Things to do in Riga

Latvia’s capital combines diverse architecture, a historical old town, and a thriving culinary scene.

Our most recommended things to do in Riga

Riga: 1.5-Hour Old Town Walking Tour

1. Riga: 1.5-Hour Old Town Walking Tour

Go beneath the surface of Riga, from its founding 8 centuries ago at the Daugava River to its transformation into the beautiful and artistic city that you see today. Walk past the city's most important landmarks and learn about the people who made Riga what it is today. Learn about the Bishop Albert of Livonia, who founded the Latvian capital in 1201, and about the many foreigners who have since left their mark on this city. Discover the city's Medieval Hanseatic Old Town and enjoy the splendors of the Dome Cathedral. Enjoy the Big and Small Guild Houses and their Gothic and Neo-Gothic styles. Photograph the Riga Castle, the current residence of the President of Latvia, and see famous spots such as St. Peter’s Church, the Swedish Gate, Powder Tower and many others.

Riga: Red Bus Hop-on-hop-off Grand Tour

2. Riga: Red Bus Hop-on-hop-off Grand Tour

Discover Riga on a hop-on hop-off tour. Enjoy a 2-day pass, go on 2 different routes, and see the Opera House, the historic Old City, and the Central Market. With more than 80 sights along the routes, this pass allows you to make the most of the hop-on-hop-off tour style. The double-decker buses depart from the Town Hall Square between 10:15 AM - 3:15 PM daily.  The Red tour runs through two districts. First, the bus goes to Pardaugava, an area that overlooks ancient cathedrals on the left bank of the river Daugava. Crossing the Stone Bridge, take in the panorama of the Old City.  Pass the Boulevard Ring, see the famous Monument of Freedom, the Opera House, the Powder Tower, and much more. See Riga's Central Market, the largest covered market in Europe, as well as the Speakers Quarter. Discover the history of the Jewish Ghetto and the famous Stalin High-Rise. On the blue line, see a range of architectural styles, from romantic facades to decorative art nouveau. See the famous Alberta Street, with its detailed facades and Michael Eisenstein architecture. 

Riga: Entrance Ticket - House of the Black Heads

3. 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!

Riga Sightseeing Tour by Canal Boat

4. Riga Sightseeing Tour by Canal Boat

Climb aboard an eco-friendly canal boat to see the sights of Riga from a different perspective as you cruise along the Daugava River. Escape the crowds of the city center as you set sail from the pier by the Freedom Monument at the 18th-century fortifications known as the Triangula Bastion (Bastejkalns). Glide gently under historic bridges and see landmark attractions such as the elegant home of the Latvian National Opera, Europe's largest market and bazaar at Riga Central Market and the UNESCO World Heritage monuments of the Spīķeri Quarter.  Get amazing views of the Vecrīga district (Old Riga) as you cruise towards the Riga Passenger Terminal and Yacht Club Andrejosta. Make your way back towards the departure point and get stunning views of Kronvalda Park and the Latvian National Theatre.

Riga: Private Tour with a Local Guide

5. Riga: Private Tour with a Local Guide

Meet the local guide at your Riga accommodation and head out on a walking tour to explore the city. You’ll be in good hands with a knowledgeable local who is eager to share all the tips and tricks that will help you make the most of your visit. Start by getting familiar with the neighborhood where you’re staying. Hear about the best places to eat and shop and learn the easiest ways to get around. On this customized tour you’ll see some of the top attractions and hear about more that you can visit on your own after the tour. By the end of the tour, you'll feel more comfortable navigating the city and confident you have all the information you need.

Private Day Trip to Cesis, Sigulda and Turaida Castles

6. Private Day Trip to Cesis, Sigulda and Turaida Castles

Discover the charming towns of Cesis, Sigulda, and Turaida on this private day trip from Riga. Learn basic historical information from your driver, as well as the best restaurants to stop for lunch. Depart from Riga with private transport and head to Cesis, where you'll find an 800-year-old medieval castle. Learn about its connection to the town's history and its continued expansion during the years. Then head to Āraiši Lake Castle Archaeological Park, where you can visit the castle, nominated as the Latvian archaeological monument of 2021. Check out the permanent exposition with fascinating archeological finds from the area. Next, it's on to the Livonian Order Castle in Sigulda, built in 1207, and current host to the International Sigulda Opera Music Festival. Finally head to the Turaida Museum Reserve, where you'll discover archaeology, culture, and art dating back to the 11th century. Please note that from 1st of November to 30th of April Cesis Castle museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. During this time we will be able to see Castle only from outside, we'll do walk thru Cesis old town part.

