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One of my favourite things to do when travelling is hunting for amazing viewpoints. Riga doesn’t disappoint as the city provides you with 4 fantastic viewpoints! You’ll be able to get different views of Riga’s Old Town, the beautiful art nouveau architecture buildings, cobblestone streets and magnificent churches.
I would recommend adding at least one of these viewpoints to your Riga sightseeing list:
- St. Peter’s Church
- Latvian Academy of Sciences – Panorama Observation Deck
- Riga Skyline Bar
- National Library of Latvia
St. Peter’s Church
I know that other people recommend doing this view but the disadvantage of this is that you don’t get views of St Peter’s Church itself. You do get amazing 360 views of the Old Town on the other hand. It’s a hard toss up so maybe do at least two views to get your fix of panoramic views over Riga!
Tickets for St Peter’s church will set you back €9.00 and these are bought just inside the church. There will be a set of stairs and then a lift that will take you up to the view point. It will shake a little when getting up toward the top so don’t freak out when this starts happening.
You’ll be able to get your iconic photo of the colourful houses and the city.
Before leaving the church make sure you wander around the gallery inside the church which is all about Latvian people and life.
Practical Information for St. Peter’s Church
Address: Reformācijas laukums 1, Rīga, LV-1050
1 May to 31 August
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 – 19:00
Sunday 12:00 – 19:00
1 Sept – 30 Apr
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 – 18:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 18:00
Price: 9.00 €
Latvian Academy of Sciences – Panorama Observation Deck
The Latvian Academy of Sciences offers a perfect viewpoint and gives the best views without any obstructions in the way. In my opinion this view is better than that from St Peter’s Church as you can see St Peter’s Church in your view. As it’s slightly out of the city centre it will also give you a view of the TV tower, the library and the markets.
If stairs are something you struggle with there are only 2 flight of stairs involved in this viewpoint. It’s located on the 17th floor which is 65-metre-high but has a lift to the 15th floor.
The building is very noticeable as it’s built in Soviet Style and reminds me of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw and Seven Sisters in Moscow. It was built in the honour of Communist leader Stalin and completed in 1961. Creepily the building was built on the site of a Lutheran cemetery and church.
The building states that it is open from dawn to dusk and it costs €5.00 to enter. The viewing platform is open during the high season (April – October).
Practical Information for Latvian Academy of Sciences
Address: Akadēmijas laukums 1, Rīga, LV-1050
Opening time: 1 April to 31 October Monday to Sunday: 09:00 – 22:00
Price: €5.00 (cash only)
Riga Skyline Bar
Located in the Radisson Blu Hotel is the Skyline Bar located on the 26th floor. It’s a perfect place to relax with a cocktail an enjoying view of Riga. The building is out of the Old Town Again but gives you views on the Orthodox church, one of the boulevards into the city and of course views on the Old Town.
The cocktails were absolutely delicious, I tried the Angel Falls cocktail which was a refreshing tropical drink made with Venezuelan & spiced rum, mango, passionfruit, pineapple juice, lime, sugar cane and bitters. There is no better way to end the day than this!
Cocktails are around €9.00 to €12.00, mocktails are around €7.00 to €9.00 and beers are about €5.00. Be aware that there is a cover charge of €5.00 on Thursday to Sunday 21:00 to 01:00/02:00.
Practical Information for Riga Skyline Bar
Website: https://www.radissonblu.com/en/latvijahotel-riga/bars. To see the food and drinks menu on offer, go to the Skyline Bar website.
Address: Elizabetes iela 55, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1010, Latvia
Monday to Thursday: 12:00 – 02:00
Friday to Saturday: 12:00 – 03:00
Sunday: 11:30 – 02:00
Price: Price of a drink, cover charges after 9 pm Thursday to Sunday of €5.00
National Library of Latvia
National Library of Latvia is located across the river so it’s nice to cross and see the city from the other side. It’s the cheapest view of Riga as you only need to store you coat and bag which is free. You do need a €1.00 coin to check in your bag but this is given back when you pick up your stuff.
There is a slight downside to the view is that the windows have little dots on them and impacting taking photos of the view.
To get to the top floor head to the reception when you arrive at the building and ask for a badge to the view point. This will allow you to take the lift to the top floor (but only on a Sunday). You will still be able to get views of the city on the other floors, but the top of course is the best.
The great thing about the library is you can explore the library which is a bit like a museum and it’s away from the crowds of the Old Town. Also there is a café and restaurant where you can chill out and have a coffee.
Practical Information for National Library of Latvia
Address: Mūkusalas iela 3, Rīga, LV-1423, Latvia
Monday to Friday: 09.00 – 20.00
Saturday to Sunday: 10.00 – 17.00
Price: No cost
Expert Tips for Riga’s Must-See Views:
- National Library of Latvia is the only free view of Riga and the top floor is only open on Sunday.
- Skyline Bar is a relaxing and nice way to see views of Riga.
- St Peter’s Church has the best views on the Old Town and be sure to check out the art exhibit at St. Peter’s.
- The Science Academy Building Observation Deck is open during the high season (April – October).
Where to Find the Viewpoints
Here is a map of all the view points mentioned in the article, be sure to save this map before heading to Riga.
Let me know in the comments below which was the best view of Riga!