How to Spend 3 days in Riga + Riga Itinerary and Tips From a Local

How to Spend 3 days in Riga + Riga Itinerary and Tips From a Local

Wondering how to spend 3 days in Riga? You are in the right place because I have prepared a detailed Riga itinerary for 3 days with a lot of useful travel tips.

Riga is the capital of Latvia and one of the top destinations in the Baltic States. It has something for everyone – a medieval old town, architectural gems, panoramic views, rich history, interesting food scene, and fun nightlife.

Growing up in Riga, I always loved spending time in Old Town and walking around Centrs. However, after moving abroad, I finally saw Riga through the eyes of a foreigner and gained a different kind of appreciation for my city.

In this article, you will find a complete Riga itinerary for 3 days with other things you should know before visiting Riga. A lot of practical tips and optional stops for any kind of traveler.

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Useful information for 3 days in Riga

Is Riga worth visiting?

Is Riga worth visiting?

Riga has a quaint Old Town, a huge collection of Art Nouveau, and the biggest indoor food market in Europe. If you are looking for fun nightlife, you will find a lot of entertainment in the city center. And if you are a foodie, you can try one of the many local spots or explore the flourishing fine dining scene.

On top of that, it is one of the most affordable European destinations, English is widely spoken and it is considered very safe. Riga can be easily combined with Tallinn and Vilnius or it can be a perfect weekend getaway.

So if you are wondering if Riga is worth visiting, my answer is yes. Come and see it for yourself!

How many days in Riga?

How many days in Riga?

3 days in Riga is the perfect amount of time to fully enjoy Riga, taste delicious food, and try unforgettable experiences. During this time, you will be able to visit the main attraction, discover the Art Nouveau district, try local food, visit some museums, and even make a day trip from Riga.

In this itinerary, we will cover how to spend 3 days in Riga and how to maximize your time in this charming city. I will add some optional stops, so this itinerary suits different travelers and interests.

When is the best time to visit Riga?

When is the best time to visit Riga?

The best time to visit Riga is during the summer months, from June to August. This is when the weather is the most pleasant, with mild temperatures and longer daylight hours. You can enjoy outdoor activities, explore the city, and experience its vibrant cultural scene.

However, if you prefer fewer crowds and lower prices, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring (April to May) and early fall (September to October). The weather is still pleasant during these times, and you can enjoy the city without the peak summer crowds.

Fall in Riga is my favorite season and here are some reasons why you should visit Latvia in the fall.

On the other hand, if you’re a fan of winter and the holiday season, Riga is known for its magical Christmas markets and festivities in December. Just be prepared for colder temperatures and shorter days.

How to get to Riga from the airport?

How to get to Riga from the airport?

The airport of Riga lies less than 15 km from the city center. There are multiple ways to reach the central Riga.

Bus number 22, also known as the Airport Express, connects the airport to the city center. The bus stop is located just outside the airport terminal, so it’s perfect to keep your 3 days in Riga on the budget. The journey typically takes around 30-40 minutes.

Taxis are readily available at the airport. It’s a convenient and quick way to get to the city center. The ride takes about 15-20 minutes, depending on traffic. The fare is approximately 25 euros. Alternatively, you can call a Bolt, which will cost you between 10 and 15 euros.

If you prefer, you can also book your private airport transfer here.

How to move around Riga?

How to move around Riga?

When visiting Riga for 3 days, choosing the right method to move around is essential to save time and money. I will add more tips within the itinerary so you know what is walkable and where you will need transport, but here are the best ways to move around Riga together with pros and cons.

Walking is the most convenient way to visit Riga in 3 days. You can easily cover the most beautiful places in Riga on foot. If you are going to follow this itinerary, bring comfortable shoes.

Public Transport can be a convenient way to reach destinations that are located a bit further. The public transport in Riga is excellent and can take you everywhere in the city. You can buy your tickets at some bus stops, Rigas Balzam, Narvasen, and in some supermarkets.

Bicycles and electric scooters are an ideal way to move around. Riga has a growing network of bike lanes, making it a bike-friendly city. You can rent bikes for a more active exploration, or use Bolt to find an electric scooter around the city. This is an eco and fun way to explore Riga in 3 days.

