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City of Riga, Latvia

Riga Vacation - Tourism
Every year thousands of tourists from various countries of the world visit Riga. Infrastructure that promotes the development of tourism is being created, numerous entertainment and cultural programmes are offered, adequate information and service systems are being created. Today visitors can stay at number of quality hotels in Riga, the largest of which are ' Raddison SAS -- Daugava' and 'Hotel de Rome'. There are also a great number of ale houses which offer good services for reasonable prices -- one can dine, drink or just enjoy himself or herself. The many restaurants, clubs and cafes are distinguished by their pleasant atmosphere and original interior. Read more about Riga - Latvia

Hotels in Riga, Latvia
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Hotel Multilux, Riga Hotels star

Hotel Multilux, Riga

Multilux focus is on low cost - high quality Bed & Breakfast accommodation. We try to offer a service and standard that we would want if we were travelling to a foreign city. All rooms have free cable TV and free internet access. … [More Details]

Distance from Riga City Center: 1.4km

Albert Hotel, Riga Hotels star

Albert Hotel, Riga

Albert Hotel is a fully-modernised hotel, situated in a quiet centre of Riga, the capital of Latvia, in an 11-storey building in an exclusive zone of Art Nouveau architecture. … [More Details]

Facilities:

Parking
Distance from Riga City Center: 0km

Hotel Riga, Riga Hotels star

Hotel Riga, Riga

Since 1878, overlooking the picturesque Opera Garden, the magnificent Hotel Riga has been located in the heart of Riga and is a neighbour to the National Opera and Freedom Monument. … [More Details]

Distance from Riga City Center: 0.8km

Designapartments, Riga Hotels

Designapartments, Riga

Nice and sunny, hotel level equiped and serviced all apartments are situated in the very center of Riga - Old town - the most beautiful and active part of the city. … [More Details]

Distance from Riga City Center: 0km

Hotel Garden Palace, Riga Hotels star

Hotel Garden Palace, Riga

The elegant and unique 4-star Hotel Garden Palace was opened at the beginning of 2007, offering a unique location in the historical centre, comfortable rooms, entertainment and quality service. … [More Details]

Distance from Riga City Center: 0.4km

Lenz Guesthouse, Riga Hotels star

Lenz Guesthouse, Riga

Located next to the Old Town of Riga, in a district with Art Nouveau architecture, Lenz Guesthouse offers high quality, affordable accommodation and a peaceful respite from crowded city streets. … [More Details]

Distance from Riga City Center: 2.1km

Profitcamp, Riga Hotels

Profitcamp, Riga

Profitcamp, opened in July 2005, is a hotel that combines high quality standards and low prices, situated in the heart of Riga's old town, near the Opera House. … [More Details]

Distance from Riga City Center: 0km

Grand Palace Hotel , Riga Hotels star

Grand Palace Hotel , Riga

Latvia's leading hotel is located in the cobble-stoned 15th century Old Town of Riga, surrounded by ancient monuments, adjacent to the Dome square, Riga’s Palace and central to most government offices and major banks. … [More Details]

Facilities:

Fitness Centre / Gym Parking
Distance from Riga City Center: 1.3km

Boutique Hotel Viesturs, Riga Hotels  star

Boutique Hotel Viesturs, Riga

The Boutique Hotel Viesturs is located on a small, quiet street in the heart of Riga's Old Town, in a restored 17th century building. … [More Details]

Distance from Riga City Center: 2km

Ainavas Boutique Hotel , Riga Hotels star

Ainavas Boutique Hotel , Riga

Located in the heart of Old Riga, this boutique hotel is a completely unique concept designed to celebrate the beautiful landscape of Latvia. … [More Details]

Distance from Riga City Center: 0km

Ainavas Boutique Hotel , Riga

Geographical position of Riga
Riga, the capital of the Republic of Latvia, lies on the banks of the Daugava river not far from where the river flows into the Gulf of Riga. The territory of Riga covers 307 square kilometres and the total population was 815 thousand in January 1997. Riga is not only the largest city in the Baltic States, but also the most important centre of industry, finance and transport in the Baltic region.
Panorama of Riga, Latvia
Panorama of Riga
Port of Riga
Riga port

General Riga Information

Economy of Riga and Latvia
Since the thirteenth century, Riga has played a significant role in the region being an important transport junction on the roads between Western and Eastern countries. The international airport, the harbour, well-developed railway and highway systems - are only few of Riga's advantages that might be of an interest to business people from abroad.

