Why is Riga, Latvia becoming such a popular tourist destination?
The answer is: timeless beauty, pure European elegance, a vibrant nightlife, booming business, and so much more. Riga, the capital and largest city in Latvia, is known as the “Paris of the East”, and it is easy to see the comparison when you are relaxing at one of its chic Old Town cafes and watching the people go by down its cobblestone streets.
Riga is as picturesque as a fairy tale and feels like a small village sometimes, but it has a restaurant and nightclub scene to rival cities much bigger than it. Its city centre has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city has one of the best collections in the world of German Art Nouveau Style architecture, known as Jugendstil.
The city has recently become a very popular tourist destination for travelers coming from Europe and the UK, who come to marvel at the architecture, soak up the culture, and of course enjoy the fantastic party scene.
If you are travelling to Riga, Latvia, here are some helpful tips to remember that you will help you get the most of your stay here:
- Riga is divided into two main sections by the river Daugava. The Old Town section is the most interesting, as it dates back to the medieval era. It is known as Vecriga or “Old Riga”. It is famous for its many churches, cathedral and a fine selection of hotels including the Radisson Blu Elizabete hotel on the northern side of the river.
- If you have rented a car with which to explore the city, remember that vehicles are not allowed in the Old Town section of the city. You will need to explore this area on foot.
- You don’t need to buy your souvenirs at the souvenir shops, as you will probably be overcharged. Instead, head to one of the local markets and buy some handicrafts, clothes, accessories and jewelry from the merchants. You will be able to haggle and get a great price.
- Watch out for people who seem oddly friendly and ask you to visit their favorite club or bar. It is a common tourist scam and you will be taken somewhere shady and overcharged ridiculously for your beverages.
- If you have the time while you are here, check out some of the interesting nearby destinations outside of Riga. For example, Sigulda is a resort town only an hour away by train which features a beautiful wooded valley, a river, a cable car, and three castles.
Enjoy your travels in beautiful Riga, and be warned that you will likely fall deeply in love with its charms. This city is so picturesque, fun and affordable you won’t want to go home!