Riga, the capital of Latvia, is the creative epicentre of the Baltics — a cradle for innovative start-ups, it prides itself on an excellent music and contemporary art scene.
Even though geographically Riga can be considered a Nordic city, its multicultural character makes it both adventurous and passionate.
Riga Old Town is the witness to the city’s 800 years history and its Art Nouveau architecture may be the main tourist attraction, but Riga is so much more than that.
The Miera Street district — hipsters and craft beer
Just a 20-minute walk from Old Town, and 10 minutes by tram, away from the hustle and bustle of the inner city and its congested streets, is the so-called Miera ielas Republic — the creative quarter that evolved quite naturally.
Miera street is home to one of the best cafés and coffee shops, Rocket Bean Roastery — a place with extraordinary atmosphere. Nearby you’ll find the bookshop, Mr Page, where the books and journals are allowed to be touched only if you are wearing white gloves, or pick up a piece of Latvian beauty at the design store, M50, which offers a wide choice of goodies from local designers.
Beer is in Latvians’ blood and brewing is part of their DNA. Thus, it is no surprise that the global craft brewery boom found some highly fertile soil in Latvia. Miera street area is also the top place for craft beer lovers. Check out the Beer District website to plan a beer tasting tour.
Andrejsala — fancy dining and some action
This part of the city next to the Riga Passenger Port and walking distance from the city centre, is a wonderful place for taking a stroll or having a nice dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants. But this is also a place to go if you are looking for some adventure.
You can rent one of the funny sized ‘Fiat 126’ cars painted by some of the best Latvian graffiti artists and drive around the city in style — pancars.lv/en. Or gather up some friends and visit GUNSnLASER entertainment park. Enjoy the paintball and laser tag simulations by going on various missions during the daytime or night-time.
The Kalnciema quarter
The Kalnciema quarter is one of the liveliest cultural districts in Riga. This quarter is surrounded by the heritage of its wooden architecture, with unique aesthetics, and an equally unique aura and scent. The yard has become a famous place for socialising — it keeps on attracting groups of people in an unpretentious way. On Saturdays, the place is busy with hosting the best farmers market in Riga with locally-grown and produced products.
In summer on Wednesdays and Thursdays, this is the most crowded hangout spot in Riga. The street food festival on Wednesdays brings together the best chefs and foodies. Thursdays are time for some live music and wine.
This article was in partnership with Riga Tourism Development Bureau