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Riga - a place in which centuries meet
Riga, the capital of Latvia, is the pearl both of Latvia and the whole of the Baltics. Riga is included in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage list. It is located in the central part of the country, on the south coast of the Gulf of Riga, at the mouth of our largest river, the Daugava. Riga is home for more than 700,000 inhabitants and is the largest city in the Baltic States.
As Riga has developed at the crossroads of trade, our metropolis has become a multicultural city in which one can always find a large number of things that are of interest. Riga is a great destination for a weekend trip, somewhere to gain brand new impressions and to relax.
Each century has left its mark in the city’s features. They can be seen in the architecture of the Old Town and the City Centre. This cultural heritage coexists harmoniously with the quick pace of modern living.
Riga is also known as the pearl of architecture - a city in which one can see together in one place churches that were built at the city’s very origin, the medieval buildings of the Old Town, plus unique Art Nouveau examples, as well as wooden architecture which has survived for centuries.
Reasons to visit Riga:
- Culture Capital of the Baltics. Here you’ll find a dynamic cultural life. The Latvian National Opera gathers together artists from all around the world. Concert halls regularly offer classical and popular music concerts. Exhibition halls present works by internationally-known classical and contemporary artists. Riga’s cultural life is generous in its various manifestations.
- An architectural pearl. Riga’s architecture is beautiful and diverse. A heritage that dates back eight hundred years in terms of its Gothic churches which were built by Riga’s very founders, plus the medieval buildings of the Old Town, exquisite Art Nouveau structures, and many wooden buildings make Riga a true architectural pearl. A walk along the streets of Riga will be an exciting adventure for every visitor to Riga.
- The Baltic gastronomy capital. Riga’s restaurants offer fusion cuisine in which one can taste both Latvian traditional meals and modern, original meals that offer an astonishing combination of flavours, and which take you on an exciting gastronomic journey.
- A place for active recreation. Marathons, orienteering in the woods, or taking part in adventure competitions are just some of the activities that one can enjoy in Riga. The city centre parks are the perfect place for jogging in summer and skiing in winter. The abundance of water resources allows many forms of aquatic sports to be pursued. Enthusiasts of more technical sports will enjoy the golf courses and a motor sport race track.
- A city for your beauty and wellness. Riga is perfectly cut out for providing SPA treatments and beauty procedures that you will enjoy, as a number of salons are located in the centre of Riga. When in Riga, one must enjoy a traditional Latvian bath!
- A city for shopping. The Old Town is a perfect place in which to indulge in leisurely shopping. Small souvenir shops and art galleries have found a place of their own in the narrow streets of the Old Town. You can also go to one of the supermarkets and buy products with brands that are both foreign and local.
- A city for your health. Professional and high-class medical staff will help improve your health. Health-improving procedures are popular in Riga thanks both to the high quality levels of service and also the attractive prices.
- A city for business. Riga is an ideal place in which to organise conferences, exhibitions, and team-building activities. The city is very dynamic, which means that it is ideal when it comes to providing not only professional services, but also adequate infrastructure.
Riga - the European capital of free WiFi
Riga has the largest number of free WiFi spots per square kilometre and per head of the population in Europe, which is why Riga became the European capital of free WiFi in the summer of 2014. The city has three Lattelecom free WiFi points per square kilometre. Free wireless internet can also be accessed in most hotels, cafes and taxis.
How to get to Riga
Riga lies at the centre of the country’s air, rail, and motor traffic hub, and from here you can easily cover the whole of Latvia and the other Baltic States.
- By plane. There are direct flights to Riga from more than 85 cities in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. The Latvian national airline, airBaltic (www.airbaltic.com), provides easy and convenient connections to all of the major airports in Europe and the CIS countries. Riga International Airport (www.riga-airport.com) is only ten kilometres south-west of Riga city centre.
- By ferry. Ferry connections to Riga are available from Stockholm. Tallink (www.tallink.com) operates daily ferry connections from Stockholm to Riga. The ferry terminal building is located at 1 Eksporta Street, within walking distance of the Old Town.
- By train. Rail connections to Riga are available from Moscow (twice a day), St Petersburg (once a day), and Pskov (once a day), operated by the Latvian state railway company, Latvijas Dzelzceļš (www.ldz.lv). The recently renovated Riga Central Railway Terminal is located on Stacijas Square, directly to the east of the Old Town.
- By bus. Bus connections to Riga are available from Berlin, Hamburg, Warsaw, Prague, Pskov, Kiev, Grodno, Vilnius, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Moscow, Kaliningrad, Minsk, and many other international cities.
- By private motor vehicle. The major highways connect Riga with Tallinn, St Petersburg, Moscow, Kaunas, and Vilnius. The northern and southern road links have recently been modernised.