Taxis and Bolts are available everywhere in the city, they can be convenient for reaching specific destinations quickly. The competitive fees make it ideal to get the best out of your 3-day Riga sightseeing itinerary.

Where to stay in Riga for 3 days?

Photo credit: Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga via

Riga is not a big city and you shouldn’t have any problems moving around, but there are some tips to make your weekend in Riga even more sufficient.

The old town (Vecrīga) is the most beautiful area of Riga. But cars are limited, so you have to be prepared to walk. Once again, it is not big, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

The city center (Centrs) is a big area in the heart of Riga, but I don’t advise you to go anywhere after Lāčplēša Street. The area near the Freedom Monument is great and very practical.

If you are looking at the map, you see that Riga is divided by a river called Daugava. And it might look close, but I don’t advise staying on the other side of Daugava. It can be trafficked and not very pleasant to walk.

LUXURY: Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga

Photo credit:Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga via
Photo credit: Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga via

If you want to have a luxurious and romantic escape during your Baltic vacation, this is your place to go.

Grand Hotel Kempinski is one of the most popular 5-star hotels in Riga and it offers phenomenal spa facilities to make your stay unforgettable. The location in the Old Town makes it perfect to discover the best photo spots in Riga.

BOUTIQUE: Grand Poet Hotel and SPA by Semarah

Photo credit:Grand Poet Hotel and SPA by Semarah via
Photo credit: Grand Poet Hotel and SPA by Semarah via

Grand Poet Hotel is the best place to stay in Riga with style. This fabulous five-star hotel in Riga’s old town is the best place for relaxing and sightseeing. In fact, guests have free access to the fitness center and spa zone.

The wellness center includes a pool, sauna, hot tub, and hammam. Various massages are offered at a surcharge.

MID-RANGE: Wellton Centrum Hotel & SPA

Photo credit: Wellton Centrum Hotel & SPA via
Photo credit: Wellton Centrum Hotel & SPA via

Wellton stands at the entrance of the old town, in one of the most picturesque streets in the Latvian capital. The hotel is stylish and also offers a great spa to relax after a day visiting Riga.

If you want to have a quality stay, at a reasonable price this is the right spot for you.

AFFORDABLE: Allure Rooms & Coffee

Photo credit: Allure Rooms & Coffee via
Photo credit: Allure Rooms & Coffee via

If you are looking for cheap accommodation while you visit Riga without giving up the quality, look no further.

This lovely guest house is conveniently located in the old town and it even offers a romantic view of Riga. It’s the perfect place to pick to get the best of your time in Riga at an affordable price.

What to do in Riga for 3 days?

  • Visit House of the Black Heads
  • See the iconic Freedom Monument
  • Enjoy a walk around Bastejkalna Park and the Latvian National Opera
  • Eat your way through traditional Latvian cuisine 
  • Take a self-guided tour around Riga Old Town and visit some important attractions like Livu Square, The Swedish Gate, Three Brothers
  • Get lost in the Art Nouveau district
  • Photograph the views from the St. Peter’s Church
  • Discover the flourishing fine dining scene in Riga
  • Have a fun night out at the ALA Pagrabs and Rock Cafe
  • Don’t miss Riga Cathedral and other beautiful churches
  • Explore hidden gems of Riga or make a day trip to see more of Latvia.

3 days in Riga itinerary

Overview of day 1 of your 3 days in Riga

  • Morning: Mārtiņa Beķereja, Latvian National Opera, Freedom Monument, Bastejkalna Park, Livu Square, The Swedish Gate, Three Brothers, Latvian Museum of Architecture.
  • Lunch: Ezītis miglā or Petergailis.
  • Afternoon: Our Lady of Sorrows Church and St. Saviour’s Anglican Church, Riga Cathedral, DOM Restaurant, House of the Black Heads, views from the St. Peter’s Church.
  • Dinner: Salve Restaurant, ALA Pagrabs.

Mārtiņa Beķereja

Mārtiņa Beķereja - 3 days in Riga

If your hotel doesn’t provide breakfast, treat yourself to some sweet or salty pastries at the Mārtiņa Beķereja. It is one of the most loved bakeries among the locals and you will find several locations all around the city.

