Home »Travel» What to see in Riga in 1 day. Sights, photos
What to see in Riga in 1 day. My short guide – How to get there, where to stay, where to eat, as well as transportation and attractions.
My trip to Riga, like most trips to Europe, was determined by a case, or rather a $ 30 discount on booking 3-5 star hotels that turned out to be best used in Riga. After that, it remains only to watch the action on Minsk-Riga-Minsk bus tickets and here, too, it was lucky to start a sale with a 50% discount.
How to get to Riga
You can get to Riga just like in most European capitals by plane, bus and train. I traveled by night bus from Minsk for € 6.9, but I cannot guess your option, so I’ll tell you about the main directions.
- Riga Airport: a ticket for a city bus from the airport costs € 1.15. If you buy an E-Talon in advance, a single ticket from the driver will cost € 2. Airport transfers for € 30 can be booked here and here.
- Vilnius-Riga: buses travel up to 10 times a day, the average ticket price is 13 €, you can buy it here or here. Flights from € 30 can be found at Skyscanner.
- Minsk-Riga: buses go to Riga up to 4 times a day, tickets are sold here or here from 15 €. The train costs from 40 €.
Accommodation in Riga
- Apartments: Daily rentals are best booked on Airbnb, and use the coupons to save money. Most apartment owners speak Russian.
- Hotels: if you do not want to overpay and there are no stocks, then use the RoomGuru search engine combination and the CashBack function. The search engine will find the best deal, and CashBack and coupons will reduce the price to 20%.
I was lucky to book a 4-star Islande Hotel for € 13 for two with breakfast (using a discount coupon), but such promotions are rare. The hotel is located almost in the heart of the city on the island of Kipsala. Breakfast is a buffet with a large choice of food, the hotel also has a free sauna for guests.
Public transport in Riga
The tourist part of the city is very small, as well as being located near the railway station and if you arrived in the city in less than a day, then the city transport may simply not be needed.
If your route involves the use of urban transport, then you should know that Riga has an electronic fare collection system, and the tickets are called E-Talon. You can buy them at any newsstand.
Tourists are best to use disposable yellow tickets E-Talon. A coupon for one trip is 2.5 €, but if you are going to travel more than once, it is advantageous to buy a day pass for 5 €.
Sights of Riga
Before proceeding to the description of my walk in Riga, according to tradition, I will cite several references that should help you organize your trip in advance and save time.
- Tourist bus Riga Sightseeing Tour – 13 € for 1 day and 17 € for 2 days. More expensive than travel to urban transport, but it is more convenient to get to some of the attractions.
- Riga City Tour – 15 €.
- Excursion – The history of Riga balsam tasting – 25 €.
- Excursion to Jurmala – € 69.
What to see in Riga in 1 day
Although in Riga I was almost two days, but due to bad weather and a trip to Jurmala, staying in Riga itself as a tourist was reduced to 3-5 hours. This is enough to explore the tourist center of the city and the main sights of Riga.
I will begin to cover my pedestrian route from the Central Station, where almost all tourists arrive in Riga.
Central Station in Riga Route in Riga. Map
Latvian National Opera
Immediately you can not go to the historical city, so that you do not have to do an extra lap and go for a walk in the Bastion Hill Park, where you can see several attractions at once. The first thing that will be on the way is the building of the Latvian National Opera, built in 1863.
The building of the Latvian National Opera
The next item will be Stella Liberty, located in the center of the park. It was built in 1935 as a symbol of the freedom of the Latvian people.
We continue to walk through the park to the place that gave him the name Bastion Hill. There is not much left from the hill, but you can get good views from it in good weather. Our case was an exception and the weather let down.
We go down from the hill and go in the direction of the Powder Tower, the peak of which is visible in the previous photo. The powder tower is practically the only thing left of the defensive wall of the city. Nearby are some more remnants in the form of the Ramer Tower and a piece of the fortress wall.
Powder Tower Ramera Tower and Fortress Wall
Next to these buildings is the corresponding thematic Latvian Military Museum. The museum is open every day from 10 to 17-18 o’clock, during the turn is free, the address Smilšu iela 20.
We continue to move deep into the historical part of the city and exit to the building with the name Cat House, which invented a whole legend about the cats on the spire of its roof. According to this legend, the cats were originally turned backwards to the building of the Riga merchants guild, and this was done because of the refusal to admit one of the merchants who owned the building to the guild.
Today, the spiers of this building with cats are one of the symbols of the city, even a tourist magnet rarely goes without an image of these cats.
From the cat’s house we are moving in the direction of the Dome Square, where the Dome Cathedral is located, but we will not enter the square and the cathedral for the time being, but walk a little to the right to the Cathedral of St. James.
Cathedral of St. James
And now go to Dome Square and the eponymous cathedral.
Nearby is the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation. Entrance to the museum is € 4.27, for adults, but it is better to immediately buy a subscription to 3 museums for € 5.69 (Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, House of Macendorf and Museum of Photography of Latvia).
House of the Blackheads
If you are not interested in the museum, then we move to the central square of Riga and the House of Blackheads located on it, as well as the Monument of Bremen Musicians, which is hidden around the corner of the House of Blackheads.
House of Blackheads Monument to the Bremen Town Musicians
Not far from the House of the Blackheads is another one of the main attractions of Riga – the Church of St. Peter.
St. Peter’s Church
This is practically everything that I managed to photograph during my walk in Riga and the whole story “What to see in Riga”, prevented me from taking more pictures of light rain. But in Riga, in the old town, there were still a dozen or two interesting houses that could be photographed, and you could also find a house that was shot in the Soviet film about Sherlock Holmes and passed off as his residence on Baker Street.
Latvian National Library
And the last photo is now also the Landmark of Riga – the new building of the Latvian National Library, opened in 2013. I got here due to the fact that my Islande Hotel is located nearby.
Building of the Latvian National Library
Where to eat budget in Riga
I will finish my story about Riga with an appetizer, or rather lunch. In Riga, if you do not want to overpay for restaurants and expensive cafes, it is better to go to LIDO. It is tasty, satisfying and inexpensive, as well as something similar to dining rooms, but much prettier and more comfortable.
Not far from the center there are 4 such institutions, and one of them is right in the historical center. Lido in the center is constantly crowded due to the good location, so it is better to walk a bit and have lunch in any other. Below the address as far from the center.