• the sunday guide to // riga



riga // mahabis journal

 photo: igor trepeshchenokI

 

We continue our Sunday Guide series of relaxing city breaks by heading to the Baltic States for a visit to the Latvian city that is known as the ‘pearl of architecture’, Riga.

 

riga //

Based on the coast of the Gulf of Riga and at the mouth of the Daugava River, Riga’s proximity to so much water and escalating summer temperatures have helped to boost tourism in recent years. Known as much for its subcultures and burgeoning arts scene as for its eclectic array of architecture, Riga has something to offer every visitor. To escape the city, head to one of the more secluded beaches that line the Gulf.

 

riga // mahabis journal

 photo: monikawl999

 

stay //

Book your stay at Tallink Hotel for a restful sleep close to many of the city’s famed buildings and cultural hot spots, including St Peter’s Church and the Latvian National Museum of Art. A cool and modern ambience is evident throughout the hotel, with textured chandeliers hanging above the lobby and vibrant splashes of colour highlighting the minimal design aesthetic. Seek out the hotel’s hot tub and sauna when you are in need of a little downtime after a day spent exploring the city.

 

riga // mahabis journal

 photo: igor trepeshchenokI

 

visit //

Whether you prefer sandy beaches or green parks, the area surrounded the city has an abundance of serene open spaces where you can sit and relax. Some of the beaches are more popular with locals and tourists than others, and it’s worth doing your research to find a secluded spot where you can enjoy your downtime in peace. The beach at Garciems is easy to reach by train, yet is seldom frequented by tourists, offering the ideal getaway. Boasting high sand dunes and a dense pine forest, this rustic beach is the perfect place for a relaxing stroll.

If you prefer to stay closer to the city, head to Mezaparks for an afternoon of relaxation. The huge green space is home to a zoo, the song festival grounds, a sprawling forest and also offers the opportunity to swim in the Daugava River.

 

explore //

Take your time to wander around the streets of Riga at your own pace, keeping your eyes peeled for medieval, Art Deco and traditional Latvian structures. Known as the ‘pearl of architecture’, discovering the array of buildings is one of the greatest pleasures of visiting Riga and is perfect for structuring a walk around. Stroll around Old Riga to admire medieval buildings including Riga Cathedral, Blackhead’s House and St Peter’s Church, before seeking out some of the more ornate Art Deco buildings. After admiring the building designed by Mikhail Eisenstein down Alberta iela, visit the Riga Art Nouveau Museum and Art Nouveau Riga shop to find out more about the movement and to purchase souvenirs.

 

riga // mahabis journal

 photo: roman drits

 

rest //

If you’re in need of a relaxing spa day, head to the five-star ESPA Riga where you can indulge in an array of treatments. The futuristic interior is designed to create a utopian ambience inside the dramatic Art Nouveau façade. Once inside, discover six floors of swimming pools, treatment rooms, saunas and relaxation areas, offering so much choice that you could easily spend a whole day unwinding here. Treatments are both modern and traditional Latvian, including an array of relaxing massages and pampering amber crystal or lava seashell treatments that aim to restore energy and remove stress.

 

unwind //

Head to Riga Art Space in the Old Town area of the city to experience under-the-radar exhibitions that you won’t find anywhere else in Europe. The gallery space hosts exhibits from both local and international artists, alongside occasionally hosting musical events. Exhibitions are constantly changing and there is always something new and exciting going on with a focus of contemporary art.

 

riga // mahabis journal

 photo: igor trepeshchenokI

 

try //

If you fancy a more physical activity that requires stamina but that you can take at a slow and relaxing pace, try Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) on the Daugava River. There are a growing number of operators offering water sightseeing adventures where you can paddle yourself along the river seeking out alternate views of some of the city’s main sights and discovering hidden spots only accessible by water. Take the trip at sunset to enjoy a more romantic view of the city.

 

drink //

Although Riga is perhaps not the first place that you think of when discussing the finest wines in Europe, there is a blossoming wine scene emerging in the city and the surrounding countryside. Latvian wines are often made in small family wineries, using local fruit and berries such as black currants, rhubarb, quince and rowans as well as locally-grown grapes. Visitors can head out to one of these family-run wineries to sample the local wines, or most traditional Latvian restaurants will offer tastings of their local wines. For a chance to sample the more unusual wines, Zilver winery offer a tour of the winery and samples of their limited editions cloudberry, lilac or dandelion wines – perfect for sipping as the sun sets on a relaxing day.

the sunday guide to // riga



riga // mahabis journal

 photo: igor trepeshchenokI

 

We continue our Sunday Guide series of relaxing city breaks by heading to the Baltic States for a visit to the Latvian city that is known as the ‘pearl of architecture’, Riga.

