Weekend in Riga: Perfect 2 Day Riga Itinerary and Tips From a Local

Weekend in Riga: Perfect 2 Day Riga Itinerary and Tips From a Local

If you are planning to spend a weekend in Riga and you are looking for the coolest things to do, you are in the right place. I have prepared a detailed 2 days Riga itinerary to maximize your time and make the most of your trip.

Riga is the capital of Latvia and it is located in the heart of the Baltic states. It is a little hidden gem in the North of Europe and has endless opportunities for visitors.

The old town is filled with cobblestone streets, vibrant buildings, and many medieval churches. It is known as the Art Nouveau metropolis and has a rich history that attracts many history enthusiasts.

I was born and raised in Riga, so I want to share my favorite places with you! I moved away more than 5 years ago, but every time I go back, I see it from a new perspective and want to explore it even more.

In this article, you will find a complete Riga itinerary for 2 days with other things that you should know before visiting Riga.

*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 2 days in Riga

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!

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.

What are the best day trips from Riga?

Got an extra day in Riga? No worries, we’ve got you covered with the best day trips from the Latvian capital. Thanks to Riga’s central location and Latvia’s compact size, you can explore stunning places within the country and even venture into neighboring Baltic countries.

This guide of the best day trips from Riga will feature the best destinations that you can easily reach from Riga and visit in one day. Guided tours and best day trips from Riga by train included!

Where to stay in Riga?

Photo credit: Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga via Booking.com

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 Booking.com
Photo credit: Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga via Booking.com

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 Riga.

Click here to see rates & availability and book your stay in this luxury hotel in Riga.

BOUTIQUE: Grand Poet Hotel and SPA by Semarah

Photo credit:Grand Poet Hotel and SPA by Semarah via Booking.com
Photo credit: Grand Poet Hotel and SPA by Semarah via Booking.com

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.

Click here to see rates & availability and book your stay in this boutique hotel in Riga.

MID-RANGE: Wellton Centrum Hotel & SPA

Photo credit: Wellton Centrum Hotel & SPA via Booking.com
Photo credit: Wellton Centrum Hotel & SPA via Booking.com

Wellton stands at the entrance of the old town, in one of the most picturesque streets in the Latvian capital. If you want to have a quality stay, at a reasonable price this is the right spot for you. The hotel is stylish and also offers a great spa to relax after a day visiting Riga.

Click here to see rates & availability and book your stay in this mid-range hotel in Riga.

AFFORDABLE: Allure Rooms & Coffee

Photo credit: Allure Rooms & Coffee via Booking.com
Photo credit: Allure Rooms & Coffee via Booking.com

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 weekend in Riga at an affordable price.

Click here to see rates & availability and book your stay in this affordable hotel in Riga.

2 days in Riga itinerary

Day 1

Latvian National Opera, The Freedom Monument and parks of Riga

I want you to start your day early and visit The Freedom Monument. It symbolizes Latvian statehood, national unity, and independence, and it was built with the money of residents to honor those who died during the Latvian War of Independence.

On one side of the monument, you will see Bastejkalna Park. Take a walk on the canal and climb up to Bastion Hill. You will see a bridge covered with locks placed there by lovers. Here you can also rent a small boat and see the parks of Riga from the canal.

On the other side, you will find another park and the Latvian National Opera. As you visit the park, don’t miss Laima Clock. It has been a popular rendezvous place for locals. It’s a clock, so you have no excuse to be late! Oh and Laima is a famous Latvian chocolate brand!

Riga Art Nouveau, Latvia

Once you are done with the parks, I want you to visit the Art Nouveau area of Riga. I suggest you head direction of Riga Art Nouveau Center and enjoy the architecture on your way. You can visit Riga Art Nouveau Center or simply see the beautiful staircase without entering the museum.

On your way, you will find another famous attraction – Riga Nativity of Christ Orthodox Cathedral.

Before heading to the Art Nouveau district, you can have breakfast in Kūkotava and spoil yourself with a honey cake. If you are looking for a budget-friendly lunch, visit LIDO Vērmanītis.

But if you like fine dining, you will find many great options nearby Elizabetes street Riviera, Rossini, The Catch – these are some of my favorites!

