Day 1. It depends on how and what time you arrive there. If you arrive in the morning then first thing would be to make sure everything is okay with your accommodation. Put your stuff there and get ready to go for a walk! If you arrive early enough to explore Old Town of Riga in daylight then go for it! If you get there a little bit late then I still would suggest going to Old Town to feel the nice atmosphere of it. There is something magical in those narrow streets. But as we know, it is always better to see it your own eyes than anything else.
I would count that you arrived late or were tired but visited Old Town at night. By the way, almost all the nicest bars are located in Old Town. And not only that. Old Town has a lot to offer!
Day 2. You should start the day with visiting the Old Town in daylight. So I could give you a small list of places which you should not skip.
Old Town. That is the heart of Riga!
You should see:
- City center
- Monument of Freedom
- Latvian National Opera
- Bastejkalns park, it is nearby the Monument of Freedom.
- Powder Tower (Address: Smilšu iela 20)
- House of the Black Heads
- Peter’s Church – get upstairs for a nice panoramic view!
- Go deeper in Old Town and find the Dome square of Riga. Around it you can find some beautiful museums or nice cafes.
- Enjoy the architecture and narrow streets, and also the authentic pavement of the Old Town of Riga
If you arrive in time then you can also go to see river Daugava side
- Go to a nice cafe
- Go to Folkclub “ALA” to see a bar/folk club which is made in a traditional Latvian way (On each day there is a special program, for example, dancing. And every day there is a live Latvian music)
- Go for a party to feel the Latvian spirit! Clubs and bars usually work till 6AM
Day 3. Visit the riverside. Just before you cross the bridge, you can visit the Central Market. After that, I suggest crossing the river. I would recommend going on foot across the Akmens bridge. On the other side, you will see Latvia National Library. Personally, to me, I love the interior of it! So I recommend you to go inside and get your own opinion.
After that, you can go to AB Dam for another nice view! As the Old Town is the most beautiful part of Riga, in my opinion, the best view of it you can see from the other side. And there on the Dam is also located a big Latvian flag, check it out!
To get back to the center side, cross the Vanču bridge which is the last bridge over Daugava river. You might want to go for a walk across the riverside.
Check also the Railway bridge.
If you still have time and you are not exhausted then I would highly recommend visiting a part of the harbour in Andrejsala island. You will get a little bit different view over Riga. I could call it a hipster place. I like it there.
Day 4. Depending on what are you more into, you should go to the New Town. You might want to visit Latvian National Museum of Art.
Then you can chill a little bit in the Esplanāde park. There is another thing you should do and the best thing is that it is for free: go to Radisson Hotel Blu Latvia, get upstairs with the glazed elevator where Skyline Bar is and even if you don’t plan to stay in the bar, you can enjoy the view over Riga.
Then you want to go to Art Nouveau district – Riga is the capital of Art Nouveau style buildings! Most of them are located on the Alberta Street, Elizabetes Street and Antonijas Street.
There is also Art Nouveau Museum. What I love about it is the staircase!
By the way, if you only want to see the staircase, you can see it for free. Other Art Nouveau buildings you can see also in other parts of the center. If you are looking for some nice restaurants, then this place has a lot to offer!
Day 5. If you are staying for another day then I would highly recommend you to go to Ķemeri. It is a National Park of Latvia. The best way to get there would be by car but I have done it also with the train and there were no problems. To get there you have to take a train or minibus to Jūrmala. There will be a stop called Ķemeri. Get out there, you will need to go for a walk for 30-50 min and then you will see the beauty of the National park. Depending on your walking speed, count the time for the way back!
There will be 2 curves to go, the small one and the big one. If you want to get up on the watchtower then you have to take the big one. Trust me, the view is worth that!
You will feel the nature and its beauty, it will be calm and relaxing!
I hope you got inspired to come to visit Riga!