A Cultural Cosmopolitan City
Riga’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, its winding, wobbly lanes are beautiful to wander through. But the most outstanding are the avenues of art nouveau buildings some, with their adornments of femmes fatales and fiendish gargoyles, are so amazing you can’t pass without stopping.
The Museum of the Occupation is fascinating, haunting in parts. And the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum on lake Jugla is remarkable: traditional wooden buildings, brought from all over the country, set up to look like villages from the 18th & 19th centuries.
Recently Riga also became a European Capital for Culture and it is well deserved. The restored 18th-century National Opera House is worthy of a whole evening. The new National Library, designed by Latvian architect Gunnar Birkerts, is a huge glass and steel mountain. And don’t miss an organ recital in The Dome - the organ one of the largest in Europe.
Riga also has a wild side and the low population density of the country has helped keep its wilderness that way.