Should You Visit Riga?

Is Riga worth visiting?

Yes, Riga is definitely worth visiting for numerous reasons. Its a city that everyone should see, and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. We first visited in 2011 and have returned several times. During our time here, we fell in love with the vibrant markets and authentic atmosphere.

Whether you're a traveling as a family, a couple, or a backpacker, this city has a lot to offer. Any local will tell you what makes it special is the amazing nightlife and fantastic museums.

It's often mentioned as one of the best places to visit in major publications, such as in The Times Best City Breaks in Europe.

Riga is the capital of Latvia and its a cultural city with a lot to offer visitors. The city has a beautiful old town with lively squares and many cozy restaurants. There's also an active nightlife scene.

Riga Riga

6 Reasons to Visit Riga

1. Nightlife

Despite being a small city, this capital has gained a reputation for its party atmosphere. The historic center comes to life in the evenings, particularly between Wednesdays and Saturdays. The area is compact enough that you can walk from club to club and prices are reasonable.

2. Museums

As a capital city with a diverse history, you'll find a number of museums and landmarks in the area. Visitors frequently visit The Freedom Monument, St. Peters Church, the Riga Cathedral, The House of the Black Heads, and any of the many museums around town.

3. Food

The city offers a great opportunity to try many Latvian specialties including rasol (a potato salad), pelmeni (a Latvian dumpling), and karbonade (kind of like schnitzel). The cuisine is hearty and filling with lots of bread, dumpling, and meats. Riga is also where you'll find the largest food market in Europe, which is the perfect place to wander and pick up some local items.

4. Historical Sights

The old town is filled with cobblestone streets and charming architecture. The city is less touristy than many places in Europe so you can usually avoid the large crowds and enjoy a peaceful walk. During the evening you'll find the area turns into an entertainment district with many clubs and bars.

5. Shopping

Some of the most interesting shopping in the city is in the old town. Prices might be a little more expensive than you expect but it's possible to find some unique items. The city also has many markets, including the largest food market in Europe, which is a must-see.

6. Authenticity

Riga has an authentic vibe where you can experience local culture, cuisine, and activities without the large tourist crowds of other popular destinations.




Expert Advice from Local Travelers

We're asking our community members and registered users to contribute their experiences about Riga.

What was your favorite thing about Riga?

It's not as popular as many other European cities so it feels more real and authentic. Check out the huge market, which has an incredible selection of foods!

Andrew
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Mar 12 2024

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Is Riga worth visiting in the Summer?

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during summer with average temperatures around 17°C (63°F).

The peak season for travel is summer in Riga, so expect to see more tourists than usual. Even though this destination is not very touristy, in the high season it's busier than usual because this is when most visitors come here.

You'll also find it quite easy to get around on foot, because this is a very walkable city, especially in the nice weather. This is a great time of year to wander through the museums, enjoy the city's energy, and admire the historic sights. Also, you can enjoy an evening out.


Summer Weather in Riga
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
July 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
August 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
September 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in)

Is Riga worth visiting in the Autumn?

Autumn is the shoulder season for travel in Riga. This destination is not very touristy, and in the shoulder season it can become fairly quiet.

The weather in Riga can be quite cold during autumn, and averages around 7°C (45°F). But be prepared for much lower temperatures, too.

Autumn is a great time of year to explore the numerous museums and landmarks around town. They are fun for the whole family as well great for couples. Soaking up that old town charm in the autumn is one of the favorite activities of visitors. The quaint scenery combined with the weather this time of year is quite nice. You'll find plenty to do during autumn, as you'll be able to admire the wonderful scenery, browse around the old town, and browse through museums. Also, you can check out the big city activities.


Autumn Weather in Riga
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
October 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)
November 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
December -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)

Is Riga worth visiting in the Winter?

This is the low season for travel in Riga. This destination is not very touristy, so in the low season it can become fairly quiet.

The weather in Riga can be quite cold during winter, and averages around -5°C (23°F). But be prepared for much lower temperatures, too.

You'll like that you can take public transit easily in the winter, too. You can get around quickly while avoiding bad weather if needed. During this season it's fun to experience the famous sights and museums, the cuisine, and the historic old town. Also, you'll be able to dance the night away and soak up the big city atmosphere.


Winter Weather in Riga
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
January -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
February -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in)
March -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)

Is Riga worth visiting in the Spring?

The weather in Riga can be quite cold during spring, and averages around 5°C (42°F). But be prepared for much lower temperatures, too.

Spring is the shoulder season for travel in Riga, which means slightly less visitors than in the peak season. This destination is not very touristy, and in the shoulder season it can become fairly quiet.

The city this time of year is absolutely beautiful. Admire the gardens, parks, and fantastic architecture, too. Soaking up that old town charm in the spring is one of the favorite activities of visitors. The quaint scenery combined with the weather this time of year is quite nice. This is a great time of year to browse the shops, browse the museums, and admire the wonderful scenery. Also, you can experience the historic old town and the nightlife.


Spring Weather in Riga
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
April 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
June 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)

Things to Consider Before Visiting Riga

Not As Family-Friendly
While there are some family activities, it's not as child-friendly as other destinations.

Not As Romantic
For couples, this destination does not have a great vibe for romance compared to other places.

The Cost
Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, Riga might be an expensive destination for you. You can find out the travel costs for Riga here or see if Riga is expensive here.

Related

What is Riga most famous for?

Riga is most famous for its vibrant nightlife scene, busy old town, and beautiful architecture. The city is very popular for its nightlife. It's also known for museums, food, historical sights, and shopping. It is often described as historical, vibrant, fun, high energy, off-the-beaten-path, charming, and unique.


What is the most famous sight in Riga?

The most popular sight in Riga is Riga St. Peter's Church. You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in Riga on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for Riga St. Peter's Church and other attractions here.

How touristy is Riga? Is it a popular city to visit?

Riga is an off-the-beaten-path city that many travelers overlook. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)


    • Private Photoshoot Tour in Riga: $155
    • Guided Ebike Tour on Forest Roads and Trails Near Riga: $89
    • Riga Old Town Walking Tour: $17
    • Private Day Tour to Sigulda, Turaida Castle and Soviet Bunker: $161
    • Private Sightseeing Tour in Sigulda: $167
    • Riga Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $53
    • Private Riga Art Nouveau Tour: $133
    • Private Tour in Kuldiga, Latvia: $178

    How long should I spend in Riga?

    The ideal length of time for a trip to Riga is two to four days. Since Riga has a variety of activities such as nightlife, most people need this much time to see and do everything here.

    If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Riga? and Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Riga?.