When we went to Riga in March, the weekend was full of sightseeing, eating at fun restaurants and soaking up Latvian culture. The trip was planned very far in advance and as it was our first time in Latvia, we were determined to make the most of the experience and learn all about Latvian history and cuisine. We wanted to cover as many of the sights as possible, firstly because we wanted to see all that the Baltic gem has to offer, but secondly because admission prices are so affordable in Latvia: you can visit museums for as little as 2-3 euros! Therefore I can honestly say that we explored the ins and outs of Riga, from the globally-renowned city marketplace to The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, and it certainly is a fascinating city. If you have plans to visit Riga at some point, you’ll find this post helpful as I’m going to share my must-do list for a weekend in the Latvian capital.
1. Walk around the Central Market (Centrāltirgus).
Whilst we were in Riga, we stayed at the Opera Hotel and when we arrived, we noticed that the city market was right on our doorstep. The central market consists of 3 big warehouse-style buildings which are filled to the brim of local produce. There’s a meat hall, a vegetable hall and a fish hall, which are all next to each other. If you’re a real foodie, you’ll adore walking along the aisles between the market stands and looking at all of the incredible food. The vegetable hall was my favourite, as you could smell homemade vinaigrette wherever you walked. Unfortunately it’s a bit difficult to bring the fresh produce home though, so you’ll have to settle on a Latvian box of chocolates, tea or sweets, which are also available at the market if you walk along the edges of the food halls. If you’re not used to big markets at home, you will find the Riga Central Market extremely interesting, as it really is so vast.
2. Take a trip up to the top of St Peter’s Church tower.
3. Visit The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia
Latvia has had a very turbulent history over the years and it’s actually celebrating it’s 100th birthday in 2018. If you’re interesting in learning about the German and Soviet occupations of Latvia, the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia is the place to visit. It’s free and only a small museum, but you can learn a lot from a short visit.