary Dome Cathedral (€ 6,00 approximately), Riga Castle (free)
  • 3 hour private sightseeing tour
  • where to have breakfast: Neiburgs Restaurant, Jauniela 25/27

One day itinerary in Riga: Afternoon

1- St. Peter Church

A stone's throw from the Riga Town Square St. Peter Church stands. With its record-breaking bell tower, making it one of the tallest buildings in Europe, it offers you a splendid view over the whole old city. It is a little different from the churches you have seen so far, but it has a very special charm that deserves some attention. Nearby you can have a quick lunch at the Fat Pumpkin, a place that offers you pumpkin-based specialties in different price ranges, making a quick average calculated around € 20,00 per person.

2- Cat Hause and the War Museum

Take Meistaru iela until you reach the Cat Hause, one of the most original buildings you could visit in Riga and beyond. The palace, built by Friedrich Scheffel, has a very special history. Looking up, you will see the bronze statue of a cat right on top of the roof. According to the legend it was its builder who wanted the construction of that statue and to arrange it in such a way that the cat turned its back to the Major Chamber of Commerce, as a sign of spite towards the Corporation. Continuing to proceed north you will then arrive at War Museum. This place is absolutely unmissable if you love history. Here you can view an exhibition that mainly concerns the history of World War I until the birth of the Republic of Latvia.



In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1,6 km / 19 min
  • places visited: St. Peter Church (approx € 9,00), Cat Hause (free), War Museum (free)
  • Food and Culture Walking Tour
  • where to have lunch: Fat Pumpkin, Grecinieku Iela 30/25

One day itinerary in Riga: Evening


In the evening, head north towards the Vermanes Garden Park, one of the parks that arise in the heart of Riga. A stone's throw from the old city, it develops in length touching various important places in the city. Those who have visited it said they have entered a fairy tale: the fountains, the avenues, the flowers will be a spectacle at nightfall. Inside the park you can also dine at the Kolonade. The prices are certainly a bit expensive (we are talking about an average of € 35,00 for a fairly "simple" meal), but you won't regret it. And if you want to finish in style, go back to Jauniela for an evening spent among the lights of the old city.


In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2,2 km / 27 min
  • places visited: Vermanes Garden Park
  • Liberty architecture tour
  • where to dine: Kolonade, Brivibas bulvaris 26

Before leaving: useful tips

Riga may be "young" as a city, but that doesn't mean you won't need some precautions to make sure you don't run into any unexpected events. To make your life (and the trip to Riga) easier, here is the useful tips that you should take into consideration before leaving.


  • Move to piedi. Riga is the capital of Art Nouveau and traveling by public transport would miss out on a lot.
  • Riga is quite expensive as a city. So organize your finances well.
  • To visit it prefer the summer months. In winter the city reaches temperature really glacial.
  • If you decide to extend your visit, take a look at our offers for a stay in Riga.

What not to see: the attractions that are better to give up

For various reasons, the trip to Riga could not include a visit to all the attractions of the city, whether for reasons of distance, queues or otherwise, here are some of them:

  1. House of Blackheads: the building, which stands in the Town Hall Square, is now closed for renovation
  2. Occupation Museum: if you have not booked your ticket in advance, avoid visiting it, you would risk wasting too much time queuing to enter
  3. National art museum: the Museum is too far to be visited in a single day itinerary

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