This is one of the best places to try cinnamon bun (kanēļmaizīte) or pastry with pop seeds and chocolate (magoņmaizīte). They have a good variety of salty pastries as well. The size is a bit smaller compared to other pastry shops, so you can easily sample two or more.

I remember going to this cafe with my family since I was a kid and you know what is the best part? It hasn’t changed much since then, so the flavors transfer me back to my childhood. Most of the pastries are simple with high quality and locally made ingredients.

The bakery I recommend is located in the old town of Vaļņu iela 28. Also, if you like to wake up early, this is one of the few places that opens around 7-8 am, which means you have the perfect excuse to visit one of the best pastry shops in Riga, Latvia.

Opera House Riga

best places to take photos in Riga - 3 day Riga itinerary
best places to take photos in Riga - 3 day Riga itinerary

From the bakery, take a short walk to the Opera house and start your 3 days in Riga with style.

The Opera House itself is a masterpiece of architecture. It has a Neo-Baroque design that showcases elegance and beauty. Its ornate facades and opulent interior reflect the splendor of the performances held within.

Over the years, it has played a crucial role in renovating and preserving the traditional arts while also embracing the avant-garde. This duality is reflected not only in the performances but also in the architectural elements of the building.

Don’t miss Fountain Nymph in front of the Latvian National Opera House. Inside this park, you will find other famous spots like the Statue of George Armitstead, a bridge, and the University of Latvia right across the street.

Freedom Monument 

famous landmarks in Riga
Freedom Monument 

From the Opera house, head to the Freedom Monument. This is the most iconic attraction of the Latvian capital and the whole of Latvia. Any 3-day Riga itinerary wouldn’t be complete without seeing this monument.

The Freedom Monument holds a special place in the hearts of Latvians. Erected in 1935, it was unveiled to honor those who fought for Latvia’s independence during and after World War I. This monument represents a crucial chapter in Latvia’s history.

Designed by the Latvian sculptor Kārlis Zāle, the Freedom Monument is a masterpiece of architecture. It features a woman (Milda) holding three stars high above her head, representing the unity of Latvia’s historical regions—Vidzeme, Latgale, and Kurzeme/Zemgale.

You will be able to see the monument from the Opera, but I highly recommend you visit the square and see it up close. Also, make sure you stop by Laima Clock which is an iconic symbol of Latvian chocolate and a popular meeting spot in Riga.

Bastejkalna Park

Riga itinerary for first timers
Riga itinerary for first timers

After meeting Milda, you will find Bastejkalna Park on the side of the monument. A Riga itinerary for first-timers should include a peaceful walk in this beautiful park. The park’s charm lies in its natural beauty. 

It features winding paths, vibrant flowerbeds, and a gently meandering canal. If you are visiting during the fall, it is one of the best places to see fall foliage in Riga. And in winter, it has a different kind of charm with snow and frozen canals.

Don’t forget to visit Love Bridge and climb up to the highest peak in the middle of the park.

Livu Square (with optional break at the Cruffins)

famous landmarks in Riga - Riga itinerary for 3 days

After the park, head to Līvu Square. A visit to this square is a must for anyone traveling to Riga, and it’s sure to leave a lasting impression.

The square has deep historical roots, dating back to medieval times. It has been a central gathering place for merchants, artists, and townsfolk for centuries. The square’s name, “Līvu,” pays homage to the ancient Livonian people.

The square is surrounded by an eclectic mix of buildings, each with its own unique style. Some showcase the elegance of Art Nouveau architecture, while others reflect the classical facades of the 19th century.

When in Livu Square, don’t forget to look up! In this square, you will find the Black Cat – one of the symbols of Riga. The Cat House gets its name from the black cat sculpture with arched backs and raised tails that adorn the rooftop.

The Cat House in Riga is one of the most iconic Art Nouveau buildings in the city and is particularly famous for its whimsical and playful design. Located at Meistaru iela 10, this building was constructed in 1909 by the renowned architect Friedrich Scheffel.

