5 Best Tourist Sights in Old Town Riga, Latvia

Old Town, Riga, Latvia Top Sights

Today, I got lost in the labyrinth of narrow, cobblestone streets of Old Town Riga, Latvia. Luckily, I had a guide to lead the way when I got turned around. I can imagine, as a tourist without a local guide, it could be a bit frustrating visiting the town. With so many sightseeing opportunities and so many activities, it would be really difficult to choose only a few. After spending the entire day exploring the best that Old Town has to offer, I’ve chosen my top five tourist sights. Maybe you have additions to the list, but it’s a great starting point. 

The House of Blackheads

The House of Blackheads, Riga, Lativa

The House of Blackheads was built in 14th century and belonged to the Guild of Unmarried Merchants. At the time, it was the richest and most prestigious venue in the city. It
was severely damaged and pillaged during WWII, but was rebuilt again in 1999 as an exact copy of the original with a magnificent Dutch Renaissance facade and amazing ceiling paintings inside.

St. Peter’s Church 

St Peters, Riga, Latvia

St. Peter’s Church is one of the oldest and most valuable monuments of medieval architecture in the Baltic States. First mentioned in ancient chronicles in 1209, St. Peter’s was a Catholic church until 1523, when it turned Lutheran. Its wooden tower, the highest in Europe at that time, was destroyed several times. It first collapsed in 1666 and was rebuilt a year later. Artillery fire destroyed the structure again in 1941. In 1973, it was finally rebuilt. The observation platform at St. Peter’s Church provides the most spectacular panoramic views of the city.

Central Market

Central Market, Riga, Latvia

Central Market, Riga, Latvia

Central Market is one of the largest and oldest markets in Europe with five food pavilions located inside vast converted Zeppellin hangars. In stalls around and between them, everything from clothes to beer is sold. It’s always bustling and a great place to observe local people, try local produce, and find some bargains.

Musicians of Bremen Statue

Musicians of Bremen Statue Riga, LatviaThe Musicians of Bremen Statue is strategically placed between three major churches in Riga: Saint Peter’s, Saint John’s, and Saint George’s churches. The German city of Bremen is twinned to Riga and the statue is a 1990 gift from the German town. It is a bronze statue with the figures of four animals from the Musicians of Bremen’s story: the donkey, the dog, the cat, and the rooster. This statue is the exact replica of the statue in the city hall of Bremen.

Black Magic Bar

Black Magic Bar, Riga, Latvia

Riga Black balsam is the famous national brand name. The dark and astringent liqueur made of 24 herbs remains unchanged for 250 years. The only venue in Riga where the greatest recipe, combined with magical souvenirs and chocolate products, can be found is Black Magic Bar.

47 thoughts on “5 Best Tourist Sights in Old Town Riga, Latvia

    • Every time I get to experience a new country or culture, I remind myself how blessed I am to be having the experience. Then, I make the most of every second. I love being here and see so many new things. It’s amazing!


      • My bucket list started early in life when I quit Hi school in the tenth grade, joined the Navy and saw the world with a highlight of having a private audience with Pope Pius 12 when the ship was in Europe.

        Don’t know how to send attachment or would send picture with Pope.

        Second item in bucket list was getting master’s degree in math from Stanford..did so in 1963 MS math Stanford.


  1. Adore ~ especially the Black Magic Bar. Anything of earth and stone so appeals. Cosy, comforting, old … like the walls will whisper to us after a few liqueurs.


      • Do it ~ be safe, ( bring an umbrella to walk with ) and enjoy. Indulge in something delicious. It reminded me a little of Ireland but also of everything mystical and olde worlde. Please take plenty of photos !


  2. Great photos, as an Estonian I am admittedly biased but I would highly recommend to visit it as well, places like Parnu pier, Tallinn old town, Narva castle (by the Russian border), Haapsalu, Rakvere etc


    • Estonia is on my list just not during this trip. I’m doing Austria after Latvia and another country would be too much time away. Have you been able to travel lots living in Estonia?


      • Since Estonia is so small I have seen quite a bit of the mainland but maybe you know the problem: you go abroad and you explore every corner but at home you think “I still have time” and end up seeing less of it. Only been to one of the islands for example and there are crazy many.


  3. Wow Lesley, thank you for the tour of Latvia, My husband’s parents were born in Riga. We are planning to go there one day. I am looking forward to going to the Black Magic Bar, and drinking some Riga Black Balsam! Thank you for sharing some lovely images of my families history. :~) As always I love your writing! :~)


  4. Wow, this is so cool! Thanks for capturing this so well and giving us another idea for travel that’s off the beaten path. We’re gearing up for Nicaragua in the fall – have you been? 🙂 Travel on, my friend. Love seeing your adventures!


  5. Thanks for these amazing posts about my lovely hometown Riga. I have been traveling and living abroad and it is still one of the most charming cities for me.. I should blog about it more 🙂


  6. oh my. the cheese pic had me salivating. i can only imagine what other local goodies one may find in that central market. black magic bar seems to be also a spot to visit, even if only to try out the herbal liquor.


  7. Excellent photography…I’ve never been to Riga but the architecture is certainly inspiring…very informative words too, just hope to get the chance to see the sights and try a drink in the Black Magic Bar one day!


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