Riga
Architecture

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Our most recommended Riga Architecture

Riga: Entrance Ticket - House of the Black Heads

1. Riga: Entrance Ticket - House of the Black Heads

Wander through centuries in House of the Black Heads! Feel the magic atmosphere of luxurious halls of celebrations, decorated with brilliant chandeliers and a gallery of royal portraits. Explore the mysterious medieval cellars and elaborate historical rooms with a surprising silverware collection. For the past 700 hundred years, the House of the Black Heads has pleased and enraptured inhabitants and guests of Riga. This is one of the most magnificent buildings in Riga, preserving both the unique historic heritage of the legendary Brotherhood of Black Heads and the history of Riga. For centuries House of the Black Heads was the cultural epicenter of Riga, gathering the most respectable inhabitants of Riga and their guests, during celebrations organized by the Black Heads and their successors. This building, which is situated in the heart of Old Riga, is the symbol of Riga and among the central premises of representation of Riga – not for nothing also the President of Latvia has chosen House of the Black Heads as his temporary residence for almost four years!

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Riga: Culture and Food Tasting Tour

2. Riga: Culture and Food Tasting Tour

Explore three of Riga’s most essential districts on a half-day combined food tasting and cultural walking tour. Hear stories from the history of the city, and see the world’s largest collection of art nouveau architecture. Begin your tour in charming Old Riga, where the beautiful, centuries-old buildings speak extensively about Latvian culture - one of the oldest living cultures in the world. Highlights of Old Riga (also known as “Vecrīga”) include a reconstruction of the medieval city wall, Riga Cathedral, and the House of the Blackheads. Next, go to the remarkable Art-Nouveau district, where a local guide will explain more about the meaning of symbols hidden behind the beautiful façades. See masterpieces of art nouveau architecture at banks, offices and apartment blocks on almost every street corner. End with a food tasting tour of some typical local food in Riga Central Market. Sample mouth-watering, ecologically-grown local produce in the beautiful art deco and neoclassical market, Europe’s largest market and bazaar.

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Latvian Palaces and Medieval Castles Private Tour

3. Latvian Palaces and Medieval Castles Private Tour

Be collected at your accommodation in Riga and be driven straight to the region of Bauska city. Visit several palaces from the 18th century and one crusader's castle from the 16th century. Rundāle Palace, formerly Ruhenthal then Ruhendahl, is one of two major baroque palaces built for the Dukes of Courland in what is now Latvia. The other is Jelgava Palace. Rundāle Palace was built in two periods, from 1736 until 1740 and from 1764 until 1768. It is situated at Pilsrundāle, 12 km west of Bauska.  Mežotne Palace is a manor house located in the Mežotne municipality in Bauska district, in the Semigallia region of Latvia. The palace is one of the most outstanding examples of Classicism architecture in Latvia. Bauska Castle is a complex consisting of the ruins of an earlier castle and a later palace on the outskirts of the Latvian city of Bauska. Jelgava Palace, also known as Mitava Palace, is the largest Baroque-style palace in the Baltic states. It was built in the 18th century based on the design of Bartolomeo Rastrelli as a residence for the Dukes of Courland in their capital Mitava, which is Jelgava today. The Dukes of Courland also had a summer palace by Rastrelli nearby called Rundāle Palace.  Either choose a restaurant for dinner or your driver can arrange a picnic if you prefer. After the visit to Jelgava castle, you will be returned to your accommodation. 

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Riga: Old Town and Central Market Walking Tour

4. Riga: Old Town and Central Market Walking Tour

Get an insider’s view of Riga's old town on a small-group walking tour through the city's scenic cobblestone streets. Marvel at Riga's famous sights, including St. Peter's Church, where you can climb its tower for amazing views of the city. Make your way inside the Dome Cathedral and learn about the Riga roosters, the Powder Tower, the Swedish Gate, the Three Brothers, and more. Enjoy hearing about the city's past as a mighty seaport during the Middle Ages, and take in views of beautiful medieval landmarks, such as the Old Guild House and the House of the Blackheads. Continue on to Riga Central Market, one of the largest markets in Europe, and immerse yourself in local life. Learn about Latvian cuisine and the variety of local specialties, such as smoked meats, cheeses, herring, and hemp butter. Be sure to sample the favorite foods of the locals.

