In February I went on a weekend trip to Riga with a group of 18 friends. I have never travelled in such a big group earlier, so it was quite a different travel experience! I still managed to do some sightseeing (along with a lot of partying!). I visited Riga in June a few years ago, which was an even better experience, as the weather was amazing – but I really love this city. Here are five tips for a weekend in Riga!
1. The Old Town and its architecture
Riga’s Old Town is one of the most beautiful old towns in Eastern Europe. As a tourist, this is clearly where you will spend most of your time. The old town is not very big, so you do not need to take public transport or a taxi. The best way to explore the old town is just to walk around and check out the hidden valleys – the Old Town is so much more than the main streets! Make sure to check out The Three Brothers, House of Blackheads and Riga Town Hall Square. In addition to these sites, the architecture is very beautiful in general, so have your camera ready!
2. Visit the churches
In the Old Town, I bet you can find a church on every corner. Some stunning churches are Riga Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, Nativity of Christ Cathedral and St. Jacob’s Catholic Cathedral. You can also enter most of them (be aware of the dress codes, especially if you are visiting in the summer).
3. Eat cheap
I say it every time I visit Eastern Europe; one of the reasons why I love the region is because of the low prices. In the Old Town, you can find hundreds of restaurants at all prices, and either you want international or local food; I can guarantee that you will be satisfied.
♥ For a fun, medieval experience: Rozengrals
♥ For a decent, but budget friendly meal: Petergailis
♥ For a great food and live music: Trompete
4. Go clubbing
Alcohol is also ridiculously cheap in Riga. Remember to try the famous Riga Balsam! It looks like Jägermester, but it tastes completely different. I am not going to tell you if it is good or not – you need to try it yourself! There are loads of fun bars and club to visit, both in and outside the Old Town.
♥ For the best view in the city: Skyline bar
♥ For karaoke: Funny Fox
♥ For live music and clubbing: Rock Cafe
♥ For a wide selection of beer: Easy Beer
5. Visit Jurmala
Jurmala is a beach and spa town located just outside Riga. You can reach Jurmala by train, a short ride of about 30 minutes. I have not been there in the winter, but it was really nice when I went there in June a few years ago. The long, white beaches are amazing, and the spas are cheap and very professional.
We stayed at Wellton Riga Hotel & Spa, which is a four star hotel I recommend. We paid about 80€ for a double room, breakfast included – not bad as this is a really nice hotel!
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