Afternoon

Riga, Latvia

In the afternoon, I want you to take it easy and enjoy a walk in downtown Riga. Visit Brivibas street, St. Alexander Nevsky Church, St. Gertrude Old Church, Splendid Palace and walk Krišjāņa Barona street.

And I suggest you end your first day in Riga with a blast. And I know we all like different things, so I will offer you multiple suggestions.

The first and my favorite one is Folkklubs ALA. I’m not a person who goes out to parties all the time, but for this place, I will make an exception. Great music, traditional Latvian pub, and endless choice of beer – cranberry is their best seller.

The second option is the Skyline bar – fancy drinks with beautiful views over Riga.

The last option is Restaurant d’arte on the last floor of Galleria Riga – a delicious meal and sunset over Riga. The choice is yours!

Day 2

things to do in Riga, latvia

You had a busy day yesterday and another one ahead, so start your day with traditional Latvian pastries. Find the closest GUSTAVbeķereja or Mārtiņa Beķereja. Or Kūkotava if you missed it yesterday. Latvians are not big on coffee, so try some herbal tea instead.

The first attraction of the day is Riga Central Market. Come shopping with locals and become part of the crowd. Oh and don’t forget to get some local souvenirs here. It might include Riga Black Balsam, local Latvian beer, delicious honey, or maybe some local sweets from Laima or Skrīveru saldumi.

Including the indoor market and an outdoor market, Riga Central Market is actually considered to be the largest market in Europe. And in 1997 the market was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

If you are using this itinerary for a weekdays, you can go up Latvian Academy of Sciences for some wonderful views over the market, the old town, and the famous river Daugava. The price is 6 euros.

If not, head to Bergs Bazaar – renovated turn-of-the-century shopping arcade with stylish boutiques, chic dining & terrace cafes. You can have lunch in Andalūzijas Suns, BURZUJS or Garage. Or simply enjoy the walk in the bazaar and visit Vērmane Garden around the corner.

Afternoon

What to do and what to see in Riga, Old Town

In the afternoon, I want you to explore the old town of Riga. I suggest you start with one of the most beautiful squares that I have ever seen and visit House of the Black Heads. From there head to Riga Cathedral and see Dome Square.

Now it’s time to visit Three Brothers – the oldest residential complex in Riga has survived from the 15th century. It consists of three houses situated side by side on a small cobblestone side street and each house represents a distinct development period in the city of Riga.

Make a quick stop at Torņa iela, Swedish Gate, Powder Tower, and Līvu laukums.

I want you to finish your day with St. Peter’s Church. The entrance fee is 9 euros, but you get to visit the tower that offers the most epic view over Riga. 

Also, highly suggest dining at Balzambārs. It’s a great mix of Latvian traditional food and modern dining. On top of that, you have to try Riga Black Balsam when visiting Latvia and this is the best place to do it.

Extra activities? If you have some extra time in Latvia, I can suggest Holy Trinity Church on the other side of Daugava, Vanšu Bridge Viewpoint, and The Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia. If you have 3 days in Riga, make sure you check this itinerary.

Further reading for 2 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…

WEEKEND IN RIGA: PERFECT ITINERARY AND TIPS FROM A LOCAL

I’m sure that this guide will help you make the most of your weekend in Riga, visit all the main attractions, and eat your way through Latvian cuisine. I have a special love for Riga and I want to show it to others through the eyes of a local.

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.

Pin it for later and save the best itinerary for a weekend in Riga!

WEEKEND IN RIGA: PERFECT ITINERARY AND TIPS FROM A LOCAL
WEEKEND IN RIGA: PERFECT ITINERARY AND TIPS FROM A LOCAL

79 Comments

  1. Chelsea Messina says:

    It was today when I first heard of Riga. Your hometown is BEAUTIFUL! After reading your article it is now on my bucket list of places to visit, I LOVE the pink castle photo.

    1. Stefania Esposito says:

      Where is this pink castle in Riga?

      1. lasma.plone says:

        It is Holy Trinity Church in Riga (Meža iela 2). Enjoy your time in Riga 🙂

  2. Valentina says:

    I have never been to Riga but after reading this fantastic article, I can honestly say that I cannot wait to visit it.
    Your pictures are like always incanting.
    Well done, keep up with your great work.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Makes me so happy! Hope you can visit Riga one day 😍 wish more people would!

