Riga with kids: 10 family activities!
Is a city break to Riga with kids fun? Basically, Latvia’s capital is definitely worth a visit. If only because of its beautiful old center. Is there much to do for kids? That’s a little disappointing, though. You can have a great time here for a day or two, but then you’ll have seen it all. We list the best activities to do in Riga with kids in this blog below.
Table of contents
Riga with kids #1: old town
Surely one of the highlights of visiting Riga with kids is the beautiful historic city center. The most famous square in the Old Town is Cathedral Square near the cathedral. You have beautiful old buildings here that were built in the Middle Ages and you also have cozy terraces where you can eat and drink something.
You can take a look at Riga Cathedral, which is the largest medieval church in the Baltic States. Unlike many cathedrals around the world, you do pay a few euros entrance fee per person here. Therefore, you have to take a moment to weigh up whether you think it’s worth it to see the inside of the cathedral with your family.
You also have Riga Castle in the old town, but it doesn’t really look like a castle. You cannot visit this castle either. What’s also nice is to stop in at the city’s central market hall. These halls are quite large and they mainly sell food. You have a separate section with a fish hall and also a section with fruits and vegetables. Don’t expect too much from it either, but it’s nice to walk through it with your kids.
Riga with kids: exploring the city
There are several ways you can explore Riga with kids. We list the best ways below.
#2 Bike tour of the city: you can also explore the city of Riga with kids from a bike. The Dutch company BajaBikes organizes two-hour tours of downtown Riga led by a Dutch guide. Kids can also easily join these bike tours. They have children’s bicycles available for children, and kids who are too young to ride a bike can ride on a child seat on the back of the bike with the parents. For more information on these tours, check out BajaBikes’ website and enter Riga as your destination.
#3 Hop on Hop off bus: If you have limited time in Riga with kids and still want to see much of the city, these buses are ideal for seeing much of the city. These familiar red double-decker open-top buses run different routes through the city. You’ll see the buses parked downtown, and you can often buy a ticket on the spot that is then valid for 24 hours or 48 hours. With this ticket, you can then get on and off the buses as many times as you want during this time period.
#4 Tour of Riga: You can also see Riga with kids from the water. The Daugava River and Riga Canal surround Riga’s Old Town, so these wooden boats take you past various sights of the city. The cruise lasts a total of 1 hour, which is also usually long enough for kids. You will also sail the boat under several bridges such as the Shroud Bridge and Stone Bridge.
Riga with kids: nature
For families who love nature and animals, there are a number of options you can do in Riga with kids. We list them briefly below.
#5 City Park Mezaparks: in the north of the city is this large city park and you get to this park by streetcar line number 11 (about 40 minutes). It’s actually more of a forest than really a park, but you do have some cool playgrounds in this forest. It is fun to ride a family bike (which they rent here) around this large park. You also have a funny 3d print in various places on the ground. This park also houses the Riga Zoo, so you can ideally combine the park and the zoo.
#6 Riga Zoo: So this zoo is located in the Mezaparks discussed above and has some great animals you can admire such as the lion, giraffe, zebra, camel and polar bear. The zoo is quite large and the entrance fee is cheap if you compare it with the prices of zoos in the Netherlands and Belgium. They also have a recreated jungle with reptiles that is worth checking out. Count on spending about half a day with this activity in Riga with kids.
Riga with kids: other activities
In addition to the activities described above, there are a number of fun activities you can do with your family in Riga. We list them briefly below.
#7 Latvian Museum of Natural History: if you would like to visit a museum with your kids, this could be an option. The museum is right in the center and costs a few euros admission. You have many display cases in the museum with stuffed animals and also minerals. One drawback of the museum, however, is that it does not have much information in English, making it difficult to follow at times.
#8 Beach: you can also spend a day at the beach in Riga with the family on a hot summer day. In the northwest of the city about a twenty-minute drive from the city center is Jurmala Beach. You can also take a boat train from Riga to this beach for just over a euro and it will take you just over half an hour.
Jurmala Beach is an excellent sandy beach where you have several beach bars where you can get something to eat and drink. Near the beach you also have a kind of shopping street, where you also have a watchtower at the end of the street.
#9 Lido Recreation Centre: this restaurant with attractions is located in the south of Riga and it takes about 25 minutes by streetcar to get there. Besides the food, you have plenty to do here for kids. For example, in the winter you have an ice skating rink and a winter wonderland, and in the summer months you have a kind of small fairground with various attractions and also bouncy castles.
#10 Jump Space: If you are looking for another indoor activity where your kids can have a good time then this indoor trampoline park might be a good option. It is actually exactly similar to the trampoline parks we know in the Netherlands, and you can have a great time here with your kids for an hour (or two).
Where to stay in Riga with kids?
You can stay in Riga with kids just fine. There are plenty of hotels in town that offer rooms for families with kids. When we look at a hotel we want to be in the center and that the hotel is well rated from at least a hundred reviews. In each price range, we list the best option. Click on the blue link for more information about the hotel.
Budget hotel: Boutique Hotel Monte Kristo
Mid-range hotel: Hotel Valdemars Riga managed by Accor
Luxury hotel: Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel, Riga