Stuart Forster heads across Europe and shows food and travel photography from Riga, Latvia.
If you enjoy travelling to Christmas markets and eating good food, Riga, the capital city of Latvia, is a place to consider visiting. During 2018 Latvia will commemorate a century since the country’s independence.
A century you may wonder? During World War Two Latvia became part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics but independence was restored in the early 1990s. Despite having been an independent nation for a generation, Latvia still has the feel of a place that’s largely unexplored by Western tourists.
Bars, cafés and restaurants in Riga
The city has a positive buzz and hosts a number of chic bars and boutiques. Modernists (Krišjāņa Barona iela 31) combines being a design store and a place to meet and enjoy a glass of Champagne. The Rocket Bean Roastery (Miera iela 29/31), meanwhile, is a laid-back café and coffee roaster that imports its beans from Central America.
In terms of the quality of its food and culinary presentation, Mute (Tērbatas iela 63) has a lot to shout about (see what I did there?). The team from Mute’s kitchen are shown on the photo I’ve selected as the header for this post.
To taste traditional Latvian cuisine, we headed to Niklavs (Mārstaļu iela 1), in the city centre, and Lido, within Europe’s largest wooden building.
From the perspective of a visiting travel and food photographer, it was great to be able to access high-speed Wi-Fi in cafés, bars and restaurants. That meant I was quickly able to upload and share posts to Instagram and Twitter.
Getting around in Riga
The centre of Riga is fairly compact, meaning that it’s relatively easy to get about on foot between places of interest. If you’re heading further afield then the trams of the public transport system are easy to navigate and, of course, you could always book a taxi if you want to reach an outlying area.
Look out for posts from Latvia on Go Eat Do. You can already find a couple from the town of Sigulda, which is approximately an hour from Riga and a good place to head if you enjoy visiting castles, walking and adventure sports.
Riga proved a good destination to explore with a camera.
Take a look at the Latvia Travel website for ideas about things to do and see in the Baltic nation.
The Live Riga website has information about things to do and see in the Latvian capital.
Regent Holidays (020 7666 1244) can offer a three night stay at the Radisson Radzine in the city centre of Riga, Latvia, from £395 per person. The price is based on two sharing on bed and breakfast basis and includes return flights and transfers.
Air Baltic flies from London’s Gatwick Airport to Riga International Airport. The duration of the flight is two hours 40 minutes.
Disclosure: Stuart visited Latvia as part of a group familiarisation tour organised by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.