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23°
Friday, 28.11.2014
06:00

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Good to know

City map Riga

Points of interest: Your selected categories
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    Good to know

    Riga – a brief overview

    Since Latvia regained independence 23 years ago, its capital Riga has undergone a remarkable transformation. The once dour Soviet capital has blossomed into a real shining light of the Baltic region. Two distinct halves characterise Riga’s centre: the west is a charming medieval Old Town filled with cobbled streets and wandering tourists,

    while the east is the real living centre, with a charming, almost Parisian district, abound with stunning art nouveau architecture. All told, this is a friendly, welcoming place with a youthful buzz that will both inspire and excite all who visit.

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    Top 10 sights in Riga

    ListMap
    Riga, Lettland, Travelguide, Travel Guide, Lufthansa

    Old Town

    Old Town
    Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Riga’s UNESCO-listed Old Town is a maze of narrow streets and small squares filled with bars, museums and restaurants where you can sip a leisurely beer on a terrace in summer, or cosy up around an open fire in winter.

    Museum of the Occupation of Latvia 1940-1991

    Strelnieku laukums 1
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Tel: 6721 2715
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    May-Sep daily 1100-1800
    Oct-Apr Tue-Sun 1100-1700

    This moving museum documents over half a century of continuous repression – under Nazi occupation and then at the hands of the Soviets – before Latvia’s re-emergence as an independent nation in 1991.

    Open-Air Ethnographic Museum

    Brīvības gatve 440
    LV-1024 Riga
    Latvia
    Tel: 6799 4106
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1700 (Jul-Aug until 2000)

    See farmhouses, reconstructed villages and other buildings that show how Latvians lived and worked in the 18th and 19th centuries at this sprawling countryside museum 9km east of the centre.

    St Peter's Church

    Skārnu 19
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Tel: 6722 9426
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1000-1900

    This soaring church features a graceful 123m steeple, originally built in 1209, but most recently reconstructed following a fire in 1941. The view of the Old Town from the top of its tower is unmatchable.

    House of the Blackheads

    Rātslaukums 7
    LV-1050 Latvia
    Riga
    Tel: 6718 1800
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Interior currently closed

    Built in 1344 as a hotel for black-hatted merchants, this Gothic house with its extravagant Dutch Renaissance facade was painstakingly renovated for Riga’s 800th anniversary in 2000.

    Barricades Museum

    Kramu Iela 3
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Tel: 6721 3525
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 1000-1700

    In the heart of the Old Town, this small museum documents the protests and other events in Riga during 1991 that eventually resulted in Latvia breaking free from the Soviet Union.

    Art Nouveau Museum

    Alberta Iela 12
    LV-1010 Riga
    Latvia
    Tel: 6718 1465
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1000-1800

    In the heart of the elegant art nouveau quarter, this building was constructed in 1903, and the décor and furnishings have been restored to reflect how it looked then.

    Riga Cathedral

    Doma Laukums 1
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Tel: 6722 7573
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    May-Sep daily 0900-1800
    (Wed & Fri until 1700)
    Oct-Apr daily 1000-1700

    Riga’s main church was completed in 1270, and rebuilt several times since. Inside is one of the world’s largest organs, built in the 1880s with almost 7,000 pipes.

    Freedom Monument

    Brivibas Bulvaris and Raina Bulvaris
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    The Freedom Monument represents Latvian independent spirit and determination. So strong are the feelings it stirs up among the locals that even the ruling Soviets did not dare remove it in fear of the protests that would have sparked.

    Pilsetas park and canals

    Centrāltirgus iela 5
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    A green strip of parkland with meandering canals separates the medieval Old Town and the newer art nouveau city – a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to gather in fine weather.

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    A small country located on the Baltic Sea, Latvia boasts diverse and beautiful scenery that belies its size.

    Geography

    Latvia is situated on the Baltic coast and borders Estonia in the north, Lithuania in the south, the Russian Federation in the east and Belarus in the southeast. The country is divided into five broad regions: Riga in the north, Kurzeme and Zemgale in the west and Vidzeme and Latgale in the east.

