WHY VISIT RIGA
Riga is the capital of Latvia, it is located on the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the river Daugava and is also the largest city of the Baltic Republics.
The birth of Riga dates back to a period ranging from the eleventh to the twelfth-century d. C., but the city began to develop thanks to the proximity to the river Daugava: a very important commercial route. In 1201 there was the taking of Riga by the German crusaders, but from the thirteenth century, it became one of the intermediaries between the West and the East on a commercial level. Over the centuries the Polish, Swedish and Russian dominations followed; under the latter domination Riga became an important port and a central railway transport node, in 1913 the number of inhabitants increased considerably. After the Second World War, Riga became the center of the Baltic military district and played a fundamental role in the conquest of independence from the USSR.
In Riga there are several events, among the most known are: the Gadatirbus, an important Craft Fair, the International Festival of Folklore Baltika, the Riga Music Festival, the Bach Music Festival, the Latvian Contemporary Theater Festival “Insight” and the “Arsenali” International Film Festival: a very important film event.
The typical gastronomy of Riga inevitably suffers from the influence of the Latvian culinary tradition but with some variations. Typical dishes are cabbage soup (kapostu zupa), that of sour barley called skaba putra, the zivju-full zupa (milk fish soup), and the pork, cooked in all sauces. The most common pork dishes are the pork fillet with beer or the pork balls, called frikadele; vegetarians will appreciate the potato salad called kartupelu salâti. To try is also the sweet debess based on blueberry juice; the Aldaris beer and Riga Black Balsam, a very alcoholic drink, predominate among the drinks.
WHAT TO SEE IN RIGA
Top attractions not to be missed are:
- Old City Riga (Vecriga)
- Jugenda Stila Nami
- House of Blackheads
- Church of Mary Magdalene
- Nativity of Christ Cathedral (Pareizticigo Katedrale)
- Cat House
- St. John’s Church
- Vermanes Garden
- Riga Cathedral
- The Three Brothers buildings
- Livu Square
- Alberta Iela
- Temple of the Holy Prince Alexander Nevskiy
- Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum
- Academy of Sciences & Panorama Riga Observation Deck
- Small Guild of Riga
- Freedom Monument (Brivibas Piemineklis)
- Swedish Gate (Zviedru Varti)
- Latvian National Theater
- St. Peter’s Church & Tower
- Jekaba Kazarmas
Following instead some hidden spots of the city that only locals know!
- “The House that was Built in 1903”
- Kalnciema Street Quarter
- Centrāltirgus Market
- Berga Bazārs
- Rozena Street
- Pērkons Saule Daugava
- Baltā Pirts sauna
- Miera Ielas Republika
- Terrace Riga rooftop bar
WHEN TO GO TO RIGA
The best period to visit Riga is from May to September.
Following a list of main events and typical festivals and celebrations of Riga.
- Staro Rīga Light Festival
- Christmas markets
- Riga City Festival
HOW TO REACH AND MOVE IN RIGA
main airports is Riga International Airport.
download the transportation map
WHAT TO DO IN RIGA
typical dishes of Riga are:
- Kotletes: meat patties.
- Aukstā zupa: cold beet soup.
- Skābeņu zupa: sorrel soup.
- Frikadeļu zupa:meetball soup.
- Skâbâ Putra: sour cream soup.
- Sivēna Galerts: porc in aspic.
- Jāņi cheese: summer solstice cheese usually made of dry cottage cheese, milk, sour cream, eggs, butter, salt, and caraway seeds.
- Jāņu Siers: cheese with caraway seeds.
- Pīrāgi: pastry filled with bacon and onions.
- Sklandrauši: round tarts with either carrots or potatoes filling.
- Kartupeļi ar siļķi un biezpienu: herring with cottage cheese and potatoes.
- Rasols: potato salad with eggs, gherkins, and sometimes bacon, sausages.
- Karbonāde: breaded pork chops.
- Bukstiņbiezputra: groats porridge with potatoes and streaky bacon with cream.
- Sauerkraut (Latvian version of this well-known dish).
- Alexander Torte: raspberry- or cranberry-filled pastry strips.
- Kartupeļu pankūkas: potato pancakes.
- Debessmanna: sweet farina porridge with cranberries.
- Rupjmaizes Kārtojums: an airy dessert of rye breadcrumbs, whipped cream, and cranberry jam.
- Kvass: fermented rye bread drink.
typical souvenirs of Riga are:
- Amber necklaces or bracelets
- Knitted mittens
- Wood goods
- Pottery and porcelain
- Leather goods
- Stained glass items
- Black Balsam, thick herbal drink
The main theatre of Riga is the Latvian National Opera.