Riga has become the most popular stag party destination for Brits, thanks to cheap flights, affordable booze and famously beautiful women. But even if you are heading to Riga for a stag party, it would be a crime not to explore its many other attractions. Discover why this capital city deserves its status as a World Heritage Site, as people come to the city for its inspiring Art Nouveau architecture, rich history and much more.
Vecriga - The historical centre
Any visit to Riga should begin in Vecriga, the city's historical centre. Home to an oasis of colourful buildings that will take you on a journey through time, back to the days of Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture. There's no better way to explore the cobblestone streets and charming old houses than by foot. Keep an eye out for the Riga Cathedral and St. Peter's Church that both dominate the skyline. Vecriga possesses a beauty all of its own, rightfully earning its place on World Heritage list in 1997.
Admire architectural designs on Alberta Street
Riga is a mecca for Art Nouveau lovers with over 800 buildings of this style on its doorstep. It has the highest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture anywhere in the world. One of the city's most prolific art architects of this style was Mikhail Eisenstein (1867 - 1921). He is best known for his collection of buildings on Alberta street famous for its mythical sculptures, fanciful tiles and geometric ornaments.
Art Nouveau Museum
Left wanting to know more about Art Nouveau after your stroll around Alberta street? I have just the place for you: the Art Nouveau Museum. Conveniently located at one end of Alberta street, it was once the residence of a famous Latvian architect Konstantīns Peksens, he designed the entire building from top to bottom as well as a mere 250 other buildings around the city.Every single room has been renovated and preserved, showcasing a unique collection of furniture and kitchen appliances that date back to the 1900s. However, the showstopper is the stunning spiral staircase, complete with ornamental ceiling paintings.
Perhaps only surpassed by the heavenly Hemsworth brothers, I don't think there's a prettier trio than these guys. Legend has it that the three houses were all built by descendants of the same family and present a striking timeline of architectural trends. The oldest house was built around 1490 and reflects Gothic and Dutch influences during the time when Riga was a magnet for Dutch traders.The middle brother, arguably the grandest and most eye-catching one, was built in the mid-17th century. It, too, features Dutch influences and boasts intricate details including an engraving above the door that reads, "Soli Deo gloria!" ("Glory to God alone!" in Latin).
The youngest brother came along shortly after the middle one. It was built in the later half of the 17th century and is the thinnest of the trio. Its green facade is allegedly meant to be a mask to protect the property from evil spirits.Today, the Three Brothers houses the Museum of Architecture where you will find original blueprints and archives belonging to other historical buildings in the city.