In recent years the city has become the biggest financial hub in the Baltic States. Owing to the liberal legislation in Latvia towards banking as well as to the firm financial policy, the city has become a place where a considerable amount of foreign capital, especially that of Eastern origin, has accumulated and circulated.

Riga is the largest industrial centre in Latvia and in the Baltic States. However, since 1989 one can notice a fall in the volume of production. The industrial re-structuring appropriate to the new requirements has been hindered by a shortage of financial resources available to manufacturers. Most of the largest enterprises still need substantial investments from abroad. The industrial structure has also changed dramatically: today, one can observe rapid growth in industries that are mainly based on local resources, such as wood-processing and food industries. Today more and more large companies, such as 'Laima', 'Staburadze', 'Aldaris' and 'Rigas Miesnieks', are capable of producing goods and high quality services which meet with the highest Western standards. With the inflow of foreign investments, it is expected that other enterprises would recover and become more competitive too. The conditions for foreign investment have improved recently. This is confirmed by both the impetuous increase in the number of proposals for cooperation from Western firms and by the international rating agency 'Standard & Poor' that has assigned its 'BBB' long-term issuer credit rating as a positive outlook to the City of Riga.

The unemployment rate in Riga is comparatively low -- it equalled only 3.6% that is almost twice as low as the country's average. The cause of this discrepancy is the fact that there has been a considerable increase in the number of small and medium size enterprises, especially in the service sector, which is now dominated by private capital. In future, as the market reforms continue, it is believed that major emphasis will be put on service sector, particularly on the financial sector that is seen as one of the cornerstones of the economic base of the city.

Since ancient times, Riga has been an important transport junction. In the 14th and 15th century, Riga became one of the most developed centres of the Hansa Union. The city is ideally located on the cross-roads between Eastern and Western Europe as well as between Russia and the Scandinavia. This is why the harbour of Riga has always been one of the most important sources of income; it has also served as a crucial factor in the successful development through centuries. If the lengths of the piers are compared, the harbour ranks among the largest in Europe. Since 1991 more than 13 million dollars have been invested in the development of the harbour. The weight of cargo that is annually serviced by the harbour of Riga equalled 7.4 million tons in 1996. It is expected that this number will be even bigger in the future since the territory of the merchant port has been declared a free port with duty-free zone regime. The reconstruction of the Sea Passengers' terminal is still in progress but even today there are regular voyages to Stockholm, Kiel and Leubeck. There are also many direct flights from Riga International Airport to various cities all over the world. Among the carriers which operate from Riga, one can find many well-known companies, such as LUFTHANSA, SAS, BRITISH AIRWAYS and others. Coaches and trains connect Riga to the largest Baltic and CIS cities. It is also possible to take coaches to Germany and Poland and direct trains to Germany, Poland and Bulgaria. Latvian long-distance telephone codes and international communication networks are mutually interconected, therefore today, it is easy to communicate with other cities. The major companies operating in Riga include LATTELECOM, which serves the local telephone networks, and both LMT and BALTCOM -- firms that ensure good communication for those who use cordless telephones.

Municipality of Riga
The self-government authority is the City Council of Riga, which consists of 60 elected deputies who are elected for the duration of four years. The elected deputies work in 9 committees. The current mayor of Riga is Andris Berzins.

