Riga is a truly pretty sight, whose skyline is filled with
church steeples pointing to the sky. Regarded as one of the most
dynamic capital cities within the Baltic States, Riga is a vibrant
big city, with broad avenues, majestic Art Nouveau palaces, trendy
cafés, restaurants, and shopping centres. Riga is, above all,
famous for its spectacular Art Nouveau architecture. There is no
other European city with so many buildings featuring that
particular 19th century style. The easiest way to discover these
architectural delights, which you won't find anywhere else, is to
explore the city on foot.
A must for any visitor to Riga is a trip through the labyrinth
of cobbled streets in the Old Town. This wonderful part of the city
has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. As you explore the
winding streets, you'll pass more than 150 historical and
architectural monuments, the oldest of which date from the 13th
century. It is very easy to get lost in the narrow streets and
alleys, but just as easy to find your way out - something that is
part of the experience when visiting Riga.
As you leave the Old Town and head for the city, you will see
the Freedom Monument (known as "Milda" to Rigans). This 138 feet
(42 metre) tall statue, a symbol of Latvia's freedom and
independence, towers gracefully between the Old Town and the city.
The tower's honour guard changes shifts every hour on the hour
during the day.