The Riga International Airport (RIX) is one of the largest airports in the Baltic region, and offers lots of international and domestic flights. If you’re new to the city you can access tourist information desks within the terminal building, and you’ll find a decent range of amenities that run from foreign exchange services, ATMs, and free WiFi. If you’re hankering for a bite to eat there are lots of restaurants, bars and cafes, and entertainment comes in the form of shopping. Browse through the duty-free section, or enjoy the trinkets and souvenirs you can find in the other stores that populate this airport.
For transportation, you can take shuttles or buses. Alternatively, there are taxis that will take 15 minutes to cross the 11km distance from the airport into town, and cost 11-14EUR ($16-20).
To fly to Riga you can book flights with a number of different carriers, such as Air Baltic, Qatar Airways, Emirates, SAS, Finnair, LOT, KLM, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, and more.
Why visit Riga?
The beautiful city of Riga in Latvia isn’t the most famous of the Eastern European cities, but it is anyone’s guess as to why. Its cobbled streets wind through technicolour buildings that can be framed by bloomed cherry blossoms, or frosted with pure-white snow. You can dip in and out of traditional restaurants and local boutiques, sip strong coffee in the city’s beautiful squares, or spend your days in the excellent museums and galleries in Riga. Welcome to one of the most dynamic capitals in the Baltics.
Things to do in Riga
Exploring the city’s Old Town should be top of your list, as this part of the city looks like it has been plucked from a faiytale. Head for the House of Blackheads in the Town Hall Square, a 14th century house that was used by the rich merchants for banquets and business meetings.
Dip into the beautiful churches, such as St. Peter’s Church (which also offers a great view of the city) and the Riga Cathedral, one of the most impressive sites in the city. Walk by the Three Brothers, houses that rise up in long skinny columns and represent three centuries, from the 15th century onwards, and are a famous Rigan landmark. But you’ll find that the architecture here is utterly charming, with houses painted in egg-shell blues, emerald greens, and bright reds, and taking your camera with you is imperative if you want to capture the joyful nature of Riga’s old heart.
Then leave behind the medieval part of town for the Art Nouveau district; head to Elizabeth or Albert Street for the best of the best in terms of architecture. But if you’d really rather stay in the older part of town, then shop in the Central Market, one of the largest markets in Europe, and a mouthwatering place to spend an afternoon. Or walk along the remarkable City Walls, and visit the Swedish Gate, which has stood sentinel in Riga for over 300 years.
Best time to visit Riga
· Summers (June-August) mark the most popular time of year to see Riga. This season is very sunny, but also sees the highest rainfall, so pack a waterproof and sunscreen. Daily averages sit at about 24°C.
· May to April when the highs are between 12-17°C are chillier months than the summer ones, but they are much drier, and are a great season to do a lot of outdoor touring.
· In winter the city is arguably at its most beautiful, especially if you are lucky enough to catch a snowfall, which is likely give the average lows are -4 to -7°C.
Arriving in Riga by plane
· Flights to Riga will undoubtedly stop at least twice, and usually in a Middle Eastern port, and a European one. Expect these to be hubs like Dubai (DXB), or Stockholm (ARN).
· Euro (EUR).
· As a member of the Schengen Convention, you can travel as an Australian citizen without a visa. Just be sure to double check restrictions before you fly on the Smart Traveller portal, as exit and entry conditions are subject to change at short notice.
Please note that information is correct as of December 2016
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