Places to go in Riga
Riga Old Town
Distance from Main Conference Venue: 2.2 km (5 mins by taxi)
Distance from BoF Location: 300 m (3 mins walk)
Riga Old Town is the historic core of the city that was founded in 1201. The Old Town features distinctive architecture, and the majority of its structures are designated as cultural monuments.
Besides restaurants, cafes, and pubs some of the other attractions in Riga Old Town are:
- Dome Square
- Riga Dome Cathedral, finished in 1221, is one of the oldest and largest sacral buildings in Latvia and the Baltic region. However, it gained its current appearance at the end of the 19th century.
- Art Museum RIGA BOURSE, holds the largest collection of foreign art in the Baltic States. The museum was started by Riga’s council members, mayors, and traders in the 19th century. The building was constructed at the end of the 19th century after Venetian Renaissance palazzo forms. The collection on buildings 6 floors of the museum among others includes North European school paintings from the 17th century, porcelain from the 18th century, and oriental art from Asia.
- Town Hall Square
- House of the Black Heads was historically a house for merchants and sailors, but is now a museum and luxurious event venue. Originally built in the 14th century, the house was completely bombed to ruin by the Germans in World War II and was rebuilt in the 1990s after Latvia regained independence.
- Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, is a museum dedicated to the history of Latvia during the Soviet and Nazi occupations of the country from 1940 until 1991.
- St. Peter’s Church, is a 13th-century Gothic architectural monument of national significance with an observation deck of the 72-meter-high tower.
Distance from Main Conference Venue: 3.3 km (8 mins by taxi)
BoF venue is located in this area
- “Quiet center” is an area with art nouveau architecture. Art Nouveau is an art style of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and Riga is considered an Art Nouveau mecca. The so-called “Quiet center” is a 10-minute walk from the Old Town and Alberta Street is the street with the most beautiful buildings.
- Freedom Monument 42.7 m tall granite and copper monument, a symbol of the Latvian nation's fight for freedom and independence unveiled in 1935 and financed entirely from public donations. The monument features a statue of a woman holding three stars, representing the three regions of Latvia, and a man breaking chains, symbolizing freedom and independence.
- Vermanes Garden Park just around the corner from our BoF venue it’s Riga’s second oldest park created by donations and named after the wealthy widow Anna Gertrud Vērmane who donated a piece of land and a great sum of money for the park. The wooden open-air stage hosts concerts and other events and is a popular meeting place for chess players.
- Latvian National Museum of Art Visitors to the museum can explore the collection, which is arranged chronologically, to understand the evolution of Latvian art throughout history. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that highlight specific artists, movements, or themes.
- Riga Central Market first opened in 1930 and was recognized as the biggest, the best, and most modern market in Europe at that time. Now it spans over several large pavilions, formerly Zeppelins hangars, offering a wide variety of goods and products.
Miera and Tallinas street districts
Distance from Main Conference Venue: 5.6 km (10 mins by taxi)
Distance from BoF Location: 2.7 km (7 mins by taxi)
Miera street district emerged as a hipster area for locals to hide away from tourist crowds in Old Town Riga, later Tallinas street district joined as a place for more cafes, pubs and event venues and now has become an alternative destination for locals and tourists alike.
- Miera iela cafes, bars and shops, for example, Taka, Illuseum tea house, Rocket bean are among most popular places for locals to visit.
- Laima Chocolate museum of local confectionery producer with origins in 1870. Visitors can taste hot chocolate and learn how chocolate is made, about chocolate ingredients and different types and other parts of chocolate manufacturing. Also find out what is the legendary Laima clock.
- Beer district pubs serve a wide variety of beer, including craft beer, and offer a beer tour.
Main Conference Venue is located in this area
Distance from BoF Location: 2.2 km (5 mins by taxi)
National Library of Latvia
- National Library of Latvia building designed to evoke Latvian folk legends of the Castle of Light and the Glass Mountain opened in 2014. Visitors can access all 12 levels of the library, attend exhibitions and take guided tours including a digital guide from https://gids.lnb.lv/.
- Kalnciema quarter farmer and craftsmen market on Saturdays. Open-air concerts in summer.
- Āgenskalns market opened in 1898, renovated and reopened in 2022, local products from farmers, home producers and traders, food court.
Further away from City Center
Distance from city center: 15.1 km (21 mins by taxi)
Aerial view of Daugavgriva Fortress
The Daugavgriva Fortress is a historic fortress located in Riga. It is situated on the banks of the Daugava River, just outskirts of Riga and has a rich history and cultural significance.
The fortress was built in the 17th century to protect Riga, which was an important administrative, trade, and manufacturing center of Swedish Livonia at the time. Later, with several support points, it became the main fortification of the Latvian Army's coastal defense. Today, the fortress is open to the public and visitors can explore its many historical buildings.
Riga Motor Museum
Distance from city center: 9.4 km (11 mins by taxi)
The museum’s collection is located on three floors and covers more than 4000 square meters, and currently it exhibits the largest and most diverse antique vehicle collection in the Baltics including more than 100 unique cars, motorcycles and bicycles.
Riga Zoo and Mežaparks
Distance from city center: 8 km (16 mins by taxi)
Riga Zoo was founded in 1912 and is home to over 4,000 animals of about 500 species. It is located at the edge of one of the biggest parks (424 ha/1,048 acres) in Riga called Mežaparks (literally translated as "forest park"). Mežaparks, also the name of the neighborhood, is a wealthy residential area with Art Nouveau and Eclectic villas and mansions. In addition to all of this the neighborhood borders with a lake Ķīšezers offering several water activities.
In Latvia having a 500 km border with white sand Baltic sea coast there are plenty of options to choose from. The most popular for locals is resort town Jūrmala (literally “sea side”) which stretches 25 km by the sea and is worth visiting on its own. If it happens to be a hot summer weekend then the trains might be crowded and the road to Jūrmala could be stuck in traffic. If going by your own or rented motor vehicle be aware that there is an entrance fee (€2 per day/entering). There is also an option to go in opposite directions to Saulkrasti that is further away, but still can be crowded on hot summer weekends.
- Distance from city center: 24 km (30 mins by taxi)
- 25-35 minutes by train depending on destination train stop
- Distance from city center: 50 km
- 1h by train
- This page has more options further away from Riga.
If you have more time to spare, can travel further outside of Riga to countryside or other towns:
- Cēsis known for medieval town architecture.
- Sigulda picturesque hills, cable car, bobsleigh tracks and aerodium.
- Kuldīga charming narrow cobbled streets and the Europe’s widest waterfall.
- Pāvilosta is where all local windsurfers go.
- Latgale land of 1200 lakes.
Given the relatively small distances, consider expanding travel plans to neighboring countries Estonia and Lithuania too.