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Riga Christmas Markets

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

Many of you have the image of Riga as a destination for a white Christmas, Old Town, Riga Christmas markets and general winter fun time. But how good is Riga for a winter wonderland destination?

Riga Christmas market
Are Riga Christmas markets good?

During the Covid pandemic some events and activities are not running as usual. It has been announced that Riga will have some Christmas markets and events going on round the city. If you want to see a full list of Riga's proposed 2021 Christmas events please find the link RIGA 2021 CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL GUIDE

From what we can gather this winter in Riga 2021 will have Christmas markets in the Riga Central Market, Vermanes gardens, Agenskalns and Kalnciema markets also. These will be following Covid guidelines and to be honest there can always be changes to what is and is not allowed.

Some of you may know Riga as the original location of the first Christmas tree and for those of you who maybe didn't know about this interesting fact then here we go! Riga is actually famous for being the first city to erect a Christmas tree way back in 1510. This is said to have been by the instigation of the Brotherhood of Blackheads. A mighty merchant group in the Baltic's that had great influence over the affairs of the region. For Riga, their actions is a big deal, as being the first city with a Christmas tree in records is a really cool winter get away marketing gimmick. But wait a minute, neighbouring Tallinn also claim to have the first Christmas Tree and they say that way back in 1441 they also erected a tree, also instigated by the Brotherhood of Blackheads! Neighbours will always compete and today Tallinn is actually much more famous for its Christmas markets than Riga but why?

Riga in winter
Who needs a Christmas market when you have real ginger bread houses around Riga?

Riga does usually put on some form of Christmas markets but they tend to seem quite cheap and tacky if compared to our neighbours to the North, Yup, Tallinn really is a better Christmas market city! Hang on! What are you saying? How on Earth can you say such a thing about Riga? Well to be frank we often get asked about Riga Christmas markets and the reality is that Riga is just not as nice as Tallinn for such things, Old Tallinn vs Old Riga... There are many reasons why Tallinn with its huge old city walls and winding streets has a more magical feel than Riga and we will be honest about that!

Riga in snow
Walk in the grave yard perhaps?

So why visit Riga in winter? Riga in winter is maybe not a gingerbread Christmas market masterpiece, no, no, no. Riga is a gorgeous city full of awesome architecture from varying periods, with picturesque parks and great city planning. It is more than just a Christmas market and especially this year with the uncertainty of Covid restrictions and possible closure of all Christmas markets in Riga, there really is better things to see and explore around town.

After a beautiful blanket of snow, Riga is magical, even without the hot wine ;) Just head out there and see what you can find! Forget the Christmas markets, Blind consumerism and bad ginger bread is so 20th century!


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