Welcome to Riga, Latvia – a metropolis with a big-city atmosphere. Funky and vibrant, Riga invites you to summers of sitting out all night in the city's beer tents or playing beach football and winters of hurtling down a championship bobsleigh track at 100 kilometres per hour followed by a soothing massage in one of the city's top spa complexes. Boasting lavish beauty, timeless elegance and a restless fusion of old and new, this fairy-tale city, the largest of the Baltic states, is a year-round destination calling out to city breakers, adventurous travellers and party goers.Find Cruises Sailing to This Port
Whether it's medieval architecture and cobble-stoned streets or extravagant Art Nouveau buildings and manicured 19th-century parks that interest you, Riga has plenty of visual stimulation for all tastes. Explore what's left of the city's Soviet legacy or take a tour of Riga Cathedral (Rigas Domas) the largest house of worship in the Baltics.
Nature enthusiasts looking for sporting adventures are in the right place. There are a handful of parks that cater for outdoor activities. For those who are not sure where to start, there are a variety of daytime and evening activities that can be organised in and around Riga. Hurtle down Sigulda's thrilling world championship bobsleigh track, play with big guns at a shooting range, embark on a cycling safari, take a Segway tour through the Old Town, play golf or tennis, explore the beautiful countryside or experience weightlessness in one of Riga's wind tunnels.
Described as a classic European city, you'll find that enjoying a cup of coffee, whether black or with cream, and a miniature pastry in an elegant pavement café is part of Riga's way of life. The city's cafes and restaurants are well-known for high-quality cuisine and service. You will find everything from French haute-cuisine, to Spanish and Japanese dining. For a great meal at a reasonable price, check out Riga's LIDO restaurants. Each dining establishment serves a wide variety of buffet-style soups, salads, fruits and deserts. Looking for good food on the go? Latvian fast food includes pelmeni, Russian meat dumplings, pancake and kebabs. Don't forget to try a glass of Latvian beer in one of the many summer terraces in Old Town.
Riga is a shopper's dream come true, carrying almost all well-known European labels. The city's shopping hotspots are mostly concentrated in the Old Town, where you'll find fashion shops and famous brands' boutiques on Valnu Street and Basteja Pasaza. If you're looking for a unique Latvian souvenir, visit Jekaba Kazarmas (Jacob’s Barracks) where you can purchase amber jewellery. Galerija Centrs (Centre Gallery) houses more than 100 shops, many which offer tax-free shopping. The nearby small streets of Tirgonu and Laipu are great spots for art and antique shopping. The sales tax is 21 % but 12-15 % of this can be claimed back for non-European Union citizens with Global Refund.
The official currency of Latvia is the Euro. Most hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit cards and traveller's cheques. Cash is required if you plan on purchasing items from street vendors. You can exchange your Latvian Lat at all banks and money exchange offices. Most hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit cards; most major banks cash traveller's cheques. However, you will need cash if you plan on purchasing items from street vendors.
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Learn more about this port city with these tourist information guides.