Situated on the shores of the Baltic Sea, near the mouth of the Daugava River in the Gulf of Riga, Riga is the largest city in the Baltic states and the largest cultural, educational, political, financial, commercial and industrial center in the region.
The city’s population has decreased since Latvia’s independence in 1991 from 910,000 to 760,000, mainly as a result of emigration by the Russian minority. See population of Latvia.
In Riga, Latvians make up 42% of the population, Russians make up almost the same percentage. Thanks to its historical and architectural wealth, as well as its great cultural vitality, inhabited houses and church towers from the Middle Agescoexist with buildings in ‘art nouveau’ and eclectic architecture.
To this must be added the charm of the green boulevards of the city and the wooden buildings, which are found across the Daugava River. Sights include the Cathedral, the House of the Blackheads (Melngaviu nams), the Freedom Monument and Riga Castle.
The climate is humid and cold and the summers are rainy and brief, with an average temperature of 17º C. Winter lasts from December to March, with temperatures below zero, to extremes of -40º C.
Things in Riga have changed a lot since the days of the Soviet Union and the capital has assimilated the Western European style of doing business. Consequently, few executives encounter difficulties in a city where the label is similar to London, Paris, or Frankfurt. The dress code is relatively formal and suits and ties are required at business meetings, although more informal dress is allowed in the new technology sectors.
The usual way to start a meeting is by shaking hands and gifts are often appreciated, especially luxury items such as watches or a bottle of single malt whiskey. In a nation with a high per capita alcohol consumption rate, most gatherings, dinners, and lunches are bathed in copious amounts of alcohol. Business hours are Monday through Friday from 09:00 to 17:00. The old Soviet-era custom of using public holidays as an excuse to take two or three days of vacation is fast disappearing.
According to abbreviationfinder, the city of Riga has the international airport Riga Airport. National and international flights arrive and depart every day. It is located 7 km from the city. It is the largest airport in the Baltic countries, modernized in 2001, on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the founding of the city.
- Places of interest: The ancient city dates back to the 13th century and forms a fascinating ensemble that has been kept safe from fires, shelling and looting. Some of its most significant buildings have been restored to preserve all the charm of its medieval architecture. Among the buildings of a religious nature, the Lutheran Cathedral of Santa María and the Church of San Pedro, in Gothic style, stand out. The old Calvinist temple of the Reformation currently functions as a concert hall and restaurant.
Civil and military architecture has its main exponents in the Castle (14th century), the official residence of the President of the Republic. Also noteworthy are the artisan workshops of medieval origin turned into art galleries or museums, the bourgeois mansions such as the Mencendorf House (18th century), decorated with frescoes and carved wood, or the squares such as Doma Lukims, which concentrates great animation on summer afternoons thanks to its terraces and outdoor barbecues. In the most current area, its modern buildings have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
- Nightlife: Riga, a city of intense nightlife, has many pubs, bars and clubs. In the summer the Doma Laukums square fills with tables and chairs and transforms into a fun square of cheap cafes, breweries and bars. For those who want a bit of nostalgia there are cheap Soviet-style restaurants with plastic cups, wooden tables, and vodka.
It has a cultural life full of activities such as the National Song and Folk dance festival held every 4 years and attended by more than 30,000 people each time it is organized. It also has the Latvian National Opera and the Latvian Philharmonic Orchestra. On the other hand, its nightlife is very lively. There are many clubs, pubs, casinos especially in the old part of the city with a decoration very appropriate to the medieval city.
- Ethnographic museum
- Friederich Zander Museum
- Jewish museum
- Railway Museum
- Occupation Museum
- Film museum
- Opera and Balet
- Jaunais Teatris (New Theater)
Public libraries and reading rooms
- [University of Latvia]]
- Latvian Academy Library