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Things to do in

Riga

Latvia’s capital combines diverse architecture, a historical old town, and a thriving culinary scene.

Our most recommended things to do in Riga

Riga Sightseeing Tour by Canal Boat

1. Riga Sightseeing Tour by Canal Boat

Climb aboard an eco-friendly canal boat to see the sights of Riga from a different perspective as you cruise along the Daugava River. Escape the crowds of the city center as you set sail from the pier by the Freedom Monument at the 18th-century fortifications known as the Triangula Bastion (Bastejkalns). Glide gently under historic bridges and see landmark attractions such as the elegant home of the Latvian National Opera, Europe's largest market and bazaar at Riga Central Market and the UNESCO World Heritage monuments of the Spīķeri Quarter.  Get amazing views of the Vecrīga district (Old Riga) as you cruise towards the Riga Passenger Terminal and Yacht Club Andrejosta. Make your way back towards the departure point and get stunning views of Kronvalda Park and the Latvian National Theatre.

Riga: Red Bus Hop-on-hop-off Grand Tour

2. Riga: Red Bus Hop-on-hop-off Grand Tour

The double-decker buses depart from the Town Hall Square between 9:45 AM-4: 45 PM daily. There are 11 main stops and around 16 additional stops along the routes. In this package deal, two tours are included. This pass allows you to make the most of the hop-on-hop-off tour style with within a 2 day period. The Green tour runs through two districts. First, the bus goes to Pardaugava, an area which overlooks ancient cathedrals on the left bank of the river Daugava. Next, the bus travels toward the city centre where many of the cities main attractions are located. You will pass the Boulevard Ring, see the famous Monument of Freedom, the Opera House, the Powder Tower, and much more. The Blue tour also traverses two districts. You'll get the chance to see a range of architectural styles, from Romantic facades to decorative Art Nouveau. Then, in the district of Moscow suburb, you'll see Riga’s Central Market, the Speakers Quarter and the famous Stalin High-rise All tours feature pre-recorded commentary broadcast via headphones in 10 languages of your choice: Russian, Latvian, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Spanish, French, and Italian.

Riga: 1.5-Hour Old Town Walking Tour

3. Riga: 1.5-Hour Old Town Walking Tour

Go beneath the surface of Riga, from its founding 8 centuries ago at the Daugava River to its transformation into the beautiful and artistic city that you see today. Walk past the city's most important landmarks and learn about the people who made Riga what it is today. Learn about the Bishop Albert of Livonia, who founded the Latvian capital in 1201, and about the many foreigners who have since left their mark on this city. Discover the city's Medieval Hanseatic Old Town and enjoy the splendors of the Dome Cathedral. Enjoy the Big and Small Guild Houses and their Gothic and Neo-Gothic styles. Photograph the Riga Castle, the current residence of the President of Latvia, and see famous spots such as St. Peter’s Church, the Swedish Gate, Powder Tower and many others.

Riga: Entrance Ticket - House of the Black Heads

4. Riga: Entrance Ticket - House of the Black Heads

Wander through centuries in House of the Black Heads! Feel the magic atmosphere of luxurious halls of celebrations, decorated with brilliant chandeliers and a gallery of royal portraits. Explore the mysterious medieval cellars and elaborate historical rooms with a surprising silverware collection. For the past 700 hundred years, the House of the Black Heads has pleased and enraptured inhabitants and guests of Riga. This is one of the most magnificent buildings in Riga, preserving both the unique historic heritage of the legendary Brotherhood of Black Heads and the history of Riga. For centuries House of the Black Heads was the cultural epicenter of Riga, gathering the most respectable inhabitants of Riga and their guests, during celebrations organized by the Black Heads and their successors. This building, which is situated in the heart of Old Riga, is the symbol of Riga and among the central premises of representation of Riga – not for nothing also the President of Latvia has chosen House of the Black Heads as his temporary residence for almost four years!

Riga: Beer or Cider Bike Tour

5. Riga: Beer or Cider Bike Tour

Go sightseeing in a completely different way on a beer or cider bike tour through the heart of Riga. Explore the beautiful streets of the city’s Old Town while pedaling, drinking, and chatting with friends.   Your English-speaking guide and driver will greet you at the meeting point and take you to the waiting beer bike. Once seated and ready to start, you will be served your choice of beer, cider or prosecco — and then the fun begins.   The bike holds up to 15 passengers and is easy enough for even 4 people to pedal. While riding around the Old Town with drinks in hand, you can listen to your favorite music and turn on LED lights for a party on wheels.   After an hour of taking in the sights, head to one of the restaurants near the finishing point for a nice meal.

