Whether you are a local or a tourist, there are a lot of things to do in Riga. Located on the Baltic Sea, the city is a cultural center that offers a wide variety of museums, concert halls, and other attractions.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Riga's Old Town is a must-see in Latvia. It's full of history, culture, and architectural wonders. During the medieval period, Riga was one of the largest ports in the Baltic Sea Region, and a member of the Hanseatic League, which connected Baltic traders with north Germany.
The city's oldest residence is now a museum. The House of the Blackheads is a Gothic-style building located on the Town Hall Square. It was built in the 14th century and was demolished during the World War II. It's also the temporary residence of the president of Latvia.
Other notable buildings in the Riga Old Town include the Riga Cathedral, St. George's Church, and St. Peter's Church. You can also visit the Russian Orthodox church, the Latvian radio, and the Mecendorf museum.
If you're interested in the history of the area, you can also take a free walking tour around the Old Town. The guide will tell you about the Old Town's most significant sights.
Another must-see is the Riga Castle. This is the presidential residence. It was the only building that was constructed outside the walls of the old town, and was used for the defense of the city during the siege of 1710.
The Riga Radio, the largest radio station in the country, is also worth a look. Its building was designed by the famous architect Vilhelm Pedersen.
Located in Riga, the KGB Building is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Latvia. It was once the headquarters of the secret police of the Soviet Union and is now the home of the Cold War Museum. It offers a glimpse into the darkest days of the Soviet Union and serves as a reminder of the brutal state apparatus that once ruled the Baltic nation.
The building was originally constructed in the 16th century and was considered a major center of trade and business in Riga. It was destroyed in a German bombing raid in 1941, but was rebuilt and reopened as a museum in 1999.
A museum of automotive history is also open to visitors. It features a large collection of vintage cars and military machinery used by the Soviet Union.
The building also boasts a very beautiful interior. The museum features a number of works of art and furniture. Its exterior features a spiral staircase and stained glass windows.
The basement of the building is also worth a visit, especially if you're interested in the architecture. The vaults in the basement date back to the 14th century.
A guided tour of the KGB Building is available daily at 09:30 and 13:00. The cost is EUR10 per adult, with students getting discounted tickets for 10 euros.
If you're looking for a more educational and interactive experience, you should consider taking a tour of the former prison cells in the basement. These cells housed prisoners of the KGB regime, and you can learn all about their operations in this area.
Latvian National Opera
Located in Riga, Latvia, the Latvian National Opera is a renowned cultural institution. In fact, it has gained international recognition as one of the finest opera companies in Europe. It is also home to the National Ballet. It offers both classical and contemporary opera performances. The opera season runs from September to May. The company stages hundreds of performances throughout the year.
The history of the Latvian Opera dates back to the 18th century. In the early part of the 19th century, the first traveling opera troupes began performing in the city. The company was financed by the state budget. After the Stuchka government overthrew the government in 1919, the Opera became legally financed by the state.
The first performance was given by the Opera troupe on January 23, 1919. The Latvians felt that a new opera would be a strong signal that would help spearhead a drive for national identity.
The Latvian National Opera has a unique building, located on Aspazijas Boulevard. It was built in 1863. The interior was restored in the 1990s. The building has gilding and crystal chandeliers. The stairway has ceiling paintings by a Latvian painter.
The building was once the home of the Brotherhood of the Blackheads, a guild of unmarried German merchants. The building was destroyed by German bombs during World War II. Afterward, the building was renovated and transformed into a conference and celebration venue.
Located in Pardaugava, Kalnciema Quarter is one of the most vibrant and interesting places to visit in Riga. The wooden architecture of the 19th century is the main attraction of this place. You can find shops, restaurants, workshops, art gallery, and other activities here.
There are seven renovated buildings that are open to the public. You can use the audio guide at the wine shop and cafe to learn more about the history of the building. You can also visit the Art Museum to see sculptures, numismatics, and other world art. The building also has a museum of ancient Greek and Roman art.
Another attraction of this area is the Riga Central Market. It is a great spot for shopping, and you can buy local products. You can find hundreds of indoor and outdoor stalls here. You can also find quirky food stalls here, too. The market is organized in a way that it showcases the diversity of Europe.
Another place to visit is the House of the Blackheads. The building is a historical treasure, dating back to the 1300s. It was destroyed during the Second World War, but was rebuilt in 1999. It is an architectural gem that combines different architectural styles from various periods.
The Kanepes Cultural Center is a place to visit for an artistic ambiance and a bohemian vibe. You can enjoy live music and performances, as well as art exhibitions. You can also play board games or watch hipstery parties here.
St. Peter's Church
Located in the Old City, St. Peter's Church is one of the best places to visit in Riga. It is a Gothic-style parish church, and is known for its distinctive spire. The tower is over four hundred feet tall and has a 72-meter observation deck. The church is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia.
The Gothic style building features high vaults, and a spire that has been rebuilt several times. The exterior of the building is covered with reddish limestone from Salaspils. The interior has five chapels and fine profiles.
The church is believed to have been built in the year 1209. It was destroyed and reconstructed numerous times. The last restoration took place in 1941. The church is considered to be one of the oldest medieval buildings in the Baltic states. It is also one of the oldest surviving structures in Riga.
The church is a protected monument. It has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The church is often called the Tower of Peter.
The cathedral tower has a great view of Riga and the Daugava River. You can also learn the history of the church. There are three floors inside, with an elevator to the top floor. There is a mini museum to learn more about the history of the church. The entrance fee is EUR9 for adults, children under 7 years are free.
Located in the heart of Riga, the Central Market is one of the most popular sights for tourists to see in the city. A market that's been around for centuries, this area provides an opportunity to experience local culture through the food that's sold.
The market features over 3,000 stands. Some of these stalls sell familiar items while others specialize in foods that you may not have tried before. It's also home to some beautiful souvenirs. During the war, the market was used as a military airship hangar.
Today, the pavilions are now used as produce and fish markets. You can find a variety of stalls in the vegetable pavilion, including one that sells hand-rolled treats called Pelmeni. You can also sample traditional Latvian foods, such as smoked herring, smoked meats, and a variety of cheeses.
If you're interested in exploring the Latvian food scene, try attending a food tour. You'll meet fellow food enthusiasts and sample traditional Latvian cuisine, including breads, smoked fish, wild berries, and herbal teas. You'll even have a chance to purchase some of the items you try on the tour.
While the market is a great place to visit, it can be a little hectic. The best way to experience the market is to take a small group. You'll meet up with other foodies at a designated location and then explore endless stalls.
Aside from eating, the Central Market is a great place to buy souvenirs. You can find everything from handmade scarves to pure wool dolls in national costume.