10 free things to do in Riga

Set on the Baltic Sea, Latvia's capital city Riga is a hub for art, food, and medieval architecture. Riga is well-known for being a UNESCO World Heritage site and having the finest and largest collection of Art Nouveau buildings in the world. Check the elegance and beauty that Riga has to offer, including at least these ten things available free of charge.73 kipsala riga skyline thesanetravel.com 1280868

1) Take a walk in beautiful Riga parks

Riga is a city of many beautiful parks. You can start exploring the greenery of the city walking alongside the Riga Canal that separates Old Town from the rest of the city. A beautifully designed park area is all around it. I would recommend checking Kronvalda Park at the canal.

It has more than 100 foreign tree and bush species and a stunning fountain, which offers a show of lights and colours at night. There is also a playground and roller-skating tracks. Boat and water bicycle rides are available on the canal during the summer.12kronvalda park riga thesanetravel.com 106076313kronvalda park riga thesanetravel.com 106078014kronvalda park riga thesanetravel.com 1060788

2) Make a DIY Art Nouveau tour

If there is just one reason for visiting Riga, the capital of Latvia, it is the fact that the city has the finest and largest collection of Art Nouveau buildings in the world, with over 800 houses built in this style. The historical Centre of Riga is inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage List, recognizing its great collection of outstanding Art Nouveau (Jugendstil)architecture. There is one district in particular that contains some of the most elaborate and beautifully restored examples of Art Nouveau, among the finest anywhere. To have quick look at the most impressive Art Nouveau buildings in Riga, take a ten-minute walk from the old town to the corner of Strelnieku and Elizabetes street. Read more about a short self-guided Art Nouveau walk clicking this link20 riga art nouveau architecture www.thesanetravel.com 114017021 riga art nouveau architecture www.thesanetravel.com 1140131

3) Visit Orthodox Cathedral

Riga's Nativity of Christ Cathedral is the biggest Orthodox Church in the city. The Cathedral was built at the end of the 19th century. The initial design did not feature a separate belfry but as the Russian Czar Alexander II presented a surprise gift (12 bells), the design was improved with one more dome for bells. Although the cathedral had survived both world wars, in the early 1960s Soviet authorities closed the cathedral, sawn down the crucifixes, and re-melted the bells, and converted it into a planetarium, called the Republic House of Knowledge. Restoration work started in the late nineties and now the building has been completely restored as a church and holds regular Orthodox services.30riga in winter thesanetravel.com 100047531 riga in winter thesanetravel.com 137005232 riga in winter thesanetravel.com 1370055

4) Explore the War Museum

The Latvian War Museum is one of the oldest and largest museums in Latvia. Since 1919 the museum has been located in the 14th century Powder Tower, one of the former fortification towers of Riga. The museum’s aim is to reveal to the public the complex military and political history of Latvia, with particular emphasis on the 20th century, during which the Latvian nation had to fight for its independence twice.40 riga war museum thesanetravel.com 137012241 riga war museum thesanetravel.com 137008242 riga war museum thesanetravel.com 137009143 riga war museum thesanetravel.com 1370108Address: Smilšu iela 20. Admission free. Open Daily 10.00 - 18.00 April – October. 10.00 - 17.00 November – March.

5) Visit the National Library of Latvia

Castle of light is the new architectural wonder of Riga, creating the new panorama of the left bank of Daugava in Riga. Even if you have no time or intention to read the books, come and explore one of the most beautiful modern libraries in the world according to BBC and several other sources.  The collection of the National Library (4, 5 million units) embraces all branches of science, its basic profile being Social Sciences and the Humanities.49 national library riga thesanetravel.com 104075150 national library riga thesanetravel.com 104078151 national library riga thesanetravel.com 104075552 national library riga thesanetravel.com 104075853 national library riga thesanetravel.com 1040759Levels 1 to 8 can be visited individually free of charge, on Sundays also levels 11and 12. Just bring your ID with you. The National Library also offers excursions to learn more about the Library building, reading rooms and services. Excursions are available from Monday until Saturday during business hours. Prior application is needed and can be done on weekdays from 9.00 to 17.00 by phone +371 22022920 or anytime by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Excursion fee: 2, 00 EUR per person. Address: Mūkusalas iela 3.

