Black cats and cobblestone, gothic spires, a self-serve dumpling bar, and penthouse view of the city’s skyscape – we arrived at Riga, Latvia after saying our goodbyes to Tallinn, Estonia with renewed spirits and an eagerness to explore. 🇱🇻❤️
The sky was overcast but unsurprisingly, Riga was still alive with life – tourist groups with tall flags and dslr cameras, local vendors selling wool mittens and winter wear, and then us, cozily wrapped under layers and layers of warm sweaters and oversized scarves, with our eyes wide open, trying to soak in everything before the day reached its conclusion.
Out of the Baltic cities, Riga is the largest in population and is characterized by its Art Nouveau styled buildings, historical old town, and rustic cafes and wine shops. While walking through the Old Town, there was an air of elegance and tradition, as if we had suddenly stepped into a painting from five hundred years back.
Speaking of crossing paths with history, we passed The Three Brothers, the oldest set of houses in Riga that dates back to the 15th century. The colorful and quirky architecture reminded me almost of the southwestern pueblo styled houses back in my hometown.
We stayed at the Seagulls Garret Hostel and some of us lucked out and got the penthouse view of Riga (we did have to climb five flights of stairs with our heavy suitcases but it was definitely a rewarding trek and needed workout).
Dumpling heaven! We had dumplings at XL Pelmeņi for dinner! There was a self-serve dumpling bar with chicken, pork, and beef dumplings, fried cheese, along with an assortment of sauces – as an avid dumpling lover, my eyes lit up immediately upon entrance.
The sun set and we walked to the river, sat with our feet swung across the ledge, and watched the intersection of light and water and cars driving by on the bridge fading into white noise.
The next morning, while we scrambled to find breakfast before our Sunday church service, we ended up at a quirky cafe called Black Magic, a place that felt like something out of the Harry Potter franchise.
Our time in Riga was short but I’m thankful that we’ve left with a lot of stories to tell and memories of beautiful architecture, delicious chocolate cake, rivers lit in neon, and much more.