Parks and Gardens
At the beginning of the 20th century, Riga's parks were not called parks, but resorts - a place to relax and regain health. It must be said that this description is even more accurate in today's urban reality than then. In total, the city has almost twenty parks and gardens of different sizes - each with its own character and personality. In this section the most popular of them.
Riga Zoo (Riga Zoological Park) was opened in Riga's greenest district Mežaparks in 1912. During dozens of years, its collection was significantly supplemented, and now you'll meet there many interesting animals like lions, giraffes, kangaroos and coatis, visit the Tropical House and explore the underwater world. This is a great leisure site for adults and children since it is located by Lake Ķīšezers and surrounded by pine-trees.
Bastion Hill is one of the most romantic places in central Riga, as it features narrow paths, alleys of trees, stone garden, water cascade... The park right next to the Freedom Monument has been a delight to an eye and soul for more than a century. Either it's winter or summer - special amosphere is always here.
The Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia
From February to April, azaleas in the hothouse; in spring, the magnificent magnolias; at the beginning of summer, banks of rhododendrons; in the heat of the summer, roses and peonies and in autumn, dahlias. From March to October, visitors can experience tropical exotica and walk amidst butterflies in the Tropical Butterfly House. The Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia blooms and blossoms throughout the year!
Ziedoņdārzs Park is located on the very border between Riga centre and suburbs. The park is surrounded by high stone buildings on Čaka Street from one side and old wooden houses and narrow streets from other sides. Ziedoņdārzs Park was set up shortly before World War II; today it has regained its historic charm and become a popural leisure place for families with kids and elderly people. Its special feature - a fountain with sculptures of frogs.
Viesturs Garden Park
Triumph Arch and the sound of a tennis ball meeting a racket at Viesturs Garden Park remind you of the exciting competition at Paris' famous Roland Garros tournaments. The venue once saw the formation of the very first sports clubs in Riga. The park still has the third generation of elms once planted by Russian Emperor Peter the Great. The park is also known as Song Festival Park as the first festival was held here in 1873.
An island on the Daugava river, which only a few years ago was full of abandoned sheds, has become a popular place for bathing and recreation after the launch of renovation works. The Lucavsala park attracts children, those who prefer active recreation and other residents who want to enjoy nature while remaining close to the city centre.