    The country is reasonably flat. A long sandy coastline is backed in places by undulating sand dunes and low sea cliffs.

    In Latgale, in the east, the landscape is noticeably different with rolling hills and myriad lakes. Wherever you are in Latvia you don’t have to travel far to find dense forest. In addition the country boasts about 12,000 rivers. Latvia’s longest river, the Daugava runs through Riga. Meanwhile, the Gauja River is at the heart of the country’s best-known nature reserve, the Gauja National Park.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 2036000

    Population Density (per sq km): 32

    Capital: Riga.

    Language

    Latvian is the official language. Russian, English and German are widely spoken. Latvian belongs to the Baltic language group, part of the Indo-European language family. The language has three main dialects, with the Latgallian dialect, spoken in the eastern part of Latvia, especially distinctive.

    Currency

    In January 2014 Latvia adopted the Euro. 1 Euro (EUR; symbol €) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

    Electricity

    220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are in use.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0830-1730.

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2014-December 2015 period.

    2014

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2014
    Good Friday: 18. April 2014
    Easter Monday: 21. April 2014
    Labour Day: 01. May 2014
    Declaration of Independence Day: 04. May 2014
    Ligo (Midsummer’s Eve): 23. June 2014
    Jani (St John’s Day): 24. June 2014
    Independence Day: 22. November 2014
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2014
    Boxing Day: 26. December 2014
    New Year’s Eve: 31. December 2015

    2015

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    Good Friday: 03. April 2015
    Easter Monday: 06. April 2015
    Labour Day: 01. May 2015
    Declaration of Independence Day: 04. May 2015
    Ligo (Midsummer’s Eve): 23. June 2015
    Jani (St John’s Day): 24. June 2015
    Independence Day: 18. November 2015
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2015
    Boxing Day: 26. December 2015
    New Year’s Eve: 31. December 2015

    Enjoy

    Nightlife in Riga

    ListMap

    In the evening Riga fizzes with energy. The city’s thriving nightlife includes cocktail bars, music clubs, busy pubs and thumping dance clubs.

    ALEhouse

    Lacplesa Iela 12
    LV-1010 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Riga’s best beer bar has 200 craft beers, including several that they brew themselves.

    Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs

    Peldu Iela 19
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Atmospheric cellar bar – the first dedicated to traditional Latvian folk music, played live every night.

    Bites Blues Club

    Dzirnavu Iela 57A
    LV-1010 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    A popular blues club featuring live music from both local acts and big international names from around the world.

    Spot Kafe

    Jauniela 19
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Lively and popular café bar offering a host of shot-sized and long cocktails.

    Skyline Bar

    Elizabetes Iela 55
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Trendy lounge bar with fabulous views and occasional DJs, on the 26th floor of the Radisson Blu Hotel.

    Enjoy

    Restaurants in Riga

    ListMap

    Riga has a good range of restaurants serving everything from high-end French and international cuisine to tourist and local

    eateries and no-frills canteens serving filling pelmeni dumplings by the kilo.

    Vincents

    Elizabetes Iela 19
    LV-1010 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Modern fine-dining restaurant subscribing to the ‘slow food’ movement, serving traditional regional cuisine.

    Tevocis Vana

    Smilsu Iela 16
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Elegant Russian restaurant with wooden furnishings, and books and photos covering the walls.

    Elements

    Tallink Hotel Riga
    Elizabetes 24
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Chic diner serving modern takes on traditional Latvian and international dishes.

    Piejura

    Kalku Iela 2
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Cosy traditional Latvian restaurant serving heavenly food at down-to-earth prices.

    Pelmeni XL

    Kalku Iela 7
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Serve yourself cafeteria-style to feast on delicious stuffed pelmeni dumplings for next to nothing – you pay by weight.

    Discover

    Calendar of events

    Autumn Chamber Music Days

    26 September – 25 October 2014
    Website

    Venue: Various venues.

