For architecture enthusiasts, Riga is a must-visit stop on the Eastern European tourist trail. The city’s centre and Old Town are famous for their beautiful Art Nouveau buildings, defined by intricate facades, detailed carvings and ornate trimmings.
Latvia’s lively capital Riga serves up an intoxicating blend of culture, cobblestones and cosmopolitan chic. It’s quickly emerging as a nightlife hotspot, with Europeans flocking to enjoy the affordable drinks served up at the stylish city centre bars. Beyond the exciting nightlife, Riga’s city centre is also home to art galleries, museums, trendy cafes and experimental restaurants.
For most visitors, Riga International Airport is the main point of access. It’s located 10 kilometres to the south-west of the city centre, with the drive taking just 15 minutes. Local buses also make the trip. Ferries sail to Stockholm, with long distance trains running to cities across Latvia, as well as Russia.
While Riga is rapidly gaining a reputation as a modern city break destination, its roots date back to the 1200s. It was founded as a port city by Albert of Bremen and served as a base to achieve his goal of conquering Latvia and converting natives to Christianity. After falling under the rule of both Sweden and Russia, Riga finally went on to declare its independence in 1918. Today, both cultures continue to shine through.