Visit the open-air museum that is the capital of Latvia
Riga is the capital of Latvia, a stunningly attractive city lying on the banks of the River Daugava. The attractive historical centre of Riga is a UNESCO world Heritage site, noted for its art nouveau buildings that are more than a match for Vienna, St Petersburg and any other city in the world. As a city that once lay hidden behind a heavy Iron Curtain, it was relatively recently that Riga emerged as an increasingly popular tourist destination. Riga is celebrated not only for its beautiful buildings and cultural attractions such as art galleries and museums, but also its growing reputation as a European party capital. Riga’s vibrant nightlife attracts visitors from all over Europe and the city has begun to be considered as an excellent alternative to places such as Prague for many hen and stag parties.
Party hard in this beautiful eastern European capital, or simply catch a flight to Riga and discover one of the most architecturally wonderful cities in the world. With plenty of museums and galleries to keep culture vultures circling for days, holidays in Riga offer just about everything you could ask for from a European city break.
When to Go?
Unless you’re particularly fond of the cold, Riga is best avoided in the depths of winter when average temperatures drop below zero, sometimes as low as -20 degrees. Between June and August temperatures reach into the 20s and low 30s, but the city can become quite humid, with rain and sea fog fairly common. April or May is a good time to go to avoid the bitter cold of winter and the humidity of the summer.
How to get there?
Most flights to Riga International Airport (RIX) from the UK are served by low cost Irish airline Ryanair, but you can also get a Riga flight from Luton with the Hungarian low cost carrier Wizz Air. Flights from Manchester and Gatwick are available with Latvian flag carrier Air Baltic. Ryanair flies to Riga from East Midlands, Glasgow Prestwick, Liverpool John Lennon Airport and London Stansted.
From a cultural perspective the historical centre of Riga is like an open-air museum with its extensive art nouveau architecture, so simply walking around the city is an absolute pleasure. Among Riga’s oldest structures is Riga Castle, which was built in the 14th century and now serves as a Museum as well as the home of the Latvian President. To pick up a few bargains head to Riga’s central market, a bustling medley of market stalls that has gathered in the city centre for hundreds of years. Riga is becoming well-known for its nightlife as local bars and clubs attract an increasing number of tourists, particularly young people from all across Europe, but bring a full wallet as it can be expensive!
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