And one of the square’s modern-day highlights is its vibrant cafe culture during warm months. So if you are visiting this square later in the afternoon, make sure you stop by and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Or get some souvenirs from the local craftsmen selling in the square.

If you feel in the mood for a break and want to add a sweet note to your 3-day Riga itinerary, stop at Cruffins. This is one of the newest cafes in Riga and it is already famous all over social media. And once you try their specialty – cruffins – you will surely understand the hype.

The Swedish Gate 

what to do in Riga for 3 days

A few meters away from Livu Square stands the Swedish Gate, another must-visit for your Riga itinerary for 3 days. The gate is a relatively small but well-preserved structure, nestled between cobblestone streets and historic buildings.

The Swedish Gate is one of the remaining fragments of the city’s fortifications from the 17th century, a time when Riga was under Swedish rule. Today, it stands as the only remaining gate of the original 18 gates that once fortified Riga.

Next to the gate, don’t miss the trokšņu iela (the Noisy street), one of the most colorful and narrowest alleys in the Latvian capital and another must-add to your 3-day Riga tour itinerary.

Three Brothers (optional break at the Parunāsim kafe’teeka)

what to do in Riga for 3 days
what to do in Riga for 3 days

Take another short walk to find the Three Brothers, another iconic symbol of Riga’s old town, which is an absolute must for any 3-day Riga sightseeing itinerary.

The Three Brothers are a trio of well-preserved medieval houses located in the heart of Riga’s Old Town. They represent different architectural styles, providing a glimpse into the city’s evolution over the centuries. 

The oldest of the three, dating back to the 15th century, is the “White Brother.” This building showcases a simple, yet charming, medieval architectural style with its steep roof and quaint facade.

Next in line is the “Middle Brother,” built in the early 17th century. It displays Dutch Renaissance architecture with its stepped gable and intricate ornamentation.

The youngest of the trio is the “Black Brother,” constructed in the 17th century. This building features a Baroque style and is distinctively adorned with rich stucco decorations.

Inside the complex, you can find the Latvian Museum of Architecture to understand the evolution of the Capital of Latvia.

If you feel in the mood for a break and want to add a sweet note to your Riga itinerary, Parunāsim kafe’teeka is the place to be. 

While it claims to be the most romantic cafe in Riga, it comes with a cozy and lovely atmosphere and a picturesque setting. During summer there are a few tables out, but the interior inside the cafe is cute and certainly deserves a visit as well.

Lunch: Ezītis miglā or Petergaiis

complete Riga itinerary for 3 days

For the first lunch during your 3 days in Riga, I want to share two local places that I love. Both places are quite different, so it simply depends on your preference.

Petergailis is famous for being one of the best traditional Latvian food restaurants in Riga. Since 1978 Petergailis has served generations of locals and tourists looking for a traditional Latvian cuisine menu.

The cooks mostly use products that are grown in Latvia to give an authentic flavor and support local producers. In Petergailis, the atmosphere is both elegant and cozy and you will be welcomed by a caring staff and hundreds of roosters decorating the restaurant.

Petergailis is also a great place to try some of the best local food and beers, ciders, or maybe a glass of kvass if you don’t drink alcohol. 

The other one is Ezitis Migla. Ezītis miglā is a great place to try affordable and traditional Latvian food in Riga. There are several locations around the Latvian capital including the old town of Riga and the center.

What makes Ezītis miglā one of the best local restaurants in Riga is its budget-friendly prices and the good quality of food. The restaurant is also the ideal spot for just sitting down with friends while drinking some local beer and attending one of the several events available.

The menu is seasonal and quintessential Latvian, the potato pancakes with salmon are an absolute must-try here. Burgers with local meat are also prepared daily. Vegetarian options are available if meat or fish are not your thing.

If you are wondering what to do in Riga for 3 days to blend with the locals, you should pay a visit to this restaurant.

Our Lady of Sorrows Church and St. Saviour’s Anglican Church

complete Riga itinerary for 3 days
complete Riga itinerary for 3 days

After lunch take a moment to discover two hidden gems in Riga’s old town and 2 of the most fascinating churches in the city. 

