A DAY IN RIGA
After parking our car on the Ferry Terminal parking, we walked towards the (you know it by now) touristic info centre in order to get a map and to know what to see. The sun was shinning, and despite the temperature being around 8 degrees, it was a very enjoyable day.
The “Art Nouveau” neighbourhood
We started our exploration by the Art Nouveau neighbourhood of the Capital.
Indeed, Riga had a proud fame for its Art Nouveau district and over a third of its buildings follow that style (due to an economic boom perfectly coherent with the apparition of this school of design).
Therefore, we walked around the Alberta iela, looking up to those gorgeous and almost theatrical buildings full of colours and precise details. You can read more about it here in a brilliant and useful article as well as book a tour with them to learn more about it!
After that, we stopped for a quick lunch at Uzbegims to get back some strength and warmth in our bodies in order to keep going towards the Nativity Cathedral and its beautiful golden details and very well known for its painted icons.
Close by was the Liberty Square and its Freedom Monument honouring the soldiers killed during the Latvian war of independence. With its highest point at 42 meters, the monument is holding a coper Liberty figure holding three stars and is a strong representation of Freedom, Independence and Sovereignty.
Riga’s Old Town
We then wandered in the Old Town of Riga and its paved and colourful street searching for the must seen monuments from the map. We found The 3 Brothers, this building complex of three different constructions belonging to three different time periods (the oldest from the 15th century). There was a little exhibition in the most recent building with photographs from the old days of the capital that was quite interesting.
During this day we also found the Cat House, the Market Square and got disappointed by the creative area. Indeed, we were hoping for it to be similar to the one in Tallinn but stumbled into a kind of “no man’s land” area.
On top of that the Central Market and Europe’s Largest with a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its famous structure reusing Zeppelin Hangars was closing. Sadly.
We still managed to see it, but not in action. And that is now a good story leading me to a “next time” in Riga!
Tired of this long day of walking, we entered the Radisson Blu Hotel and its Skyline bar to enjoy a endless view of the city and a nice drink while finding the perfect place to have diner: The Folkklub Ala Pagrabs! This restaurant and its service included one of the best dining experience of our whole trip through Europe. We tried a lot of different meals and drinks and had an amazing and unforgettable evening. The location is perfect, as located in the Old Town, but also hidden underground in an old wine cellar. It serves traditional and modern Latvian cuisine as well as the largest range of beers produced in the country (27!).