Riga, the capital city of Latvia, is famous for its amazing medieval old town, cultural highlights and the beautiful River Daugava. The old town, a UNESCO world heritage site, is pedestrianised and full of lively shops, restaurants and outstanding architecture.
2 Days in Riga Itinerary Map
Here is a map with the main attractions you will see on day one of your 2 days in Riga.
On your first day in Riga I would recommend doing a full walking tour of Riga old town and a few additional attractions.
If you are interested in having a guide for your tour to learn more about the local history of Riga then you could consider Getyourguide
Riga Free Walking Tour
Below I’ve outlined a Riga walking tour itinerary for you. I think this is the best way to kick-start your 2 days in Riga.
The Freedom Monument
The Freedom Monument is a memorial to commemorate the lives lost during the Latvian War of Independence. It is located next to Bastejkalna park near the entrance to the old town. A fantastic place to start!
The House of the Blackheads is the next stop on your walking tour. It was originally constructed for a guild called the Brotherhood of the Blackheads in the 14th century. Unfortunately, it was bombed during the second world war but it was subsequently reconstructed at the end of the 20th century.
It’s a great sight to behold!
This is in the center of the old town so it’s a great spot to stop for a mid-morning coffee or snack in one of Riga’s many cafe’s
A 5-minute walk away is Riga cathedral, your next attraction.
Dating back to 1211, It’s The Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral and the seat of the Archbishop of Riga! It’s also located at Dome Square, the largest square in the old town. You will have plenty of space to step back and take photo’s
The Swedish gate is basically a part of the old town which used to be an important entrance into the city for trade purposes. There are cafe’s nearby so its nice for an early morning stop off before you get on with your second day!
If you have en extra day then why not get outside of the city and see more of what Latvia has to offer! Here I have outlined 3 options of places you can go. You can either do it with a guide or by yourself.
Here are three options for a potential day out on your third day in Riga.
Air BnB can be an excellent option for finding accommodation options in Riga
Options range from studio apartments in the centre of the city budget alternatives further out.
Riga Travel Tips
Here are my travel tips for your 2 days in Riga.
My thoughts on Riga
I had a great time in Riga. I would say what stood out the most was the friendly people in the old town. I visited many of the bars, cafes and restaurants and it was fun chatting to some of the locals.
We went to a stand up comedy night which turned out to be in Russian, an interesting experience!
The old town itself is fun to walk around and there is lots of great architecture to look at. It did not take long to drive to Riga from Tallinn so if you have time I would definitely try to fit a trip there too.
As with any destination the amount you spend will really depend on what kind of activities you want to do and whether or not you are eating out a lot.
Price wise it was about average for a typical European city.
Hotel room for 2: $40+ Hostel: Dorm – $14+; Private – $45+ Air BnB: $45+
Metro / Bus: $1.25 Day travel card: $7 Bike rental: $5+ Taxi from airport to center: $25
Dinner: $15+ Lunch: $12+ Take-out meal: $8+
Beer in local bar/pub: $5 Beer in high-end bar: $9 Cocktail: $9
How to get to Riga
Fortunately, Riga is easily accessible by all forms of transport!
There are many flights direct into Riga International airport from all over Europe. In addition, you can take the ferry from Helsinki and drive through Estonia or take buses from other major European cities. There are also great transport links from Russia, Belarus, Turkey and Israel.
There are also trains and good quality roads into Riga, should you wish to take one of those options. During my baltic states road trip I had no issues covering large amounts of miles on the roads. The traffic was fine.
Like Tallinn, Riga is easy to navigate on foot. Most of the city center accommodation is reasonably priced which means staying close to the old town and walking everywhere is a good option.
Alternatively, there is a fantastic network of trams, buses and trolleybuses. You can also get taxi’s easily which are metered, which avoids you being charged an unreasonable price.
Best time to visit Riga
Riga has 850,000 residents and is a great place to visit during the summer. The midsummer festivals which take place on 23/24 of June are an important part of the local culture but of course it can be very busy during this time. You can read more about this incredibly Latvian holiday here
Christmas is also a great time to visit as you can enjoy a mug of warm mulled wine at the Riga winter markets.
The busiest time in Riga is between May and October.
A great way to save money on transport in Riga is to purchase a Riga Card. This gives you unlimited usage of Riga public transport and a variety of attractions in the city. It also provides discounts on museums, restaurants and other services.