At the crossroads between East and West Europe, Riga has wonderful architecture and long twisting avenues. It has inherited Jugendstil Architecture (German form of Art Nouveau); rich in detail with many buildings constructed in the early 1900s. The city has an up market feel (despite having a Stag party image) about it, completely different from its neighbours – high quality shops, restaurants and hotels abound. Try a coffee at a traditional bakers and coffee shop – Smilsu Pulkstenis, Klku 7. You can just wander around all the many streets and admire the architecture and try and catch an organ recital at the Dome Cathedral at Doma Square around 1200. They charge an entrance fee.
Places to Visit
The Dome cathedral (Doma Square) – St John’s Lutheran Church (Skarnu Street) – St Jacob’s Catholic Church (Klostera Street) – St Peters Lutheran Church (Skarnu Street) – The Small and the separate Great Guild (both Amatu Street) – The Melngalvju (Blackheads) House (Town Hall Square) – The Gunpowder Tower (Smilsu Street) – The Three brothers – Medieval Residence (Maza Pils Street) – The Freedom Monument (between Brivibas and Raina Boulevards).
If you venture outside of Riga with its collection of baroque and art nouveau buildings you will find a land filled with castles and opulent grand residences. Along its coastline are vast sandy and secluded beaches. If touring include a visit to the medieval town of Cesis with its wooden buildings, cobbled streets, impressive castle and admire its baroque Rundale Palace. Accommodation available includes distinguished manor houses and a visit to the spa resort of Jurmala is a must for many.
Contact Simon at Designer Travel Tailor-made Holidays & Cruises
Photo: The Melngalvju (RG) 34