Riga is the capital of Latvia. The official language here is Latvian. It is Indo-European, non-Slavic and non-Germanic language and is very similar to Lithuanian. In the beginning of the history both tribes – Latvian and Lithuanian – were one and separated in about 6th century BC. But also there are a lot of people who speak Russian. Nevertheless the ethic composition of the land shows that the most who live generally in Latvia are Latvians, Russians, Byelorussians and Ukrainians.

The capital of Latvia was established in 1201. In the year 2001 it celebrated the grand anniversary of 800 years. The city lies on the banks of the River Daugava at the Gulf Stream of Riga. Daugava is the longest river of Latvia. It is 1 020km long and 367km are within Latvia.

Riga is well known among the most fascinating towns in the Baltics. As an ancient Hanseatic town, it has always been a trade centre. The Old Town of Riga is probably one of the most attractive places to see in Latvia. It has unique architecture and a number of small, cosy restaurants and coffee bars. Many old houses have been preserved, and in some places one has the feeling of having travelled in time and returned to the previous centuries.

Riga is renowned for fantastic buildings in the style of Art Nouveau built at the beginning of the 20th century. It is justifiably claimed to be the capital of Art Nouveau in Europe. Riga is a magnificent surprise to a stranger. It is said that in the 1930s it was known as “The Little Paris of the North”.

Information Centres of Riga are located in the very centre of Riga. It is the beautiful building of the House of the Blackheads.

We have no doubt that you may be interested in music events of Riga. There are special programmes almost every evening. Well known is the Latvian National Opera which in 1999 celebrated its 80th anniversary. You can choose the music according to your taste: from world-wide known and the newest blockbusters and classical operas to vanguard and underground performances in the great capital of Latvia.

Riga has a lot of big and small places where you could get more knowledge and aesthetic pleasure. There is the State Museum of Art (Valsts Makslas muzejs) and Latvian Museum of Photography (Latvijas Fotografijas muzejs). Also you can enjoy going to the art galleries: Noass (Noah) which is considered to be a floating gallery with a marvellous panorama of Riga and it usually exhibits conceptual art. There are Bstejs and Ivonna Veiherte art galleries as well.

You have a lot of opportunities in Riga to spend a splendid nightlife! Today Riga is considered to have one of the boisterous night life in the Baltic. However the best way to spend a good time here is to go to the centre of the City. You can visit Klubs 3, Casablanca, Dizzi House Music Club, Nobody writes to the Colonel – these are the most popular night clubs in Riga.

Riga is really very beautiful city to go for a walk at night. There are a lot of romantic places to visit in the Old Town. The city is well lightened, you can simply have a promenade through the streets of it and suddenly you may be surprised of the jazz music which comes from somewhere. It may be a single poor musician or the music from a bar. Nevertheless you can enjoy that and may experience unique moments in one of the most beautiful capitals of Europe.

More CITIES: VilniusKaunasKlaipedaSiauliaiPanevezys, PalangaDruskininkai, Trakai, Nida, Tallinn.


Related Links
Tours: Baltic Cities, Round the Baltics I, Round the Baltics II, Baltic in Soviet Times.

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