I was lucky enough to travel to Riga, Latvia, in April this year as part of my current job. And, as I love to explore new places, hubby and I travelled over a couple of days early to give ourselves some time to get to know this compact and charming capital city. This was a smart move on our part. Not only is Riga small but perfectly formed (no need for endless trams or buses here), it boasts an impressive Art Nouveau district, a potent national spirit (black balsam – have it with blackcurrant…!), a striking Freedom Monument, and no less than four, yes four, Radisson Blu Hotels – visit the Skyline bar of the tallest one for superb views of the city!
Having experienced some impressive Art Nouveau architecture in Brussels, home to the fabulous Victor Horta, I wasn’t entirely convinced that what Riga had to offer would be especially exciting. I was wrong. There is a distinct Art Nouveau area where the best examples are clustered around a few streets (Elizabeth Street and Alberta Street in particular), making a half day tour entirely do-able on even a short itinerary.
I don’t think the photos I took (with my phone) do it justice – they certainly don’t capture the intricate details on some of the buildings – but I hope they give you enough of a taster to think about going to see some of them in person!
Regardless, you should definitely take a peek at Riga’s Art Nouveau store – an adorable boutique that sells fantastic ceramic tiles and plaster mouldings (replicating the designs on nearby buildings), cushions, fabrics and a miscellany of all things art nouveau for the home. A real gem and a must-see for any interiors lover visiting Riga. I can’t recommend it enough!
Have you visited Riga? I’d love to hear if you enjoyed it as much as I did!