Diverting your mind after a long day of business is easy when in Riga. You will never find yourself bored in the city known as the bridge between Russia and the rest of Europe. You can consider yourself lucky, should you ever end up in Latvia’s capital. Whether you’re visiting for business or leisure, this city has an incredible amount to offer its visitors. Said to be a city which through its attractions can teach you about the whole country’s history, here are some suggestions to what you should see and do when visiting Riga.
Exploration and Tastes
Start with just exploring the city. Not many other capitals in Europe are as budget-friendly as Riga. Modernity rubs shoulders with the old, giving you a truly unique experience. Enjoy historic and beautiful sites, as well as culinary experiences of high standards, without emptying your wallet. Peaceful as it is, walking around or hiring a bike is probably the best way to get the most of your stay. Between the quaintness of the cobblestoned streets there are eateries of every kind sprinkling the city. The quality of the food is good and, compared with many other destinations, very cheap. Have you not yet had the pleasure of eating a good beet, this is definitely the place to try it. Imagine every way of preparing it, and then some – there’s definitely a beet that will make your taste buds do the tango too. A cosy bistro or a crazy restaurant that is hospital themed, that’s just a taste of Riga’s gastronomical gems.
Marvellous Art Nouveau
One of the great things with European destinations is that almost every city has some fine architectural pieces. Latvia’s largest city is no exception, and it actually has the continent’s most extensive collection of Art Nouveau buildings. In this UNESCO World Heritage Site you can marvel at more than 800 buildings built in this characteristic style. The main streets to see them are the Alberta, Strelnieku, and Antonijas, as well as the Elizabetes, where you also find the modern Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel, Riga. Should you find yourself at the first mentioned, make sure to drop by the Art Nouveau Museum at Alberta 12.
The Proud Symbol
Whilst talking about places to visit in Riga, there’s one site every Latvian will expect you to have seen when visiting their capital. The 42 meter high Freedom Monument, or Brivibas Piemineklis which it is known locally, is a landmark with significance. Erected in 1935, it was raised to honor fallen soldiers of the Latvian war of independence. The three stars, held towards the sky by the statue on top, represent the three constitutional districts of Latvia. Inscribed on its base are the vigorous words “For Fatherland and Freedom”. The structure is one of the best known monuments in the Baltics and a symbol of pride.
Listen to Riga’s Sounds
For centuries Riga Dome Cathedral has been one of Riga’s major concert venues, and it still is. Frequently organists from all around the world come to play here. Being present when this happens is magical. Even though each concert feels unique, they are a regular event, and something the cathedral has become quite well known for. As a bonus, the tickets are at a reasonable price, and well worth the majestic tones of a church organ filling church room. It’s a great way to get some peace and tranquility into a hectic day.
Relaxing is almost essential when in Riga, and the city has an abundance of places where you can restore energy. There are several spas in the Latvian capital and their quality is overall good. Thermal pools, hot stone massages, baths and beauty treatments are just some of the services you can enjoy. One of the best known spas in the city is the exclusive five-star ESPA Riga, located at the Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija. For a refreshing manicure before meetings, some after work you-time, or just a day out with your friends, it’s a perfect element of any stay.
Doing International Business
It’s easy to understand how real estate tourism, together with business visits, has become important for the country. With its unique position as a member of the EU, the Schengen Agreement and the WTO, Latvia has become a bridge between European and Russian businessmen. Private banking and capital management attracts companies together with the European Residence Permit they receive after buying real estate. However, it’s not without reason Riga is nominated European Capital of Culture in 2014, meaning it’s definitely a place worth putting on your Bucket List.