"Riga-a well kept secret" Top 5 Page for this destination Riga Region by Dabs

Riga Region Travel Guide: 2,197 reviews and 5,687 photos

When I made my travel plans to visit Riga and Vilnius, reactions from friends and family ranged from "where the heck is that?" to "why would you want to go there?"

Riga, located near the Baltic Sea, is the capital city of Latvia, a former Soviet Republic that didn't remind me at all of the Soviet Union or Soviet attitudes. With the exception of a building that reminded me of one of Stalin's seven sisters and some of the housing developments away from the center of the city, the architecture seems free of Soviet influence.

One of the main reasons I wanted to visit Riga was to see some of the Art Nouveau architecture, there are some truly stunning examples located mainly outside Old Riga. The most impressive example is the Stockholm School of Economics located at Strelnieku iela 4a. It is quite hard not to look like a tourist and quite easy to develop neck strain as you are constantly looking up to see the fabulous detail on the buildings.

Old Riga is also a delight, cobbled stone streets wind past churches, more interesting architecture and town hall square. My must see tips are mostly from Old Riga, presented in the order you will encounter them.

Separating Old Riga from New Riga is the old defensive moat known as the city canal and a ring of well maintained parks.

With the exception of our hotel, I found Riga to be extremely affordable. Local bus travel was incredibly cheap and you could easily have heaps of food for $5-$10.

Tourism hasn't hit high gear here, although we did see some tour buses, most attractions and sights were delightfully (for us anyway) free of tourists. We were there a little bit before tourist season started, the weather was on the cool side but very pleasant traveling weather.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great food, fabulous architecture, inexpensive
  • Cons:None that I can think of
  • In a nutshell:A real undiscovered budget gem
  • Last visit to Riga Region: May 2004
  • Intro Updated Jun 27, 2004
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Comments (23)

  • Jun 18, 2008 at 9:58 PM

    Excellent! Pictures and information!

  • kymbanm's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2007 at 4:47 PM

    HaHA! It's only blank cuz it's a new one ... I can tell :) I'll let you be older, I don't mind ... everywhere else I'm the hag - so I'll pass my hag hat to you JUST for this occasion ... tee-hee

  • Hexepatty's Profile Photo
    Jun 30, 2007 at 10:09 PM

    Just saw the movie, "Sicko." You really have to see it. If you are not disgusted, God Bless your Soul! ; )

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2007 at 3:54 PM

    Oh dear! Another city to add to my growing list. Who would have thunk it! Riga Latvia! This place looks fabulous for an architecture junky like me. Love the art nouveau. Love the restaurant tips - the pelmeni sound delish!

  • King_Golo's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2006 at 11:19 AM

    i love art nouveau, too... and riga has some really cool pieces!

  • Acirfa's Profile Photo
    Aug 8, 2006 at 12:04 PM

    No, I missed it, I was at a wedding..next time though!

  • Helga67's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2006 at 10:38 AM

    Very informative tips and great pics. What a great architecture, I need to visit this city!

  • jo104's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2006 at 9:30 AM

    want to join in the hair chat its getting hairy now - next meet planing a salon day

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Jul 17, 2005 at 4:14 PM

    Nice page!

  • vairab's Profile Photo
    Jun 21, 2005 at 7:01 AM

    Nice page on Riga! But Latvia isn't only near Riga:)


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