Guide to Sight Seeing in Riga on your Stag Or Hen Weekend
After a riotous stag or hen night in Riga don't opt for a duvet day to recover, head out instead and have great day exploring this fascinating medieval city. From the architecture to reminders of the Soviet occupation as well as unique museums and parks there's a plenty to make that sore head seem insignificant!
- Places of Interest
- Soviet Era
There are an amazing number of museums to visit in Riga, covering some strange subjects. From pharmacy and porcelain to firefighting and erotica there are also the usual natural history and military options. Metzendorff's House is a must if you're interested what the medieval rich got up to, or if art's your thing then don't miss the Riga Bourse Art Museum which has masterpieces and mummies on view.
Vermanes Park is a pleasant place and popular with the locals who like to play chess or read a book there. A river runs through the centre of Arcadia Park where you feed the ducks or take in the view from the top. Forest Park is positioned in the most prosperous part of the city before the war and is also close to the city's zoo, if you want to keep monkeying around all day.
Places of Interest
Easiest to find (it's 368m tall) is the needle-like radio and tv tower. You can take a lift to the observation deck for a a small charge but you'll only be 97m up - still a great view though! Only a small part of the Old City walls remain and as that was restored during the Soviet era it looks a bit too too new, however the Swedish Gate, built in 1698 to commemorate the occupation of the city by the Swedes, is the only such structure left. the apartment above was the residence of the city executioner or bende, who would place a red rose beside his window on days when someone was due to lose their head. Riga National Zoo has wildlife from all around the world, but of flora not fauna fascinates you head for the University of Latvia's Botanic Garden where as well as a stunning array of plants there's a butterfly house too.
Imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery. Perhaps that's why the Academy of Sciences bears more than a passing resemblance to the Empire State Building, though this Soviet erection is locally known as Stalin's Birthday Cake or The Kremlin. Alternatively the red granite monument in the centre of the Old Town was built to commemorate the Latvian Red Riflemen. As some of them became Lenin's personal bodyguards many would like it removed but it now actually honours all Latvian Riflemen. For a real flight of fancy take a look at the Spilve Airport Museum, the drab exterior of the outside hides an incredible over-the-top interior but if wings and things are what you seek then beside Riga Airport you'll find a great musuem that has everything on view from Migs to the mighty Mi-6 helicopter.
Bridges over Daugava
Latvian Academy of Sciences