Riga might be small compared to many other European capitals, but there’s plenty to do here if you’re up for an adventure. Local guides and tour companies offer everything from evening kayaking, urban walks and food tastings to day trips to the most scenic places.
1. Discover Riga’s Art Nouveau district
When Art Nouveau emerged, Riga was experiencing vast and rapid development. This new architectural style left countless footprints on the city’s streets, with hundreds of elegant and original buildings helping shape its new appearance. This two-hour walking tour takes you through the exquisite Art Nouveau district, complete with exciting stories about Riga at the turn of the century. A visit to the fascinating Art Nouveau Museum is included in the tour.
Kayak along the Daugava River and Riga canal at night to see the city from a completely different angle. You’ll pass illuminated bridges and fountains, many beautiful parks, famous sights and maybe even a few beaver families that call the canal home. Take the chance to embrace nature in the very heart of the city. There’s no doubt that a bit of physical activity, fresh air and stunning surrounds will make you feel relaxed and recharged!
3. Escape the tourist traps on an Alternative Riga Walking Tour
A local guide will lead you off the typical tourist trail to discover Riga’s hidden gems. You’ll explore areas such as the Moscow District and lesser-known parts of central Riga, visit the Central Market, flea markets and galleries, admire fine architecture and stop by cool cafés. If you’ve already seen some of the city, this tour can be tailored to match your interests.
One of the most important parts of a country’s culture is its cuisine, and no travel experience is complete without sampling some local dishes. On this five-hour gastronomic adventure you’ll visit Riga’s Central Market to bargain for the best ingredients and sample regional delicacies before heading to a local home to learn how to make traditional Latvian dishes. At the end of the evening you’ll get to enjoy the three-course meal you prepared with your host.
Jūrmala is known for having one of the most beautiful beaches in Latvia. The city has a 33-kilometre stretch of white-sand coastline. This relaxed bike tour takes you from the suburbs of Riga along a secluded forest path through beautiful scenery to this wonderful beach. The ride is around 25 kilometres each way, and there’s the possibility to return either by bicycle or by train. As the terrain is very flat, the tour is suitable for cyclists of all abilities.
Photo credit: Jevgenijs Slihto
6. Take a trip to Kuldīga & the Latvian countryside
Kuldīga is a charming historical village located 150 kilometres west of Riga. Besides visiting the village itself, this tour also takes you through the picturesque countryside of Latvia. You’ll see the magical Jaunmoku Castle, the northernmost vineyard in Europe, the magnificent Venta Waterfall – the widest waterfall in Europe, the enchanting labyrinth of the Riežupe sandstone caves and a curious straw doll exhibition.
Photo credit: Martin Konopacki
7. Journey to Liepāja city and Karosta Prison
The third-largest city in Latvia, Liepāja is known as “the place where the wind is born” because of its relentless sea breeze, which also makes it a beloved spot for kitesurfers and windsurfers. The morning part of the tour takes you on a journey through Liepāja and reveals the story of this beautiful city, while also preparing you for a visit to the infamous Karosta military prison in the afternoon.
Photo credit: Ignat Gorazd
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