What To Do In Riga in between partying
Away from all the stag and hen activities you'll find plenty to do in Riga. It's hardly surprising that historical stuff is in abundance, the city was founded as far back as 1201. Swedes, Russians and Germans have all had a hand in shaping this fascinating city so there's a pretty varied range of museums and the like to look around.
The tourist information office is actually is housed in the oddly named historic House of the Blackheads and there's plenty to pore over here in a fascinating museum as well as taking a look at the grand ballrooms upstairs. The grim-looking Museum of the Occupation of Latvia covers the era where the country was controlled by the Nazis and then the Russians. If that's all a bit sombre then something that's certainly in the running for the weirdest must be the Sun Museum, which civers the history of sun mythology and its role in Latvian culture. If that doesn't crack you up then perhaps the Porcelain Museum will.
There is a multitude of museums to discover dotted around with everything covered from motors to medicine but don't be put off visiting the Riga Ethnographic Open Air Museum, which is actually an atmospheric array of traditional Latvian houses with exhibitions housed inside with many staff in traditional costumes too situated in a park.
In fact, speaking of parks, there are plenty in the centre to stroll around. The Esplanade features the cathedral, Kronvalda in the so called quiet central district, plus the National Opera Garden and the Bastion Hill Park. Bear in mind though that it is prohibited to sit on the greenery on the banks of the canals or to drink alcohol (including beer) in open bottles in public places (fines can be up to £120).
Mind you if you can't be bothered meandering through museums or talking a walk in the park you can take the easy way to see around Riga by hopping on an open top tourist bus or electrobus.
Souvenir shopping is best done away from the tourist shops. Head for the Central Market instead where besides the fresh produce there are also plenty of small inexpensive cafes to grab something to eat. You may think Taste Latvia in the Galerija Centrs shopping centre only sells edible items but in fact it's a fashion concept store that as well as clothes sells items for your home all from Latvian designers.
There's lot more you can get up to in Riga than the few things highlighted here so we'd recommend getting getting under the skin of the city by visiting the aforementioned House of the Blackheads!