The Old Town of Riga cannot be missed on a weekend trip to Latvia.
Flying to Riga
The Latvian national airline Air Baltic operates to Riga from all of Finland’s largest airports. Finnair also transports passengers to the city without stopovers. You can get a one-way flight with up to a couple of dozen, and you can also travel from Turku and Tampere.
There is no ferry connection from Finland to Riga, but the car traveler can get there via Tallinn. It is less than a five-hour drive from Tallinn to Riga, which can be reached by Eurolines buses or your own car, which operates several times a day. The cheapest bus tickets cost only about ten euros. Hansabuss Business Line also transports to Riga for more than 20 euros directly from the Port of Tallinn.
Riga Airport is located about ten kilometers from the city center. A local bus from the airport to the city costs about a euro, but to get the cheapest price you have to buy a ticket in advance. A taxi from the airport to the city center is available for less than 15 euros.
Accommodation in Riga
Riga’s accommodation offer is diverse and comprehensive. In the city you can find top hotels, medium-priced hotels and cheap hostels. The affordable price level enables a high-quality stay even for a budget traveler. A double room in a city center hotel costs a minimum of about 45 euros per night, and a night in the hostel’s dormitory costs about ten euros.
Getting around Riga
The center of Riga is handy in size, so it is easy to explore the Old Town in particular on foot. Locals balance the cobbled streets at their high heels with enviable agility, but for the less experienced, it might make more sense to equip themselves with comfortable footwear.
The tram is an easy way to see the city outside the old town. A tram ticket priced at less than one euro must be purchased at the ticket kiosk in advance, instead the bus ticket can also be purchased from the driver. The line is extensive, and you can reach the Riga Zoo and the alpha shopping center, which is popular with locals, along the tracks.
Taxis in Riga have amassed a questionable reputation by charging ignorant tourists fugitive prices. Today, dishonest drivers are mostly the exception, although you should be careful when taking a ride. The most reliable are large Taxi companies, such as Riga Taxi Parks, which uses red cars, and Baltic Taxi, the airline of Air Baltic.
If you plan to travel around the public a lot and explore as many attractions as possible, you should consider the Riga Pass. The card entitles you to free public transport in Riga, free or discounted admission to attractions and museums, and discounts at restaurants. The ticket can be purchased for 1-3 days.
Finding a parking space in Riga can be painful in the city center, so you should leave your car in the hotel car park during your city visit and use public transport.
THE BEST OF RIGA
The Central Market has everything you need – and more
Riga Central Market is the most fascinating shopping place in the city. The former airship halls house more than three thousand outlets, which are visited daily by more than a hundred thousand customers. In the halls you will find literally anything: traditional vegetables, fish and meat, but also clothes, trinkets and watches.
The best and highest quality dishes on the market are fish and meat products as well as fresh vegetables. However, if you are not cooking on your holiday, check out the selection of nuts and dried fruits. The products are delicious and considerably cheaper than in Finland. Above all, however, you should enjoy the unique bazaar atmosphere in the market hall. However, take care of your property as pickpockets lurk in rapt tourists.
A visit to Jurmala should definitely be combined with a holiday in Riga, at least when the weather is favorable. This spa and beach resort, also known as the Latvian Riviera, is an enchanting destination, especially in summer. The wooden house architecture and the city’s pastel lace villas give it a delightfully distinctive look. Relaxation in the spas and various treatments crown the city break, but the best thing about Jurmala is still the beaches.
The city of Jurmala actually consists of small successive villages, each with its own characteristics. The beaches of Jurmala are suitable for families with children, active holidaymakers and romantics alike. Many rich and famous Latvians have also bought an apartment in the area. You can easily and quickly travel from Riga to Jurmala by train, and you can get a ticket for less than two euros. Jurmala is therefore an easy day trip for those staying in Riga.
According to legend, the house of the Three Brothers was built by three brothers of the same family. Today, the building is an integral part of Riga’s Old Town.Best experiences
- Tour of the Central Market
- Hiking the alleys of the old town
- Day trip to Jurmala beaches or spas
- Coffee and pastry moment at a local bakery
- Making inexpensive purchases
The best museums in Riga
- Ethnographic Museum
- State Art Museum
- Museum of Architecture