Riga owns a handful of attractions for tourist. Riga’s top attraction varies from churches to museums, to monuments.
Below are just some of the countless attractions in Riga.
- Riga Cathedral – Established in 1211, the Riga Cathedral in Cathedral Square (Doma laukums), tops our list. For a true treat, attend a concert to hear the church’s colossal organ—in all its 6,828-pipe glory—at work.
- St. Peter’s Church – The well preserved red brick facade provides an inspiring backdrop near Ratslaukums (Town Hall Square).
- Latvian History Museum – Touting itself as the “largest repository of Latvian material culture,” this extensive collection is actually housed in Riga Castle, another to-do for culture vultures.
- The National Latvian Museum of Art – Situated in an impressive example of Riga’s finest architecture, the Museum of Art focuses its collection on Baltic and Latvian works from the 18th century on. The contents are impressive, with over 52,000 artworks. Art aficionados will be properly satiated.
- House of the Blackheads – A testament to Latvia’s post-occupation rebuilding efforts, the House of the Blackheads in Riga’s Town Square (Ratslaukums), was destroyed during World War II and later reconstructed. It honors the earlier merchant guilds of Riga. Today, if you’re lucky, you can catch a chamber music concert here. Tip: Be sure to snap a few photos of the House’s neighbor, Riga’s Town Hall, also a reconstruction feat.
- Latvian National Opera – Ballets, operas and concerts. Tickets are reasonably priced and further discounts abound during the annual Opera Festival in June. Or walk in during open hours (Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) at Aspazijas bulvaris, #3. There are also tours of the building on offer.
- Bastejkalns Park and Freedom Monument – Riga’s expansive and lush park divides Old Town from Center. The park itself is further bisected by the picturesque Pilsetas canal. After a leisurely stroll through the grounds, stop in front of the Freedom Monument (outside the park at the intersection of Brivibas and Raina Bulvaris), a column that marks Latvia’s freedom from occupational regimes. If you’re so moved, leave some flowers behind; it’s a local tradition.
- Riga’s Art Nouveau District (Central District) – Wander through Riga’s Central District and you can’t miss some incredible examples of Riga’s Art Nouveau heritage. Just walk down Elizabetes Street (along the Esplanade Park in the Center neighborhood) for the best tour. Eventually, you’ll hit Riga’s Central Train Station.
With these numerous choices of Riga’s top attractions, your vacation in the city called as Paris of the North will be well spend.