Is Riga cheap for food and drink? Travel to Riga to enjoy the many attractions the city offers! Explore Riga with EvBeing Travel Guide on the best things to do in the capital of Latvia.
Riga is the largest city and capital of Latvia. Latvia has been part of the Russian Empire, gained full independence in 1991 and is one of the Baltic countries along with Estonia and Lithuania. Riga was awarded in 2014 with the title of European Capital of Culture.
WHAT TO DO IN RIGA ON A BUDGET
There are many sights to admire in Riga. One of the places that impressed me the most is the Art Nouveau neighbourhood.
- The Art Nouveau district leaves you speechless. You simply can not take your eyes off the intimidating buildings. The Art Nouveau is one of the sights that the capital of Latvia is famous for as it covers roughly one-third of the buildings in the centre of the city.
- Saint Peter’s Church offers a breathtaking view of Riga from 72 metres. Hold hands and marvel the breathtaking view! Saint Peter’s Church is included in Unesco’s World Heritage Site list since 1997.
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- I was lucky enough to view the Gunārs Binde exhibition, a masterpiece of art, a black and white awesome exhibition. Gunārs Binde is a famous Latvian photographer, the first photographer of the postwar era, who became famous for his nude photography. As Binde says, ” I don’t pursue sensationalism, striking events or characters, nature photography, documentarism or portraiture. I am looking for a resonance between the visible world and my soul. If I perceive such a harmony, I take a picture”.
- The Nativity of Christ Cathedral is the largest Orthodox Church in Riga. A beautiful church with impressive decorations and stunning architecture. The entrance is free.
- One of Riga most popular landmarks to view with an important historical value for the state is the Freedom Monument. The Freedom Monument is a memorial that honours soldiers killed during the Latvian war of independence. At the top of the monument’s obelisk is the nine-meter symbol of freedom, a young woman holding three golden stars above her head, that symbolises the three historic provinces of Latvia and national unity.
- The Changing of the guards is taking place in Freedom monument. The guards switch sides every 30 minutes and change on the hour.
- The House of Blackheads is a building of outstanding architecture, one of Riga’s major landmarks. The House of Blackheads is an impressive coloured building with a long history and outstanding architecture, that has been temporary residence and office for the Latvian President.
- The Opera of Riga is the national opera of Latvia. The Latvian National Opera includes the Latvian National Ballet, the Latvian National Opera Chorus, the Latvian National Opera Orchestra. The opera was performed in Latvian however the subtitles were provided in English. A lovely experience and a chance to enjoy a famous opera in Baltic countries.
- The War Museum is one of the oldest museums in Riga. The museum emphasizes in the military and political history of Latvia in the 20th century. The museum is open daily 10.00 – 18.00 from April to October and 10.00 – 17.00 from November to March. The entrance is free.
WHERE TO EAT ON A BUDGET
When you are visiting Riga a must is to dine in one of the Lido branches. The Lido offer great value along with high product variety, good service at a fair price. WHAT TO ORDER: Chicken, rice, a selection of salads, cabbage meat soup, fresh orange juice (10€ ).
WHERE TO DRINK COFFEE
The Bake Berry is a modern coffee shop, a lovely cafe with high-quality beverages and a large variety of desserts that exceeded my expectations. WHAT TO ORDER: a chocolate cake. The Bake Berry offers a great selection of cakes, not to mention friendly service!
EXPERIENCE THE LATVIAN SAUNA
The traditional Latvian sauna known as pirts in Latvian is highly recommended. I visited Baltā pirts, a popular and authentic wood-fired sauna, providing steam rooms and swimming pool, located near the city centre, approximately 20 min by bus. Baltā pirts is a traditional sauna, not a luxurious style. The ritual in the Latvian Sauna includes being naked. Men and women saunas and facilities are separated. It is very important to start with a 2 min warm shower and join the sauna. After successive transitions in the sauna and ice-cold water, the ritual includes beating your self with bunches of plants, then jumping into ice-cold water and so on. The Slippers and towels are of extra charge but you are welcome to bring your own.
This post was most recently updated on May 23rd 2020.