Riga Old Town
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Riga Old Town History & Heritage

Riga: Culture and Food Tasting Tour

1. Riga: Culture and Food Tasting Tour

Explore three of Riga’s most essential districts on a half-day combined food tasting and cultural walking tour. Hear stories from the history of the city, and see the world’s largest collection of art nouveau architecture. Begin your tour in charming Old Riga, where the beautiful, centuries-old buildings speak extensively about Latvian culture - one of the oldest living cultures in the world. Highlights of Old Riga (also known as “Vecrīga”) include a reconstruction of the medieval city wall, Riga Cathedral, and the House of the Blackheads. Next, go to the remarkable Art-Nouveau district, where a local guide will explain more about the meaning of symbols hidden behind the beautiful façades. See masterpieces of art nouveau architecture at banks, offices and apartment blocks on almost every street corner. End with a food tasting tour of some typical local food in Riga Central Market. Sample mouth-watering, ecologically-grown local produce in the beautiful art deco and neoclassical market, Europe’s largest market and bazaar.

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Riga: Old Town and Central Market Walking Tour

2. Riga: Old Town and Central Market Walking Tour

Get an insider’s view of Riga's old town on a small-group walking tour through the city's scenic cobblestone streets. Marvel at Riga's famous sights, including St. Peter's Church, where you can climb its tower for amazing views of the city. Make your way inside the Dome Cathedral and learn about the Riga roosters, the Powder Tower, the Swedish Gate, the Three Brothers, and more. Enjoy hearing about the city's past as a mighty seaport during the Middle Ages, and take in views of beautiful medieval landmarks, such as the Old Guild House and the House of the Blackheads. Continue on to Riga Central Market, one of the largest markets in Europe, and immerse yourself in local life. Learn about Latvian cuisine and the variety of local specialties, such as smoked meats, cheeses, herring, and hemp butter. Be sure to sample the favorite foods of the locals.

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Riga: 2-Hour Walking Tour in the Old Town

3. Riga: 2-Hour Walking Tour in the Old Town

On this 2-hour walking tour you will explore the Old Town of Riga, the historical and geographical center of Riga on the right bank of the Daugava River. The Old Town covers a relatively small inner area of the old fortifications where unique monuments of medieval architecture are concentrated. The professional guide will show you around the Old Town and tell you all about the history and culture of the city, as well as answer your questions. The walking tour starts at the Town Hall Square, which was the central square of the city from the 13th century to the 19th century. The most famous building in the square is the magnificent Gothic-style House of the Blackheads. During the tour you will also see famous spots of Riga, such St. Peter's Church, the Swedish Gate, and the Powder Tower. Experience the aura of an ancient city as you walk down the narrow streets, where unique complexes of residential houses and sacral buildings are found. Here you can explore the 13th century Riga Cathedral, the Gothic-style St. Peter's Church, the beautiful Synagogue of Old Riga, the Convent Yard of the Holy Spirit, the Three Brothers residential housing complex, Riga Castle, St. George's Church, and St. Jacob's Cathedral. You can also discover Riga's hanseatic past at the Large Guild and the Small Guild, as well as at the reconstructed House of the Blackheads. Recall the medieval times, when Riga was a mighty harbor and a member of the Hanseatic League, which joined traders of the Baltic region with north Germany.

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Riga Beer and Tasting Tour

4. Riga Beer and Tasting Tour

Latvia boasts an amazingly wide selection of exciting beers and a thriving beer culture. It's like Mojito in Cuba or tequila in Mexico, a must try when you are in the country. Did you know that Latvia’s long and rich beer culture most probably started by accident? You will visit 2 trending traditional beer bars with a large selection of beer. In the first bar, you will try 3 kinds of beer accompanied by traditional Latvian snacks. One of them, rye fried bread is extremely popular in Latvia and works perfectly with the beer. On this 1-hour open-air tour, you will learn how beer influences the city and the culture. What is a ‘green spoon’? Why were the Latvians adding rocks to the beer mixtures in wooden casks? You will finish the tour in the bar and will try 3 more kinds of beer. Everyone will find their favorite one.

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Riga: 3-Hour Old town and Farmers Market Detective Tour

5. Riga: 3-Hour Old town and Farmers Market Detective Tour

Start the tour near the Liberty monument with a talk about the history of Latvia and Latvians. After a short walk through parks, past the Opera House and Bastion Hill see the Fat Powder Tower and defensive wall. Then enter the Old town through the Swedish gates. Here discover the Parliament building and Three Brothers, St. Jacob church, Riga castle, Dom cathedral, elegant art Nouveaux buildings, Palace of Peter the great, Black Head House and St. Peters. Observe the strange creatures on the façade of the Reitern House before entering Riga’s synagogue to learn the history of the Jewish community. Visit the wine cellars of Riga town hall. Then it’s on to the place where, according to legend, Riga black balsam was invented in middle of the 18th century. A visit to the Amber room of Riga is also included in the tour. The tour is "in Sherlock Holmes style" meaning visitors will not only hear the story of guide, but also be in a quest to resolve different puzzles. These include: who bricked people inside of walls of the Old Town? What is the meaning of the ghost statue behind Powder tower? Why did Russian tsar Peter I took as wife the daughter of Latvian peasant, servant and prisoner of war? Finally meet Riganers at Riga central. Taste Riga black balsam, an alcoholic drink with more than 260 years of history, esteemed by royalty.

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Latvia: Genealogical Ancestry Tour

6. Latvia: Genealogical Ancestry Tour

Start your tour in the early morning and drive to your ancestral town with a guide and professional genealogist. Visit a local museum to discover the history of this area in pictures and documents. Interviewing local inhabitants about your ancestral family and search in local history sources such as directories, old guide books or lists of inhabitants.  Discover how the history of your family is connected with history of the world, with wars, revolutions, changes in industry and agriculture, and religious or cultural movements. See the house your ancestors lived in, their school, gymnasium, university or yeshiva. Walk in the forest they cut down or field they cultivated and visit the shop or to factory they worked in. In the company of your guide, who can read Hebrew, Latvian, Russian or German inscriptions, research the local cemetery for to find the grave of your ancestor. Don't forget to ask your professional genealogist with 25 years of experience about how you can further research your ancestry in historical archives and libraries.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Riga Old Town

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What people are saying about Riga Old Town

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 191 reviews

We really enjoyed this tour and it really matched our best expectations and needs. Līga took us on a varied and very interesting walk of Riga. Her English is excellent and she comes across very well. She managed to find a balanced level of narrative that suited us perfectly, with a good dash of humour and pride in her city, and was also very mindful of us as a group. Would definitely recommend this tour to those who wants to see the best of Riga and to feel the character of the city and are able and willing to walk for signficant distances, but are somewhat limited in time.

Thank you Edite for giving me a fresh and intense overview of beautiful Riga during a 4-hour-walk with lots of interesting information and good talks including a nice break in the post-Soviet Cafe. It is good to go on a private tour as this is much more personal.

Liga was a great guide with very good understandable German and good knowledge of Riga

We had a nice and expert guide, named Editta, and she is very kind and helpful.

Very nice guide, knows a lot and super interesting