Latvia | Riga

Whilst back in the UK for Christmas in December 2016 we had a 3 day break to Riga, Latvia. Set on the Baltic Sea, it’s a lovely place to spend a few days especially at this time of year. We flew from Manchester to Riga on Ryanair taking less than 3 hours and arrived late at night. We decided to get a taxi which I’d booked in advance and it cost 15 euros which was good value. There was a bit of snow on the ground as we arrived at our Hotel: Wellness Riga Hotel and Spa. In terms of location, this was pretty great. The Old Town was on our doorstep and just over the pavement was a convenience store where I got a few take away beers to welcome in the new country. Zelta Cider and Lacplesis Ekstra being my favoured tipples.

Breakfast here was awesome as you could have a champagne breakfast if you wished (included in the price) and of course we did that most mornings. The buffet was very good and most times we were full up and only required a small lunch. 

Riga wasn’t as cold as we expected and there had been snow before we got there which Maya (at less than 9 months old) loved. There were numerous Christmas markets scattered around the old town and unlike some in other parts of Europe, they were reasonably priced. Food also was priced ok too for a capital city, although we didn’t go to many restaurants as Maya cried in the first one which got us a few glares from the tables closest to us. Riga McDonalds was our first taste of Latvian cuisine!!

We didn’t get any city tours, just got a map from Reception and made our way around for three days seeing as much as we could. The Freedom Monument is the focal point of the city and all directions are used with this as a marker. 

We really enjoyed wandering around the old and new town and on the nights got to see some strange parades, one was like Halloween and was quite eerie. The Christmas lights always look better at night too. As in most European cities, the architecture is beautiful. Buildings such as the House of the Black Heads, St.Peter’s Church and The Corner House (former KGB Headquarters) make it a place to stop and stare. Vermane Garden is a lovely Park with lots of great photo opportunities. 

Overall we were pleasantly surprised at how lovely the city was. I liked it so much that I bought my parents flights there for the following Christmas.


Ratings: Chris – 8.5    Aida –