Hotels in Riga
Tourism in Riga
It is easiest to start the visit in the old city to the East of the river, where Rigas Cathedral (Riga Doms) is located. It is a Lutheran Church from the 13th century with a pleasant combination of Roman and Gothic influences. Its interior contains an impressive organ and wood carvings from the 17th and 18th centuries. From there one can head Riga Castle, on the banks of the Daugava. It is now the official residence of the Latvian presidents and it contains a number of museums. Head to Klostera St. and you will find St. Jacobs Catholic Church in the original Gothic style. Not far away is the House of Three Brothers, a building whose façade dates from Rigas Mediaeval Period, dating back to the 15th century. ON walking down Smilsu St. one will come to the circular site that is the Powder Tower (17th century), home of the war museum. From there, after walking down Basteja Bulvaris you will reach the Monument of Freedom built in 1935. Returning along Kailku St., after turning on Meistaru St., you will see two neo-Gothic buildings. These are wonderful structures that once housed the various asociations that regulated the activities of craftsmen, created by two artisan families. On Skārņu Street is the Lutheran Church of St. John built in the 13th century. A little further on you will come to an attractive red brick building that is the Lutheran Church of St. Peter, built in the 15th century. It is crowned by an ancient iron needle from where there is a fabulous view of Riga.
In the City Hall Square a magnificent Gothic building will surprise you, a 14th-century structure called the Blackheads House, a nickname that was given to the congregation of bachelor merchants that frequented this place. Last but not least, near the central station stands the Central Market (Centraltirgus), a traditional market in the old hangars for zepellins dating from 1930, which also happens to be a fantastic place to meet people from Riga, and gives one the sensation of travelling back through time.
For a more complete tour, visit the new city on the outskirts of Elisabetes St. just around the corner.