Riga – Paris of North or the Baltic Prague
Riga has been called the “Northern Paris”. This is not as much of an exaggaration as one first could think. In Riga female beauty, good wines and food as well as arts are appreciated, there are boulevards and stylish parks, and because of the wealthy bourgeoise of the 19.th century and beginning of the 20.th centrury, there are hundreds of elegants buildings in Riga. However, compared to their Parisian counterparts, Rigans are not as cynical, yet playful humor is appreciated.
Rigans also live closer to nature than in Paris or most of European metropoles. It takes no more than a quarter or two to go to forests picking up mushrooms or having a swim in sea, lakes or River Daugava. It is actually not popular to swim in Daugava, but the river as such is an essential part of Riga, dividing the city. The climate in Riga is typical Northern European. Sometimes hot in summers, but often cool and rainy as well. There is, however, much of inner warmth in Riga people. Riga has, although mainly Latvian and Baltic capital, also some Slavic scent. Almost half of the city population speak Russian, and many Rigans have Russian, Belorussian, Polish and Ukrainian roots. The Slavic character here is more moderate than in many Russian cities or East European cities. To some extent the atmosphere resembles that of Prague. People like to meet in cafes, or have their pint of beer (“alus”) in local inns, talking about everything between the Baltic sky and earth. It is strongly recommended to visit some Latvian restaurant offering local meals.
Tea is also a popular drink, especailly in autumn and winter time. With tea or coffee one can have a small glass of Riga Black Balsam, mixture of strong alcohol and herbs clearing the mind and warming up the body. One should have no more than 1-3 glasses of this black elixir. Riga offers a great variety for music lovers and those interested about visual arts. Riga Opera is a high-class venue. There are tens of museums and galleries, the Old Town is a sight as such and Riga’s Art Nouveau or “Jugendstil” architecture is world-famous. To put it short, Riga is one of the most interesting capitals in Europe. On our Riga pages we will tell about the history and culture of Riga, but we also provide information about main happenings, restaurants and hotels. Riga will give unforgettable memories to those who visit the city.