Martins Veidemanis has lived in Riga for close to two decades. He fell in love with the city because of the architecture, its unique “vibe,” and the memories he’s shared there with his wife. Here are a few of Martins’s favorite things about the Latvian capital.
Riga is My City
My city’s best museum is the Latvian National Museum of Art because of its fantastic collection of Latvian artists. (I also met my wife there.)
Pop Up Store at Kaļķu Street 3 is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs.
You can see my city best from the Latvian Academy of Sciences viewing platform.
In the past, notable people like Richard Wagner, Philippe Halsman, and Mikhail Baryshnikov have called my city home.
Late spring is the best time to visit my city because the days are longer, the parks are blooming, and the city is smiling.
The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is the park at Lucavsala.
My city really knows how to celebrate the Song and Dance Festival. Even the people on trams sing.
You can tell if someone is from my city if they’re speaking Latvian and wearing the RIGA shirt.
My city is known for being full of beautiful architecture and having a lovely Old Town, but it’s really more than that, with many young and creative minds making Riga a fantastic place to be.
The best outdoor market in my city is Riga Central Market, which is also the largest we have here in Riga. It’s amazing how rich the assortment is that one can find there.
To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read the Live Riga events page.
When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I wander the streets searching for inspiration — tiny things like forgotten shop names painted on a wrecked house, or a chestnut tree full of blossoms bending by the side of the road, or a bush full of sparrows singing so loudly and happily.
To escape the crowds, I like to take a long walk in Ķīpsala, a quiet place away from the city center with fantastic wooden houses and one very special roof.
If my city were a celebrity it’d be Audrey Tautou because both are charming, a bit mysterious, and beautiful.
The dish that represents my city best is Cake Vecrīga (named after the Latvian term for Old Town), which you can get at Cafe Vecrīga, and Clavis Riga is my city’s signature drink, which is best tried at the Flying Frog Cafe, the place where it was created.
Splendid Palace is my favorite building in town because of the fantastic movies they show and because of the great architecture.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
The Song and Dance Festival, with many thousands singing and dancing everywhere, could only happen in my city.
In the spring you should fall in love again or for the first time.
In the summer you should hang out in one of many beer gardens and taste quality Latvian beer like Valmiermuiža.
In the winter you should warm yourself with a glass of hot Riga Black Balsam and make a snowman.
If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss Lucavsalas Park.
If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s terrible to get around when the weather is nasty – snow could fall from the roofs and streets could be flooded because of heavy rain.
In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because Riga has so much to offer: parks and gardens, fancy clubs and classy pubs, rich history, modern thinking, creativity, passion, and freedom.