Old Town & Open Air Museum
Tour code: RIX R004,
Duration: 4:30 hours.
As you depart from the harbor, your tour will take you to the oldest part of Riga, established in 1201. Medieval Old Town walking tour acquaints you with the romance of Middle Ages, the merchants and craftsmen town, founded more than 800 years ago. Let’s walk around the narrow cobblestone streets with its ancient houses, fascinating and beautiful church towers, which still survive from the Middle Ages. Reach baroque style St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, one of the most significant and beautiful Gothic churches in Riga and the Baltic states. Some free time for souvenir shopping is offered near Konventa Seta, where you can also find the oldest stone wall structure of Riga, the St. George Church (now the Museum of Applied and Decorative Arts).The oldest in Latvia and largest religious building in the Baltic States, grandeur Dome Cathedral, which combines features of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and modern architecture is on your way. The cathedral is famous for its magnificent organ (1884), renowned for its superb acoustics. Music-lovers will be happy to learn that regular concerts take place in the cathedral, built in XIII century. The romantic Convent Courtyard, Great and Small Guilds, take a look on “Cats House”, which is located right in front of the Great Guild. Gothic House of Blackheads, St. John’s Lutheran Church established in 1234 and became a church in the late 13th century. Swedish Gate and other historical monuments of the Old Riga do not leave you indifferent. Like most medieval cities, Riga was once encompassed by a fortified wall, a few fragments of which can be still seen. One of the oldest parts, built between the 13th and the 16th centuries is in Jāņa Sēta (restored in 1957-60). Near Gunpowder Tower is a part of the wall including the Swedish Gate, built during the Swedish period in 1698.The baroque building above the gate is the office of the Society of Latvian architects. In Pils Square you can see the imposing Rīga Castle, built between 1330 and 1353 by the Livonian Order, including a convent, four corner towers and a gate tower. Today the castle is the residence of the Latvian president. Oldest residential building in Riga Three brothers and St. Jacobs church.
Also, you have an opportunity to buy a local sweets and famous Riga Black Balsam, a 45 percent proof herbal drink which is one of the visit-cards of our city. It is famous since 18th century for its rich taste, curable power and nice herbal aroma.
The second part of the tour brings you to the Open Air Museum, founded in 1924. The Latvian Ethnographic Museum is one of the oldest open-air museums in Europe. 100 hectares shows how life used to be in Latvia. Historical dwellings, peasants’, fishermen’s and artisans’ homesteads, a tavern and windmills have been gathered here from all over Latvia. Farmsteads, churches, windmills, fishing villages and other historic countryside buildings have been moved here and are preserved for posterity. You can watch craftsmen working in the traditional way and buy attractive souvenirs.
It will conclude your tour program and you will return to your coaches to go back to the pier.
What’s included: Transfer, Licensed guide, Entrance fee.
Location: City centre.
Availability: All year around.