Lido Atputas centrs is one of the largest corner-jointed buildings in Europe, hosting up to 1000 guests, presenting a unique type of wooden building. Latvian and European kitchen, 3 kinds of LIDO home-made unfiltered beer. Live Latvian folk music every evening 19.00 - 23.00 in the Beer Cellar. Children and their parents can enjoy special attractions and entertainment, open-air dancing, concerts, fairs and presentations. On Sat and Sun children can attend the "Family Days" where they can dance, sing, draw or just have fun together with their favourite fairytales heroes. To get to this family restaurant take bus No.A17 from central post or tram No.7 or 9 up to "Dzervju iela" or "Krasta masivs".
Alberta Street carries the name of the man who founded Riga. Now it is one of the most beautiful and splendid streets in the city, representing all tat Jugendstil can offer. The construction of this street took place in a rather short period of time - from 1901 till 1908. The authors of the magnificent buildings are M.Eisenstein, N.Mandelstam and K.Pekshens.
These buildings are rich in picturesque details, free composition and perfect performance. You will find astonished faces, masks, large number of different animal sculptures etc.
The 19th century Russian Orthodox cathedral on Brivibas iela was converted to an astronomical observatory during the anti-religious Soviet era. Since independence it's been restored to it's proper use, though locals still refer to it as the 'Planetarijs'.
Location: Brîvîbas 23
The Bastion hill is one of city's largest hills, which also previously was called as cockleshell hill, but personally I know anyone, who would say so. The hill was made artificially in the 19th century, taking down city's banks. In the green park, there are many pathways, where one can enjoy nice views, city canal and also small waterfall.
From it's beginning there aren't survived pavilion, which was located on the top of Bastion hill. But there is restored swans' house, which one can see on the bank of city canal.
In the park there are five stone memorial sites for victims, who suffered from guns in 1991.
Bastion hill is situated near Monument of Freedom and also closely to Old city.
In the middle of 19th century the park was formed by German rifleman union, and it was closed for other people, only later opened. Nowadays together with the sculptures of park you can see interesting glass pyramids, which are exit from underground parking, and also see colorful fountain.
Kronvalda park is located near Bastion hill.
Old Latvian countryside buildings grouped like small villages. Perfect place to visit if the weather is nice and you want to get out of town a bit. Open daily from 10 to 17 all year round.
It's located about 13 km outside of Riga. Take bus nr 1 from Brivibas street to Brivdabas Muzejs (there's a big signpost). The trip takes about 30 mins and the fare is 0,20 lats.
Vermane's garden or simply just Vermanitis was opened in 1817, and was named by Vermane - merchant widow's name. In that time she invested a lot in new park's development. There you can see many sculptures and also pedestal in honor of madam Vermane, which is guarded by two lions. In the park many things haven't survived from past times. During summer you can refresh and relax here from city. You can also take with you some meal and take a rest here looking to the nice fountain.
When I was second time in Riga (April 2006), I decided to make day - half days trips into Sigulda and Jurmala. Sigulda is about 50 km from Riga and it takes a bit more than 1 hour to get there by train from Riga Train station. It is nice small town surrounded by Gaujas National Park and few medieval castles.
Jurmala is Latvian seaside, about 30 km from Riga, can be reached by train too. Very nice atmosphere walking the streets full of wooden houses, bars, restaurants, relaxing walk along Baltic sea.
One good way to see Riga from a different perspective is by river... there are many boat trips going nearly hourly on the river Daugava - with some longer ones going as far as the baltic sea.
Basic river trips are very cheap (a few lahti) and go as far as the TV tower island and back.... not exactly a spectacular trip but interesting to glimpse on parts of town that as a tourist one would never visit.
For schedules and exact prices it's better to enquire at the tourist office - and bear in mind that very few trips run on Monday... for a wider choice, save your river trip for another day of the week.
