A few weeks back we went on a short weekend getaway to the Latvian capital Riga. Some might consider this an odd choice: why not go to Paris, London, Barcelona… You’ll be surprised at how much some lesser known places actually have to offer! Here’s a just a quick list of seven reasons why you should definitely visit Riga sooner rather than later!
1) So much history
This city has seen so much throughout the centuries. It’s been a Baltic trade hub for about 1500 years! It has seen so many cultures and goods coming through during these times. This also meant it was a rather valuable city in its area so the major powers always wanted a piece of it. It changed hands a couple of times throughout history: the Teutonic Order, Poland-Lithuania, Swedish Empire, Russian Empire, Nazi-Germany, Soviet Union, … You name it. They all left an imprint on the city which gives it a very unique vibe!
2) Perfect romantic getaway
Gorgeous colourful architecture, cobblestone streets, great food, lots of pretty parks, … What more do you need for a romantic getaway? The Old Town doesn’t feel like some sort of tourist holiday park. It was just filled with Latvians going on with their daily lives. We got to enjoy all of this first hand and can honestly say we had an amazing time!
3) Please your inner architecturelover
We’ve said it before but the colourful architecture in Riga is simply stunning! Not only will you come across beautiful landsmarks such as the House of the Blackheads or the many stunning churches. You will also get to discover old Hanseatic houses with their boxy, staircase-like façades like you see them in our own country Belgium or in the Netherlands. Riga has even more to offer as it hosts the biggest Art Nouveau neighbourhood in the whole world! And then there are obviously the more modern buildings such as the impressive National Library. There’s something here for everyone!
4) Put your Instagramfeed on fire!
When you suddenly find yourself in another photogenic street!
Riga is such a photogenic city, especially the Old Town. You’ll almost literally find a beautiful view around every corner. The little alleyways, cobblestone streets, all the colours… Plus you can get a gorgeous overview over the city at the Saint Peterschurch which is absolutely jawdroppingly beautiful. Check out our Instagramfeed to see what sort of pictures we were able to take. Make sure to use #aboutsomethingaround in your own pictures! 😀
5) Best of both worlds
Not sure if you want a cultural citybreak or a relaxing beach holiday? Go to Riga and combine them both! Riga is only a 20 minute train ride away from Jūrmala, a very picturesque beachtown with some stunning architecture as well. Put on your swimsuit and go for a dive in the Baltic Sea on a sunny day! 😀
6) Perfect for a weekend getaway or a bigger tour!
Riga is gorgeous, but you will have seen most of it in about two or three days. This means it’s perfect for a weekend getaway, but also for a bit of a bigger tour. You can easily combine it with cities such as Vilnius in Lithuania, Tallinn in Estonia, Helsinki in Finland and Saint-Petersburg in Russia.
7) UNESCO World Heritage site!
Finally after all what we wrote above, this shouldn’t come as a surprise: the entire Old Town of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is a lovely combination of Western and Eastern European history and architecture. It’s simply a must visit! 😊
And if all of those reasons weren’t enough: check out our YouTube video of Riga!
Convinced to give Riga a visit? Make sure to use the hashtag #aboutsomethingaround in your pictures! Let us know in the comments what other lesser known places we should visit!