Our Lady of Sorrows Church is one of the oldest churches in Riga. The church was built in 1785 and renovated in 1860. The architectural style and its white and blue colors still remind one of its Classicism past and make it one of the most beautiful locations in the old town.

Another church to add to your complete Riga itinerary for 3 days is the St. Saviour’s Anglican Church.

This church is a congregation of the Church of England and it’s built in a Neo-Gothic Style, making it a one-of-a-kind location to visit in Riga’s Old Town.

Riga Cathedral

most beautiful places in Riga - complete Riga itinerary for 3 days

From the St. Saviour’s Anglican Church, take a short walk to get to Doma Square, the heart and soul of Riga’s Old Town. 3 perfect days in Riga include at least a visit to this beautiful square.

The focal point of Doma Square is the Riga Cathedral, a majestic structure that dates back to the 13th century. This cathedral is not only a significant religious site but also an architectural masterpiece.

Early morning is a must if you want to find the place empty, however, later in the afternoon you can capture the lively atmosphere of the square. The square is also the perfect place to sit down to enjoy a drink or a snack.

If you are visiting Latvia during December, you will find this square filled with Christmas markets.

So you can take a stroll around the square, see the work of local craftsmen, and even enjoy hot wine and some handmade gingerbread.

House of the Black Heads

3-day Riga tour itinerary
best photo spots in Riga - 3-day Riga tour itinerary

A short walk away, you will find another iconic location in Riga – Restorāns “DOM”. The restaurant’s exterior, with its charming and elegant façade, immediately catches the eye. Its classic European architecture is a picture-perfect subject.

You will take the small alley that will lead you to the House of the Black Heads. Notice how perfectly it is framed at the end of the street. If you are lucky, you might find some Latvian flags on the side of the street.

Finally, in the heart of Riga, you’ll discover a true gem – the House of the Black Heads. Not going to lie, this is my favorite spot in the old town and I am sure that you will understand why as soon as you see it with your own eyes.

This remarkable building stands as one of the most iconic and picturesque spots in the city. With its stunning architecture and rich historical significance, it’s no wonder that this location is celebrated as one of the best photo spots in Riga.

If you wish to visit the house and feel the charm of aristocracy in luxurious halls you can purchase your tickets here. It will take you a couple of hours, but it is totally worth it.

St. Peter’s Church 

3-day Riga tour itinerary
best views of Riga
3-day Riga tour itinerary

Finally, finish your afternoon by visiting St. Peter’s Church – another special location for your long weekend in Riga. Here you can take your perfect postcard photo from the Latvian Capital.

Climbing to the tower is one the best things to do in Riga in 3 days. When it comes to the viewpoints, it doesn’t get better than this, so it is an absolute must when you visit Riga.

The history of St. Peter’s Church can be traced back to the 13th century, making it one of the oldest and most enduring landmarks in Riga. Its architectural style is a stunning example of Brick Gothic, a distinctive characteristic of Baltic architecture.

The church’s towering spire, reaching a height of 123 meters, makes it one of the tallest structures in the city, providing fantastic panoramic views over Riga’s picturesque Old Town.

While it is free to visit the church, you will need to pay an entrance ticket for the tower which is 9 euros. And there is even an elevator that takes you to the best views in Riga.

St. Peter’s Church is open from 10 am to 5 pm and it is closed on Mondays, so plan accordingly.

Dinner: Salve Restaurant or ALA Pagrabs

72 hours in Riga
72 hours in Riga

The first dinner of your 3 days in Riga itinerary should be something special, so once again I am sharing 2 special places you might want to try.

Salve Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Riga to try traditional recipes and local Latvian cuisine. Located in the historic Blue Guard House within the House of Blackheads complex on Town Hall Square in Old Riga, this restaurant combines elegance with city charm.

On the menu, you will some classics like Latvian herrings, potato pancakes with smoked salmon, black peas with smoked bacon, and multiple traditional soups. Also, rye-bred dessert with cranberry sauce is an absolute must – not your typical dessert, but a very traditional one for sure.

You can also choose a Latvian cuisine tasting menu for 30 euros and savor the essence of Latvian cuisine. Riga Black Balsam included, which is a perfect way to end a hearty meal in Latvian style.

