Population: 701,977 (2014)
Language(s): Latvian, Russian
Area: 304 km2 (117 mi2)
Dialing Code: (+371) 66 & 67
Electricity Adapter: 230 V, 50 Hz, Plug Types C / F
Time Zone: Eastern European Time (UTC +2); Eastern European Summer Time (UTC +3)
What to See
Rīga, the capital of the Baltic country of Latvia, is an interesting place. By that I mean that there are few cities that can capture much of the culture and history of its country as Riga does, all in one place. The city is in the very center of the country, in the north straddling the banks of the Daugava River, only a short distance from the shores of the Baltic Sea.
I absolutely loved Rīga from the moment I stepped foot in it. The city is quite spread out, but the history of its storied past can be seen all around in the architecture. And then there’s Vecrīga, Rīga’s Old Town, situated on the eastern banks of the Daugava River; the Old Town is charming and offers much to learn and see during the day. At night, Vecrīga turns into a lively neighborhood – going out to drink never had me home before at least 5am.
2014 European Capital of Culture
Along with the northern Swedish city of Umeå, Rīga is proud to be chosen as the 2014 European Capital of Culture. This designation by the European Union boosts each city’s culture, traditions, history, and importance; in short, Riga will have the whole calendar year of 2014 to be in the spotlight, and there isn’t a better time to go; as a Capital of Culture, Rīga will have the opportunity to realize the benefits of increased focus on tourism to it. Each day of the year, multiple cultural and social events will take place, all which will help the city with tourism dollars much needed help the city regenerate and foster further growth.