Rīga In

Two Days

Start your adventure in the heart of the city with a stop at the much-loved Blackheads House in Rātslaukums. Pick up some handy brochures at the in-house information centre, then spend the rest of the morning wandering among the twisting cobbled lanes that snake through medieval Old Rīga. After a leisurely lunch, wander beyond the ancient walls, passing the Freedom Monument as you make your way to the grand boulevards that radiate away from the city’s castle core. Head to the Quiet Centre, where you’ll find some of Rīga’s finest examples of art nouveau architecture. Don’t miss the Rīga Art Nouveau Centre.

On your second day, fine-tune your bargaining skills during a visit to the Central Market, where you can haggle for anything from wildberries to knock-off T-shirts. Have a walk through the small Spīķeri district then take a relaxing boat ride along the Daugava and the city’s inner canals. For a late lunch, wander through the Quiet Centre all the way up to Miera iela to enjoy the city’s emerging hipster cafe culture near the sweet-smelling Laima chocolate factory. In the evening, if the opera is in season, treat yourself to some of the finest classical music in Europe.

Four Days

After completing the two-day itinerary above, spend day three in your swimsuit along the silky sands in Jūrmala, Latvia’s uber-resort town. Rent a bike in the afternoon and roam around the stunning wooden cottages near the sea. End the day with a relaxing spa treatment, then return to Rīga to party all night at one of the city’s notorious clubbing venues.

Your fourth day can be spent exploring some of Rīga’s lesser-known nooks, or you can make tracks to Gauja National Park for an action-packed day of castle-ogling mixed with adventure sports. Start in Sigulda and get the blood rushing on the Olympic bobsled track, swing through Turaida before making your way to the secreted Soviet bunker in Līgatne, then finish the day at the fortress ruins in Cēsis before returning to the capital.