  3. Виктория says:

    Вау. Я еду в Ригу на несколько дней и это звучит как отличный план дня. Потрясающе. Спасибо за Вашу работу!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      It’s my pleasure to share! Have a great time in Riga, Victoria ❤️

  4. I’ve never even heard of Riga and now it’s going straight on my list! Stunning photos as always 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yay! So happy to read this 😍 And thank you!

  5. What a fab itinerary you’ve mapped out! It’s always so valuable seeing a place through a local’s eyes and your days are clearly comprehensive and methodical!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! Glad you appreciated this ❤️

  6. I had no idea Riga is such a stunning city, definitely adding it to my bucket list! The architecture looks really beautiful, love the photos you took to highlight this post!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      So, so happy to read this! And glad that you discovered something new here 😊

  7. This is a great guide for a weekend trip. It’s good to know that summer would be the best time to visit because I really don’t like the cold weather. The old town of Riga would definitely be one of my main stops when I make this trip. So lovely!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed this article and I can tell that you would love Riga ❤️

  8. Oooh Lāsma! It looks like you mapped out the perfect weekend away in Riga! I would love to spend some time in Latvia eating those pastries and exploring the beautiful city!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you Josy! ❤️ sounds like a great plan!

  9. Wow, your photography really highlights the beauty of Riga! Thanks for such inspirational photos and all of the excellent tips for a great trip!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much for your kind feedback! Can’t thank you enough ❤️

  10. Oh how wonderful is Riga! The architecture is absolutely stunning. I can see why you are proud to show it off, and think it is definitely the hidden gem of Europe.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Right?! Glad to see you like it as well! Thanks, Renee😊

  11. I had never considered travelling to Riga, but I would love to visit it one day after reading your blog. The architecture looks so beautiful, and I didn’t know there were so many activities to do. I am definitely saving your guide for future reference 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      That makes me so happy! Thank you so much, Cristina ❤️ Riga is a perfect weekend destination!

  12. Lekha Chellani says:

    I love the pictures. Riga is so beautiful, I had heard about the beauty of old town before but there is so much more to it. Great blog and excellent recommendations. Thank you for sharing!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      So kind of you… glad to read such a nice feedback about my beloved city! Thank you so much ❤️

  13. Riga looks incredible! The photos are spectacular. This is a really great itinerary. I am saving it for future travel planning.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! Really appreciate your kind feedback ❤️

  14. Riga looks so AMAZING! I’ve always wanted to visit here, it seems like an “under the radar” destination and I hope to visit before it gets too popular! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      You are right, it’s a kinda hidden gem, but certainly deserves a visit! Fingers crossed ❤️

  15. Riga looks quite grand! The architecture looks amazing! I was especially drawn to the faces on the building at the Art Nouveau Center.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Glad to hear that! I’m sure you would love Riga then 😊

  16. The architecture in Riga is absolutely stunning. The Eastern Orthodox church architecture really draws me. Another item added to my list.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      So happy to read that 😍

  17. This looks incredible. It’s like a movie. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m saving this for my bucket list one day.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yaay! Thank you so much ❤️

  18. You gave us a terrific itinerary for Riga with so much useful information. It always helps to get the under tips from a local!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you! Highly appreciated ❤️

  19. Riga sounds and looks so beautiful. I would definitely be keen on a cocktail at the Sky Bar to enjoy those views

    1. lasma.plone says:

      It really is! And sounds like a perfect way to end your day.

  20. I have had Riga on my radar for so long and your post makes me really want to go. Love the pictures and how you captured so many details in the buildings!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Aww thank you so much! Makes me so happy to read this ❤️

  21. I loved seeing Riga through your eyes! This itinerary is just perfect and encompasses so many great things to do. The photos are absolutely amazing and the architecture is stunning. You have definitely peaked my interest in visiting.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Oh, thank you so much! Such a kind feedback… I’m glad you enjoyed my guide and I hope you can visit Riga soon.

