I know most people would call us crazy for going to Latvia in the height of winter, but I’m here to tell you that Riga is just as beautiful in winter in -10 degrees, as it is in summer.
We went to Riga for the weekend, flying in from London on Friday night to a chilly -12 degrees. I have to admit I wasn’t prepared with the minus temperatures, even thermals wasn’t enough. I can’t even begin to imagine what Russia must feel like then! (Latvia shares a border with Russia). After exploring the area near our hotel, we quickly grabbed dinner and went to bed in preparation for a full day ahead.
Although it wasn’t heavily snowing, there was still quite a lot of snow setting around the parks, making it a beautiful winter wonderland setting.
Riga’s Old Town is UNESCO listed and you can see why, while walking around seeing its Art Nouveau architectures.
St Peter’s church, for €9 entry you can climb up the tower to see a 360 view of the city (as pictured above).
Riga was the first city to have the first decorated Christmas tree.
The House of Blackheads.
Latvia has a special alcohol called Balzams, you can find it in most bars and restaurants. It has a very strong taste, I tried mine mixed in with mulled wine.
We went to EasyBeer, which is a clever concept bar where you pour your own beer and they charge you per 100ml. There’s also EasyWine too.
We killed some time in the Powder Tower, a war museum with some cool war artifacts.
The freedom statue.
In the evening we went for a drink at the Skyline Bar in the Radisson Blue hotel, over looking the city at night.
At night the park, we were at earlier in the day, lit up with fairy lights making it look magical.
Also recommending you check out an underground bar, Shot bar. They have an extensive shots menu as well as great cocktails, and everyday there is happy hour 2 for 1 cocktails!
For dinner we went to one of the most popular restaurants in Riga, Folkklubs. They have live music and local dishes, all at affordable prices. I should also note that Latvia is very cheap in comparison to other European countries.
The next day we ventured out to the local market to see how the locals live and shop. The market was bigger than I had expected. It’s a great place to do your grocery shopping!
The rest of the afternoon was spent walking around in the cold, checking out the beautiful architecture in the Art Nouveau district. Worth it.
Our last dinner was at a quaint little Italian restaurant, Felicita, in the Old Town.
Riga is a great weekend getaway, I would also recommend doing a day spa while you’re there. I hope to come back to Latvia in the summer!