This impressive radio and TV tower is the third tallest tower in Europe and eleventh in the world (today :). It is located on an island called Zakusala in the middle of the River Daugava.
Even if the observation platform is far from the top (97 meters from the 368.5 meters total) you can have the highest view of Riga (Hotel Latvija is 95 meters total but view is at 27th floor, and Hansabanka building is 121 meters total but view is also at 27th floor, approx. 94 meters). Nice view anyway.
You can arrive taking tram number 7 and getting off at Elijas iela stop (as far as I remember). After you should find the way to cross the bridge by the pedestrian way under it. Access to the tower observatory cost 2 Lats.
Sigulda is not off the beeten path but it is outside Riga. I visited Sigulda on a daytrip from Riga. It was in December and the weather was the worst, it was grey, there was some rain and on the ground there was wet snow mud. Sights are quite spread out around Sigulda so I went by bus and on foot (and got very wet feet).
The small town Sigulda is situated 53 km northeast of Riga, by the Gauja River Valley. The landscape is beautiful with rolling hills. There are many activities to do for the visitors. In the area there are many caves and medieval castles and ruins. Between the sights there are often good walking trails.
Sigulda is the Latvian centre for sports and outdoor activities. Besides walking you can in summer do horse riding, cycling, ballooning, bungee jumping and much more. If it is enough snow in winter you can go skiing and there is also bobsleigh run open on Saturdays and Sundays.
In a way I was delighted to see this relict of Soviet architecture in Riga - the typical Soviet skyscraper type building, which houses the Academy of Science. I put it here in the "Off The Beaten Path" section, because we actually never got there - it is on the other side of where we spent our time!
From what I read there is an elevator which you can take up to the 17th floor (they do charge 1,50 Lats) - this should give you an excellent view of the old city of Riga! As I said, we never went there, but it sure is an option!
The Academy of Science is situated at Akademijas laukums 1, 1050 Ríga
Sigulda, a town in the Vidzeme Region, is about an hour bus ride from Riga and is described as Switzerland of Vidzeme.
When we arrived we walked around the back of the bus station to the Sigulda Hotel (where we spotted the Canadian Luge team!). We got a decent map from the hotel and headed to the cable car station.
The cable car journey is about 3Ls one way and leave every 15 minutes.
We turned right from the cable car station to the castle ruins then followed the path down to the caves.
There are a lot of stairs down to the caves (which are more lake large gaps in the cliff face)
We walked through the woods which were lovely when we visited (October). Leaving the woods we headed to Turida Museum Reserve, the only specially protected cultural monument in Latvia. It houses a restored medieval castle, one of the oldest rural churches in Vidzeme. There is a lot to see here and it is well worth a visit.
Take a stroll around the Central Market, which is one of the largest in Europe. The indoor part of the market takes place in 5 enormous zeppelin hangars which were built in the 1930s.
Vegetables, fruits, meat, dairy products, flowers and much more is provided freshly at the countless market stalls. The Central Market is situated close to the railway station and the main bus station.
During the daytime you can go and see the outdoor museum of Soviet Aircraft at the airport. There are dozens of jets and helicopters. The ‘Curator’ comes to the gate when you sound the bell and will negotiate a price for entry. I think I told him I only had 5 Lats. He restores the aircraft and I watch him working on a jet. You can actually see the development of soviet planes to jets and also helicopters. You also can see some of the Cold War adventures of the USSR. Signs are in Russian and English. It’s not cheap to get in, but almost no museum in the world has this collection of aircraft. Besides, the owner restores the aircraft.
In the largest Hind helicopter he has different uniforms and aircrew gear on display. It is really impressive if you are an aviation or cold war enthusiast. It is amazing how many troops they can get into one and how big it really is.
Please note: The white haired man in the photo is the curator.
Open 10:00 - 17:00, Sat, Sun by appointment only. Admission: 2Ls for locals, 5Ls for tourists. I rang the bell and he let me in anyway!
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