How we spent a long weekend in Riga
With reasonable flights from East Midlands airport we decided to book a break for the weekend in Riga.
After only two and a half hours flying we arrived at Riga airport. Doing a bit of research before I left I knew to catch the number 22 bus which would take us to the old town. Tickets cost 1.25 Euro from the ticket machine at the bus stop and the journey took around 30 minutes.
We stayed at Old City Boutique hotel, dropping off our bags we started to explore. A few minutes away from St Peters church, we turned a few corners and there it was. There was an entrance fee to go to the top. After a few steps a lift took us the rest of the way leading us to a lovely panorama of the old city.
The old town is very pretty. Lots of different types of architecture. Little squares to sit and people watch and interesting streets to wander. We took a walk passing the freedom monument and wandering through the park nearby.
During the evening we found plenty of bars to try. I was surprised at just how much live music was around. For dinner we wanted to try some traditional Latvian food so headed to Province. Some good hearty meat and veg!
Saturday started with a walk along the river and over the Vansu bridge to a viewing point. A lovely place to take in a view of the old city. Next a stroll around Riga castle. Some renovation work was being carried out so we didn’t see very much!
After lunch we had booked a bike tour with EAT Riga tours. We cycled for a few hours around some lesser seen sites outside the old town in Riga. (See my post about it here).
During the evening we made our way to the Radisson Blu hotel. The skyline bar offers great views of the city. We were lucky enough to grab a seat by the window and watch the sunset with a beer. Perfect.
Sunday started with shopping at Riga central markets. Held in an old aircraft carrier, the structure was as impressive as the array of offerings for sale.
After shopping we stopped at the Nativity of Christ cathedral. This is the biggest orthodox church in Riga. The beautiful golden domes of the structure are nothing compared the decoration inside. The stunning paintings, sculpture and decoration were just beautiful.
After visiting more churches we headed on the KGB museum for our tour around the old building. The tour was another great experience. Recommended to learn about what actually happened during the terrible times not so long ago.
Our last evening meant more bars and music. I was really impressed with the quality and variety of local beers!
The last morning we took in some more of the beautiful architecture. The house of the blackheads and the cat house. The pretty opera house and surrounding parks before returning to the airport for our flight. Back on the number 22 bus after breakfast and picking up the last souvenirs.