Duration (door to door):
Come and join us in a fascinating Riga city tour and get a taste of Riga's rich past. Riga, a fascinating, dynamic, thriving cosmopolitan city, constantly reinventing itself opens its hidden architectural treasures. Our unique and exciting tour will give you a perspective on Riga quite unlike any other you can experience in this city.
'Living the high life in Riga' tour includes a trip to Zakusala island and tower (if open), Occupation museum, Victory Park - Soviet Victory Monument, Riga Central Market tour, Riga old city tour, Art Nouveau district tour, Maskavas tour - old Jewish ghetto in World war 2, Skyline Bar birdeye view and Balsam liquor tasting.
*10.00 We begin at Riga's traditional meeting place - the Laima clock. ‘Riga Out There’ will loan you a pair of binoculars to ensure that you get the most enjoyment from your ‘Living the high life in Riga’ tour.
*10.15 Old Town 'talking tour'
Rather than pound the cobbled stones, along with the dozens of other tour groups, we scrutinise and survey Riga’s old town from the St. Peter’s Church viewing platform. From this spectacular vantage point, without you having to walk a single step, our expert guide will give you a colourful insight into the history and the here and now of this Baltic metropolis.
*10.45-11.15 The pain of subjugation
The Occupation Museum portrays life during the three occupation periods suffered by Latvia and the Latvian people. A trip to this museum is a harrowing but an essential part of any tour of Latvia. The Museum looks in-depth at the events of the first Soviet occupation (1940-1941), the Nazi occupation period (1941-1944/45), and the second Soviet occupation (1944/45-1991). Exhibits include a replica of a Stalinist prison camp barracks. Our expert museum guide will give an insight into Latvia's turbulent and traumatic recent history.
*11.15-12h00 The Riga Central Market
5 huge formerly zeppelin built hangars turned into vending alleys will give you a colorful taste of Riga daily life where feverish local merchants display a great variety of products such as caviar, rye bread, sprats, black balzams liquor or the ever delicious Laima chocolate.
*12.00-12.15 Blown away at Victory Park
Nowhere in Riga is there a more vivid reminder of the Soviet era than at Victory Park. The park is mobbed by ethnic Russians on important days in the old Soviet calendar and is the place where Russians -young and old- protest about political issues. Our tour stops here for 15 minutes allowing time for you to absorb the atmosphere of Riga's most blatant reminder of the Soviet past. Latvian nationalists have tried to blow this place up on occasion, but in the coming years it may well be the politicians who will finally succeed in obliterating these Soviet monuments.
*12.25-12.55 Feel like James Bond on top of Zakusala Island’s TV tower
Next we drive to Zakusala Island for a visit to the Riga TV tower, the third highest tower in Europe. This building wouldn't be out of place in a James Bond film, and from its observation tower you will enjoy panoramic views of Riga, the distant Latvian countryside and the Baltic Sea. The design of the tower was commissioned by the Soviet State Communication Design Institute and was finally completed in 1986. The basement of this, the world's 11th highest tower, is 27 metres deep. Riga’s extreme temperature variations (65 degrees Celsius in 2006) can move the tip of the tower by 2.4 metres!
12.55-13.30. Get 100 years back in Maskavas Street! The Maskavas street features a rich wooden architectural heritage. Maskavas or Moscow street, housing Russian workers a century ago also hosted the infamous Jewish ghetto in world war II.
*13.30-14.00 Lunch at the largest log cabin in northern Europe.
By now you will most likely have worked up a good appetite and with this in mind we cross the Daugava River to visit Latvia's most traditional and famous restaurant - LIDO. Here you can sample hearty cold dishes, rich hot meals and varied desserts in the vaults of the LIDO Beer Cellar. Once you have digested your banquet of sumptuous food you can continue to enjoy a couple more ‘medus alus’ (In-house brewed ‘honey beers’) (please note the cost of the lunch is not included)
*14.10-14.40 A view to kill for
First time visitors to Latvia are surprised to discover that Riga has the most extensive collection of Art Nouveau buildings in the world. The 'new art' style of architecture, took the European continent by storm in the 1880s. World-wide Art Nouveau hot spots include Paris, Barcelona, Prague and Havana. ‘Out There’ is proud to offer our clients the opportunity to not only visit what is arguably the most magnificent Art Nouveau tistreet in the world, but also to behold the mythical beasts and bizarre faces that dominate the marvelous facades of Alberta iela from the street’s roof tops.
*15.00 Balzams and binoculars
The cool and contemporary Skyline Bar up on the 27th floor of Hotel Latvija lives up to its name with an unbroken panorama of Riga. You will be provided with a glass of hot Balzams, which, along with your binoculars, will guarantee that by 4pm you will be an expert on the magnificent sights of one of Europe's most beautiful cities.