This tour is also available as
a Private Tour.
It may seem small compared to other European capitals, but it was desired by many over the centuries and so walking down the streets of Riga you still feel the city’s cosmopolitan vibe.
First there was the river, Daugava, known and used by the mighty Vikings and the sheltered, natural harbor that became an ideal setting for a bustling trading center. Thus, Riga was founded. Growing in time, it became a desired loot for the Christian Church and finally was taken by force and christianized. Joining the powerful Hanseatic League gave the city a boost to develop. And now many more wanted to lay their hands on the city. The Germans, the Poles, the Swedes and the Russians. There was a time when Riga was more important for Sweden than Stockholm and has become the largest Swedish stronghold. In Russian hands it grew, industrialized and became the largest timber export port in the entire world!
But finally the time was ripe for changes. Intellectual ferment and new ideas took over the old city of Riga. In cafés and salons, the forward-thinking intelligentsia discussed the future of the city and the country. Finally, after World War I, the new Riga came into being – the capital of the independent Latvian state.
World War II left Riga broken and destroyed, but the effort to rebuild it has led to the city’s inclusion in the prestigious UNESCO Heritage List. Coming off the decades of Soviet domination in 1991, the capital of once again independent Latvia became one of the progressive hubs of culture and economic growth, with its IT sector flourishing.
Walk with us through the curvy, cobbled streets, pass the Gothic red-brick houses and churches of the old city. Get to know the origins of the Christmas tree (yes, its roots are here and strangely enough they involve a group of intoxicated young guys) and many more curiosities hiding out there. Our tour will take you through time and the complicated history of Riga and make you understand and know the city, its culture and its people.
See and learn about:
After visiting Riga’s Old Town we recommend taking Riga Art Nouveau and Alternative Riga free tours to understand Riga better!
This tour is organized in cooperation with our local partner, Riga Free Tour!
Thank you for choosing Walkative & Riga Free Tour! If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Funny guide with a lot of knowledge. Some information about modern day Latvia would have been nice