Published On: Sat, Jan 6th, 2024

‘I visited one of Europe’s prettiest winter cities’ | Travel News | Travel

With spring sadly a few months away, there’s still time to book a last-minute winter weekend mini-break. Although it can be tempting to head to warmer shores for winter sun, some of Europe’s cities are at their prettiest in colder weather.

I travelled to Riga, the capital city of Latvia, and found it was extremely easy to explore in a weekend.

On the Baltic coast, Riga is a popular cruise destination and easily reached from the UK on a budget flight.

Many of the city’s top sights are in the Old Town, which is pedestrian-friendly and easy to explore on foot.

Perhaps Riga’s most striking building, the House of the Black Heads is well worth a visit. You can go inside to learn more about the history of the Brotherhood of the Blackheads, an association of local unmarried men in the Baltics.

I also loved admiring the Three Brothers. They might sound like local unmarried men, but the Brothers are actually three of Riga’s oldest dwelling houses.

Coloured white, yellow and blue, the Three Builders are Riga’s oldest surviving stone-built houses and can give you an idea of how the city would have once looked.

I had a fantastic time exploring Riga’s Central Market, Centraltirgus. The huge indoor market is one of the best places to sample traditional Latvian food or pick up a souvenir.

It’s a little walk from the main Old Town but it’s easily reached on foot. St Peter’s Church Tower is the place to go if you want to admire the city from above.

Riga has some fantastic cafes serving coffee and pastries and when it comes to dinner, don’t miss out on trying a traditional potato pancake.

The pancakes are traditionally served with sour cream and lingonberry sauce but I found a few different options when I visited.

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