    Another must for classical music lovers, this annual festival offers a smorgasbord of performances which are held in some of the finest concert halls the city has to offer.The festival’s patron is Latvian composer Peteris Vasks.

    Festival Porta

    1 – 8 November 2014
    Website

    Venue: Various venues.

    This international music festival is going from strength to strength each year. A celebration of world music, it plays host to a broad spectrum of performers from the far corners of the world and everywhere in between. Their website isn’t in English, but the tourist information centre should be able to give you all the information you need.

    WinterFest

    1 November 2014 – 1 February 2015
    Website

    Venue: Various venues.

    This festival of classical music first ran in 1999 and since then its popularity has snowballed. Taking place between November and February, it features a series of concerts that celebrate Christmas, New Year and the legacy of Latvian pianist, Herman Braun, who died in 1979.

    New Year in Riga

    31 December 2014 – 1 January 2015

    Venue: Old Town’s main squares.

    Street party on New Year’s Eve to welcome in the new year.

    Riga Opera Festival

    1 – 30 June 2015
    Website

    Venue: Latvian National Opera.

    First held in 1998, the annual Riga Opera Festival is a popular event hosted by the prestigious Latvian National Opera. Marking the end of the opera season, audiences can relive some of the highlights of the year and enjoy a sneak preview of what’s to come in the 12 months ahead. There are also performances of works by legendary composers such as Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart and Wagner.

    Riga Salsa Festival

    1 – 30 June 2015
    Website

    Venue: Various venues.

    The Baltics might not seem like an obvious place for the hottest names in salsa to get together, but that’s exactly what they do every June for the Riga Salsa Festival. Expecta booty-shaking programme of live performances and salsa DJs, plus the opportunity to find your feet with a series of workshops led by some of the most talented teachers around.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Enjoy

    Hotels in Riga

    ListMap

    Riga has a wide range of good-value accommodation. Compared with Western European prices, room rates are reasonable even in the higher end places.

    Bergs

    Elizabetes Iela 83-85
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Luxurious boutique hotel in a refurbished 19th-century townhouse.

    Grand Palace

    Pils Iela 12
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    This elegant palatial hotel, built in 1877, has modern comforts and large rooms.

    Man-Tess

    Teātra st. 6
    LV-1050 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    In the heart of the city, enjoy these spacious rooms with modern fittings and quaint old-world charm.

    Art Hotel Laine

    Skolas Iela 11
    LV-1010 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    A tastefully furnished design hotel in a 1912 art nouveau building.

    Hotel Riverside

    Natana Barkana 5
    LV-1003 Riga
    Latvia
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    A comfortable suburban hotel with rock-bottom rates – but no riverside location, despite the name.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Friday, 28.11.2014 06:00

    overcast

    temperature


    -5°C


    23°F

    wind direction

    wind speed

    8.75 mph

    humidity

    81%

    7 days forecast

    Saturday

    29.11.2014

    -3°C / -9°C

    27°F / 16°F

    Sunday

    30.11.2014

    -3°C / -9°C

    27°F / 16°F

    Monday

    01.12.2014

    -3°C / -9°C

    27°F / 16°F

    Tuesday

    02.12.2014

    -2°C / -7°C

    28°F / 19°F

    Wednesday

    03.12.2014

    2°C / -6°C

    36°F / 21°F

    Thursday

    04.12.2014

    5°C /

    41°F / 32°F

    Friday

    05.12.2014

    6°C / 4°C

    43°F / 39°F

    Climate & best time to visit Latvia

    To the west the Latvian coast benefits from a maritime climate, while the hinterland in the east has a continental climate. Between June and September, days are pleasantly warm and often sunny. Winters are long and harsh, with temperatures in Riga rarely rising above freezing between December and March, even in April they can be as low as 5ºC. Rainfall is distributed throughout the year with the heaviest rainfall in August. Snowfall is common in the winter months.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    9 °C

