1. The Old Town
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, because of its Art Nouveaux architecture and is said to be unparalleled anywhere else in the world. The oldest building here is the Dome built in the 13th century and dominates the skyline. http://www.doms.lv Also go visit St Peters Church and take a trip up the spire for great 360 views of the city.
2. Livs Square
Livs’ Square is one of the most popular squares in the city. A mere baby, its only been around since the end of WW2. Wander through Livs Square stopping to visit the Art Nouveaux House of Cats. There are lots of places to eat and drink situated here, and when we visited in December we found outdoor stalls selling delicious food, and hot fruit vodka’s as well as crafts such as lace and amber jewelry.
3. Museum of the Occupation
Situated in Town Hall Square, the museum is housed in an unusual grey boxed building, close to the River Daugava and outside of which, stands the red imposing Latvian Rifleman statue. The purpose of the museum is to provide information about Latvia when it was occupied by both Germany and Russia, reminding people of the wrongdoings committed during wars and to remember those who perished. A sober, yet also important and interesting stop on any tour of Riga. http://www.omf.lv/
4. Riga Castle
On your way to Rigas Castle, walk via the oldest surviving residential buildings in Riga. Known as the Three Brothers, houses 17, 19 and 21 on Maza Pils iela. Each was built in a different century and each one represents a different style of architecture. Its a short walk from here, to the Castle, originating from 1330, but it was demolished and destroyed many times. It still retains its original square fortress shape, with proud Latvian flag blowing in the Baltic wind. Nowadays it houses the Presidents offices and therefore most of the interior is closed to the public, but there are two museums you can visit, one on foreign art and the other on Latvian history situated here too. If you dont make it to the History Museum, then cross over the road towards the River once you have visited the Castle. Here, pay a visit to the replica Big Christopher (original in the museum), he is the city's protector and hard to miss!
5. Freedom Monument and Laima Clock
Walking out of the Old Town, make sure you pay a visit to Milda, the Freedom Monument which is the national shrine of Latvia. Flowers are placed at the bottom of the statue in remembrance of those deported to Siberia and there is a changing of the guard, every hour from 09.00 to 18.00. Also here is the famous Laima Clock, erected in 1924, and a great place for a photo op!