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A Summer’s Week in Riga

Written by Lelde McCoy

A Summer’s Week in Riga


The author of this review is Lelde McCoy,Managing Director of  the 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  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 paddle board can be hired. It has an excellent casual lakeside restaurant and in the old windmill there are ceramic exhibitions.

The website isūta_pie_ezera

Here are some places worthy of your attention:


Photos depicting Art Nouveau(Jugendstil) Hotel Neiburgs exterior facade and interior


Hotel Neiburgs – the best place to stay in one of Old Riga’s art nouveau 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


Tris Pavari

“The three chefs restaurant “„Tam labam būs augt” (The good must grow – Eng.) is a restaurant with an  open kitchen, beloved by locals  and admired by visitors to Riga. It was founded in September 2011 by two famous Latvian chefs, Mārtiņš Sirmais and Ēriks Dreibants.
 The restaurant has earned its popularity by serving delicious seasonal food ,.. and is acknowledged among the highest ranking restaurants in Riga.
ADDRESS:Torna street 4, Riga, LV-1050
Jacobs Barique 2 B

E-mail address:

Telephone for orders.reservations: +371 20370537

Monday – Sunday 12.00 – 23.00


Located in and overlooking the Vermane Garden park, this place has 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.

Address: Tērbatas iela 2, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia

e-mail for

phone for reservations: +371 20225000


Hours: Opens 12midday


Rocket Bean Roastery (coffee roastery and restaurant)

Miit (coffee roastery and vegetarian food cafe)

Austra (lovely weekend brunch)

Pagalms (restaurant and bar)

Minka (cat cafe near the farmers’ market)

The Beginnings (health food)


Labietis (craft brewery)

Ala (pub and folk club)

Wine bar

Easy Wine (Old Town)


Saturday farmers’ and crafts’ market

Pienene (Latvian design shop)

Riija (Latvian design shop)

Day trips

Hiking tours

Day trips

Manor house hotel with beautiful food

* The author of this review is Lelde McCoy

*Managing Director the  The Reputation Group,Melbourne Australia

Lelde 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.


About the author

Lelde McCoy

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