Riga was founded in 1201 by the German bishop Albert, but this area had been inhabited for a long, long time before that.
In 1282 the city joined the Hanseatic League.
In 1510 in Riga a Christmas tree was decorated for the first time ever. Since then Latvia has been considered as a birth place of one of the most important Christmas symbols – a decorated Christmas tree.
In 1629, the German rule was replaced by the Swedish and Riga became the largest city in the Kingdom of Sweden.
In 1710, Riga came under Russian rule. The German influence however was still felt until the proclamation of Latvia’s independence.
In 1873, the first Latvian singing festival (now known world-wide as “The Song and Dance Celebration”) took place in Riga.
From 1901 to 1912 Riga was governed by British Mayor George Armitstead.
Latvia’s independence was proclaimed on November 18, 1918 and Latvia enjoyed its independence until 1940 when the occupation by the Communist Soviet Union regime began. Soon after Soviet rule was replaced by the occupation of Nazi Germany, and then – again by Soviet Union.
In 1991 Latvia regained its independence from the Soviet Union.
In 1995 the historic center of Riga – The Old Riga – was included in the Unesco World Heritage List.
In 2001 Riga celebrated with a grandeur its 800th anniversary.
In 2014 Riga was awarded the title of European Capital of Culture.
A few additional reasons why choose Riga
Riga has a vibrant cultural life. The Latvian National Opera brings world-class artists together. Concert halls regularly offer concerts of classical and popular music, while the exhibition halls cover artworks of both classics of the world and works of contemporary artists. Riga’s cultural life is abundant in its various manifestations.
The architecture of Riga is beautiful and diverse. Old Gothic churches raised by the founders of Riga, medieval buildings in the Old Town, the legacy of sophisticated Art Nouveau and of wooden houses makes Riga a pearl of architecture. Walking along the streets of Riga will be an exciting adventure for every guest of the city.
The restaurants of Riga feature a “fusion” kitchen. You can try both Latvian dishes based on traditional recipes and dishes offered by local chefs with a surprising mix of flavors. It will be a thrilling gastronomic journey.
Marathon, orienteering in the forest or adventure competitions – these are just some of the active recreational activities enjoyable in Riga. Parks in downtown are as designed for jogging in summer and skiing in winter. The abundance of bodies of water make different water sports possible. Golf Courses and circuit track will attract motor sports fans.
Riga is more than 800 years old. Every century has left its mark in features of Riga. This can be seen in architecture – especially in Old Riga and in the downtown, as well as in some of the most historic districts, such as Agenskalns. The cultural heritage coexists in harmony with the rapid momentum of modern age and interacts with the time, space and manifestations of the modern world.
Riga is the perfect place to enjoy SPA and beauty treatments offered by a wide range of salons in Riga. One must try a traditional Latvian bath while staying in Riga!
The Old City is perfect for a leisurely shopping pleasure. Small souvenir shops and galleries of art objects are located on the narrow streets of the Old Town. You can also go to one of the supermarkets and buy both foreign and domestic products.
Professional high-class medical staff will help you improve your health. Health improvement procedures in Riga are popular not only due to the high quality of service, but attractive prices as well.
Riga is an ideal place for organizing conferences, exhibitions and team building events. The city is very dynamic, therefore it is capable of providing not only professional services, but an appropriate infrastructure as well.
Where to stay in Riga?
You can entrust your accommodation to one of the highly-rated 3+ Star hotels in Riga – PRIMO HOTEL! It is located at the very heart of Agenskalns, next to the historic market building and romantic wooden houses.
A public transport stop is 50 meters from the hotel. A bus, trolley or tram will drive you to Old Riga within 7 minutes, but you can also take a 2.5km walk through the park. Airport is within a very convenient and accessible distance as well, just 15 minutes away by car. Jurmala, the popular resort town, also is only 15km from PRIMO HOTEL.
But you don’t have to go anywhere to enjoy the city – in Pardaugava, where the hotel is located, there is a diverse environment to enjoy too – Kipsala with its fantastic, breathtaking and world-renowned views of the right coast of Riga; the newly built Library, which surprises not only foreign guests but also locals with its architecture; for nature lovers – the picturesque and romantic Mara pond is nearby, while culture and entertainment enthusiasts can reach the Kipsala Exhibition Hall taking a few stops with public transportation, where both educational and entertainment events take place.