Centred around the Latvian capital, the Riga Region lies along the shores of the Gulf of Riga in the country’s heart. It encompasses the former districts of Riga, Tukums, Ogre and Limbaži and is home to just under half of Latvia’s population.
Things to do in Rīga
From its seaside spas to its centuries-old castles, the Riga Region offers exciting attractions that are an easy day trip from the Latvian capital.
Sightsee in Riga. Latvia’s cultural hub is Riga, a lively city that lies where the River Daugava flows into the Baltic Sea. Wander the UNESCO-listed, cobblestone streets of Vecrīga, which is home to many of the city’s oldest houses and churches, and marvel at the magnificent House of the Blackheads. Elegant Art Nouveau buildings line Albert Street.
Visit the castles of Sigulda. A short drive north-east of Riga is the picturesque riverside town of Sigulda, which has been nicknamed the “Switzerland of Vidzeme”. Visit the 19th-century Sigulda New Castle, built by the Russian Prince Dimitri Kropotkin, and wander between the 13th-century ruins of the Sigulda Medieval Castle.
Relax in seaside Jūrmala. Renowned for its therapeutic waters and curative mud, Jūrmala is a seaside spa town overlooking the Gulf of Riga that boasts one of the largest collections of historic wooden buildings in Latvia. Spend your days relaxing on its white, sandy beach and get your cultural fix at the Jurmala Open Air Museum.
Explore the Turaida Museum Reserve. Dominated by a fairytale-like, red-brick castle, this museum complex lies on the site of a Liv stronghold overlooking the River Gauja. Browse the museum exhibits that occupy the castle’s 15th-century granary and try your hand at forging metal in the blacksmith’s shop before walking between the statues of Latvian heroes in the Folk Song Garden.
Getting around Rīga
Riga International Airport is the main aviation gateway to the Riga Region and lies around 20 minutes’ drive from the centre of Riga. Regular trains connect from Riga to Jūrmala while buses serve towns and villages across the region.