Cheap flights to Riga
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Take a flight to Riga to enjoy:
- Opera and Ballet in the Latvian National Opera House
- Jugendstil architecture and 19th century wooden architecture
- SPA resorts, numerous restaurants, concerts and more...
To & from the airport
If you are going to the city centre, bus No. 22 or minibus No. 222 will be your best option, as you'll find yourself in the heart of Riga within 30 minutes. If you're planning to go to Jurmala, take minibus No. 241 – it will deliver you to the train station "Imanta" in about 10 minutes, where you can then hop onto a train that will take you to your destination in Jurmala.
Buses run from around 5:30 in the morning until midnight. The bus stop is located opposite the terminal to the right (upon exiting the airport), behind the short-term car park (P1). You will also find the ticket vending machine there (both cash and payment cards are accepted). If you are going back to the airport, the bus will drop you off by the main entrance of the terminal.
From the Amber City, the Paris of the North and the Window to the West, Riga has enjoyed many names over the centuries, all of which are as fitting as they are hard to apply to this city of change. Located on the Daugava River by which it has access to the Baltic Sea, Riga is the capital of Latvia and the largest city in the Baltic States, with a population of over 700,000. Many tourists have come in from other European countries since Latvia’s entry into the European Union in 2004 to enjoy the fabulous architecture and the outlying natural beauty that is remarkably unspoiled and purely Latvian. As the main operating airline out of Riga International Airport, airBaltic provides flights from Riga to a range of destinations throughout Europe.
Labdien! (Hello!) The predominant language in Riga is Latvian, a Baltic language closely related to Lithuanian. Due to a large number of ethnic Russians living in Latvia, the second most used language is Russian, which most Latvians speak at a near-native level. English is widely used and understood, so tourists will have little difficulty enjoying their city-break in Riga without much knowledge of Latvian. Additionally, many older inhabitants understand German. A key phrase for any bumbling tourist should be: "Es nesaprotu" (I don’t understand).
See and Do
With unsurpassed Art Nouveau architecture, especially in historic Old Riga with its green copper spires and narrow twisting cobblestone streets, central Riga is at once beautiful, if also dizzyingly small. Divided by the central canal into the two sections of the old town and the city centre, tourists can easily walk between the major sites the city has to offer. In Old Riga, explore the many small churches, including the Lutheran Dome Cathedral, the largest church in the Baltics and with an ancient organ dating to 1844 with 6718 pipes, making it among the largest in the world. Outside the church in Dome Square, settle into one of the outdoor cafes and enjoy a glass of one of the many tasty local beers. Stop at St. Peters Church with its 123 m spire and step inside to see the small museum, including some stirring photographs of a fire which ravaged the church.
Outside, it is a short walk to Strelnieki Square, with its sobering Museum of the Occupation and the statue of a lone Teutonic Knight, looking a little far from home. It’s a good place to start a tour or listen to some talented street musicians, if you’re lucky. Otherwise admire the Melngalvju building (House of Black Heads) with its gold and blue ornamental design, recently rebuilt after it had been bombed out during World War II.
At night the old city is the place to be, with many round the corner places and great restaurants to have a meal, especially around Dome Square and Jēkaba Kazarmas. If you’re feeling brave or need a warm up against the chill of a winter night in Riga, order a hot blackcurrant juice with Balsams, Riga’s very own herbal liqueur. For music, get tickets to Riga’s Opera House, while for art, stop by Rigas Pils, the residence of the president and containing the Museum of Latvian History. For a nice daytrip, get outside of the city to Brīvdabas Muzejs, Riga’s open air museum featuring a well preserved collection of ancient houses, windmills and a baronial church with oddly drawn angels fluttering about the painted wooden ceiling.