If you love cycling and wish to escape from the city bustle to natural beauty and fresh air and to observe notable cultural and historical monuments on the way, this tour is for you!
The route starts in the very heart of Old Town Riga - on the square between the Town Hall and the House of Blackheads. First it will take you through narrow streets to the former fortification wall where now you can enjoy green areas and pathways and cycling paths along the city canal. Then you'll see a green zone - Kronvalda Park, which has a beautiful fountain. Initially the park was set up exclusively for German soldiers, along with a shooting-ground; for public use it was opened quite late. Then you'll pass through the Art Nouveau district. Here art is everywhere with no strict line between sculpture and architecture. The buildings are ornamented with figures and fantastic images; you can enjoy art like in an open-air museum. The buildings are adorned with various figures and fantastic images. No other European city features so many Art Nouveau-style buildings whereas in Riga's historical centre they are 40 percent. In 1997 Riga centre was included in the UNESCO World Culture Heritage List. Further you'll pass a new business centre and appartment district and reach one of Latvian most remarkable cultural monuments - Brethren Cemetry, which has a multitude of symbolic sculptures and landscape architecture.
At last, the route will take you along the first green area of Art Deco, Art-Nouveau and Neo-Classicism-style apartment houses in Europe to Riga's biggest park - Mežaparks Park. Here you can cycle in fresh air, swim in the lake, try the swings, have a look at the Jaunlaulāto (Newlywed Hill) and the Open-Air Stage which hosts the Latvian Song and Dance Festival every four years, a tradition started in 1873. If you are interested, you can have visit Riga Zoo or enjoy some attractions - rodeo, trampolines, or the "Mežakaķis" (Forest Cat) adventure track.
When you feel tired, you can go to the closest railway station to get to Riga centre. If it is Saturday or Sunday, first make sure that there is enough space for your bicycles (the maximum number of bikes - 2) by pnone and go to the city centre via the ship "Jelgava".
Those who are not tired yet can cycle back and see some more National Art Nouveau buildings and the Great Cemetery, which still holds 19th century vaults of crafts guilds and associations.
The foundation was laid in 1334, but the present Mannerism and Gothic-style appearance was added in the 17th century. The building was destroyed with shellfire in 1941 by the Russian Red Army, fearing a German ambush. The building was constructed anew in 1999.Less
The main gate features the coat of arms of Latvia and a pair of dying ancient Latvian horsemen on either side. From the main entrance the Road of Thoughts leads through an avenue of linden trees (female symbol in Latvian folklore) to the Terrace of Heroes, encircled by an oak (symbol of courage, a soldier) grove, along with an altar of eternal flame in the centre. From here you can see the burial ground with the figure of Mother Latvia, the fallen Latvian soldiers, and the Wall of Latvia.Less
Free bike stands outside the entrance. Opening times: 10am to 7pm (booking-office: 10am to 6pm). Tickets: 4 LVL (adults), 3 LVL (students, children (4 to18), seniors (up to age 70)).
More information on http://rigazoo.lv/public.Less
Tel. +371 67976886; tickets: 12 LVL (adults), 6.50 LVL (children up to age 17).Less