A Summer’s Week in Riga
Review article by *Lelde McCoy Managing Director The Reputation Group, Melbourne , Australia.
For anyone interested in the “finer things in life” a few summer days in the Baltic republic of Latvia certainly fits the bill in more ways than one.It’s a high-quality destination full of cultural, scenic and gastronomic surprises, all at an affordable price that is lower than other large cities in Europe.A small country it’s easy to get around and there is much to appeal to the traveler. There are dozens of ancient castles, kilometers of untouched beaches, beautiful manor houses that have been converted into hotels and spas as well as pristine forests and lakes. Outside of Riga, the key towns to visit are Cesis, Liepaja, Kuldiga, Rundale Palace and Bauska and Sigulda and Turaide.
“My visit in June coincided with the Riga Opera Festival, four days of world-class performances in Riga’s classic Opera House – indeed there are a myriad of festivals during the year with appeal to many different interests. For the first time visitor, everywhere is walkable. Start in the Old Town. Key sights there include the Three Brothers houses, the Swedish Gate, St Peter’s Church and the Riga Cathedral. In summer it is a buzz with locals and tourists having a good time at the many outdoor terraced bars situated in the maze of cobblestoned streets and lanes.”
Next visit the Central Market. In summer, its stands are full of the sweetest most pungent strawberries you will ever sample. It is the largest covered market in Europe with each hall devoted to either fish, meat, produce or dairy. There is also a new ‘gastro’ food court where the market’s goods can be sampled.
For museum lovers there’s a wide choice. One not to be missed is the Occupation Museum which gives a historical account and displays the atrocities committed against Latvians during the Nazi and Soviet occupations. There are guided tours at specific times which take you into the very glum prison cells and other areas not usually open to the public. A very moving experience.
“After a three year renovation the Latvian National Museum of Art has now been open for some time and has a wonderful selection of classic paintings, drawings and watercolours by the Latvian masters. It also has modern exhibitions. A walk down Alberta iela will make you think you are in Paris – it has the biggest gallery of Art Nouveau architecture with most of the houses now renovated. Don’t miss the Riga Art Nouveau Museum at the end of the street.”
For a walking or cycling tour of of the city http://www.eatriga.lv/ are fantastic – their Alternative Riga tour is a must, full of unexpected surprises and Instagram worthy sights.
Once you’ve got tired feet from all the walking, Riga by Canal is a great way to relax for a one-hour tour in a wooden launch that slowly takes you along the Riga Canal and the Daugava River. Or catch a train to the beach, it’s just 40 minutes to Majori where you can relax at one of the many beachside restaurants.
At the weekend less than an hour outside Riga is the Ridelu Windmill. It’s a beautiful property with a lake where canoes and paddleboard can be hired. It has an excellent casual lakeside restaurant and in the old windmill there are ceramic exhibitions.
The website is https://www.rideludzirnavas.lv/lv/atpūta_pie_ezera
Here is a list of places that I compiled that are worthy of your attention:
Photos depicting Art Nouvea(Jugendstil) Hotel Neiburgs exterior facade and interior
Hotel Neiburgs – the best place to stay in one of Old Riga’s art noveau buildings. The Art-Nouveau-style, 4-star Neiburgs Hotel is located in the heart of Riga’s Old Town, overlooking the Dome Square. It offers luxurious, air-conditioned apartments with a kitchenette.It’s a stylish Hotel full of modern art and with knowledgeable and friendly staff. Food is excellent too and it also has a fabulously good Wine List compiled by a local sommelier.
Not noisy unlike others in the Old Town.See www.neiburgs.com
E-mail address: email@example.com
Telephone for orders.reservations: +371 20370537
Monday – Sunday 12.00 – 23.00
Located in and overlooking the Vermane Garden park, this placehas stunning design features both from inside and out. Spacious seating areas and tastefully (modern) decorated
This is reputed to be one of the best modern Latvian kitchen restaurants in Riga, The restaurant has an extensive menu comprising such categories as Tapas, appetizers, vegetarian / vegan, meat, fish and pasta options. Has a good wine cellar and sommelier on hand.The tables are very generously spaced. The Chef with his kitchen team here are skilled,and the highlight is to focus on local Latvian ingredients in summer,…. Great food, beautifully presented, very tasty, nice combinations of flavors. Excellent value Set Price lunch Menu during the week.
e-mail for reservations:firstname.lastname@example.org
phone for reservations: +371 20225000
Rocket Bean Roastery (coffee roastery and restaurant) http://www.rocketbean.lv/en/coffee-house/
Miit (coffee roastery and vegetarian food cafe) https://www.facebook.com/miit.tiim
Austra (lovely weekend brunch) https://www.facebook.com/cafe.austra
Pagalms (restaurant and bar) https://www.facebook.com/Pagalms-1577727642449579
Minka (cat cafe near the farmers’ market) https://www.facebook.com/MINKA-cat-cafe-691842054197516/
The Beginnings (health food) http://thebeginningsrestorani.lv/?lang=en
Labietis (craft brewery) https://www.facebook.com/AlusDarbnicaLabietis/
Ala (pub and folk club) http://www.folkklubs.lv/
Easy Wine (Old Town) http://www.easywine.lv
Saturday farmers’ and crafts’ market https://www.liveriga.com/en/3710-fair-at-kalnciems-district
Pienene (Latvian design shop) http://en.studijapienene.lv/
Riija (Latvian design shop) http://www.riija.lv/en
Hiking tours http://www.latvianelement.lv/
Day trips http://www.tourpoint.lv/en/
Manor house hotel with beautiful food https://www.skrundasmuiza.lv/
* The author of this review is Lelde McCoy
*Managing Director the The Reputation Group,Melbourne Australia.
She established The Reputation Group in early 2004 after having held senior positions in government, private enterprise and international public relations agencies.
Lelde is a Life Fellow, former National President of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and the current Vice President of the Australian Association of Social Marketing.
With 30 years’ experience managing large scale behaviour change and communications campaigns she is skilled at implementing complex projects. She has a special interest in corporate reputation and has presented papers at the Reputation Institute’s global conferences.