We use cookies to give you a better browsing experience. By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our Cookie Policy.
OK thanks

Irene Clunie, Short Break Specialist

"Riga is a culturally rich city full of diverse heritage and a picture postcard atmosphere. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, due in no small part to its fantastic collection of art nouveau buildings. Visit Alberta Street or the old town for a rich concentration of architectural sights, then head over to the Central Market, housed in a collection of former zeppelin hangers, to peruse a colourful array of Latvian fresh produce and goods."

Riga at a glance

The Latvian capital and the largest city in the Baltics, Riga is a fascinating combination of fairy tale charm and modern glitz where a proud Latvian tradition combines with multi-cultural influence. From its famed Art Nouveau architecture, considered some of the best in Europe, and its old historic quarter to its vibrant nightlife and cosmopolitan flair for trendy hotels and restaurants, Riga’s mix of old and new strikes the perfect balance for a short break destination.

Riga was known to be a large centre of trade during the Middle Ages thanks in part to the expansive Daugava River which divides the city. Becoming a much sought-after territory, Riga endured a number of sieges, wars and the occupation of Sweden, Russia and Germany before declaring its independence in 1918.

It is estimated that fewer than 41% of Riga’s population are native Latvians, meaning this charismatic city is a hive for multi-cultural experiences. With a dynamic selection of theatre productions, fine art galleries, historic sights, museums, and live music performances, Riga is a vibrant short break destination sure to impress.

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Stunning architecture
  • Art and culture

Getting around

Riga operates a large number of public bus, tram and trolleybus services throughout the city.

Tickets come in single journey, 24 hour, 3 day and 5 day increments and can be purchased throughout the city at various sales points or at the time of travel at a more expensive rate.


Riga offers a wide variety of shopping options. Modern shopping plazas catered to top fashion brands, exclusive interior furnishings and all the latest gadgets while the Old Town provides open air markets with vintage, handmade and antique items.

For an experience in Latvian food shopping, escape the shops and head over to the Central Market. Housed in a 1930’s zeppelin hanger, the market features fresh meat, fish, cheeses, vegetables, produce and more.

Dining in Riga

Latvian tradition calls for primarily potato, cabbage and meat based dishes, but a continued influx of international tastes keeps Riga’s ever changing dining scene at pace with the world’s most cosmopolitan cuisines.

Must-try local dishes:

  • Sauerkraut soup – sauerkraut combined with potatoes, garlic and often sausage or pork
  • Blini – a thin pancake served with a variety of toppings including sour cream, cheese or caviar
  • Klingeris – a yeast based sweet bread often shaped like a pretzel

Osprey Holidays top tips

We recommend Old City Riga (Vecriga) A charming area, full of small squares with great bars and cafés.

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Riga designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of Riga hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Population 703,260
Languages Latvian
Currency Latvian Lats
Visa Information No visa required for UK citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Interesting facts

Towards the centre of the Old Town look out for the 'Troksnu iela', Riga's narrowest street...it leads to the 'Swedish Gate'.

Distance from airports
Riga International 10 km
Railway stations
Riga Central

Things to do in Riga

  • Old City Riga (Vecriga): A charming area, full of small squares with great bars and cafés.
  • Town Hall Square: The heart of the city, virtually destroyed in WWII, but magnificently rebuilt.
  • House of Blackheads: A former merchants’ hall, now a museum and concert hall.
  • The Museum of the Occupation: A must-see, if you want to learn about Latvia and its people.
  • Latvian National Opera: Take a guided tour of this unique architectural masterpiece of the 1800s.
  • St Peter's Church: A landmark church in Old Riga with wonderful views of the city.

Tours and Excursions

Old Town & Art Nouveau Walking Tour

There are over 600 Art Nouveau buildings in Riga and on this walking tour your expert local guide will show you highlights from the Old Town and Art Nouveau district. Here you will find Albert Street, an open-air museum with fine examples of Art Nouveau buildings running its entire length. 

Rundale Palace Tour

Built in 1736-1740 and designed by renowned Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, Rundale is one of the most beautiful baroque palaces in Latvia. Many of the rooms have been lovingly restored and contain original frescos and sculptures, extravagant chandeliers, stunning fire places and mirrors. On this small-group tour you will be picked up from your hotel and accompanied by an expert guide. A small entrance fee is payable on the day.

Canal Sightseeing Cruise

Take a leisurely cruise and see Riga’s major sights from the water. Travel along the city canal, under bridges and passing UNESCO-listed buildings then on to the Daugava River to view Old Riga from a different perspective.

We would be happy to arrange an excursion for you. To discuss options with a member of our knowledgeable team or to book, please contact us on 0131 243 8098.