Riga is more than just a picturesque old city on the Baltic, famous for austere brick Gothic and extravagant Art Nouveau architecture.

Riga – is the north on the eastern edge of Europe's west. Latvia's romantic but at the same time elegant metropolis is situated on a crossroads between European cultures.

Over the course of history, all its large neighbours have at various times ruled and left their mark on the city. As a small nation that has suffered long periods of suppression, Latvians today deliberately emphasise their down-to-earth and naturalistic traditions. They celebrate both their cultural and national independence with no less pride than their being part of the EU and the euro zone.

The bourgeois activities of Hanseatic merchants from Germany and the creative rationality of the Swedes still shine through today in the cityscape, in the way its people behave and think and even in the local cuisine. The depth of the Russian soul is just as relevant today as the optimistic belief in the progress of Soviet ideology. As beautiful as Riga's façades are, it's also worthwhile going behind them to look for clues.

Riga is a dream for fans of architecture. It's worth just strolling through the various quarters and looking at the facades of the buildings. And Riga is is both inviting and well maintained. That's apparent from the restaurants, cafés and bars, and it's also demonstrated by the locals.

City Facts

  • Location

    Capital of the Republic of Latvia and the largest city on the Baltic

  • Population

    Approx. 699,000

  • Size

    Approx. 307 km²

  • Public transport

    A very good tram, bus and underground network

  • Climate

    Damp continental climate; warm and wet in summer, very snowy and often very cold in winter.

  • Best time to visit

    The weather is at its most pleasant and the days are longest between May and July.

  • Good to know

    Latvia has had the Euro since January 2014. Prices are occasionally still written in Lats (LVL).

  • Nice to know

    Latvians and Russians each make up around 45 per cent of the population. However, the official language is Latvian.

  • Airport

    Riga International Airport (RIX), about 19 km from the city centre.

  • Bus

    Bus No. 22 runs into the city centre approximately every 20 minutes. The journey takes about 30 minutes.

  • Bus shuttle

    The airBaltic Airport Express shuttle bus runs to the city every 30 minutes. The journey takes around 20 minutes.

  • Taxi

    BalticTAXI for a maximum of four persons from the arrivals hall. The journey takes around 20 minutes.