The other place that I particularly love is called ALA Pagrabs. If you are wondering what to do in Riga for 3 days to meet locals and enjoy the real nightlife of Riga, this is the place to be.

Ala Pagrabs is known for its impressive selection of local beers, offering the diverse and flavorful options of Latvia’s craft brewing scene. From light lagers to rich, robust ales, the drink menu complements the traditional food options available.

I am not someone who orders a beer at the restaurant, but I always make an exception for their cranberry beer. If you are not a fan of beer, you should give it a try. However, don’t expect a sweet and commercial version of beer.

When it comes to food, you should try garlic bread and their beer platter. You will find a lot of meat dishes prepared with local seasonal products in a medieval style. Roasted pumpkin is a great option for vegetarians.

The interior of Ala Pagrabs exudes character, with exposed wooden beams, vintage artifacts, and dim lighting that creates a cozy and nostalgic ambiance. It kinda takes you back to the middle age.

So if you are visiting Riga during the weekend and want to experience the best of local nightlife, this is another great reason to visit Ala Pagrabs.

Overview of day 2 of your 3 days in Riga

  • Morning: Riga Central Market, Latvian Academy of Sciences.
  • Lunch: Lido (either Dzirnavu or LIDO Atpūtas centrs).
  • Afternoon: Riga Nativity of Christ Orthodox Cathedral, Corner House or Latvian National Museum Of Art, Art Nouveau district.
  • Dinner: Riviera or Lidojošā varde, Cloud Nine.

Riga Central Market

3 days Riga sightseeing itinerary
3 days Riga sightseeing itinerary

The second day of your 3 days in Riga itinerary starts with one of the most iconic and liveliest places in the Latvian Capital. The Central Market is the best place to start your day by finding some local products like berries, delicious honey, vegetables, and more. 

You will see that the market is very popular among the locals and tourists. If your hotel doesn’t provide breakfast, this is a great place to start your day with some delicious food.

The market is divided into flowers, clothing, meat, fruit and vegetables, fish, dairy, and souvenirs, so there is something for everyone.

This is one of the biggest indoor markets in Europe and an important historical landmark of Riga. A stroll around will provide a unique experience in Riga that you don’t want to miss.

Latvian Academy of Sciences

best views in Riga
3 perfect days in Riga

A few steps away from the market stands the Latvian Academy of Sciences. This is the perfect place if you are wondering what to see in Riga for 3 days to discover the Soviet heritage left in central Riga.

While the academy itself is not my favorite place in Riga, it offers amazing views over Riga from the top, so if you are a photographer take your best zoom lens with you.

While St. Peter’s Church offers views over the old town, the Latvian Academy of Sciences observation deck welcomes you with views over the Daugava River, the TV tower, iconic bridges, the famous Riga market, and some glimpses of the old town.

It is open from 10 am to 10 pm. An elevator will transport you to the 15th floor, and from there, you’ll need to walk two flights of stairs to access the 17th floor. 

Lunch: Lido

3 perfect days in Riga

Any complete Riga itinerary for 3 days would recommend at least one meal in Lido. This is one of the most famous Latvian bistro-restaurants and it has several locations all across the Baltics. Depending on your mood and time I am offering you 2 locations.

The first one is the most famous one located in Krasta Iela 76. This is a perfect place to get a genuine Latvian meal and enjoy the atmosphere around. The place boasts a little amusement park and a little farm. If you are traveling to Riga with kids, you might want to consider this location for a fun day, however, you will need to use public transport or a taxi to reach it.

The other one is Lido Dzirnavas, located in central Riga. The rustic and old atmosphere makes it a perfect place for a lunch in style. In case you don’t want to complicate your day with transport, you can easily reach it from your previous stop.

Lido is well known for keeping genuine quality food at a very reasonable price, so when you visit Riga you should give it a chance.

Riga Nativity of Christ Orthodox Cathedral

the ultimate guide to seeing Riga in 3 days

After charging your batteries with a proper Latvian meal, discover another must-visit for your 3 days in Riga. Riga Nativity of Christ Orthodox Cathedral is the main Orthodox Church in Riga and the whole of Latvia. 