6) Visit Kalnciema Quarter

Kalnciema Quarter is a bright and lively spot in Riga, on the left bank of the Daugava River. The buildings of Kalnciema Quarter, located at the crossing of Kalnciema and Melnsila Streets, are a part of Riga’s wooden architecture heritage dating back to the 19th century and representing the epoch of the late Classicism in Europe. Kalnciema Quarter is particularly famous for its weekly market on Saturdays where local farmers and artisans bring their versatile produce. Kalnciema Quarter regularly hosts events for families and children, art exhibitions, plays, open-air concerts, and educational events, most of them free of charge. Just check the calendar of events clicking this link.60kalnciema quarter riga thesanetravel.com 129054861 kalnciema quarter riga thesanetravel.com 129054462 kalnciema quarter riga thesanetravel.com 1290547

7) Make a self-guided Kipsala walk

One of the neighbourhoods worth exploring and close to the city centre is Kipsala, firstly because of its stunning views to Old Riga and secondly for beautifully renovated wooden houses. Kipsala is an island located between the Zunda Channel and the Daugava River. You can reach it crossing Vanšu bridge from the city centre. Read more about a walk in Kipsala clicking this link.

70kipsala riga thesanetravel.com 128091371 kipsala riga thesanetravel.com 128087072 kipsala riga skyline thesanetravel.com 1280859

8) Visit Lipke memorial

When in Kipsala visit the memorial to brave man Žanis Lipke and his life. During World War II, he saved from death more than 50 Jews by hiding them in a bunker designed exactly for this purpose under his shed. Museum is free of charge. Leaving a donation is your decision.80lipke memorial riga thesanetravel.com 128088981 lipke memorial riga thesanetravel.com 1280908

Address: Mazais Balasta dambis 8.

9) Visit the Knowledge Centre "Money World" of the Bank of Latvia

It is an interactive financial education and information centre for everyone interested in the monetary policy, currency circulation and history of money. The display has been created in accordance with the principle: "Come, see, touch, find and comprehend!" It is an interactive exhibition whose information stands is complemented by multimedia presentations, short videos, computer games and various surprise elements. It’s very interesting and I would say it has two levels: the first is what you can see by just walking around and the second is when you dig deeper using modern IT technologies available throughout the centre.

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It is free of charge but you can visit it just by appointment, applying well in advance by clicking this link. Address: Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela 2A.

10) Use free Wi-Fi at 1000 free Wi-Fi points in the city

In Riga, users have access to about 1,000 free Wi-Fi points, which makes Riga the European capital of free Wi-Fi. Look for the Lattelecom-free network on your mobile. Check a Riga free Wi-Fi map clicking this link.

11wifi map riga thesanetravel.com As a bonus free option, I can tell you that three museums that belong to Latvian National Art museum are free on the last Sunday of every month. Read more about the best museums in Riga clicking this link.
Have you been to Riga? What are your favorite free activities in the city? Share in the comments section!Set on the Baltic Sea, Latvia's capital city Riga is a hub for art, food, and medieval architecture. Riga is well-known for being a UNESCO World Heritage site and having the finest and largest collection of Art Nouveau buildings in the world. Check the elegance and beauty that Riga has to offer, including at least these ten things available free of charge. #travel #Europe #Latvia #Riga #traveltips #travelphotography #travelblog

  • Published by Anita in January 12, 2018 
  • Author: Anita Sāne

    Anita 03 18

    About the author
    Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
    travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.


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    Glad I found this article in advance of my return trip to Riga next week. There are a few things on here that are new and close to where I'm staying. Thank you!
    Loved this article on Riga. Can't wait to return and explore more of the city. And, as always, your photos really do tell a story.
    I personally recommend to visit this page on facebook, ” https://www.facebook.com/reachoutriga/ ”
    asking them and going through their post helped me a lot in & out Riga.

    If you are visiting first time, it’s worth it to write them message or read their post, even for longer stays if you need latvian language assistance they have a tutor who teaches very well, enough required for conversations and daily requirements as in most places you might need the basic understanding to get or ask for things. It is very useful.

    This is really attention-grabbing, You are an excessively professional blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to in the hunt for extra of your excellent post. Additionally, I've shared your website in my social networks!
    You cannot swap usernames with an Alt account.
    Riga is one of the Cities on our list and after reading your blog wooww we have to go there soon!
    Riga seems like a definitely worth exploring and your post just proves that. Anita! Your pictures show a very stunning scenery! When's the best time of the year to explore Riga?
    I LOVED Riga! I was there for my birthday a few years ago to go dogsledding! I'd love to go back again in the summer to check out more of the parks! The Art Nouveau district was my fav

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