Imagine you arrive at your weekend trip destination and suddenly the heavens open and it starts to rain. It can really kill the mood. So, what to do in Riga when it rains? Let me put you at ease by telling you that it rarely rains all day long Riga, so don’t just sit around your hotel room watching Netflix waiting for it to stop. There is plenty to do in Riga when it rains, so get out there and enjoy all the good, dry fun the city has to offer.
Idea #1 Latvian National Museum of Art
Dating back to the early-1900s, this historic building is a fine example of the Baroque style in Riga. The museum hosts the largest collection of national art in Latvia, including examples of Latvian art from the late-18th to the 21st centuries. My friends and I especially enjoyed the period between 1880-1915. The museum also offers fascinating insights into Latvian life and culture over the last 300 years.
You will also find a lovely souvenir shop and a restaurant for brunch or lunch inside the museum.
Admission: 3,50 EUR for the Great Exhibition Hall.
Where to find it? 1 Janis Rozentāls Square, Riga, LV-1010
Idea #2 The National Library (Castle of Light)
When the new National Library was built, it was a big event for all Rigans. The books had to be moved from the old library in the city center to the new library across the river. And instead of loading the books into trucks, there was a special event held called ”The chain of books’ friends” – a 3 km long people chain giving books from hand to hand until the last book reached the new library. Although it was a cold January day, there was a tremendous turnout – 14 thousand people from all over Latvia and the Baltic States, as well as from Germany, Sweden, USA, and Russia. The Designed by a Latvian architect Gunars Birkerts, the National Library is itself an interesting example of modern architecture and is a great destination for both- rainy and sunny days. You can also enjoy a fantastic view from the library.
Where to find? Mūkusalas iela 3, Riga
Idea #3 Riga Motormuseum
If you love retro cars, this place definitely must be on your checklist. Three floors house a great collection of cars including ancient vehicles and legendary race cars. The cars – and more than a hundred interactive screens – will keep you busy for hours. It is also worth mentioning that Riga Motormuseum was among the Top 10 finalists for the 2017 European Museum academy awards.
Where to find? Sergeja Eizenšteina iela 8. www.motormuzejs.lv
Idea #4 Illuseum – a must visit place for tea lovers
I must admit that I love drinking tea and I often choose it over coffee, but I wasn’t familiar with all the rituals that go with drinking tea until I stepped into this wonderful tea house. Illuseum offers a huge variety of teas from all over the world. You’ll want to stay for hours in this super cozy, oriental-themed spot. Actually, I would say that it is something more than just a tea house. It’s like an iconic temple to get away from the everyday stress with a cup of tea. But come and see yourself.
Where to find it? Miera iela 19, Riga (in one of the most creative quarters of Riga – Miera street.)
Idea #5 Laima Chocolate Museum
Just a few steps further along Miera street, you will find Laima Chocolate Museum – a paradise for chocoholics. Is there anything better than chocolate? Obviously, not! So immerse yourself into this chocolate tasting adventure, the wonderful chocolatey smells and the sight of chocolate being prepared. The Museum is not very big, so you can see everything in about an hour, but you’ll smell of yummy chocolate all day long! (You can also book a guided tour, which takes around 2 hours and includes a workshop). A very cool feature is that you can make your own chocolate package, which makes a perfect gift for your friends or family. Oh, and did I mention that you can also eat as much chocolate as you want?!? 🙂
Where to find? Miera iela 22, Riga. Check prices here.
Idea #6 Skyline rooftop bar
Let’s be honest, I miss Riga and its pretty sights quite a lot. Therefore the Skyline bar is a must whenever I’m in town. They have a wide variety of tasty cocktails and you can enjoy a marvelous panoramic view of the city. This is a great spot to watch the sun go down or to enjoy the beautiful clear skies the sky is clear, but the view is also very nice on rainy days.
Where to find it? Elizabetes iela 55, Riga
Idea #7 KGB Corner House – Haunted house
If all this sounds too sweet for you, I have a suggestion for those looking for more dark and thrilling adventures – the so-called Corner House. Here you’ll get a chilling insight into those dark days when Latvia was a part of Soviet Union. To be honest, it was quite emotional for me to visit this place as a Latvian, but one has to know one’s history. When Riga came under Soviet Union control in 1940, the brutal new leaders brought with them the dreaded KGB secret police that had the power to imprison people for no good reason. Many of the people captured by the feared KGB were executed in a killing area in the basement of the Corner House, while others were held captive in the cells. Many people knew what KGB Corner House was for and where the people that went missing were, but everyone was afraid to talk about it in case they too were killed or imprisoned in the Corner House, never to be seen again. My parents told me that at that during this period one couldn’t trust anybody as there were spies everywhere. We booked a guided tour in English, which helped us fully understand what went on in this terrible place. The whole thing gave me the chills, but I can strongly recommend a visit to the Corner House.
Guided tour costs 5 EUR.
Where to find it? Brīvības iela 61
Idea #8 Cozy up in one of the Old Riga’s cafes and watch the people passing by
I hope this article can help make the most out of a rainy day in Riga. Check out also the full guide of what to see in Riga here 🙂
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