Katherin Paterson, USA: "Riga is a beautiful interesting city with many possibilities for entertainment. I enjoyed Ballet and museums. Durbe is an excellent academy providing an intense learning experience".
Riga The Old and The new
You can use a comfortable and spacious bus to view the bustling and modern, multi-faceted and colourfully contrasting buildings of Riga. You will see historical, 19th century, wooden private homes in the eclectic style, which have been squeezed in between the proud and richly ornamented brick and stone residential buildings located in the city centre. They form a unique, Riga-specific city atmosphere. During the drive, the famous Art Nouveau metropolis of Riga will surprise you with the post-Soviet heritage residential communities and, in many places still unfinished, colourful residential areas. During the excursion, you will cross Latvia’s longest river, the Daugava, will drive along the city’s central embankment, and will see the city’s business centre and grassy and colourful parks and canals. During your trip you will see: the embassy elite district, the centre’s avenue arch, the Riga Palace, the National Opera, the Freedom Monument, the Arts Academy and the Orthodox Cathedral, the Central Market, Art Nouveau monumental buildings and the city’s post-Soviet residential communities.
You can also explore the city on foot and see the ancient Hansa trade city’s most historically recognized and hidden locations and see the Great Guild (Liela ģilde) and the Small Guild (Mazā ģilde), the Powder Tower (Pulvertornis), Rāmers and Jirgerna Tower, the Swedish Gate (Zviedru vārti), the Saint Jacob Catholic and the Saint Peter and John churches, the Convent of the Holy Spirit (Sv. Gara konventa seta) and, of course, the narrowest and "quietest” street in Old Town – Rozena Street.
Riga is a true capital of culture and arts in the Baltic region. There is the widest possible repertoire for every taste, every mood and every leisure requirement. The Latvian National Opera with R. Wagner featuring amongst its founding fathers is indisputably one of the favourite tourist attractions. Latvia houses the world's oldest Russian theatre outside Russia. Thanks to the wonderful direction, strong actors ensemble, thoughtfully created repertoire, Riga Russian Drama Theatre is one of the best theatres in the capital. All the year round there are many guest performances by the best theatres of Russia in Riga.
You can find more information about concerts, ballet performances etc. on the following web-sites:
Theatres: www.trd.lv / www.dailesteatris.lv / www.jrt.lv / http://www.opera.lv/en/home / http://www.liveriga.com/en/
Concert Halls: www.meeting.lv / www.latvijaskoncerti.lv/en / www.bilesuserviss.lv
Riga’s nightlife is really exciting and full of fun. You can choose any of numerous night clubs, casinos, disco bars, music clubs where you can meet Russians and practise the language, including slang. Visit Studio 69, that is recognised to be one of the best nightclubs in the Baltics. A great way to meet Russians and practise your Russian slang!
Good relaxation is one of the basic parts of human life. There is a great variety of SPAs, water resort complexes, saunas to satisfy every taste and desire. We recommend you to visit Russian bathhouse (banya) - something very Russian and very healthy. In the Slavonic culture “banya” has always played an important role-it is not only a washing room, but a special club, where friends can gather and have a heart-to-heart talk.You should definitely try it!
Riga’s lovely cafes and restaurants turn the city into a gastronomic paradise of Northern Europe. Choose your favourites cuisines or try new ones, for example, enjoy traditional Russian dishes cooked according to the ancient Russian recipes and listen to Russian background music-romances and other. As almost 50% of the population of Riga are Native Russian speakers, you can enjoy traditional Russian cuisine in numerous Russian restaurants.The most famous of them are Arbat, Slavu, Peterburga, Russkij Dvor, Traktieris. There is a vast choice of dishes, cooked according to the ancient Russian recipes. If you want to taste Latvian cuisine, a chain of restaurants under the “Lido” brand name is the best suggestion. In the city centre and out along the river, these restaurants are the ones where the employees wear stylized folk costumes and offer modern interpretations of traditional Latvian cuisine. If you feel a bit dodgy about local food, you can choose from among several dozen international restaurants in Riga (McDonald's, Subway, pizzerias, etc.). Many restaurants offer home delivery of sandwiches, pizzas, sushi or more exotic fare.