Riga: 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

6. Riga: 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Take advantage of a 2-day ticket to the Riga hop-on and hop-off sightseeing tour bus, and see all of the city’s attractions on one easy tour. You can take the full city tour which consists of 4 different lines and takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes. As you tour, an audio guide will provide an informative commentary in 10 languages. Get excellent views of city attractions as you cruise, such as the Freedom Monument, Riga Castle, Orthodox Cathedral, former KGB Headquarters, churches, embassies, and other significant sites. Stops include: • Town Hall Square • National Opera Building • Art Nouveau District • Hotel Latvija • Central Railway Station • Central Market • Riga Ferry Terminal

Riga Classical Old Town 2-Hour Walking Tour

7. Riga Classical Old Town 2-Hour Walking Tour

Discover Old Town Riga on a 2-hour walking tour through the historic and geographical center of the city. Listen as your guide tells you the real stories and legends of the Old Town and points out the sights of interest. First, visit the most impressive building in Riga; the House of Blackheads. It was completely destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in 1999. Then you will see the complex of living buildings known as "3 Brothers," considered the oldest stone building in Riga. Continuing your walk, pass by Riga Castle, Riga Cathedral, the Old City Wall and Swedish Gate, the Powder Tower, and even the Art Nouveau Cat House. When your tour ends, you will emerge with a greater understanding of and appreciation for the historic Old Town and the history of Riga itself.

Riga: Old and New Walking Tour

8. Riga: Old and New Walking Tour

Delve into the mysterious charm of Old Riga. Admire the luxurious Art Nouveau buildings and learn about their former inhabitants, stop to photograph "The Three Brothers". Meet your guide in the city center and start exploring. Walk past the most important cultural and historical highlights of Old Riga such as the Town Hall Square, St. Peter’s Church, Convent Yard, St. John’s Church, and St. John’s Yard, Discover the bustling Liv Square and admire the colorful "Three Brothers" residential complex. See the Riga Cathedral and St. Jacob’s Church and learn about the richest and most influential residents who once called Riga's Art Nouveau buildings home.

Riga Explorer Bike Tour

9. Riga Explorer Bike Tour

On our Riga Explorer Bike Tour, we want to show you Riga beyond the Old Town, the parts of the city that you might never find on your own. We are local residents of the city, passionate about where we live, and we want to share it with you, warts and all. We'll meet you at a convenient point, pick up some comfotable bikes and head off to explore the city. The Moscow suburb awaits, an area of the city full of history and the site of the Jewish ghetto during the Nazi occupation. Its decaying wooden houses stand in sharp contrast to the gloss of the Old Town or the splendour of the Art Nouveau buildings. We'll ride through the heart of Riga, where most Ridzenieki (the people of Riga) like to hang out, and on to the Great Cemetery, now a strange mix of graveyard and park, before returning to our starting point.  This is a great way to see Riga, get some exercise, help the environment and learn more about what the city is like today, and how it got this way. Join our Riga Explorer Bicycle Tour and see the true Riga.

Riga: 2-Hour History of Art Nouveau Walking Tour

10. Riga: 2-Hour History of Art Nouveau Walking Tour

Take a journey through the different interpretations of Art Nouveau. From highly decorative to more intellectual designs, these buildings were built in line with Art Nouveau values: creations designed to be not only beautiful but also functional. Find out if these buildings live up to this expectation from an experienced and multi-lingual guide. Join your guide in central Riga and walk through the Old Town to the Art Nouveau district, home to creations from the most controversial Art Nouveau architect, Mikhail Eisenstein. Learn about Eisenstein's history living in what was then the most important port city in the Russian Empire. Walk along the famous Alberta street and hear stories of the notable Latvian, German, Russian, and Jewish architects who have left their distinctive features on the city's Art Nouveau houses. Admire the rich ornamentation on some facades and learn how national romanticism was built into the design of others.

Frequently asked questions about Riga

What top attractions are a must-see in Riga?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Riga?

The best day trips and excursions from Riga are:

Jurmala

Other Sightseeing Options in Riga

Want to discover all there is to do in Riga? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Riga

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,274 reviews

This was an excellent tour of the huge Central Market. There were lots of samples. The guide was very organized. Highly recommend!

Eva the best guide ever - extremely knowledgeable, friendly, kind, and proud of her native Latvia. Best around!

It was wonderful trip through the canal, but we wish to continue to the river,the weather was not helpful.

Transfer was waiting for me at the gate which is always so helpful and makes for a less stressful arrival.

A really nice, relaxing way to see and learn about Riga.