Riga is the capital of Latvia, it is located by the Baltic Sea in the central part of the country. The city's climate is humid continental. The temperatures are typically -5 C in winter and 18 C in summer. Rainfall is fairly uniform throughout the year, although during the winter months, the rain usually falls in the form of snow. In Riga is the world's largest area of Jugendstil houses and its historical center is on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The city is also known for its good shopping opportunities as well as its rowdy nightlife. The most common safety risks in Riga are the various scams and pickpocketing, and also the local mafia is involved in violent crimes and bar scams.
Monthly Weather Conditions
Riga is one of the great cities to visit, with a varied climate. Most rain falls between May and December, but the higher temperatures come from April to October.
The best time to visit Riga is in their summer time, when the streets are alive and the weather is almost perfect. Because of its proximity to the Baltic Sea, the city experiences surprisingly mild seasons compared to other Baltic cities.
More information: Riga forecast and weather conditions monthly
Riga 8 most important sights:
- St Peters Church: St. Peter's Church was built in 1209 in a style of medieval architecture in need of preservation; for this reason, UNESCO has made it a World Heritage site.
- Freedom Monument: The Freedom Monument is a symbol of freedom, sovereignty and an independent Latvia.
- Central Market: Riga's Central Market was the only thing I'd actually planned to do during my couple of days there.
- Old Town: Art Nouveau buildings
- House of Blackheads: This beautiful building stands on the main square in Riga's Old Town and was used by bachelor members of the Blackheads merchant guild.
- Art Nouveau Buildings: Riga is famous for its large number of well-preserved (or, more often, well-restored) Art Nouveau buildings.
- Daugava River: This is something I fancied doing, but unfortunately it didn't fit into my plans, or lack thereof, during my short visit.
- Powder Tower: Like so many of Riga's apparently historic buildings, this is a reconstruction, but one carried out not after (and as a result of) World War Two, but, instead, in 1937.
Recommendation for one day:
- Take a walk through the Old City (Vecriga), this charming maze of narrow and crooked cobblestone streets is filled with a mixture of architectural styles including Nordic, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Jugendstil, plus such historic sites as the 13th-century Riga Castle, St. Peter's Church, the Swedish Gate and the Freedom Monument.
- Nearby you'll find a view of Riga from St Peter's Church Tower, the view from the top is breathtaking. you'll spend quite some time there if the weather is nice.
- Visit the Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum, an unbelievable collection of farmstead buildings and all the acoutrements of a lost lifestyle spread over a vast area amidst the pine woods on the shores of a lake.
- Cap the day at the World of Hat Museum. There are hats from all over the world and a guide will show you the different rooms; it's a great bargain. Or you can go to Riga Town Hall Square, there's unique and beautiful northern gothic architecture in a cobbled square.
- Relax at the Skyline Bar, located on the 26th floor of the Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija, the urban and trendy Skyline Bar is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset. It combines a casual atmosphere, exotic cocktails, great bar food and smooth tunes with the best view in the city. There's chilled music and live DJs at the weekend, a very cool atmosphere.
The recommended accommodation areas for Riga are:
Cheap area: Kaleju
Central location: Elizabeth iela
Beach area: Lativia
Nightlife: Monetu iela
Compared to prices worldwide, Riga is an average price destination.
On a tight budget, the daily budget is approximately $46.94, which includes hostel accommodation, budget meals and public transportation.
On a moderate budget, the daily budget is approximately $151.47, which includes a moderately priced hotel, meals at moderate priced restaurants and transportation costs.
- Hotel (2 stars): $42.79
- Hotel (3 stars): $55.03
- Hotel (4 stars): $81.87
- Hotel (5 stars): $124.98
- Taxi ride (3 miles): $6.44
- Taxi ride (6 miles): $10.53
- Beer in a restaurant (16 ounces): $2.93
- Meal, McDonalds: $5.85
- Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant: $8.19
Riga has been classified as quite dangerous with security classification 2/5.
Safety index values (higher is better):
- General: 61.7 (better than United states average 48.0)
- Walking alone during daytime hours: 81.6 (better than United states average 69.6)
- Walking alone at night: 54.6 (better than United states average 41.7)
More information: Riga safety
Things which affect the renting of the car:
- Driver’s license: In the European Union / Schengen a driver's license from an EU country is sufficient, although for North Americans it is recommended to carry a separate international driving license, in addition to the American driving license.
- Direction of traffic: In Europe the traffic is mainly right-handed. The exception is Great Britain, which is left-handed traffic.
- Insurance: In Western Europe, all rental cars include some kind of insurance, so additional insurance policies are often unnecessary (unless you are going to Russia or Eastern Europe).
- Driving abroad: You can drive a rental car almost everywhere within all countries of the European Union / Schengen territory without additional fees. Eastern European countries and Russia are the exceptions and you should always ask the car rental company in advance about the rules.