Explore Riga with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
The European capital of culture in 2014, Latvia’s capital city has its own distinctive aesthetic thanks to the Art Nouveau architecture that dominates the centre of the city, earning its status as a Unesco World Heritage site. Since liberation from Russia at the end of the Cold War, Riga has begun to establish a new identity, with trendy cafés popping up on almost every corner, as well as a host of experimental restaurants and cool bars.
With a hire car at your disposal, you can explore the hugely varied districts of this capital city with ease, as well as follow the Daugave River out into the picturesque countryside beyond.
Riga International Airport is located in the suburb of Skulte, just a 20-minute drive from the city centre along the A10 motorway.
With a hire car you can easily drive to other nearby places of interest, such as Jelgava (a 50-minute drive) where you can explore the largest Baroque-style palace in the Baltic states, or the rural town of Madona (around two hours and 20 minutes in the car).
Choose from a wide selection of hire car providers in Riga to suit every budget and requirement, from Greenmotion and Sixt to Hertz and Enterprise.
Riga Central Market is the bustling heart of this historic city, housed in a series of WW1 zeppelin hangars (five of nine left in the world) and their surrounding area. This is the perfect place to wander through and soak up a sense of local life, as well as sample some typical Latvian foods such as marinated herring and kefir – said to help maintain a healthy gut. Riga’s striking cathedral is also worth a visit, the largest medieval church in the Baltic, while the Art Museum Riga Bourse contains an elaborate interior (think gilded chandeliers and ornate frescoes) that almost eclipses the art, which includes an impressive selection of Chinese and Japanese ceramics alongside works from Monet and a scaled-down cast of Rodin’s iconic statue The Kiss.
A hire car will also help you explore outside of Riga, with Jurmala a popular day-trip destination (a 40-minute drive) as a result of its beautiful sandy beaches which stretch for 20 miles along the Gulf of Riga. The town of Saldus is also an easy hour-and-a-half drive, nestled in a valley next to the River Ciecere and Lake Saldus.
Speed limits are 30mph in built-up areas and 55mph on highways. Take care not to park on tram lines, which populate many roads in the city centre.
Feeling inspired to start exploring Riga and other parts of Latvia? Check out this city guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best Riga car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.
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