Riga, European capital of culture for 2014, is truly deserving of the title. The Latvian capital city is over 800 years old, yet effortlessly blends old with new. Centuries of history and a mix of different cultures combine with a youthful ambience to make Riga a fascinating and fun destination for a city break.
Riga is the largest city in Latvia and indeed in the entire Baltic states. More than a third of the population of Latvia live in the capital, which is located on the Gulf of Riga. The entire city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features both Art Nouveau and 19th century wooden architecture.
Tourism is now one of Riga's most important industries, growing by over a fifth in 2011 alone. Visitors come to Riga for a number of reasons, including its fairytale turrets, impressive architecture and vibrant nightlife. Whatever your reason for staying in a holiday apartment in Riga, there's every chance that you'll wish you were staying for longer.
Here are some of Riga's key attractions:
Old Town - Riga's old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reflecting the significance of its historic houses, medieval churches and narrow cobbled streets. Located on the right bank of the River Daugava, the old town boasts a number of important sites, including St Peter's Cathedral, Riga Castle and St John's Cathedral.
Riga Castle - This ancient castle was founded in 1330, although it was rebuilt in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and has since been extended. The castle is now the official residence of the Latvian president and houses a number of interesting museums.
Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum - This fascinating museum is located on the outskirts of the city, but is well worth the effort. It is one of Europe's largest outdoor museums, treating visitors to over 100 old buildings that reveal how people lived in times gone by.
Riga Art Nouveau Museum - Riga has some 800 Art Nouveau buildings and this museum takes visitors on a journey back in time, with the interior restored to how it would have appeared in 1903.
Visitors to Riga typically arrive via Riga International Airport, which is the largest airport in the Baltic states and can accommodate more than four million passengers per year. The airport is located approximately 13km from the city and the cheapest way to reach the centre is by bus, which typically takes about 30 minutes.
The best time of year to visit Riga is during the summer, when the weather is usually warm. However, be aware that the weather can change very quickly in Riga, so it's always sensible to carry an umbrella.
If you're planning a trip to Latvia, why not take a look at our holiday apartments in Riga? We offer high quality accommodation in key central locations that is often much more affordable than staying in a hotel.
All Riga apartments are available for online booking for the convenience of the travelers and direct reservation.