With our carry on filled with warm winter clothes we headed to the capital of Latvia, Riga. Our first Baltic state and we hoped that when we landed it would be wintery perfection.
On the bus from the airport there was lots of snow, but on reaching the Old Town of Riga, this had completely disappeared. The skies were grey and a chill in the air as we started to explore the city but this only added to the atmosphere.We spent 2 days in Riga and with it’s compact Old Town, that was plenty of time to explore. Pretty pastel building lined streets with a serious Coffee culture and little tourism. At night the city was lit with fairy lights giving it a real magical atmosphere. Such a wonderful place to wander around, regularly diving into a Coffee shop to warm up and pottering in and out of the most delightful shops.Our favourite places
- Central Market – A UNESCO World Heritage Site in old Zeppelin hangars full of the sights and smells of the capital – pickles, bread, fresh fruit and vegetables and great for people watching.
- Daugava River – When we were there parts of the river were frozen and we really enjoyed walking along the banks seeing the street art, landmarks and crossing the bridges.
- The Three Brothers – the oldest dwellings in Riga plus there’s a great café called Parunasum kafe’tekka
- Monuments and Statues – there are so many in Riga! From an Astronaut Chimpanzee to the iconic Freedom Monument and the wonderfully whimsical Bremen Town Musicians.
- House of the Blackheads – completely stunning 14th Century buildings.
- Domini Canes – hands down the best meal we had in Riga. From the beautiful Bread and Olives to the Chicken with Beetroot Mash with Berries (quite unexpected, but seriously tasty) to the Chocolate Fondant and Crème Brulee, every bite was fantastic.
Things to try
- Black Balsam – we tried it hot and it knocked our socks off.
- Black Peas – deeply savoury and super tasty.
- Pickled Mushrooms – an unusual one, but they just work.
- Anything with Sea Buckthorn – especially on cake!
- We flew with Ryan Air from London Stansted to Riga – the flight costs were £101.98 each including taxes.
- We stayed at the Amber Rooms, booked through Booking.com – for £44.15 for 3 nights.
- We spent £150 on meals, drinks, public transport and a couple of cheeky souvenirs.
Our final thoughts
We both really liked Riga. It feels safe and it’s quiet with a distinct lack of tourists. It was great to see it in the Winter and we’d definitely like to go back in the summertime to see a different side to the city. But there was just something quite magical about seeing this stunning city in the misty winter.
*Prices – February 2017