Riga

Riga Region, Latvia

Riga is Latvia's capital and the largest city in the Baltic states. This lovely medieval old town, also known as the Art Nouveau metropolis, combines a fascinating past with a modern vibe and should be on your bucket list.

On Ferryhopper, you can find useful information about must-see places, local delicacies, and ferries to Riga and book your tickets easily and quickly!

The railway bridge in Riga, Latvia

The railway bridge crossing the Daugava river in Riga

Vacation in Riga

With a wealth of history and attractions, Riga is an excellent choice for visitors looking to discover a less explored European capital.

Riga's historic old town is a Unesco World Heritage site. The city center is well-known for its cobblestone streets, medieval churches and incredible buildings that combine different architectural styles.

The river Daugava divides Riga into 2 parts: the west bank, which is the modern part of Riga with cutting-edge buildings like the National Library, and the east bank, which is the beating heart of the medieval Old Town.

Aside from museums, churches and architectural wonders, Riga is home to Europe's largest indoor market, the Riga Central Market, where you can sample traditional products. Of course, no trip to Riga is complete without a stroll through its lovely parks, where you can relax and unwind.

How to get to Riga

You can travel to Riga by car, bus, plane, train or ferry. With domestic and international flights, the Rīga International Airport connects the city to a number of destinations. It is located about 30 minutes from the heart of the Old Town and you can take the local bus 22, the minibus 222 or a taxi to reach the city center from the airport.

If you want to get to Riga by train, the Riga Central railway station connects Latvia to Russia, Belarus, and Lithuania.

If you choose to travel to Riga from other Latvian cities by car, it will take approximately 3 hours to get from Ventspils to Riga and approximately 3 hours to get from Liepāja to Riga.

Alternatively, you can reach Riga by ferry. There are ferry crossings connecting Riga to Sweden. Traveling by ferry may take longer but you can embark your vehicle. For a more comfortable trip, we recommend that you book a cabin and enjoy the fascinating crossing and breathtaking views.

Discover more about ferries to Riga below!

What to do in Riga

Riga is a charming city with parks, museums, churches, and historic buildings. Take a stroll through the Old Town and marvel at the stunning architecture. While admiring the scenery, stop by the Three Brothers, the city's oldest medieval houses.

Kramu street, a picturesque corner of Riga's Old Town, is one of the city's most instagrammable spots. The Dome square, with its magnificent medieval architecture, is also one of the main attractions in Latvia's capital, and the imposing Riga Cathedral, which houses the world's largest ecclesiastical organ, is also within walking distance.

The House of the Blackheads, now a venue for exhibitions, concerts, and other events, is without a doubt one of Riga's most significant landmarks. Visitors can also admire the nearby St. Peter's church, which is one of the most important churches that stands out for its red brick walls and spectacular views of Old Town Riga from the top.

If you enjoy art, you can visit the National Opera House (also known as the White House) or the modern National Library of Latvia, located on the Daugava River's left bank. For any sports fan who visits Riga, ice hockey is a must-try. And if you want to see the city from a different perspective, don't forget to take a boat tour through the canals of Riga.

The House of the Blackheads in Riga, Latvia

The House of the Blackheads in the heart of Old Riga

Sightseeing in Riga

Exploring historical sites, churches, museums, and strolling through the city's labyrinth of old streets are just a few of the must-do activities in the capital of Latvia.

Here is a list of the best attractions in Riga:

  • the St. Peter’s Church, the most impressive church in Riga
  • the National Library of Latvia, an architectural gem
  • the Freedom Monument, a symbol of city’s independence
  • the House of the Blackheads, a must-see for every visitor
  • the Riga Cathedral, an important venue for concerts in Riga
  • the Riga Central Market
  • the Alberta Street, the mecca of Riga's Art Nouveau style
  • the Latvian National Museum of Art, the largest art museum in Latvia
  • the Latvian National Opera and Ballet
  • the Three Brothers, the oldest buildings in Riga
  • the Swedish Gate, the only one of the 8 gates in Riga's fortification wall that is still standing

St. Peter's Church in Riga as seen from the river banks, Latvia

St. Peter's Church, the tallest church in Riga

Nightlife in Riga

Riga has a vibrant nightlife scene with something for everyone, from pubs and bars to music scenes with live concerts and clubs.

If you want to party all night long, the Old town of Riga is the place to be. If you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, visit one of the city's rooftop bars with panoramic views.

Food in Riga

Riga's cuisine is simple but tasty, with a wide variety of soups and local dishes made from ingredients such as cereals, potatoes, fresh fish, beans, and various dairy products.

From simple street food in the Central Market to high-end restaurants, Riga has something for everyone's palate.

Here are some must-try foods in Riga:

  • aukstā zupa (a cold beetroot soup)
  • smoked lamprey fish
  • marinated herring with potatoes and cottage cheese
  • Riga black balsam (herbal liqueur)
  • pelēkie zirņi ar speķi (grey peas with bacon)
  • smoked fish and seafood
  • asindesa (blood sausage)
  • pickles
  • black rye bread desserts

A dish of salmon and onions on bread in Riga, Latvia   

A mouthwatering salmon dish

Tips

Here are 4 tips for your stay in Riga: 

  1. Riga is a flat city, so cycling is a great way to get around.
  2. Make sure to exchange money at banks or exchange offices.
  3. The best time to visit Riga is between May and September when temperatures are mild.
  4. For more tourist information, go to the House of the Blackheads' tourist center.

Useful information about Riga 

Riga is the largest city of Latvia and one of the oldest cities on the Baltic Sea with all modern tourist facilities and year-round activities.

Whether you plan to stay for a night or several days, Riga has a variety of accommodation options to suit your style and budget. If you want to go sightseeing, the best area to stay is near the Old Town (Vecrīga).

As for health care, there are several public hospitals as well as private clinics in Riga's center and suburbs.

Important phone numbers for your stay in Riga

Here are some useful contacts for your trip to Riga: 

  • Riga Port Authority: +37167030800
  • Riga Police Department: +37167037811
  • Riga Bus service: +37190000009
  • Riga Hospital: +37167000610
  • Riga International Airport: +37129311187
  • European emergency number: 112

Transportation in Riga

Riga is a very walkable city and most attractions can be reached on foot. You can also get around the city by bus, tram, trolley-bus, or minibus.

However, if you want to travel in the region, we recommend you rent a car to explore Latvia in comfort.

 The National Library in Riga, Latvia

The impressive National Library of Latvia on the left bank of the Daugava river

Ports in Riga

The port of Riga is located in the Gulf of Riga, on the east coast of the Baltic Sea. It is close to the city center and offers ferry service to a variety of destinations both within and outside of Latvia.

The port can be easily reached by foot, as the ferry terminal is about 500 meters from Riga's old town, which is just a 10 minute walk. The ferry to Stockholm departs from the Stena Line ferry terminal

Riga ferry: schedules and tickets

The ferry from Stockholm to Riga connects Sweden with Latvia. Normally, there are up to 3 weekly connections between Stockholm and Riga that are operated by Stena Line all year round and the ferry trip can last about 17 hours.

Important note: for the time being, the route has been suspended until further notice. 

The port of Riga in Latvia

The port of Riga, the second biggest port in the Baltic region

Where to book ferry tickets to Riga online

At the moment, it is not possible to book ferry tickets from/to Riga on Ferryhopper, since the Stockholm - Riga route is currently suspended. In the meantime, you can check out our Map of ferries and discover all the alternative ferry routes to the Baltic Sea!

Frequent ferry connections

Riga has direct ferry connections with 1 ports :

Book your ferry tickets