    48.2 °F

    -31 °C

    -23.8 °F

    13 °C

    55.4 °F

    -34 °C

    -29.2 °F

    20 °C

    68 °F

    -22 °C

    -7.6 °F

    24 °C

    75.2 °F

    -11 °C

    12.2 °F

    30 °C

    86 °F

    -5 °C

    23 °F

    32 °C

    89.6 °F

    -1 °C

    30.2 °F

    32 °C

    89.6 °F

    4 °C

    39.2 °F

    31 °C

    87.8 °F

    0 °C

    32 °F

    29 °C

    84.2 °F

    -2 °C

    28.4 °F

    23 °C

    73.4 °F

    -8 °C

    17.6 °F

    17 °C

    62.6 °F

    -18 °C

    -0.4 °F

    10 °C

    50 °F

    -31 °C

    -23.8 °F

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    63 mm

    33 mm

    24 mm

    30 mm

    39 mm

    43 mm

    59 mm

    78 mm

    78 mm

    75 mm

    59 mm

    60 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    1 h

    2 h

    4 h

    6 h

    8 h

    9 h

    8 h

    7 h

    5 h

    3 h

    1 h

    0 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    85 %

    82 %

    78 %

    73 %

    69 %

    72 %

    76 %

    78 %

    81 %

    83 %

    86 %

    87 %

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ depositdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan9 °C-31 °C-2 °C-8 °C85 %63 mm121.0 h
    Feb13 °C-34 °C-2 °C-8 °C82 %33 mm92.2 h
    Mar20 °C-22 °C2 °C-5 °C78 %24 mm84.1 h
    Apr24 °C-11 °C9 °C0 °C73 %30 mm106.1 h
    May30 °C-5 °C16 °C5 °C69 %39 mm88.5 h
    Jun32 °C-1 °C19 °C9 °C72 %43 mm99.6 h
    Jul32 °C4 °C21 °C11 °C76 %59 mm108.5 h
    Aug31 °C0 °C20 °C11 °C78 %78 mm117.4 h
    Sep29 °C-2 °C16 °C7 °C81 %78 mm135.1 h
    Oct23 °C-8 °C10 °C3 °C83 %75 mm113.0 h
    Nov17 °C-18 °C3 °C0 °C86 %59 mm131.3 h
    Dec10 °C-31 °C0 °C-5 °C87 %60 mm130.8 h
    year32 °C-34 °C9 °C1 °C79 %642 mm1274.8 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing code: +371

    Telephone

    Payphones are operated by phonecards which can be purchased at kiosks, post offices and in some shops.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good.

    Internet

    There are many Internet cafes in Riga and some in other towns.

    Enjoy

    Shopping in Riga

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Shops are scattered all across the city, with no single focus, and prices do not vary noticeably between the touristy Old Town and the newer centre to the east. Brivibas Iela in the latter, and the streets off it, are good places to begin a search.

    Markets

    The daily Central Market (Negu Iela 7) covers a huge area south of the railway station. The vast indoor market has hundreds of stalls selling everything from food and household goods,

    to handicrafts and flowers, and also spills outside to fill several surrounding streets.

    Shopping Centres

    Centrally located Galerija Centrs (Audeju Iela 16) is in the heart of the Old Town. Launched as a mall with around 100 outlets in 2006, it has been a focus of shopping in one form or other since 1938. Also central is Galerija Riga (Dzirnavu 67), with dozens of shops spread over several floors.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Handshaking is customary when meeting someone for the first time. Latvians can be reserved and formal, but nevertheless very hospitable. They can also be quite direct, but do not generally mean to cause offence.

    Latvians are proud of their culture, and visitors should respect this strong sense of national identity.

    Good to know

    Health

    Vaccinations against tuberculosis, tick-borne encephalitis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Zaiga Dr. Kalnina
    Riga Paula Stradins Clinical University Hospital
    Pilsonu Street 13
    LV-1002 Riga
    Latvia
    Tel. +371-2706-9419

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.

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