My first visit to Riga was a random one. I spent 48 hours in Riga all by chance and it ended up being one of my favourite stops in Europe. On that random visit I shot AK-47’s in a Soviet Bunker, watched hockey with a college friend I randomly ran into, and partied till the sun came up. Although that was an incredible 48 hours in Riga, I left feeling I only got to enjoy it’s fun side. With my return to Riga nearly 10 years later I decided to put an effort into focusing on the highlights, again with only 2 days to spend.
Here’s how it looks.
Riga by Bike
With only 48 hours in Riga I opted to see as much as possible by enlisting the help of Riga Explorers Club. This local tour company pairs knowledgable and passionate guides with tourists looking for a little more out of their time in the city. For me, this meant an awesome 3-hour bike ride that took us out of the old town and off the beaten path. Highlights included touring the Ķīpsala Island and learning about Riga’s outlying suburbs being burned to the ground several times, all for selfdefense.
Tour the Old Town
With the surrounding area covered thanks to our Riga Explorers Club bike tour, our 48 hours in Riga shifted to the old town. One of the nicest in Europe, Riga’s old town is full of highlights. The town square with the House of Blackheads is a Riga postcard shot and shouldn’t be missed.
The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia is located next door and should not be missed either. From Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union, Latvia has had its share of tough times. First account stories and documentation can be found on display which is key to understanding Latvia of yesterday and today.
Climbing the tower St.Peter’s Church provides a great view of Riga and its surroundings. Although the ~9 euros entrance fee is a bit steep, the 360 degree view of the old town and beyond is worth it…just not on my 48 hours in Riga return. I left the climb till late Sunday and the tower was closed because of mass. I did tick this off on my first visit though and would have gone again if it was opened!
The Riga Central Market is the largest of its kind in Europe and is well worth a visit. It is spread out over several hangers which once housed German Zeppelins. Today they are each dedicated to something different. From fresh seafood to knock off brand-name shoes, you can find it at the Riga Central Market.
Where to Stay
For my 48 hours in Riga I stayed at the super comfortable Tallink Hotel. Conveniently located between the train station and the old town, the Tallink Hotel Riga is five minutes away from everything Riga has to offer. Rooms are modern and cozy and rates include a full breakfast spread. Possibly the best highlight of the Tallink Hotel is the included Scandinavian spa – perfect for unwinding after seeing the sights.
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My 48 hours rediscovering Riga was made possible by Live Riga.
As always, the experience, opinions, and good times are my own.