48 Hours in Riga – Rediscovering Latvia’s Cool Capital

48 Hours in Riga - Rediscovering Latvia's Cool Capital 4

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 its 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 knowledgeable 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. Some highlights are touring the Ķīpsala Island and learning about Riga’s outlying suburbs being burned to the ground several times, all for self-defence.

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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 if I have ever seen one.

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The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia is next door and is a must-visit site. From Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union, Latvia has had its share of tough times. First account stories and documentation are on display which is key to understanding Latvia of yesterday and today.

48 hours in Riga

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 not open because of mass. I made the climb on my first visit and still recommend it!

48 hours in Riga

Central Market

The Riga Central Market is the largest of its kind in Europe and is well worth a visit. Once was home to German Zeppelins, today these hangers each have stands and stalls that sell 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 cosy 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.

    Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travellers have to say about the Tallink Hotel at TripAdvisor

What say you?
Thoughts on spending 48 hours in Riga?
Let’s hear it!

For more reviews from Europe and beyond see HERE.

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48 hours in Riga
48 hours in Riga

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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.

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13 replies on “48 Hours in Riga – Rediscovering Latvia’s Cool Capital”
  1. Avatarsays: Anita Ozolins

    I loved this article! Great pictures and information. I was in Riga just recently too! I also love to write. Come and check out my blog sometime on my travels… http://www.anitaozo.com
    Thanks! Anita

  2. Avatarsays: Antons Mironovs

    Hey Shaun!

    Fantastic article! The text is a great guide and the photos are absolutely impeccable!

    As you have already included Live Riga, why don’t include this website as well?

    It has the views of most of the places included in your article and can provide even more detailed look into Riga.

    Keep on travelling and writing articles, you’re a true inspiration!

  3. Avatarsays: Karolina

    Very vice photos and the city. We are planing to go there. And we want to travel to Latvia by bike. Thanks for good information. Now I have no doubt about this journey.

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