The website for "Riga Tourist Information Center" is www.LiveRiga.com.
The website for "Official Latvian Tourism Portal" is http://www.latvia.travel/en.
Nationwide Latvian Song and Dance Festival takes place in Riga once every five years and the upcoming one will be in 2013. It will be held from June 30th to July 7th 2013. You can check the details here.
Some YouTube videos (prepared for Riga inyourpacket)
Riga is known as cultural capital of Baltic. Its scale is perfect to participate a conference and to enjoy the city meanwhile. You should first visit one of Tourist Information Centers. Check the map for the offices. There are four offices in Riga:
- Airport: Office - Welcome to Riga!
- International Coach Terminal: Riga Tourist Information Center at Riga Coach Terminal
- Old Town: Riga Tourism Information Center
- Old Town: Riga Tourist Information Center, Ratslaukums
Before giving some details about Riga, we recommend two places outside of Riga: Jurmala and Sigulda. You can get free brochures (in different languages) for both places from tourist offices.
Jurmala official webpage -- Jurmala in LiveRiga
"Jurmala is the city by the Gulf of Riga stretching along 33 km of coastline with modern relaxation and resort facilities. It has become the largest resort area in the Baltics as well as a popular location for international conferences and meetings."
Since the days will be quite longer during the conference time, you can also try to go to Jurmala in the afternoon or evening. You can easily access there by train (the stop name is Majori - timetable). There will be also some bout tours from Riga to Jurmala during summer.
SIGULDA and TURAIDA
Sigulda official webpage -- Turaida Museum Reserve -- Sigulda in LiveRiga
"Sigulda is a town in the Latvian western province of Vidzeme and the centre of the Sigulda region. The town is often called Vidzeme's Switzerland thanks to River Gauja primeaval valley and beautiful surroundings. Sigulda's neighbouring area is a part of the Gauja National Park, whose administration is seated in Sigulda. Most popular tourist sites: Gūtmaņa Cave with inscriptions on the wall from the 17th century, Turaida Medieval Castle, Devil’s Cave (Velnala), Sigulda Medieval Castle and new castle, Kraukļu (Raven's) ravine and cave, and others."
It might be better to spend at least half-day there. You can go there by bus (timetable) or train (the stop name is Sigulda - timetable). There are also some private agencies offering one day trip to Sigulda. You can ask Tourist Information Center for further information.
Note that Turaida Museum Reserve is 5km away from Sigulda bus station. You can use minibuses (timetable) for a very reasonable price. Please also check this page.
Riga official webpage -- Riga in official tourism portal
"Riga is located along the Baltic Sea at the southern coast of the Gulf of Riga, on the Rigava coastal plain. The historical core of Riga is situated on the right bank of the Daugava River, about 10 kilometers from where the Daugava flows into the Gulf of Riga. The natural terrain of this area is a flat and sandy plain, about 1 to 10 meters above the sea level."
"Climate in Riga is influenced by its proximity to the sea; therefore it is moderately warm and humid. Summers are comparatively cool and cloudy (average temperature in July +16.9 C; average precipitation (rainfall) – 85 mm)."
Most of the interesting places are located in Old Town or near by. You can easily access them by walking. You can get your free copy of map and brochures like "Top Sites", "95 tips from locals", etc. from the tourist offices. Here is a list of 15 sightseeing given in TOP 15 (click to get its PDF):
- Dome Square and Dome Cathedral
- Līvu Square
- Rātslaukums Square
- St Peter’s Church
- The Freedom Monument
- The House of Blackheads
- The Powder Tower
- The Spīķeri creative quarter
- Three Brothers
- Art Nouveau: Alberta Street/iela, Riga Art Nouveau Museum -- (a youtube video)
- Latvian National Opera
- The Central Market (a youtube video)
- Riga Castle
- Latvian National Museum of Art
- Kalnciema iela quarter
Mežaparks is a very popular recreational and walking area for local people. You can easily access there by tram 11 from the city center.
Latvian Open-Air Ethnographic Museum is one of the oldest and largest open-air museums in Europe. You can access there by bus 1 from the city center - the stop name is Brīvdabas muzejs.
We also recommend you to visit some museums. You can download Riga Museum Guide (check tourism offices for newer version). Check also Top museums and galleries in LiveRiga.