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Riga: Behind the Iron Curtain 3.5-Hour Communism Tour

5. Riga: Behind the Iron Curtain 3.5-Hour Communism Tour

See Riga on foot and learn about the history of life behind the Iron Curtain on a 3.5-hour walking tour. You will be introduced to the Latgale region of Riga named Ķengarags, which is one of the most interesting and largest suburbs where locals do actually live and the way of life can be seen. During the tour you will feel just like you have stepped back in time, because almost nothing has changed in the looks and life of the Ķengarags suburbs. The one exception is that the Soviet military airplanes aren’t shaking the windows of the houses with the noise made from taking off at the nearby military airport of Rumbula. The architecture (living houses, schools, suburbs) of the Soviet times was very similar in the different parts of the union, with different cities sometimes having identical suburbs. By visiting Ķengarags you will get an understanding of the looks of other USSR cities.

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Riga: 2-Hour Walking Tour in the Old Town

6. Riga: 2-Hour Walking Tour in the Old Town

On this 2-hour walking tour you will explore the Old Town of Riga, the historical and geographical center of Riga on the right bank of the Daugava River. The Old Town covers a relatively small inner area of the old fortifications where unique monuments of medieval architecture are concentrated. The professional guide will show you around the Old Town and tell you all about the history and culture of the city, as well as answer your questions. The walking tour starts at the Town Hall Square, which was the central square of the city from the 13th century to the 19th century. The most famous building in the square is the magnificent Gothic-style House of the Blackheads. During the tour you will also see famous spots of Riga, such St. Peter's Church, the Swedish Gate, and the Powder Tower. Experience the aura of an ancient city as you walk down the narrow streets, where unique complexes of residential houses and sacral buildings are found. Here you can explore the 13th century Riga Cathedral, the Gothic-style St. Peter's Church, the beautiful Synagogue of Old Riga, the Convent Yard of the Holy Spirit, the Three Brothers residential housing complex, Riga Castle, St. George's Church, and St. Jacob's Cathedral. You can also discover Riga's hanseatic past at the Large Guild and the Small Guild, as well as at the reconstructed House of the Blackheads. Recall the medieval times, when Riga was a mighty harbor and a member of the Hanseatic League, which joined traders of the Baltic region with north Germany.

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From Riga: Rundale Palace & Bauska Castle Tour to Vilnius

7. From Riga: Rundale Palace & Bauska Castle Tour to Vilnius

This full-day day tour is the best choice for those who want to save time, money, and see the most important sights along the trip from Riga to Vilnius. Visit Bauska Castle, which is surrounded by a picturesque scenery and represents an example of military architecture (XV - XVII century). The castle consists of two parts: the fortress built especially for the use of firearms and the residential castle fortified with bastions, protective walls and earthen ramparts. About two hours is reserved to explore Rundale Palace, one of the most outstanding monuments of Baroque and Rococo architecture in Latvia, which sometimes is called as ‘The Versailles of Latvia’. Rundale Palace is built in the mid-18th-Century by the Russian court architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, it was the summer residence of the Duke of Courland. The two-story castle contains 138 elaborate rooms, a lovely French garden and a museum dedicated to the history of Latvia. Last but not least is a unique ensemble of Lithuanian folk art - The Hill of Crosses. The monument with more than 200.000 crosses in various sizes and materials stands on Jurgaiciai - Domantai mound. During your visit at The Hill of Crosses, you will learn more about the legendary stories why the Hill appeared. In the evening finish your drive and arrive in Vilnius city.

