Embark on a captivating canal trip and uncover the hidden gems of Riga in a truly beautiful way. Cruise along the serene waters, allowing the picturesque architecture of old Riga to unfold before your eyes. Marvel at the elegant bridges that adorn the landscape, connecting the city’s charming parks and spanning across the majestic Daugava River. As the boat glides along, you’ll catch glimpses of the legendary Central Market, a bustling hub of local flavors and vibrant colors. The hour-long journey begins at the city park, nestled in the scenic Bastion Hill, and takes you on a mesmerizing tour before returning to the starting point. However, feel free to disembark at any of the other stops along the way to explore further. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience something truly fabulous and create lasting memories of Riga’s beautiful waterways.

A view of canal in Riga
The beautiful canal going through different part of Riga and the bridges are really impressive.

I left my hotel on foot early in the morning even though I could have taken the bus, which was just around the corner, but I found it more enjoyable walking over the Vansu Bridge on a beautiful sunny morning.

The beautiful canal trip in Riga starts from here!
The beautiful canal trip in Riga starts from here!

Heading to the Canal

Soon I crossed the Daugava river. I ended up at the corner of the Latvian National Theatre and the park, saw a beautiful canal passing through the park, entered the park, and followed the sound of music coming from far away. A few people were playing local folk songs right by a walking bridge over the canal, and a small beautiful historical design boat called ‘Maria’ was passing through the canal; what a perfect view to enjoy. So I followed the boat while taking pictures and enjoying the music until I arrived at the trip’s starting point.

Canal Trip in Riga
Beautiful view under the bridge in Bastion Hill – taking the Canal Trip in Riga

Boat Trip Through The City

A boat was waiting to leave in 5 minutes, so I could not resist taking an hour long boat ride. And to tell you the truth, I enjoyed every moment, from the beginning till the end of the trip. I enjoyed the landscape around the canal, the historical buildings around great architecture, the old town, the shopping mall “Stockmann” and the great central market. Also, the beautiful skyline of Riga from the Daugava river kept my eyes wide open. So it was well worth taking the boat trip through the City Canal.

Riga, Latvia
A view from the Boat Trip in Riga

Places of Interest Along The Way

Explore Bastion Hill

One of the city’s beloved green spaces is Bastion Hill, a charming park that offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling urban environment. Nestled near the city center, this historic park combines natural beauty with a rich cultural heritage.

Freedom Monument

One of the most significant landmarks you should visit here is the Freedom Monument, a symbol of national identity and independence. Standing tall in the heart of the city, this monument holds great historical and cultural significance for the Latvian people.

The Freedom Monument
The Freedom Monument
Riga Canal Boat Ride
Riga Canal Boat Ride from Bastion Hill

Latvian National Opera

Latvian National Opera is a cultural gem in the heart of Riga, Latvia. Known for its world-class performances and architectural splendor, the Latvian National Opera is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and music lovers. Visiting the Latvian National Opera is an absolute must if you appreciate the performing arts.

Latvian National Opera, Riga
Latvian National Opera, Riga

Visit Central Market

If you’re a food lover or an avid shopper, you won’t want to miss the vibrant and bustling Central Market. Located in the city’s heart, this historic market is a feast for the senses and a cultural and culinary hotspot. The market is divided into five pavilions, each offering a unique array of goods. You’ll find everything from locally sourced produce, including seasonal fruits and vegetables, to an abundant selection of meats, fish, and dairy products. The market is also known for its impressive selection of traditional Latvian delicacies, such as smoked fish, honey, jams, and artisanal cheeses.

From the canal a view of Central Market
From the canal bat trip a view of Central Market in Riga

National Library of Latvia

The National Library of Latvia is a stunning architectural masterpiece and a treasure trove of knowledge. Located on the banks of the Daugava River in Riga, this iconic institution is a hub for literature and research and a symbol of Latvia’s intellectual heritage. Make sure to include a visit to the National Library of Latvia in your itinerary when exploring Riga.

National Library of Latvia
National Library of Latvia

Old Riga panorama

Experience the captivating beauty of Old Riga from a panoramic perspective. The Old Riga panorama offers a breathtaking view of the city’s historic heart, showcasing its charming cobblestone streets, Gothic spires, and vibrant colors. As you gaze out over the panorama, you’ll be transported back in time, witnessing the rich history and architectural splendor that defines this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The panoramic view encompasses iconic landmarks such as the Riga Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, and the House of the Blackheads, all nestled amidst a tapestry of charming buildings and picturesque squares. Whether you visit during the day when the sunlight bathes the city in a warm glow or at night when the medieval streets are illuminated, the Old Riga panorama is a sight that will leave you enchanted and eager to explore this historical gem in person.

A view of St. James's Cathedral from daugava river
A view of Old Riga and St. James’s Cathedral

Riga Castle

The Riga Castle is a majestic architectural gem and an important symbol of Latvia’s history and sovereignty. Situated on the banks of the Daugava River in the heart of Riga, this imposing structure has witnessed centuries of political and cultural transformations. The castle’s commanding presence and historical significance make it a must-visit destination for those seeking to delve into Riga’s captivating history and culture.

View of Riga Castle from daugava river
Riga Castle, Latvia

Riga Passenger Terminal

he Riga Passenger Terminal is a bustling gateway to the Baltic Sea and beyond. Located in the heart of Riga, this modern terminal is a hub for cruise ships, ferry, and international passenger traffic. From here, you can embark on a scenic Baltic cruise, explore neighboring countries via ferry, or enjoy the waterfront. The Riga Passenger Terminal offers a range of amenities, including shops, restaurants, and convenient transportation connections to the city center.

Passanger Terminal and daugava river
A view of Daugava River from the Vansu bridge

Where to stay in Riga, Latvia

Riga Islande Hotel, Riga

Located on Ķīpsala Island on the Daugava River, Riga Islande Hotel, with free parking, offers air-conditioned rooms with satellite TV, a mini-bar, and a safe. It also features a telephone and Ironing facilities; a trouser press is available by request. The hotel has a 24-hour reception desk. The public beach is located within a few minutes walk from the hotel. The hotel’s restaurant serves international and local dishes. In addition, a breakfast buffet is available. Riga’s Old Town is located 0.7 mi from the hotel. In addition, Riga Dome Cathedral is within 1 mile.

Park Inn by Radisson Riga Valdemara

Built in 2016, Park Inn by Radisson Riga Valdemara invites its guests to stay on the western side of the Daugava River with good connections to the Old Town, Riga International Airport, and main sights. Guests can enjoy a meal at the onsite restaurant, enjoy views from the terrace, and exercise in the fitness center. Most rooms feature panoramic views of the Daugava River, and the upper floors offer a city and Old Town overview. You will find a 24-hour front desk at the property and a food kiosk. It has limited private parking for cars and buses on site for extra charges. Riga International Airport is 4.3 mi from the hotel.

My Opinion and Last Word

Have you been to Riga, Latvia? Any cool tips to share?

loved being in Riga, Latvia, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit Latvia.

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Hasan Mahmud

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