Riga, Latvia from a bird’s eye perspective

Riga is truly a great European destination. It has beautiful architecture, a charming old town, stunning examples of art deco, and can easily be visited in a  weekend or serve as a base for longer trips to explore the surrounding seacoast and the countryside. Heather has already written about many of the highlights worth seeing on a  visit to this Baltic capital.

Riga’s old town is quite compact, with winding, medieval streets. There are two panoramic points worth visiting to enjoy a sweeping view over the entire city.

The first is St. Peter’s cathedral, just in the center of town. St. Peter’s went through several eras of construction, but the original structure was begun in the 13th century. The steeple was added in 1491 and a visit here  provides  a great view over the old town skyline, with  its numerous spires, and the Daugava River.

Another panoramic point is the Radisson Blu Lativja Rija, once a boxy, characterless Soviet hotel, which has been beautifully converted into a modern hotel offering stunning views over the old town.

Our kids loved looking out the room’s window each morning and pointing out where we had been. Guests can also take advantage of the top-floor sauna with glass walls looking out over the city. I found this an enjoyable – and relaxing – way to start each morning.

Even if you are not staying at the hotel, you should make a visit there to the popular top-floor bar to enjoy a drink and admire the Riga views. If you’re planning a trip here, the HotelsCombined price comparison site can quickly find the best deals for Riga hotels.