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From Riga: Cēsis, Sigulda & Turaida Castle Tour

8. From Riga: Cēsis, Sigulda & Turaida Castle Tour

Take a full-day tour of the beautiful green area of Northern Latvia. Explore Cēsis (the ancient city of Livonia and Brothers of the Sword base) and the picturesque town of Sigulda. Enjoy a day of rich history with medieval monuments, as well as spectacular natural scenery. Trip Itinerary: Medieval castle ruins of Cēsis You experience the castle in a way the people did centuries ago — your guides will light up a candle in the lantern and you will be on our way. You will explore the dark stairs, medieval corridors, and rooms with the help of candlelight as there is no electricity in this 13th century castle. This complex of castle buildings, preserved for centuries, is regarded as a landmark of monumental architecture, which reflects artistic styles from the Livonian period. Cēsis St. John’s Church St. John’s Church is one of the oldest medieval architectural monuments in Latvia. The church was built in the beginning of the 13th century when Cēsis became one of the most important German power centers in the Baltics, from 1237 up to 1561. Medieval castle ruins of Sigulda The Order of the Brothers of the Sword began building Sigulda castle in 1207. Initially, it was a castellum-type fort. Following the defeat of the Brothers of the Sword in 1236, the Livonian Order modified it. Goodman's cave The Gūtmaņala (Goodman's Cave) grotto is the most popular and biggest cave in Latvia. It was formed over the course of 10,000 years by water gradually eroding sandstone. The grotto is a protected geological site and the oldest tourist attraction in Latvia. Museum reserve and medieval castle of Turaida Turaida Museum Reserve is a beautiful heritage site and former village that was named "garden of the gods" by the locals. Turaida is a wonderful place to get to know the Latvian way of life, culture, history, and spirit. The 42 hectares of grounds are replete with archaeological, architectural, historical and art monuments, all of which provide an account of the events from the eleventh century onwards.

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Riga's Old Center and Art Nouveau Tour

9. Riga's Old Center and Art Nouveau Tour

During the guided tour you'll walk along the narrow streets of the Medieval Hanseatic Old Town and enjoy the splendors of the Dome cathedral, Old Guild house, and Riga castle. The walking tour starts at the Town Hall Square which was the central square of the city from 13th up to 19th century. The most famous building of the square is the magnificent gothic House of the Blackheads. During the tour you will also see such famous spots of Riga as St. Peters Church, Swedish Gates, and Powder Tower.  Roughly thirty per cent of buildings in the center of Riga are art nouveau, which is more than any other European city. Moreover, art and architecture connoisseurs believe that it is in Riga that art nouveau found its especially powerful and sweeping expression. In order to preserve Old Riga, Riga’s wooden building,s and the art nouveau architecture, the historical center of Riga has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The areas where art nouveau features most lavishly are Alberta Street and the so-called embassy district nearby.

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Walking Tour of Riga's Beautiful Art Nouveau Architecture

10. Walking Tour of Riga's Beautiful Art Nouveau Architecture

Discover Riga's most amazing art nouveau buildings on this walking tour of Latvia's largest city. A century ago, Riga, just like other European cities, was swept away by a style of architecture and living inspired by a longing for creative freedom and daring opulence. This style became known as art nouveau. By learning from nature, delighting in bunches of flowers, and ornamentation, art nouveau rendered Riga more lavish, mysterious, and seductive. Raise your eyes upwards and discover Europe’s most beautiful art nouveau buildings while you learn the fascinating history behind them. Walk away with a newfound knowledge and appreciation for the relatively recent art form.

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What people are saying about Riga

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 180 reviews

Our guide Rihards was great. Despite the rain and cold, he was in good spirits, showed us interesting and historically significant places, shared a lot of information and stories with us, and provided good company. He also recommended some cool bars and nice local beers. It was a very interesting tour that showed us places we wouldn't have found by ourselves, and gave us insights we otherwise would've missed out on. It provided us with a much broader and more nuanced picture of Riga, and Latvia as a whole. Definitely recommended!

Our guide Ilze was very knowledgeable and friendly. Really enjoyed seeing this beautiful side of Riga. Recommended!

Liga was a great guide with very good understandable German and good knowledge of Riga

We had a nice and expert guide, named Editta, and she is very kind and helpful.

Very nice guide, knows a lot and super interesting