Riga is the capital of Latvia and the largest city of the Baltic region. It is obvious that this modern city has managed to preserve its historic appearance. This fact attracts crowds of tourists to see the sights of Riga, famous all over the world.
Everyone will find here the format of desired recreation. Buildings and museums, galleries and churches, old streets and monuments really deserve precise attention.
1. Make a wish at the Bremen Town Musicians at the back of St. Peter’s Church of Riga
Walking along the central streets of Riga, you will definitely come to one of the largest urban temples, the Cathedral of St. Peter. Enjoying the Gothic architecture, do not be lazy to get around the Cathedral where you will find the Bremen Town Musicians monument.
The Bremen Musicians monument is a sculptural composition depicting a world famous donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster. This animal company daily meets tourists’ care. You can make a wish and touch a nose of an animal. Since the animals are placed one above the other, donkey is the most touched. However, it is believed that the wish will more likely come true, if you touch the nose of someone who is above.
2. Find the Cat House and laugh at the idea of this architect
An interesting attraction, the so-called cat house, which was built in the early 20th century by the local merchant, is located in Riga. According to the legend, he wanted to join a Trading Guild. He got terribly offended when he was not accepted there. On the same day he ordered to construct two cats, turned their backs to the Trading Guild on the roof of his house which stood opposite the Guild. This act caused a great scandal, and it even came to trial. But only due to the city authorities the iron cats were turned around.
3. Visit the organ concert at the Dome Cathedral
If you happen to be in Riga, the most recognizable symbol of the Latvian capital, Riga Dome Cathedral (Rīgas Doms), will certainly attract your attention. It is located in the heart of Riga – the Dome square. The architectural ensemble of the Cathedral includes also the Cross gallery and the Dome Abbey.
The real pride and genuine decoration of the Riga Dome Cathedral is organ, which became a kind of musical symbol of Latvia. The Dome organ is one of the most valuable historical instruments in the world. At the moment of creation it was the largest in the world; nowadays it is among the largest organs in Europe.
4. Buy a traditional amber souvenir
Unlucky is the tourist, who does not bring a souvenir from the trip. Each country is associated with their «brand» products, and Latvia in this aspect is considered to be the birthplace of amber stone. There are thousands of amber souvenirs of any type for any taste. It is easy to choose best presents and souvenirs that will remind of splendid amber days in Riga.
5. Admire a great atmosphere in Black Magic Bar
Recently a magic bar Riga Black Magic was opened in the capital of Latvia. The bar charms with how the past is nicely combined with the present. Here you can see the safe, where 24 species of herbs used in famous Riga balsam are exhibited. The magic atmosphere of the so-called alchemy laboratory captures body and soul. Here you can be the witness of worldwide beverage cooking and have to try plenty of it.
6. Taste famous siļķu pudiņš (casserole made from herring and boiled potatoes)
Throughout its history Latvia was a part of different countries, which is reflected on the culinary preferences of Latvians. Estonian dairy courses, German meats and sauerkraut, Lithuanian and Belarusian cuisine influence Latvian taste. Be sure to partake of variety of homemade cheeses and especially siļķu pudiņš, casserole of herring with boiled potatoes.
7. Climb up to the tower of St. Peter’s Church and enjoy the beautiful panorama of Riga
The Church of St. Peter (Sv. Petera baznica) is one of the main attractions of the Latvia capital, which together with the Dome Cathedral creates a unique silhouette of the city for many hundreds of years. The Church is often called the Peter Tower. There are two viewing platforms at a height of 57 and 71 m, that offer a unique panorama of the old town and all of Riga.
8. Count all the golden roosters on top of the oldest Riga churches
For many years, cockerels have been watching the city life from the churches spires. Lots of folk tales are narrated about this bird. Cockerels on the churches towers are one of the symbols of Riga. Unlike most churches in Europe, where the towers are mounted with the cross, the rooster was chosen for this role in Riga.
9. Become a fan of famous Latvian chocolate «Laima»
The most beautiful thing in the world is Love. The most powerful force in the Universe is also Love. Laima, incomparable chocolate, also chooses Love. Love is the greatest value of Laima chocolate, the main secret of its unique taste and aroma. Once trying it you become its fan forever.
10. Walk through to Alberta street and don’t miss the Art Nouveau Museum
It is no exaggeration to say that Alberta Street is almost a museum specimen of Riga Art Nouveau under the open sky. The street was formed in honor of the 700th anniversary of the city in 1901 and named after the founder of Riga, Bishop Albert von Buxhoevden. The architecture of the Art Nouveau sounds like a hymn to the beauty, reminding «the glory days» of Riga.
Riga is a wonderful European city that provides an opportunity to travel to fantastic past and to admire the modern sights at the same time.