Riga is a city rich with things to see and do. Not all of these activities and sights cost any money at all.Below you can find our Top 10 Free Things To do in Riga during your stay!
1. Riga Free Tour
How could we not list one of our own Riga Free Tours! You have the chance to join one of the longest running daily Riga Free Tours daily at 10am and at 12 noon! Perfect to take in some sights, learn some history about Riga and get to know what is hot and what is not in the city today! Meet us at St Peter's Church.
2. Riga Central Market
Opened in 1930 and heralded as one of the largest covered markets at its time, Riga Central Market has since become a core feature of the city. 5 pavilions constructed from old recycled Zeppelin hangars are home to an all year round food market. Whereas outside mixed produce can be seen on display. A must visit location for anyone coming to the city! Look out for Kvass, Hemp butter, Smoked fish and the finest Pickles the planet has to offer!
A wonderful forested park land with play areas, cafes, activities and a huge lake to swim in and sunbathe next too is located at the end of the tram line number 11. It is also connected to the heart of Riga by a bicycle lane and is a wonderful place to cycle, skate and jog inside the main tree lined avenues that cut through the forest. This also home to a Zoo and the large stage used for concerts and the Latvia song and dance festivals!
Located by the Central markets along the Moscow Road, the spīķeri district is home to Old Warehouses that are being used in cafes and restaurants. The Large open area gets used for open air concerts, flea markets, events and has even been used in winter to house an open air ice skating rink! Also in this area you can find the Jewish Ghetto Museum. A short walk away you can visit the Science Academy and the legendary “Latgalite” flea market.
5. Latvian War Museum
A great Free museum to visit during your stay and also one of the few museums open on a Monday! Located in the Powder Tower in Old Town you can discover the history of Latvian warfare, including the War of independence and First world war period. Perfect for a rainy day in the city! The Powder Tower itself is worth a visit, dating back to the 13th century defensive features of medieval Riga.
An old harbour district located just outside of Old Town has been going through a transitional period for some years now. You can find here some fancy restaurants along the waterfront or venture a bit further to the end of the pier, where younger crowds gather in their 100s to enjoy the sunset from the water. Occasional events and parties take place here also so ask around with the locals to find out about a midnight rave or some random art exhibition that has popped up!
7. Riga Art Nouveau
Arguably Riga has the largest collection of Art Nouveau architecture in the universe (take that with a pinch of salt). Here in the area know. As the quiet center you can find examples of the Art Nouveau style expressed architecturally on streets such as Alberta, Elizabetes, Antonijas and their surroundings. Look out for works by Eizenstein, Laube and Pekšens. An Art Nouveau museum is also located here at a small price and worth spending some money on should you wish to experience an interior of an Art Nouveau apartment.
8. Riga' s Parks & Cemeteries
Surrounding Riga Old Town is a belt of parks and gardens, many focused along a city canal that was constructed from the original fortresses water defences. Along with the city wall the fortress of Old Riga were removed in the second half of the 19th Century making way for the new beautiful parks that we still see to this day. Wonderful to wander at night and try to spot one of Riga’s infamous beavers that lurk in the muddy waters of the canal! For the braver amongst us, head out to the Great Cemetery for a more gothic stroll!
9. Latvian Occupation Museum
For anyone visiting Riga for their first time the Occupation museum will allow you to gain some insight into the period if occupation from 1940 - 1991. There is plenty of information to take to be one's self, but also guided tours are available for anyone looking to hear some more in depth history. Although free to enter we recommend leaving a donation to keep the project alive.
10. Kalnciema Quarter
The Klanciema Quarter has some lovely examples of wooden architecture reconstructed to their former glory. Here regular markets are helping to cater for gastronomic and hand made crafts. Also regular concerts are put on free of charge for the local and tourist populations. Located in the Left bank area of Riga, this is an up and coming area with plenty of winding streets for you to explore and get lost in!