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Miers means "peace" in Latvian, and if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Riga, a peaceful haven awaits you in the Bohemian-style quarter on Miera Street, with its string of charming cafes and shops.

Miera Street
  • Miera Street
  • Photo: Mārtiņš Otto, Rīga 2014

Every year, one day in the month of May, Miera Street is closed to traffic for its special festival featuring live music, performances, games&attractions, an arts&crafts fair, various workshops. On nearby Aristida Briāna Street, at the cafe/night club "Piens" (Latvian: milk), summertime brings its festival (usually on a Sunday) for outdoor concerts, refreshing milkshakes and new friends.

A new and already-popular addition to the quarter – right next to ‘’Piens”, is the ‘’9kl” Arts Centre, just a few doors from the micro-brewery "Labietis", with its very own brands made from unusual ingredients.

Meanwhile, at Miera 22, it’s the Chocolate Museum at the "Laima" Confectionary with its unique interactive exhibit. A bit farther ahead is another venue for artistic endeavors – the territory of the former tobacco factory ("Tabakas fabrika").

Still forward, within walking distance, is "Lielie kapi" - the former mayoral cemetery (late 18th century), now resting place for many celebrities.

56"57'38 24"7'46
56.960472, 24.129448
  • Languages spoken: 
    • English
    • German
    • Latvian
    • Russian
Services: 
  • Cafe
  • Exhibitions
  • Slow food
  • Souvenirs
  • Themed events
  • Workshops
Amenities and Features: 
  • Smoker-friendly
  • WC
  • WiFi Internet
Last updated: 19.03.2014

The University of Latvia is a higher education and scientific research institution. It is the largest university in the Baltic countries in terms of student numbers.

The University of Latvia offers students to earn bachelor and master’s degrees in humanities, pedagogical sciences, social sciences, natural sciences and health care. The university also offers professional studies for bachelor and master’s degrees, as well as professional qualifications. Those who wish to pursue a doctorate have several doctoral study programmes in natural sciences to choose from.

Foreign students can enroll in several bachelor programmes at the University of Latvia, as well as study for a doctorate or attend further education courses to learn various foreign languages. 

The new Latvian National Library building, also known as the “Palace of Light”, was designed by the famous Latvian-American architect Gunārs Birkerts. The library opens the year Riga is designated the European Capital of Culture.

 The Latvian National Library is located on the left bank of the Daugava. It is home to over one thousand reading desks and rooms for group lectures, exhibitions, public debates, presentations and other such happenings.

The new library is arriving in tandem with the uniform library information system or “Network of Light”, which makes it possible to access Latvian National Library materials from any other library in Latvia. 

The Art Academy of Latvia was founded in 1919. The academy occupies one of the most impressive architectural monuments of the early 20th century in Riga - a Neo-gothic building in Riga centre that originally housed Riga Stock Exchange Union’s School of Commerce.

The Art Academy of Latvia encompasses several departments to study visual arts, visual plastic arts, design, audio-visual art, theory of art. The academy collaborates with a number of art academies in other countries, offering students to participate in exchange programmes and in international developments.

An interesting experiece in Riga is a visit to the gallery "Noass” and "Betanovuss”, docked in the Daugava River at the AB jetty. The gallery is managed by the culture/arts project "Noass”, one of the first non-governmental organisations in Latvia whose mission is to provide a contemporary artistic milieu for the community, and host appealing special events for foreign tourists.  

On the deck of  "Noass” and "Betanovuss” is where a wide range of art exhibits, modern dance performances and poetry and prose readings take place. For over 10  years, the floating gallery has been associated with the international contemporary and video art festival "Ūdensgabali”, offering the latest video experiments from around the world.

During major festivals and events in Riga, that are well-attended, "Noass” and "Betanovuss” always line up an interesting programme of their own. Two examples here are the international "Night of Museums” and the Riga City Festival.

On the "Betanovuss” premises, the unique permanent collection of the Museum of Naive Art can be found, with works from as far back as the 18th century. Several hundred entities, with special attention given to Latvian artists of today. 

The building which housed the KGB or Committee for State Security Headquarters in Riga during the Soviet period has opened for the general public as a feature of Riga’s year as the European Capital of Culture.

The building at the intersection of Brīvības Street and Stabu Street used to go by the name of Stūra māja (corner house) – obviously because of its location, as well as for a long history of putting many people in a very tight corner indeed.

