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Things to do in Riga and nearby

I might be going to Riga in late summer, fall. If you were in Riga for at least 3 nights, are there enough things to do to stay busy? Are there many flights into other parts of Europe out of the airport in Riga?

Posted by
1770 posts

I suppose the answer depends largely on what you like to do. For my (cancelled) 2020 trip to Riga, i had planned:

Old Town walking tour
Art Nouveau walking tour
Art Nouveau Museum
Visit Riga Central Market
Riga Ghetto and Holocaust Museum
Riga KGB Museum
Museum of Occupation of Latvia
Ethnographic Open Air Museum

This, plus wandering the old town and visiting shops related to my hobbies, would have kept me well entertained for the 3.5 days I would have been there.

Posted by
17881 posts

I suspect CWsocial has pinpointed most of the highlights, but you might also take a look at the In Your Pocket guide. You can browse the website at https://www.inyourpocket.com/riga or download a pdf of the guide at the bottom of that webpage.

Posted by
2485 posts

lots to do , you could easily spend a whole day at the Ethonographic museum which for me was the highlight of the trip.Takes about 30 minutes on the local bus from the centre of the city, it is actually a large village made up of wooden houses ,churches and other buildings including a fantastic wooden windmill, they have been rescued for all over the country,there are places for food and refreshments just a wonderful place to spend a day.
There are also some short river trips you can do which gives you a different perspective on the city.
Not sure about flights to other cities but it is a major city so bound to be flights to all parts of europe.
,getting to the other Baltic states of Estonia and Lithuania should be pretty easy, I did all 3 on an organised trip flying into Tallin and out from Villnius and had private coach to get us between the places.

Posted by
1578 posts

You can easily stay busy with 3 nights in Riga, there is no reason to worry about being bored. Riga's airport is also Air Baltic's main hub so it is well connected to other parts of Europe.

Posted by
2230 posts

Riga is great. I spent 4 nights there and had no shortage of things to do. CWSocial has a nice list of activities above and all are great. There is also a small museum about everyday Communist life in Riga. There is an old Teutonic castle to explore at nearby Cēsis. The cold war bunkers for the government to use in the event of nuclear war are also open for tours. I did a day trip with a guide to hit the castle and the bunkers.

As Badger noted, Air Baltic serves a good number of destinations -- larger ones served on very comfortable Airbus A220's and smaller ones on turbo prop Q400's.

Posted by
694 posts

We also spent a few hours in Jurmala, walking on the beach and around town. Many fancy shops and houses. Jurmala is easy to reach. We took a 30 minute train ride.

Another popular day trip would be to Rundale Palace. It’s a baroque palace and garden, reachable by public transportation (you would need to change to local bus or taxi to get there)

Posted by
1578 posts

Cēsis is a good suggestion if you are looking for a day trip from Riga, and it is easy to do on your own by train.

Posted by
2144 posts

I spent 3 nights in Riga in early May 2019, arriving from Tallinn via bus, and then travelling on to Vilnius via bus. I did fly through the Riga airport when going to Budapest from Vilnius and it seemed a well-run and pleasant airport served by the usual big airlines as well as regional ones. I attached a link below to my Trip Report that's full of details. It's definitely a town I'd return to, the 3 dinners I had there remain a very fond memory.

I was there over the May 1 holiday--they call it the Reclamation of Independence day--and the only things I had on my agenda that I missed due to that was visiting the Holocaust museum and a big outdoor flea/collectible market. I had 3.5 days to explore and felt that was just right.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/old-favorite-new-places-part-2-riga-latvia

Posted by
58 posts

To everyone who answered my questions about Riga,I really want to thank you. I appreciate it so much and the information is very useful. It is kind of you all to take the time to share your knowledge.