Art Noveau house in Riga
Art Noveau house in Riga
The Ethnographic Open-Air Museum in Riga
The Ethnographic Open-Air Museum in Riga

Freedom Monument - Riga Latvia
Freedom Monument

History of Riga
It is mentioned in the chronicle of Latvian Indrikis that the City Council of Riga was founded in 1201 although it is also stressed in that document that the first house-holders arrived in 1202. The bishops of Riga and the Livonian order with all their might tried to promote the immigration and settlement of the German population in Riga. After the defeat of

the local tribes and the subsequent consolidation of German feudal lords in the 13th century, a number of elements of German culture were introduced in Riga. Even today this heritage is reflected in the buildings that were built during the middle ages. Several forms of urban organisations formerly characteristic only to German cities were introduced too. These forms include fraternities, guilds, corporations and others. Later on the political fortune of Riga was largely determined by the Livonian war (1558 -- 1583). Although the city of Riga was not devastated during the war, it opted to conform to the political power of that time with the aim that the privileges and independence of the city were maintained. After the war the city experienced several colonial masters: in the 16th century they were polish, in the 17th century -- Swedes but after the Nordic War the city fell into the hands of Peter the Great, the Tsar of Russia. With the disintegration of feudalism, a surge of small and medium sized industrial enterprises occurred in Riga and its neighbourhood. The newly built Russian railway network, which connects Riga to Russian markets and sources of raw materials, also play a significant role in the development of industry and trade. In the beginning of the 20th century an industrial crisis which made workers' movement more active, began and latter transformed into the cruel suppressed revolution of 1905. After the collapse of the Russian Empire, Latvia proclaimed its independence and Riga became the capital city of Latvia.

Though Latvia was independent only for 20 years, Riga managed to become a prosperous and significant city that was a worthy partner to other European cities.

In 1940, the Soviet troops occupied Riga and the World War II interrupted the city from flourishing. During the years of the Soviet occupation after the World War II, Riga experienced rapid changes as a result of forced industrialisation. In addition to the raw materials necessary for the industries, labour also had to be imported, but the majority of the goods produced had to be exported to the Soviet Union. In 1991 the independence of Latvia was re-established and Riga again became the capital of the Republic of Latvia. Today the city has been able to develop as one of the most versatile commercial, culture and tourism centres in Eastern Europe.

Architectural heritage
Riga's architecture, changing in the course of time, accepted the novelties of the world's architecture, at the same time keeping to and preserving local traditions. The Old Riga has preserved the compactness of the medieval fortified town with its irregular form and high degree of urban density. The ring of Boulevards is like a green collar round the neck of the Old Town. This unique ensemble was created at the same time as the famous RingBtrasse in Vienna. There are numerous examples of buildings and architectural value representing different architectural styles : the Romanesque, Gothic, Classicism, Eclecticism and Baroque. Among other European cities, Riga is especially famous for its ensemble of Art Nouveau style -- the National romanticism. The old wooden houses in the suburbs of the city are also unique.

Culture and Education
Today there are 28 museums, 7 professional theatres, 12 cinemas, 4 concert halls as well as the circus and zoo in Riga. Every year many cultural activities take place in Riga: some of the examples include the Days of Art, the assembly of Vanguard Fashion, the 'Arsenals' film festival, the Nation Folk Song and Dance Festival. Besides, there are 277 amateur art groups in the city. Riga is the biggest educational centre in Latvia. More than 160 thousand students study at 220 different schools and 14 public and 9 private higher educational establishments. Recently the number of schools has been constantly growing.

Riga Vacation - Tourism
Every year thousands of tourists from various countries of the world visit Riga. Both the advantageous geographical position and cultural potential enable the city to become a flourishing centre of tourism. Infrastructure that promotes the development of tourism is being created, numerous entertainment and cultural programmes are offered, adequate information and service systems are being created. Today Riga's visitors can stay at 27 hotels, the largest of which are ' Raddison SAS -- Daugava' and 'Hotel de Rome'. There are also a great number of ale houses which offer good services for reasonable prices -- one can dine, drink or just enjoy himself or herself. The many restaurants, clubs and cafes are distinguished by their pleasant atmosphere and original interior. The guests are welcome to visit the National Opera House, the Philharmonic Hall or spend their time visiting the Ethnographic open-air museum in the open air.

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