Riga: Beer or Cider Bike Tour

7. Riga: Beer or Cider Bike Tour

Go sightseeing in a completely different way on a beer or cider bike tour through the heart of Riga. Explore the beautiful streets of the city’s Old Town while pedaling, drinking, and chatting with friends.   Your English-speaking guide and driver will greet you at the meeting point and take you to the waiting beer bike. Once seated and ready to start, you will be served your choice of beer, cider or prosecco — and then the fun begins.   The bike holds up to 15 passengers and is easy enough for even 4 people to pedal. While riding around the Old Town with drinks in hand, you can listen to your favorite music and turn on LED lights for a party on wheels.   After an hour of taking in the sights, head to one of the restaurants near the finishing point for a nice meal.

Riga: 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

8. Riga: 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

The double-decker buses depart from the Town Hall Square between 10:15 AM-3: 15 PM daily. There are 11 main stops and around 16 additional stops along the routes. In this package deal, two tours are included. This pass allows you to make the most of the hop-on-hop-off tour style with within a 2 day period. The Red tour runs through two districts. First, the bus goes to Pardaugava, an area which overlooks ancient cathedrals on the left bank of the river Daugava. Acrossing the Stone Bridge, you will see the majestic panorama of the Old City – the “City of the Golden Cockerels”. Next, the bus travels toward the city centre where many of the cities main attractions are located. You will pass the Boulevard Ring, see the famous Monument of Freedom, the Opera House, the Powder Tower, and much more. Then, in the district of Moscow suburb, you'll see Riga's Central Market - which is the largest covered market in Europe, the Speakers Quarter with the History of the Jewish Ghetto and the famous Stalin High-rise. The Blue tour first goes to Riga harbor, and then runs through architectural part of Riga in a short time as possible. You'll get the chance to see a range of architectural styles, from Romantic facades to decorative Art Nouveau. The richness of fantasy in each facade – stone masks and mythical monsters. The famous Alberta Street with its facades and the delightful talent of the architect Michael Eisenstein will not leave you indifferent. The architecture of the Riga facades is included in the UNESCO list of architectural heritage. Having passed all our lines by bus, you will get acquainted with more than 80 sights of the city. Buses have 11 main and 16 additional stops along the entire route for easy viewing of the selected place. All tours feature pre-recorded commentary broadcast via headphones in 10 languages of your choice: Russian, Latvian, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Spanish, French, and Italian.

Walking Tour of Riga's Beautiful Art Nouveau Architecture

9. 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.

Riga: Old and New Walking Tour

10. Riga: Old and New Walking Tour

Delve into the mysterious charm of Old Riga. Admire the luxurious Art Nouveau buildings and learn about their former inhabitants, stop to photograph "The Three Brothers". Meet your guide in the city center and start exploring. Walk past the most important cultural and historical highlights of Old Riga such as the Town Hall Square, St. Peter’s Church, Convent Yard, St. John’s Church, and St. John’s Yard, Discover the bustling Liv Square and admire the colorful "Three Brothers" residential complex. See the Riga Cathedral and St. Jacob’s Church and learn about the richest and most influential residents who once called Riga's Art Nouveau buildings home.

Available activities

  • Exploring Riga
  • Latvian history & culture
  • Local markets, food, & drinks
  • National parks, hikes, & more
  • Latvian castles & palaces
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What people are saying about Riga

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,416 reviews

I think it is worthwhile to do this tour as u can learn a lot about Latvian traditional cousine by eating different kind of food (meat, fish, veggies and cheese) & drinking traditional alcohol. Also the guide is very caring and very keen on her traditions and is able to convey such a passion to the people joining the tour. We enjoyed it a lot and we clearly recommend it.

Did this tour on a cold/snowy day, but remained nice and toasty inside. Guana was fantastic. Witty, knowledgeable, organized and engaged for the entire time. Super interesting to see the culture thru the eyes of their food!

Great tour even in the cold weather. The tour guide was really knowledgable about the city.

It was very good The commentary was very informative and Riga is amazing.

Great tour! Very suitable for the first acquaintance with Riga!