 

riga //

Based on the coast of the Gulf of Riga and at the mouth of the Daugava River, Riga’s proximity to so much water and escalating summer temperatures have helped to boost tourism in recent years. Known as much for its subcultures and burgeoning arts scene as for its eclectic array of architecture, Riga has something to offer every visitor. To escape the city, head to one of the more secluded beaches that line the Gulf.

 

riga // mahabis journal

 photo: monikawl999

 

stay //

Book your stay at Tallink Hotel for a restful sleep close to many of the city’s famed buildings and cultural hot spots, including St Peter’s Church and the Latvian National Museum of Art. A cool and modern ambience is evident throughout the hotel, with textured chandeliers hanging above the lobby and vibrant splashes of colour highlighting the minimal design aesthetic. Seek out the hotel’s hot tub and sauna when you are in need of a little downtime after a day spent exploring the city.

 

riga // mahabis journal

 photo: igor trepeshchenokI

 

visit //

Whether you prefer sandy beaches or green parks, the area surrounded the city has an abundance of serene open spaces where you can sit and relax. Some of the beaches are more popular with locals and tourists than others, and it’s worth doing your research to find a secluded spot where you can enjoy your downtime in peace. The beach at Garciems is easy to reach by train, yet is seldom frequented by tourists, offering the ideal getaway. Boasting high sand dunes and a dense pine forest, this rustic beach is the perfect place for a relaxing stroll.

If you prefer to stay closer to the city, head to Mezaparks for an afternoon of relaxation. The huge green space is home to a zoo, the song festival grounds, a sprawling forest and also offers the opportunity to swim in the Daugava River.

 

explore //

Take your time to wander around the streets of Riga at your own pace, keeping your eyes peeled for medieval, Art Deco and traditional Latvian structures. Known as the ‘pearl of architecture’, discovering the array of buildings is one of the greatest pleasures of visiting Riga and is perfect for structuring a walk around. Stroll around Old Riga to admire medieval buildings including Riga Cathedral, Blackhead’s House and St Peter’s Church, before seeking out some of the more ornate Art Deco buildings. After admiring the building designed by Mikhail Eisenstein down Alberta iela, visit the Riga Art Nouveau Museum and Art Nouveau Riga shop to find out more about the movement and to purchase souvenirs.

 

riga // mahabis journal

 photo: roman drits

 

rest //

If you’re in need of a relaxing spa day, head to the five-star ESPA Riga where you can indulge in an array of treatments. The futuristic interior is designed to create a utopian ambience inside the dramatic Art Nouveau façade. Once inside, discover six floors of swimming pools, treatment rooms, saunas and relaxation areas, offering so much choice that you could easily spend a whole day unwinding here. Treatments are both modern and traditional Latvian, including an array of relaxing massages and pampering amber crystal or lava seashell treatments that aim to restore energy and remove stress.

 

unwind //

Head to Riga Art Space in the Old Town area of the city to experience under-the-radar exhibitions that you won’t find anywhere else in Europe. The gallery space hosts exhibits from both local and international artists, alongside occasionally hosting musical events. Exhibitions are constantly changing and there is always something new and exciting going on with a focus of contemporary art.

 

riga // mahabis journal

 photo: igor trepeshchenokI

 

try //

If you fancy a more physical activity that requires stamina but that you can take at a slow and relaxing pace, try Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) on the Daugava River. There are a growing number of operators offering water sightseeing adventures where you can paddle yourself along the river seeking out alternate views of some of the city’s main sights and discovering hidden spots only accessible by water. Take the trip at sunset to enjoy a more romantic view of the city.

 

drink //

Although Riga is perhaps not the first place that you think of when discussing the finest wines in Europe, there is a blossoming wine scene emerging in the city and the surrounding countryside. Latvian wines are often made in small family wineries, using local fruit and berries such as black currants, rhubarb, quince and rowans as well as locally-grown grapes. Visitors can head out to one of these family-run wineries to sample the local wines, or most traditional Latvian restaurants will offer tastings of their local wines. For a chance to sample the more unusual wines, Zilver winery offer a tour of the winery and samples of their limited editions cloudberry, lilac or dandelion wines – perfect for sipping as the sun sets on a relaxing day.

  • Emma Lavelle
Sign up here to keep updated with our latest posts