  22. What a fun itinerary! I’m a bit bummed about the coffee but excited about the beer 🙂

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thanks! Ohh, I know the struggle, it’s hard to find good coffee when I go back home, so I just make it myself 🤷🏻‍♀️

  23. simplyjolayne says:

    You always seem to find the beautiful architecture where ever you travel.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I was born here, so I know the place from the back of my hands! ❤️

  24. WOW! These photos are stunning! I love this guide so much because you included a fantastic breakdown day to day and provided a ton of detail. Saving this for a future trip. Thanks for sharing 💕

    1. lasma.plone says:

      It’s my pleasure! And even better when I hear a feedback like this… thanks!

  25. I love Eastern European cities, and Riga is still on my list! It looks stunning – I can’t wait to check it out and take photos of the amazing architecture.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      It’s actually Northern Europe, but I understand what you mean. Hope you can visit soon!

  26. Riga looks beautiful! The architecture is simply amazing. I would love to explore Old Town Riga. Your photo of the skyline is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      It’s my pleasure! And glad to hear your kind feedback, thank you ❤️

  27. Wow amazing photos as always! Such a useful guide, looks like a beautiful city.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Glad you liked it, Leah! Thank you so much ❤️

  28. Riga looks like such a beautiful city! I would want to spend all weekend just in the old town of Riga, and explore all those sights you mentioned and take in the gorgeous architecture. This is a wonderful itinerary, and will definitely use when I visit!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! I love old town of Riga, so I can understand why… wandering around cobblestone streets is the best!

  29. What a beautiful place! The architecture is amazing. I’d love to go during the summer.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds like a great plan! ❤️

  30. Riga looks beautiful. I particularly love all the Art Nouveau architecture. The central market would be lovely to explore, as well.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Glad to hear that! Sounds like you would love your time in Riga!

  31. So far I have only been as far as the Czech Republic when it comes to the north and east of Europe. But loved Prague and have heard so many great things about Warsaw, Wroclaw and how Kyiv sadly used to be. And now seeing your pictures it really looks like there are so many great places to go outside of the busy Paris, Rome and Berlin.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you, Stephanie 🙂 Seems like you discovered something new and that makes me very happy. Hopefully one day you get a chance to visit Latvia and maybe the rest of the Baltic countries!

  32. Love your local’s guide to a weekend in Riga! Greatly appreciate all the tips for a perfect itinerary!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much! ❤️

  33. Riga looks incredible! I loved seeing all of your photos of the architecture. I think we would enjoy visiting in the summer when it is warmer! Thanks for the locals guide. What a treat.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Glad to hear your kind feedback 🙂 And you are right, summer is a great time if you prefer warm weather… don’t expect high temperatures, but some sunshine always helps!

  34. I would love to visit Bastion Hill to see all of the locks placed there as well as to try some Latvian pastries!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds like a perfect plan!

  35. Such a beautiful town! I would definitely include this on a vacation to the Baltic area.
    I love the first stop on day 2 is the Riga Central Market –complete with a handy shopping list!
    I might need to go shopping 2 days though. I am big into bringing home a lot of souvenirs, lol.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much 🙂 And you would find many souvenirs in the Central Market, so make sure you add some extra time for that haha.

  36. Riga is possibly one of my favorite cities. I visited a couple years ago and absolutely loved it, instantly vowing to return. Your post definitely highlights some of my favorite parts of Riga, and I’d love to visit in the summer. I went on December dieting the Christmas market season which was magical, but a little chilly and not as bright days

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Oh, I’m so happy to read your kind feedback about the city where I’m from! I agree that Christmas time is magical, but comes with a price… did you see the snow as well? Thank you so much, Emma!

  37. What exquisite photographs! Riga has so much amazing art and architecture.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I have a passion for photography, so I’m glad you like it! Thank you ❤️

  38. On the travel wish list! Would love to visit Lativa. Riga looks like a lovely spot to spend a weekend or more. Such a fascinating variety in the architecture. And oh such colourful buildings!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much, Linda! Glad you are interested to visit my country… and I’m sure you would enjoy your time in Latvia!

  39. What a perfect itinerary to visit Riga in a weekend! My personal favorites are the old town, market and Gertrude Church! And Latvian beer is fighting with Czech for gold medal according to my tastes 😀

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you for your kind feedback, Flavio ❤️ Always happy to hear some compliments about my city!

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