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Tour of Riga, Latvia

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Riga is the largest city in the Baltic states. The Historic Centre of Riga has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is particularly notable for its extensive German Art Nouveau architecture, which UNESCO considers to be unparalleled anywhere in the world.

The currency in Latvia is the Lat. One British Pound is worth about 0.8 Lat. Beer Prices . Currency Converter.

Flights take about 2 hours 50 minutes between UK Airports and Riga International Airport.

Ryanair provide regular flights between Riga International Airport and UK Airports such as: Dublin . East Midlands . Glasgow/International . Leeds . London/Stanstead . Manchester .

For more information on Riga International Airport including what other airlines fly there, visit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riga_International_Airport.

Riga International Airport is situated about 6 miles southwest of Riga. Google Map.

Traveling into Riga is inexpensive as a Taxi costs about 9 lat, or the Number 22 city bus to Central Station is about 2 lat, or the airport express 22a to the large Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija is about 2 lat. Both stops are in the city centre. Buses run every 15-20 mins and the journey time is about 30 minutes.

Car Hire Companies at Riga International Airport.

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Riga Town Hall image
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Riga Town Hall, in the Town Hall Square (Ratslaukums), is situated in the centre of the City.

The Riga Town Hall used to look over the main market place of Riga. That Market was moved closer to the port in the 16th century.

The new market was rebuilt in 1930, named Riga Central Market, it is now the Baltic's largest market selling practically everything. Google Map.

Most of the tourist attractions are situated within a short walk of the Town Hall Square, in the old part of Riga.

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The House of the Blackheads is a building also situated in the Town Hall Square. The original building was built during the early 14th century for the Brotherhood of the Blackheads Guild, a guild for unmarried foreign merchants in Riga.

The building was bombed by the Germans June 28th 1941, and the remains demolished by the Soviets in 1948. The current building was built from 1995 to 1999.

The interior of the building is now used for celebrations, presentations, conferences, special events, balls and concerts.

The church by the square is St. Peter's Church, one of the highest buildings in the old town. It was built from 1209 as a church for the people. It was extended in the 15th century.

Riga Town Hall Square image
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The Museum of Occupation is one of about 50 museums in Riga.

The Museum of Occupation is also situated in Riga's Town Hall Square.

The Occupation Museum gives information on Latvia's two Soviet occupations, the German occupation, and the move for Latvian independence in 1991.

The museum also holds listening bugs that were found built into hotels around Riga, letters sent home from prisoner-of-war camps, and photos of the independence movement.

St. Peter's Church, is situated next to the Town Hall Square.

A view from the church shows the Town Hall below, The Dome Cathedral a few blocks north, River Daugava, and the Shroud Bridge.

This is one of five bridges crossing the Daugava in Riga. The bridge is 1,950 feet long, was built during the Soviet occupation, and completed in 1981 under the Soviet name Gorky Bridge.

You can view the inside of the church and use the lift to see the city from a height of 236 feet. Entry is about 2 Lats.

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view from St. Peter's Church image

Dome Cathedral image
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The Dome Cathedral is situated a few hundred yards north of the Town Hall Square.

This is the oldest church in Latvia with many historical events taking place at the Cathedral.

The Cathedral was built form the 1200s, and extended a few times over the following centuries. As a result, the building has a number of architectural styles, such as the Alter is late Romanesque, the Basicala is early Gothic, and the Spire is Baroque.

The Dome Cathedral is also famous for its organ completed in 1884 by the German company E.F. Walker & Co. At that time, the organ was the largest in the world. Today, the cathedral holds the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, and serves as a parish church and concert hall.

Riga's Opera House is situated about 0.4 miles northeast of the Town Hall Square.

This was one of the first buildings to renovated after independance from the Soviets in 1991. Latvians regard opera an important part of their cultural heritage.

You can also enjoy ballet in the gold-leafed tiers of this fine building.

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The Statue of Liberty (Freedom Monument) is situated about 0.5 miles northeast of the Town Hall Square.

The monument is a symbol of the independence of Latvia. It is dedicated to the Latvian people that fought for independence.

The statue was completed in November 1935.

The statue of the woman holds three stars in her hands, a symbol of historical and cultural areas of Latvia.

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The Riga Orthodox Cathedral is situated about 0.8 miles northeast of the Town Hall Square, between the Freedom Monument and the Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija.

The cathedral was built between 1876 and 1884. It was turned into a planetarium during the soviet era, 1944 to 1991.

The interior needed be renovated and rebuilt after destruction by the Soviets during World War II.

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Riga Orthodox Church image

Reval Hotel Latvija image

The Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija is situated about 1 mile northeast of the Town Hall Square.

The Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija now rivals St. Peter's Church for views over Riga, with its Skyline Bar, a lively cocktail lounge on the 26th floor, as seen left.

Some Airport buses have a stop at this hotel. Google Map.

The Albert Hotel also has the Star Lounge on the top floor for great views over the city. This hotel is situated about 1.3 miles northeast of the Town Hall Square. Google Map.

The Ethnographic Open Air Museum is situated about 7 miles northeast of Riga centre.

This is where you can see "Latvian life as it used to be.

Set on 100 hectares of open wooded area, you can visit over 100 traditional objects, and a number of craftsmen's workshops.

The Auto diesel bus 1 from Riga Center takes about 30 minutes to get there.

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Open Air Museum Riga image

Riga Aviation Museum image
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The Riga Aviation Museum is situated about 6 miles southwest of Riga centre, right next to the Airport.

The museum has been built up over the past 40 years. It became a private museum in 1997, without any support from the Latvian Government.

This aviation museum is one of the largest in Europe, with a large collection of Soviet aircraft.

The museum is situated next to Riga International Airport. The working hours are from 9 am to 6 pm, Saturday and Sunday by previous request.

Rundale Palace is situated about 50 miles south of Riga Centre.

This is the top palace in Latvia, built in the 1730s to designs of Bartolomeo Rastrelli, as a summer residence of Ernst Johann von Biron, the Duke of Courland.

After Courland became part of the Russian Empire in 1795, Catherine the Great gave the palace to her lover, Prince Zubov, who lived there till his death.

His young widow, Thekla Walentinowicz, a local landowner's daughter, remarried Count Shuvalov, leading to the palace becoming part of the Shuvalov family estates. The palace then remained in that family un till the Russian Revolution of 1917.

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The palace is now one of the major tourist destinations in Latvia. It is also used for accommodation of important guests, such as leaders of foreign countries. The palace and surrounding gardens are now a museum.

For information on day tours to Rundale Palace, visit the website: .www.rigaoutthere.com/show/event.

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More Attractions in Riga

For more information on Riga, visit: www.aroundlatvia.lv

Riga website with many daytime activities:

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