How to spend a summer day in Riga

Whether you are on a vacation or just having an hour to spare, there are a plenty of things to do on a hot, sunny day in Latvia’s capital.

Pedal down to Ķīšezers

With a gamut of street food filled events happening every week, an occasional exercise is mandatory. Luckily there are plenty of interesting destinations for a bike trip. Kill two birds with one stone and head to Ķīšezers lake for a victory swim after the ride. A comfortable cycling lane will lead you to Mežaparks, where the lake resides, in less than an hour. If you also jog a bit before the swim, it could be said that you did a triathlon. 

Go to the lighthouse

On does not necessarily need to go to Kurzeme to amble on the breakwaters, just hop on bus 24 or minibuss 224 and go Mangaļsala. Like an elegant woman dressed in red, the stately lighthouse will greet you at the end. Mangalsala jetty is a fitting venue for leisurely stroll, a great photo-op and more active, less sandy way to get a great tan. Keep in mind that in a windy weather things can get a bit wet up there. 

Stop for an ice cream

Whether you are rushing from one meeting to another or going home from work; all roads lead through the richly green Riga’s parks. And what is the prime inhabitant of parks in the summer? An ice-cream vendor. Treat yourself with a cold scoop and enjoy a short lull in your daily rush. And as for those that have a plant-based diet, there are the juicy Avenei vegan ice-creams that can be bought in an array of places in Riga, such as Stockmann, Zaļā Govs, Dabas Stacija etc. 

Lunch breaks on terrace

When the sun is out, leave your lunchbox at home and instead during the lunch break conquer one of the lovely outdoor seating areas of Riga’s numerous cafes and restaurants. Lion’s share of them serves superb three-course meal for affordable prices. Head to Pagalms, to eat a three-course meal for 7,50 eur under a lush oak tree and watch how the ferries slowly slide in the nearby canal. Lunch breaks spent in such a way feels like a mini vacation.

Address:
Kronvalda bulvāris 2B
Tel.:
25642030

Go longboarding in Mežaparks

Every local knows that the best place to rollerblade is the long roads snaking through the pine trees of Mežaparks. The asphalt is smooth, no cars to be weary of, a place to rent the equipment and couple of kiosks selling tasty treats. But instead of rollerblades why not try longboarding? This activity has been around for a couple of years now, and Mežaparks is perfect fit for a longboarding debut. Who knows, maybe you are a natural at longboarding!

Have a picnic in Lucavsala

Having a meal with birds chirping in the background is one of the quintessential of the summertime. While there are many greeneries where you can combine sunbathing with a bit of snacking, it is more convenient if the place is designated for that purpose. Lucavsala, a little strip of land located in the middle of Daugava is perfect for having a picnic as there are many wooden tables. And cycling lane beneath Salu bridge makes it easy to access by bike. But what is a Latvian summer feast without shashlik? Take your grill and make a barbecue. Don’t forget about your vegan friends – buy the plant-based version of shashlik, soy-shlik in the most environmentally friendly places in Riga, for instance, the vegan restaurant Terapija or the zero waste store TURZA. Lucavsala also features swimming area equipped with changing cabins, a children playground and even a portable library. 

Thrift shopping in Riga Flea Market

Happening in one of the most magical locales of the city, Spikeri creative district, Riga Flea Market is a truly unique shopping experience and a great way to spend Saturday. From antique design items to fashionista’s closet sale – it is a heaven for crafty shoppers and treasure hunters. More info about Flea Market Riga.

Icy caffeine fix

The best thing about spending summer in the city? Refreshing, ice-filled latte served on almost every corner. Have you noticed the newly opened second outpost of Kurts coffee on the corner of Vērmanes garden? Like many other cafes in Riga Kurts coffee gives you a 10% discount if you come with your own takeaway coffee cup. Cheers to sustainability!

Sail away

Go to Andrejsala, rent a kayak or hop on a SUP board and experience Riga from a different point of view. Slide through the winding canals of the city centre or sail the tremendous River Daugava. For more uniqueness go in the evening, to enjoy a sunset on the waters and the gleaming lights that adorns the numerous bridges looming over the canals.

More information: rigaslaivas.lv 

Address:
Eksporta iela 1a, Andrejsala
Tel.:
+37126559398

Hotdogs in Pārdaugava

A mix of wide arcs of greenery and cobbled alleys, the left bank of Daugava goes by a rhythm of its own and summer is great time to explore it. After marvelling the fairy-tale-like Holy Trinity Orthodox Church and the wooden dwellings lined on Kalnciema street, stop by Kadagi Dog café for some hotdogs with Latvian twist. The buns are freshly baked and the sausages comes in all kinds of types, from pork beef and chicken, to vegan. You can also switch the wurst for herring or lamprey. The tiny café is nestled in the leafy Nometnu Street, with cars passing once per hour, therefore the outdoor seating area is especially enticing.

Address:
Nometņu iela 44, Āgenskalns
Tel.:
+37125472967

Scooter around

Rather than borrowing a bike from a friend, try the newcomer in Riga’s traffic scene, ATOM e-scooter. Download the app, find the nearest scooter, unlock it and drive away. Afterwards leave it at the closest of the designated bike racks. E-scooter is more compact than the bicycle and therefore convenient on the crowded streets of Riga. Another plus – you can drive it without getting your clothes wrinkled.

More info: www.rideatom.com

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