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- Return flights from Gatwick with Air Baltic
- 3 nights in a 3-star hotel
- 4 meals: 3 breakfasts, 1 dinner
- Travelsphere Tour Manager and Local Guide
- Overseas transfers and other transportation
Included holiday highlights
- Walking tour of Riga’s Old Town
- Sightseeing tour of Riga’s Old Town including entrance to the Art Nouveau Museum and a visit to the Dome Church with a concert of organ music
- Taste products during a visit to Riga’s Central Market
- Explore Rundale Palace and Garden
After time to freshen up, you’ll discover the cobblestone streets of Riga’s Old Town on an included walking tour, which ends with a welcome dinner in a traditional Latvian restaurant.
Included in your tour is a visit to the Art Nouveau Museum, located in the former apartment of Latvian architect Konstantins Peksens. Built in 1903, the building’s highlight is its grandiose spiral staircase and the apartment rooms have been restored to resemble those found in the home of a middle-class Rigan family at the beginning of the 20th century.
Next, we continue to the Dome Church, where you’ll enjoy a short concert of organ music before moving on to Riga’s Central Market. Occupying a series of buildings once used as Zeppelin hangars, the market sells a variety of produce including meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables. During your visit you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a tasting of some of the local goods on offer, such as fish, meat, bread and sweets. The rest of the day is free for you to explore more of Riga at your own pace.
You’ll have plenty of time to explore inside the palace, where highlights include the Golden Hall, the White Hall and the Duke’s bedroom. Outside, why not take a stroll through the beautiful French-style park surrounded by a canal.
The Ibis Riga Centre is a vibrant hotel that has recently been refurbished into one of the outstanding midscale hotels in the centre of Riga, just 90 meters from Central Station. The inspiring design of the rooms, the modern Book Lounge and the charming round the clock light meal restaurant represent the new concept of the ibis brand. Riga old town and the Freedom monument are within a 500 m radius of the hotel.
Located in Riga’s Old Town, facilities include a restaurant and bar. Guest rooms feature en suite facilities, air-conditioning, TV, hairdryer and safe.
Travelsphere have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the hotel images provided on this website and images of room types displayed may vary to those offered on your tour. Therefore due to the possibility of inadvertent errors we do not guarantee their accuracy. Hotels, airlines used and flight times are subject to change and will be confirmed in your final documents.
Dates and Prices
Friday 08 September 2017
Friday 08 September 2017
09:25 London (Gatwick)
14:10 Riga (Intl)
Monday 11 September 2017
15:40 Riga (Intl)
16:40 London (Gatwick)
What our Tour Managers say
We asked our Tour Manager to sum up what they really love about this tour. Here's what they said:
Tour Blog by Yvonne
Travelsphere holiday creator, Yvonne, recently went to Riga to experience first hand the places that feature on our new Experience Riga short break. Read Yvonne's blog below to find out her impressions of Latvia's capital...
48 hours in Riga
When I told friends and family I was going to Riga, many of them asked "Where’s that?!" I can tell you it’s not as far away as you may think - it’s one of the Baltic capitals and is about 20km from the Gulf of Riga and is really easy to get to!
We flew from Gatwick with Air Baltic into Riga and the flight only took 2 hours 40 minutes; the flight was comfortable and the staff were friendly. If flying in economy, you can buy sandwiches and snacks on board and they are reasonably priced. If flying Business, a complimentary meal is usually served which is good quality plus there’s a bit more room too.
Riga is the capital city of Latvia and is 2 hours ahead of the UK. Riga airport is just a 15 minute drive by car to the city centre.
6 facts about Riga
- In 1991, Latvia regained its independence from the Soviet Union
- In 1995, the historic centre of Riga was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list
- In 2001, Riga held a celebration in honour of its 800th anniversary
- In 2014, Riga was named European Capital of Culture
- Riga has the largest number of free Wi-Fi hotspots per square kilometre in Europe
- Latvia won the Eurovision song contest in 2002 and hosted the contest in Riga in 2003
We had a quick panoramic tour of the city on the way to our hotel and I was surprised at how green the city is - there are trees and green spaces everywhere. With the River Daugava running through the centre and the Gulf of Riga not far away, the air was clean and fresh - it’s clear that Riga is a city that is well looked after. What a great first impression!
Sightseeing tour of Riga
We had a guided tour of Riga with a really interesting guide. We took a walk through the cobbled streets of the Old Town - the Dome Cathedral is beautiful and has one of the world’s largest pipe organs. We also saw the old Guild Houses, Old Riga Castle, and many wonderfully restored buildings, now home to cosy restaurants, cafes, bars and souvenir shops. The architecture everywhere is stunning with the influence of Art Nouveau - I was impressed as there’s so much to look at and photograph.
The National Opera backstage tour was great, especially when we stood on the stage looking at the auditorium - magical! Next stop was the Art Nouveau Museum which is really interesting and gives you an idea of how a middle class family lived in Riga at the beginning of the 20th century.
Riga Central Market is a vibrant place to visit with many locals doing their shopping here. Originally each pavilion was built as a German army aircraft (Zeppelin) hangar and now they’re used for dairy, meat and fruit and vegetable produce.
Food & drink
We ate out at a local restaurant and tried Baltic Herring with Rye bread for starter which was really tasty and light. I highly recommend trying it. It’s also worth sampling the Black Balsam which is a traditional Latvian herbal liqueur - you can have it on the rocks, mixed with Vodka or even in your coffee! It’s also used for medicinal purposes to treat colds (apparently!). According to legend, Empress Catherine the Great of Russia became ill during a visit to Latvia but was cured after drinking Black Balsam.
For the best view in town, head to the Skyline Bar at the Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija. It’s located on the 26th floor and has great views of the city - just fabulous as the sun sets over the city. The ladies toilets have even better views, so ladies, make sure you take your camera in with you!
Rundale Palace & Gardens visit
We took a drive out of Riga (about 70km) and arrived at Rundale Palace which was built as a summer residence for the Duke of Courland Ernst Johann Biron in the first part of the 18th century.
It’s described as one of Latvia’s hidden gems and was used as one of the filming locations for the BBC’s War & Peace. It has the feel of a Russian Palace because the same architect, Bartolomeo Rastrelli also designed the Winter Palace and Catherine Palace.
The rooms are decorated with authentic 18th century furniture, paintings and china. The most impressive are the Golden Hall, the White Hall, and the bedroom of the Duke. The palace also has a beautiful French-style park surrounded by a canal.
Riga in a nutshell
Riga is the perfect short break destination - easy to get to, safe, reasonably priced once you’re there, beautifully kept, stunning architecture, friendly locals and clean air. I was pleasantly surprised by what Riga has to offer and would recommend it to anyone wanting to get away for a long weekend - there’s so much to see and do!