Historically, Riga has always been a crossroads, a melting pot of various nations and cultures.
But the unique patina in this city of more than 600,000 inhabitants has in large part also been formed by the proximity of water – the Daugava River and the Gulf of Riga. The city has always lived in close cooperation with nature, which is still an important part of its residents’ daily lives – the many public parks, forests, squares, lakes and city canal. Riga has hills and islands as well as beaches. Nesting birds and even beavers call the city home. In addition, considering the relatively compactness of the city, many of its sites are within walking distance: special urban pulse points and green relaxation zones, a dynamic city atmosphere and the romance of rural idylls.
In the springtime, the air in Riga is full of the heady aroma of lilacs; in the autumn, it exudes the melancholy of falling yellow and red leaves; in the winter, it sparkles with a feeling of wonder after a fresh, white layer of snow.
Today the most accurate witnesses to the multi–faceted face of the city are its architecture and culture. These are eclectic and surprising in their diversity, with each era and trend leaving its mark – from Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classicism to Art Nouveau, modernism and vernacular wooden architecture.
The magic of Riga is found precisely in its diversity, in its many layers and personalities, which do not lack for classic values or paradoxes. But its most vivid characteristic has always been its openness. Openness to new ideas, trends, experiments.
Today, Riga is a cradle for innovative start–ups, and it prides itself in an excellent music and contemporary art scene,
the Song Festival (which culminates in an open–air concert with 18,000 choir singers) and a dynamic gastronomy milieu, in which local chefs compete in their search for "the flavour of Latvia" and thus bring an appreciative smile to the face of many a gourmet traveller. Riga has a glamorous city centre as well as a hipster republic. It’s possible to arrive in Riga via all three classic means of transportation – air, land and water – and the city can be observed both from above and from a SUP board on the water.