The church is built in a Neo-Byzantine, making it a unique gem in the city and it’s famous for its golden cupolas and the collection of relics and icons inside the cathedral. 

In the pre-World War I period, the cathedral was the most expensive edifice of that time in Riga and attracted thousands of worshipers from all over Europe. Despite its historical relevance and beauty, in the early 1960s, Soviet authorities closed the cathedral and converted it into a planetarium.

Once Latvia got back its independence, the restoration of the cathedral started and the cathedral came back to its ancient splendor.

You can’t take any photos inside the Cathedral, but you should visit it and appreciate the beauty hidden inside.

Corner House, Latvian National Museum Of Art, or Gertrude’s Church

the ultimate guide to seeing Riga in 3 days

Depending on your interests, the next stop can be about art, history, or architecture.

If you are into art and wondering what to see in Riga for 3 days, the National Museum of Latvia is the place to be. It houses the richest collection of national art in the country with more than 52,000 works of art.

These works reflect the development of professional art in Latvia and the whole Baltics from the middle of the 18th century until the present time. You can find all the information for the opening times and tickets here.

If your subject is history, you just can’t miss the Corner House. The museum provides the opportunity for the wider public to gain insight into the former KGB, or ‘Cheka’, headquarters in Riga by preparing an exhibition on the institution’s operation in Latvia and a tour of the building.

Visitors can view jail cells, dungeons, strolling areas, the lift for the interrogated, and office workspace. It is a revelation for the young generation and foreign tourists as well as a memorial for those who suffered within these walls.

The admission ticket is 10 euro and the museum welcomes visitors every day from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm.

If museums are not your cup of tea, just take a walk in central Riga until the Gertrude’s Church, where you can admire one of the most beautiful churches in the Latvian Capital and discover some cool shops in the area.

Art Nouveau 

epic 3-day Riga itinerary
epic 3-day Riga itinerary

The ultimate guide to seeing Riga in 3 days will take you to discover one of the most beautiful areas in the city.

Riga is renowned for its stunning Art Nouveau architecture, which graces the city’s streets with its elegance and intricate details. According to UNESCO, the world’s largest Art Nouveau building is in Riga.

Approximately one-third of the buildings in Riga’s city center are exemplars of Art Nouveau architecture. However, the focal area of the Riga Art Nouveau district is primarily concentrated along Alberta iela and Elizabetes iela. You will want to include Antonijas Iela and Strēlnieku iela as well.

Basically, you can take a walk from Gertrude’s Church to Elizabetes Iela and head to Alberta Street. Make sure you keep your eyes open and appreciate the details decorating the houses on your way.

And in case you want to know even more about Art Nouveau, head to Art Nouveau Museum. Housed in the former apartment of the renowned Latvian architect Konstantīns Pēkšēns, the museum offers a glimpse into the daily life and design aesthetics of the Art Nouveau era.

Even if you don’t want to visit the museum, make sure you enter the palace to see the iconic staircase – it is one of a kind. And you don’t need to pay an entrance fee to see it.

Technically the museum is located on Alberta iela, however, the entrance is from Strēlnieku iela. It is open from 10 am to 6 pm and it is closed on Mondays. You can find all the details about the entrance fee here.

Also, if you are passionate about art and want to know more about it, make sure you read this Art Nouveau guide for Riga.

Art Cafe Sienna

complete Riga itinerary for 3 days
complete Riga itinerary for 3 days

While exploring the district of Art Nouveau in Riga, you should plan a break at the Art Cafe Sienna. It is one of the most aesthetic cafes in Riga and it will match perfectly your artistic vibe of the day. As the name suggests, Art Cafe Sienna is an art museum turned into a coffee shop. 

Their cake selection is very limited, but it hits all the right spots. I was also impressed with their tea selection and I have to say that Latvians drink more tea than coffee, so this would be a perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea.

When it comes to prices, it is certainly well above average, however, it is the most beautiful cafe in Riga. And it is filled with art and history, which makes it all worth it. Another thing that deserves special mention is the service.

Dinner: Riviera or Lidojošā Varde

complete Riga itinerary for 3 days

Once you finish discovering the Art Nouveau gems in Riga, it is time for dinner. And here are two different options to pick from.

