The capital of Latvia and the largest city in the Baltic States, located on the Baltic Sea coast at the mouth of the Daugava River, which flows into the Gulf of Riga. Riga is known for its sights and the old town, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Riga on map

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Riga is the capital of Latvia

The Daugava River divides Riga into two parts. The old town is located on the eastern shore. Most of the city was destroyed by fires or damaged during World War II. Therefore, most of the buildings are either well restored or rebuilt from scratch in the 90s of the twentieth century in order to return Riga to its historical appearance and, of course, increase its tourist attractiveness. The Old town is surrounded by the architecture of the XIX-XX century, followed by a multi-storey typical Soviet building.

Riga, Latvia


The birth of the capital of Latvia begins in 1201, that is, the city has existed for more than eight centuries. In the XIII century, Riga became a cultural and commercial center, a "bridge" connecting east and west. At the end of the XVII century, the city fell under the rule of Poland, and half a century later the Swedes captured Riga. During the Northern War, after the plague epidemic and the long siege of the city, Riga became part of the Russian Empire.

KaķU nams is a building in the central part of Riga's Old Town, built in 1909 by architect Friedrich Scheffel in the style of late Rational Art Nouveau. It is popularly called the "House with Black Cats"

Gradually, the city occupies important positions in the development of culture throughout the country, the population and territory are increasing, but the course of the First World War leads to Riga being at the front line, which is why many enterprises, factories and plants have to be evacuated.

After the formation of the independent Republic of Latvia, a new life of the city begins — factories, factories are returning, the level of culture and science is growing. In 1939, according to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Baltic States passed to the Soviet Union and in June 1940 Soviet troops entered Riga, and a year later German troops.

Jauniela (Latvian. Jauniela — New Street) is a street in Riga, in the historic Old Town district.

During the Second World War, the Old Town of Riga was destroyed. After the war, Riga was actively restored and remained the capital of the Latvian SSR until the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1991, the sovereignty of Latvia was returned again. Today, the capital continues to be the cultural, scientific, industrial and tourist center of the country. Riga is still as beautiful as it was at the beginning of its inception.

Riga bridges

What to see and do

There are a lot of interesting things in Riga. The standard tourist program consists of long walks.

Riga is divided into three districts. The most attractive for tourists is the Central District, also known as the Old Town, where the main attractions and the railway station are located. And on the left bank of the Daugava, it is worth looking into the Zemgale suburb, namely Kalnziema Street, where you can see wooden architecture and interesting sights.

Daugava, Riga

How to get

Riga is the largest aviation hub in the Baltic States and the base airport of Air Baltic. There are only three long-distance trains to and from Riga: to Moscow, Minsk and St. Petersburg. You can also get from these cities by regular buses and a car. But do not forget that Latvia is a member of the European Union and a Schengen visa is needed here.

Riga International Airport, Mārupe, Latvia


April 08, 2024

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