Riga to Tallinn

A trip to Riga and the points of interest including Freedom monument, House of Blackheads, Riga old town, Riga orthodox cathedral, Art nouveau district, Riga castle, Railway bridge, Church of St Peter, Riga dome cathedral before taking the bus to Tallinn

Riga is the capital city of Latvia which is part of the European Union and Schengen community.  For tourists and photographers Riga offers the following points of interest;

  • Freedom monument
  • House of Blackheads
  • Riga old town
  • Riga orthodox cathedral
  • Art nouveau district
  • Riga castle
  • Railway bridge
  • Church of St Peter
  • Riga dome cathedral
Riga Old Town

Riga Old Town

Riga is a very walkable city and it is possible to see nearly all the points of interest on foot.  There are lots of local maps available free of charge, or you can use google maps / maps.me to navigate the city.  If you don’t want to walk or the weather is too bad, there is a city bus tour which will take you to all the points of interest.  There are lots of good restaurants, bars and hotels in Riga old town.  In the areas surrounding the old town, there are some great hotel deals to be discovered.

Riga Monument of Freedom

Freedom Monument, Riga

The Freedom monument was originally erected in 1935 to honor the soldiers of the Latvian war of independence from 1918-1920.  It was never demolished or altered when Latvia was annexed to the Soviet Union.  When Latvia became independent again on May 4, 1990 thousands gathered at this monument to celebrate.  There are always two armed guards at the monument 24 hours a day, changing shifts, unless the weather is too bad or too cold.

Riga Castle

Riga Castle, Riga

A couple of great photo spots in Riga are from the bar on the top floor of the Radisson Blu Latvija, which is behind the orthodox cathedral.  From here you can get a great panoramic of the whole city.  Another place I recommend to photograph is the Railway Bridge, at night you’ll get a great reflection shot!

House of Blackheads, Riga

House of Blackheads, Riga

The house of Blackheads is a very impressive building which was originally erected in the 14th century by the brotherhood of Blackheads.  This brotherhood contained, local unmarried merchants, shipowners and foreigners.  In 1580 and 1886, most of the decorations were added to the building, before being bombed by the Germans in 1941 and then demolished by the Soviets in 1948.  The building you see today is a reconstruction of the original design which was built in 1995.  It is a beautiful building to photograph!

Riga to Tallinn bus

Bus from Riga to Tallinn, €14, 4 hours, Lux Express

Riga bus station is located around the corner from the Riga train station and there is no train service to Tallinn so you must go by bus.  There are 2 main bus companies serving this route, Ecolines and Lux Express.  The services to Tallinn offer personal in-seat entertainment systems with movies, music, computer games, and your GPS position.  You can also make use of the phone chargers and free WiFi available.  Don’t forget, you can always look out of the window!

There was an interesting documentary made recently about Riga, Guy Martin, Our Guy in Latvia.  He is, like myself, a northerner but the reason he was in Latvia was because his Grandad was Latvian and he wanted to trace his routes.  It’s very interesting and he uncovers a lot of history about the country and people.

Tallinn to Helsinki

2017-04-10T13:07:20+00:00 December 18th, 2016|Latvia, Northern Europe|9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Ivy February 20, 2017 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    I haven’t read much about Latvia; this is the first time I’ve actually heard of Riga. It looks like the perfect place to walk around with a camera to snap lots of pictures. The architecture is one of a kind, especially the House of Blackheads! So different from what I’m used to seeing in other parts of Europe.

  2. Clare February 20, 2017 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    I was in Riga in September last year and it was still quite warm. It looks pretty with snow though. It’s a great city with lots to do, I had a great time there. That part of eastern europe is so easy to get around and I can’t wait to go back and do more in that region this year.

  3. Rosie Benton February 21, 2017 at 2:48 am - Reply

    We’re planning an interrailing trip through Europe this Summer and Latvia is high on the list! Great pictures, the Old Town looks so colourful. It seems like there is plenty to do there, definitely want to visit the Castle and Freedom Monument. Thanks for the recommendations!

  4. Bhushavali February 21, 2017 at 7:44 am - Reply

    I came to know of Latvia, about 15 yrs ago when an acquaintance got employed there!!! Later I read a bit about Latvia and wanted to visit when I was in Europe and unfortunately couldn’t! I love how the city has an old world charm to it and yet so colorful!

  5. Ticker Eats The World February 21, 2017 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Another wonderful city and another wonderful post highlighting everything that one can do in it. Loving the colours of the buildings in the Old Town and Art Nouveau district would certainly be of interest since I love architecture styles. Lovely to hear that the city is walk-able as that makes it all the more special for me.

  6. Vicky @ A Backpack Full of Adventures February 21, 2017 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Although I grew up in Eastern Europe, I’m ashamed to say that I never made it to Latvia (or Riga itself) – I do want to go at some point, though because I’ve heard so many great things about it. It looks like such a charming little place, I love the colour and the style of those buildings!

  7. Global Girl Travels February 22, 2017 at 5:33 am - Reply

    Latvia isn’t featured much on travel guides and blogs. But your feature of this city has got me curious. The monuments and the old town look beautiful. I really love those historic building facades in Europe – they make such great photo subjects!

  8. Swati February 23, 2017 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Riga looks like a charming city and glad to know that everything is reachable by foot. I love small walkable cities. Riga was never on our bucket list though but after seeing pictures , I won’t find a quick weekend escape 🙂

  9. Natalie February 23, 2017 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    The House of Blackheads is Gorgeous!! Oh, what a stunning place…with a funny name. We travel with kids – who are tweens now, so of course I would have to explain the dermatology description of a blackhead. This would be met, of course, with a chorus of, “EW, GROSS!”. LOL! But, no one would ever forget!!!

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