If you are into fine dining and you are wondering what to do in Riga for 3 days, Riviera is the right address for you. As the name suggests this is a Mediterranean restaurant, which pays great attention to details and quality of ingredients. 

The chef Jānis Sokolovskis is the winner of several international culinary contests and created personally the menu. The sommelier and co-owner Eduards Jakuevskis has created a wine list with more than 450 labels from all around the globe.

If this sounds like your place, I recommend you make a reservation. The prices are above average, but the meal is totally worth your money.

If you want to keep things simple yet delicious, head to Lidojošā Varde. This restaurant has a European style cuisine and boasts a good selection of cocktails. If you are traveling to Riga with kids, Lidojošā Varde offers a dedicated area for kids.

Cloud Nine or Rock Cafe

complete Riga itinerary for 3 days

Are you still in the mood for a fun day out? I will give you two options to spend an unforgettable night during your 72 hours in Riga.

Firstly, if you aim for a laid-back and stylish evening, Cloud Nine is your go-to spot. Renowned as one of Riga’s top cocktail bars, it boasts a fancy and modern atmosphere. 

Here, you’ll be treated to premium cocktails and even rare types of alcohol, elevating your drink experience. The staff, dedicated to your enjoyment, also whips up fine bar snacks. Cloud Nine has earned numerous awards and widespread recognition thanks to its unique concept.

Weekends at Cloud Nine bring an extra layer of entertainment with beautiful DJ sets, setting the mood just right. Moreover, special Guest Shifts featuring famous bartenders add a touch of celebrity to your evening.

If you’re in the mood for a night of lively dancing in a welcoming environment, Rock Cafe is your destination. This venue is neatly divided into three levels, each offering a distinct experience. 

The basement caters to those who love karaoke and billiards, providing a more relaxed and social setting. Move up to the ground floor, and you’ll find a massive bar ready to serve a variety of food and drinks, coupled with a small dance floor for those impromptu moves. The first floor expands the dance space, creating a larger area for you to showcase your dance-floor prowess.

Rock Cafe really has it all and there is no entrance fee. But I dont recommend food at the Rock Cafe, so please don’t plan your dinner there.

Day 3 in Riga

best hidden photography spots in Riga - Holy Trinity Church - Riga itinerary for 3 days
Holy Trinity Church
National Library of Latvia - Riga itinerary for 3 days
National Library of Latvia

If you still want to explore Riga and discover all the hidden gems in the Latvian capital, here is a list of places you don’t want to miss.

Head to the left side of Daugava and enjoy the views on your back. I suggest you cross Vanšu Bridge and make a stop at the Vanšu Bridge Viewpoint.

After head to Agenskalns where you will find a vibrant market and the picturesque Holy Trinity Church located in Meža iela 2. Nearby, you will also find the National Library of Latvia, which is a gem of modern architecture.

You can end your day with a sunset over Riga panorama and visit AB Dambis for some of the best views of Riga.

If you prefer spending a day in nature, the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia is a good idea to take a glimpse at the old Latvian way of life. Another hot spot to enjoy some sunny days in Latvia is Mežaparks. This beautiful modern park is one of the most loved by the locals.

And if you want to explore beyond Riga, here are the best day trips from Riga. Pick one and it will fill up your last day of your Riga itinerary.

Further reading for 3 days in Riga

Heading to Estonia next?

Or read more about: Riga | Latvia | Baltics

Other useful tips for visiting Latvia

🏠 Need a place to stay? Browse Booking or Agoda
💃 How about fun experiences? GetYourGuide and Viator have it all
🚗 Considering renting a car? Use Rentalcars
✈️ Looking for the best flight deals? Check WayAway
🔒 Don’t forget about travel insurance from HeyMondo

In conclusion…

Riga itinerary for 3 days

If you were wondering what to do in Riga for 3 days, I am sure that now you are fully prepared for your trip and can’t wait to discover this unique Latvian city.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.

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How to Spend 3 days in Riga + Riga Itinerary and Tips From a Local
How to Spend 3 days in Riga + Riga Itinerary and Tips From a Local

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