Two days in Riga allows time to experience the city’s most famous sights—Old Riga, the art nouveau district, and Riga Central Market—while also exploring lesser-visited areas and attractions related to the city’s turbulent history. Here’s how to spend 48 hours in Latvia’s capital.
Day 1: Explore the Historical Center and More
Morning: Get your bearings while checking off Riga’s major sights, including Old Riga, with a private or group city sightseeing tour. Stroll the historic streets on a walking tour, or cover more ground in less time on a Segway tour. For more flexibility, create your own itinerary with a hop-on hop-off bus tour.
Afternoon: Sample local specialties, such as smoked meats, cheeses, herring, wild berries, and hemp butter at the UNESCO-listed Riga Central Market—which, home to more than 3,000 vendors, is one of the largest in Europe. Immerse yourself in Latvian culture and cuisine on a guided tour as you wander through the five pavilions, formerly Zeppelin hangars.
Night: Soak up views of the city’s landmarks on an early evening cruise along the River Daugava and Riga Canal. Afterward, take your pick of restaurants in Old Riga serving everything from traditional fare to innovate contemporary cuisine.
Day 2: Delve into Local History
Morning: Discover some of the most tumultuous periods of Latvian history with a guided tour focused on Riga’s time under Soviet rule. Visit sites where the evidence of occupation can still be seen and learn about daily life—some tours include a taste of typical Soviet-era foods.
Afternoon: Explore outside Riga’s city center with a bicycle tour. Two-wheeled tours let you get a little off the beaten track as you ride along the banks of the River Daugava toward the Moscow district, famed for its wooden houses and as the site of the Jewish ghetto in the Second World War.
Night: Conclude your visit to Riga by going on a tasting tour around Old Riga. Tours typically include samples of Latvian specialties such as dark bread, fresh cottage cheese with dill, and Riga balsam at local business, as well as visits to a local brewery and chocolate factory, before concluding with a meal at a family-run restaurant.