Riga, Latvia isn’t only an easy weekend getaway from Berlin, it’s a solo travel friendly destination, aka – perfect for someone like me. Excited to continue my lifelong mission to explore every nook and cranny of Europe, I happily booked a trip there back in 2015, excited to visit another capital city and experience a new country.
Just how did I spend my weekend there? I skipped all of the tourist attractions and mostly wandered, stopping for a coffee now and then, admiring the renowned art nouveau architecture, and naturally, taking tons of Riga photos. I also hunted down some of the coolest places in Riga.
Experience Latvia Through These Riga Photos
Riga is Latvia’s capital city and with a population of 614,000, it’s home to a third of the country’s population. Renowned for its beautiful medieval-style Old Town and an abundance of Art Nouveau architecture, the city is also considered a cultural hub filled with numerous museums, theatres, and concert halls. There are also a number of good eateries around the city, making it a viable destination for any serious foodie.
Get an idea of the city’s vibes through these Riga photos.
Riga City Center
I began my stay at the Tallink Hotel, not far from Old Town or the hipster street Miera iela. I checked in to my hotel, had a glass of wine, and then set about my wandering. I wouldn’t venture into Old Town until the next day, but as expected from any Eastern European capital, the city beyond the main tourist area was stunning as well.
Riga Old Town
Due to a mix-up with my hotel booking (I’d booked Tallink for only one night when I thought I’d booked it for two), I needed to check in to another hotel the next day. While I could have extended my stay for another night, I chose to relocate to Old Town and into the Hotel Garden Palace instead.
After several cups of coffee and watching the news for a while, I finally set out to explore Old Town, where I went overboard taking Riga photos. The weather in Riga that weekend was cold and wet, much like Berlin is all winter. I kept thinking how beautiful it would look covered in snow and how nice it would be to visit when the Christmas markets were happening.
The hotel was conveniently located close to St. Peter’s Church.
The pastel hues of the buildings’ facades just added to the quaintness of Old Town.
Weird and Offbeat Art In Riga
Even with all my online searching (and I’m really good at researching things, especially stalking people on the Internet), I couldn’t find anything about this rather weird and offbeat statue. What is happening here?
Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs building was pretty impressive.
Nativity of Christ Cathedral
Equally impressive was the Nativity of Christ Cathedral. I went inside, but as with many religious institutions, you aren’t permitted to take any photos. Entry is free, so it’s definitely worth taking a few moments to check out the interior of this Russian Orthodox church.
I took some time to admire Freedom Monument, honoring soldiers who lost their lives during the Latvian War of Independence. I also passed through a rather lovely tree-flanked path on the way to Freedom Monument. Soldiers stand on guard at the base of the monument.
The trip to Riga was way too quick. I didn’t see enough, and even with all of my Riga photos, I was hardly able to scratch the surface of what the city has to offer.
Have you been to Riga? Help our readers plan their next trip and drop us your best tips down below in the comments.
Good to Know
1) Riga is an easy weekend trip away from Berlin. You can book a cheap fare there through Ryanair, with the flight being just over an hour
2) When you arrive at the airport, you can opt to go into the city by bus, airport shuttle, or taxi. I prefer the airport shuttle, as it’s only about €5 and will take you directly to your hotel.
3) Latvia uses the Euro, so there is no need to worry about exchanging currencies when you arrive at the airport.
4) If you’re looking for a place to stay in Riga, check out options on booking.com.
5) Make your time in Riga extra special and go on a guided tour.
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