Riga, Latvia

One Day in Riga, Latvia: A Cruiser’s Guide

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One of the ports that was new to almost every person on board our spring Enrichment Voyage was Riga. But not me and not SVV.

Riga, LatviaSomehow, we had both been to the capital of Latvia, but not with each other: He had visited on a stopover from Denmark to Azerbaijan in 2006, while I detoured there on my way to visit my friend Katrina in Estonia in 2009. (Our lives, indeed, are random.)

Riga, LatviaRiga was one of the few ports we only had a brief day to explore—most stops on our route were two days, some even three—but we didn’t feel rushed as we’d been there, done that.

Riga, LatviaRiga, LatviaIt really is a charming town. Several in my writing workshop described it as “Disney-esque”—whether because of the touristy factor or the Old Town’s architecture, I don’t know (possibly a combination of both)—but it’s easily walkable without a map or a plan.

Riga, LatviaAnd while it seems quite small, that’s not actually the case: As the largest city in the Baltic, it has close to 700,000 residents. But you’d never know it, as quiet and relaxed as many parts of Riga appear.

Riga, LatviaLatvia has only enjoyed full independence since the early 90s, but again you wouldn’t know it, as there aren’t many traces of Soviet life remaining. If it reminded me of anywhere I’d been, that would be Tallinn, not Russia.

Riga, LatviaThough oddly enough—and this came up completely randomly in conversation this morning with Christopher, one of SVV’s old Navy pals who’s in visiting us—Latvian is the oldest living language in the world. (I’m still trying to confirm that fact, though a bit of Googling does support his claim.)

Riga, LatviaWe had no set agenda in our eight hours on land as our friends Katrina and Erkki had planned to arrive in the morning and spend the day with us, but due to a nasty stomach bug, they were sidelined and didn’t arrive until after 2pm (on-ship time was 5). So we drank as we waited.

Riga, LatviaEventually, they showed up, and we got to share a couple beers (sparkle water for Kata), catch up and go for a wander.Riga, LatviaBut all too soon, it was time to go back to the ship. And tell our friends good-bye once more, until some equally random occurrence brings us back to their little corner of the world (which no doubt it will, sooner rather than later).

Riga, LatviaRiga, Latvia

  • July 6, 2013

    I’m actually moving to Riga next year and am beyond excited! It looks like such a quaint and charming city!!

  • July 7, 2013

    Ahhh, love Riga! These pictures brought it all back… Colourful architecture and an ever-shining sun. The beer’s not too shabby too! X

    • July 19, 2013

      No matter how shabby it might have been (though wasn’t), $2 pints are never something to scoff at! =)

  • July 8, 2013

    Latvian older than Basque? I’d love to visit. Latvia is one of those overlooked Euro destinations that has caught my eye.

    • July 19, 2013

      That was my initial thought as I did my thesis in Basque Country–though truth be told, I couldn’t find affirmation either way that the professor was right or wrong.

  • July 8, 2013

    Hi, nice to see your comments on Riga, one of my favourite cities! Like your fokus on Rigas very special Art Nouveau architecture!

  • July 9, 2013

    looks lovely! I’m guessing there wasn’t much diversity in Latvia though, right? Either way it’s on my list. I love quaint European cities, and I love how colorful it looks from your pics.

  • July 10, 2013

    I love how you have friends wherever you go!

  • July 13, 2013

    I have come to know about Riga, Latvia by this post. I am now very much interested to visit the place. Can you post more information about it?

  • July 15, 2013

    What a charming little place!!! Love these pics!

  • July 23, 2013

    Riga looks really nice place to spend a week or two. As always your pictures looks really great.

  • July 23, 2013

    Riga is an awesome place to visit! I spent a few years here, LOVED the place! so nice to see others enjoying the wonderful city as well!

  • August 23, 2013

    Every building are curved in Riga? 🙂
    anyway, nice pictures.

  • April 11, 2016

    Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing, hope to visit one day!

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