The KGB was a particularly repressive authority that the Bolsheviks established soon after coming to power in Russia in 1917. They set up the Emergency Commission, or Cheka, to seek and eliminate opponents of Bolshevism. Since then, Cheka and KGB were the terms used to denote the entire oppressive Soviet system, regardless of the name changes the authority went through.

The KGB building in Riga has been unable to find new tenants. In order to turn the spotlight on and prompt discussion about the history of the building, the KGB House is open to the general public from April 30 to October 31 this year, offering an extensive educational and cultural programme. The first, fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the building showcase history and art exhibitions about the building, visitors are also offered guided tours of the building's legendary ominous basement.

Ķīpsala International Exhibition Centre is the largest specialised exhibition centre in the Baltic countries. This is where, all year long, thematic exhibits take place every weekend, as well as various sports, cultural and recreational events.

The Ķīpsala International Exhibition Centre includes two main halls, three spacious conference halls, and two more rooms with seating capacity of up to forty people. There is a guarded car park near the centre.

Various exhibitions are held in Ķīpsala all year round, many of which have become popular events that the public looks forward to attending. These include “School”, Baltic Book Fair, fairs dedicated to cars, photography, agricultural machinery, tourism, textiles and others, accompanied by all kinds of events.

Ķīpsala Exhibition Centre also hosts impressive cultural and recreational events, including dancesport festivals, Christmas concerts, large-scale dancing and sports events for adults and children.

The manor-house was constructed in the 18th century after the order of Baron von Medem. Also the manor’s dry-house, barn and forge have remained today.

Currently the manor is a home for Vilce Elementary School.  The oak planted in 1937 by the president of state K.Ulmanis is growing by the building. For the first time the name of the school in Vilce Parish was mentioned in 1819 when the feudal lord established a school at Vilce Manor to teach reading, writing, calculating and the religion.

Until 1823 the school was attended by 140 children. The education was free. Children learned from the Book of Wisdom by Old Stenders (Vecā Stendera gudrības grāmata), and the teacher received a salary. The parishes of Vilce, Mūrmuiža and Blankenfelde were established in the period of 1820-1822. In 1823 Vilce School was closed, as the parish was unwilling to care for its maintenance alone.

Tukums is a small, garden-embosomed town at the gateway to Kurzeme (Courland), but the citizens of Tukums have always considered themselves as citizens of Kurzeme due to their Kurzeme-like proud and stubborn character.

In Tukums the peace of a small town meets the dynamic rhythm of modern life making everyone, i.e., those going to the museum and those enjoying loud and fun activities, feeling good. The Old Town with the cobblestoned streets and old housing invites to a romantic walk with friends or loved ones. Artists of different generations become creatively inspired in Tukums.


The centre of the town with the fountain is the best place for arranging meetings, and it does not matter if you are young or not that young anymore. Delicious food and comfortable atmosphere in cafes and taverns and hospitable and responsive people are the characteristics of Tukums!

During winter the visitors have the opportunity to ski in the vicinity of Tukums. Those who do not enjoy the cold outdoors may skate in the ice-hall or bowl. In spring cherry-trees, apple-trees and pear-trees bloom all around. During summer the sweet smell of roses can be felt here like nowhere else. There even is a saying – go for beauty in Tukums!

Industry of arms and ammunition is always associated with certain secrecy and mystery, and therefore Daugavpils Lead Shot Factory established in 1885 has raised such interest. The factory is the oldest ammunition plant in the Northern Europe, the only factory of such kind in the Baltic States and one of the oldest objects of industrial history in Latvia.

The factory has the only lead casting tower in Europe that still works.

Through centuries, i.e., during the tsarist Russia, the first Free State of Latvia, the Soviet Union and the independence period of Latvia, the factory has always produced high quality lead shots for hunting and it is still involved in this activity. The factory has equipment and structures built in the 19th century and supplemented before and after both World Wars, and they are well harmonized with the modern equipment of manufacturing the ammunition.

The factory offers seeing the historic exhibition and lead shot casting workshop and climbing its unique 37 m high tower with 19 m deep cooling well under it. You may see the famous Church Hill (Baznīcu kalns)of Daugavpils, the city centre and the distant fortress walls from the factory tower.  The ammunition factory is the destination of many local and foreign tourists willing to experience the unique ambience of the 19th century and learn about the operation of the ancient equipment today. After visiting the factory everyone is invited to test the ready production at the factory's shooting-gallery. Visit to the factory may be combined with seeing Daugavpils Fortressand other military objects, thus gaining an extensive insight into many aspects of Latvian military history.