In 1991 Latvia became independent. From that moment on, the development of its capital Riga gained momentum. Nowadays, old and new go hand in hand. The centre is compact and easily accessible, which makes it easy to see a lot in little time. This makes Riga an ideal destination for a city trip.
The city centre is car-free and Riga can therefore be excellently explored on foot. Through the multicoloured facades, history passes by. Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) is explicitly present, as well as modern architecture and remnants of the Eastern Bloc period. Wooden houses – typical for Latvia – are frequently found as well.
Important attractions are the Freedom Monument, St. John’s Church, the City Hall and the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia. Various houses are suitable for a photo opportunity, such as the Flemish House, the Mentzendorff’s House and the Three Brothers, the oldest stone houses in the city.
For more liveliness, the Central Market is a good destination. It consists of five large market halls that were once used to store zeppelins. This lively market has been organised since 1930, is open every day and is one of the largest in Europe.
As its popularity increases, prices rise as well. Thanks to the many hostels and cheap flights, it is still possible to experience much with modest means. But whatever your budget may be: Riga will not disappoint you.
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