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The capital of Latvia, Riga’s medieval Old Town and spire-dotted skyline may suggest a city of peace and timeless elegance, but this is no dusty destination. Hidden behind its Art Nouveau architecture lie trendy bars, hip cafes and restaurants, while just beyond they city limits, nature wreaths this striking capital with unspoiled countryside and glittering coastlines.
The Baltic climate means summertime in Riga, although generally warm, is usually quite short. Peak season is from June to September, when many summer music festivals take place. This is a good time to visit but cheap fares will be harder to find.
Winter can be very cold, but the city provides a different flavour during this season. It still offers many cultural activities and festivals, but it attracts fewer tourists than in summertime. Book from November to April to find affordable flights, when you can still enjoy music festivals such as the Porta World Music Festival.
The best way to find cheap flights is to book early and be flexible on dates. If one search turns up an expensive flight, it may be that you’re trying to book during one of Riga’s more popular festivals, such as Winterfest. Selecting ‘Show flexible dates’ (found above the search results) will help you source cheaper deals.
Flexibility on departure location also helps. Choosing the ‘Nearby airports’ option (if you’re flying from a regional airport) or ‘All London airports’ (if you’re departing from London) should turn up a wider array of flights to choose from.
As an increasingly popular destination, direct flights to Riga are now available from London, Manchester and Glasgow. Average flight time is under three hours. For departures from other locations, a connection is required.
Optimal flight times to Riga from around the UK are:
All flights from the UK to Riga land at Riga International Airport. Riga International has been steadily expanding since the city’s 800th anniversary celebrations in 2001. It now has three terminals and receives over six million passengers a year.
A range of premium and budget airlines fly to Riga from the UK, meaning there are options suitable for any pocket:
Riga is well served by tram, trolley and bus services, which run between 05.30 and 23.30. Since the transport system closes earlier than many European cities, be sure to leave yourself enough time to get home when you’re out. The city also offers taxi services that run through the night. Meanwhile, at just 70 cents a ticket within the city limits, Riga’s rail service is incredibly cheap. Of course, you may want to explore the nearby Latvian countryside, in which case hiring a car in Riga may be your best bet, giving you freedom to explore this underrated nation at a leisurely pace.
Riga blends its ancient heritage with sleek modern design and a vibrant youth culture. A trip here isn’t complete without exploring the city’s Old Town, a maze of pretty cobbled avenues and Art Nouveau buildings. At the heart of Old Town is Which the Unesco World Heritage Site of St Peter’s Church. The quarter is also dotted with laidback cafes, perfect for enjoying a coffee and an eclair.
As a major cultural centre, Riga is also packed with fascinating museums, such as the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia. Take yourself on a journey through Latvia’s occupation by various powers from the Middle Ages up until the end of the Cold War.
No visa is required for British travellers visiting Latvia, although it is advisable to purchase travel insurance before you depart. If you don’t have one already, applying for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is also a good idea. EHIC will cover any medical costs incurred during your stay. Finally, while Riga is packed with museums, art galleries and restaurants, the verdant Latvian countryside and twinkling beaches of the Baltic Riviera shouldn’t be missed while you’re here. Public transport regularly runs outside the city, so don’t miss your chance!
|Destination Airport||Riga Intl.|
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|Destination City Name||Riga|
Could have been cleaner.
One of the best flights I have experienced largely as a result of the charming and helpful cabin staff
Waited an hour before take off no explanation
For a low cost airline it has good legroom, comfy seats & service with a smile. You pay extra for checked bag, seat choice & food But still adds up to great value.
First flight with air Baltic. Very impressed
Expedia didn’t say we had to check in online so we had to do it when we got to the check in desk.
Cabin manager was fun