Old city resort
The family-owned Neiburgs design resort is in a lovely artwork deco constructing on acobbled road in Riga’s fairly outdated city. There’s a mixture of rooms and residences, all with unique options – parquet flooring, unique ceiling lamps, stucco coving. They are mild and spacious (and most have a kitchenette). There’s an impressive Latvian restaurant on web site, with vegan, vegetarian and fusion dishes. Colourful, trendy work by native artists equivalent to Kristiana Dimitere and Katrina Neiburga embellish the partitions.
• Jauniela 25/27, neiburgs.com, doubles from €107
With its neo-baroque facade and neo-rococo inside, the Splendid Palace cinema opened in 1923. It’s a very stunning house and nonetheless the most well-liked spot within the metropolis for unbiased films. It usually hosts movie festivals and performs, and screens dwell opera and ballet from across the world.
• Elizabetes iela 61, splendidpalace.lv
One cease store
The on-trend Bold Concept Store affords distinctive clothes, equipment, books and home goods by designers from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and past. Check out designs by Deeply Personal, a ready-to-wear label by Elina Vanags from Riga, or jewelry from Latvian model Verba. It feels enjoyable, unfold over two flooring, with a industrial-chic look. The cafe additionally sells scrumptious cake and low.
•Terbatas iela 45A, boldconceptstore.lv
Design and dinner
Well away from the common vacationer path, Galerija Istaba is an artwork gallery, a design store and restaurant multi function (istaba means room). Browse the art work (there’s a brand new exhibition every month) and search for Latvian-made presents, from jewelry to playing cards and T-shirts. The Bufete restaurant upstairs overlooks the gallery and road; the day by day altering menu blends completely different culinary traditions, with in easy and engaging fare. It’s small (six tables, so reserving is crucial) with simply three meat and three fish dishes to select from.
• Meal together with starter and facet round €20, Krišjāņa Barona iela 31A, on Facebook
The bar to be
A brand new addition to Riga’s already vigorous nightlife, the Brick Bar, constructed particularly for the biennial, will have artists tending the bar and DJ decks, in addition to performances, public occasions and dwell music. It’s within the grounds of the previous Bolshevichka textile manufacturing facility, on the outskirts of the town, and constructed from bricks left over from when the location was left derelict. It is the place to be this 12 months, and past. There’s a intelligent roof on wheels, that may be rolled over when wanted.
• Ganibu dambis 30, on Facebook
Photograph: Andrejs Strokins
Andrejsala (Andrew Island) is the town centre port space, the place the pier is lined with eating places and bars and sundown views over the Daugava river. It’s standard on heat evenings, and this 12 months additionally it is one of many official venues for the biennial. Public artwork works and installations by Karel Koplimets, Maarten Vanden Eynde, Yevgeny Zolotko and others are being exhibited right here till the top of October. It’s very Instagrammable (significantly Maarten’s montage of automobiles on high of one another) and the economic setting means the art work suits in nicely.
One of probably the most fascinating galleries in Riga, Alma Gallery, has not too long ago moved to a brand new house – it’s small and cosy, however trendy. It was based in 2005 by Astrīda Riņķe and Ilva Krišane, with the aim of selling new Latvian modern artwork. They signify Latvian artists each at home and internationally, at gala’s equivalent to Art Cologne and Artissima. There’s all the time one thing fascinating to see right here.
• Tērbatas iela 64, galerija-alma.lv
Kanepes Kulturas Centrs, Riga
The vigorous Kaņepes tradition centre has an ideal bar and runs an unlimited programme of occasions, from music to movie, dwell performances to artistic writing readings. The constructing – a typical Latvian wood home – is over 100 years outdated and was as soon as a music college. Open until 2am most days, it’s favoured by native artists and a younger crowd.
• Skolas iela 15, kanepes.lv
Italian home cooking
This cosy Casa Nostra Italian restaurant, run by Adriano and Sandra, is in an artwork nouveau constructing with a lovely terrace, and serves the most effective pizza on the town. Other favourites on the menu are aubergine parmigiana (€10.50) and spaghetti alla Adriano with mint, chilli and prosciutto (€9.50). After-dinner limoncello is on the home.
• Elizabetes iela 10b, casanostrariga.com
One of the oldest locations in “new” (post-Soviet) Latvia, Cafe Osiris was established over 20 years in the past and is a much-loved assembly level for artistic varieties in Riga, drawing intellectuals, artists and politicians with its bohemian, laid-back setting. There’s an all-day breakfast menu, and lunch and dinner options dishes from all around the world – from Danish open sandwiches (€10.50) to Greek dolma (€10.50), and there’s a good wine checklist. On a nook down the highway from Galeria Istaba, it’s an intimate house, with work by Latvian artists on the partitions, and place to come within the colder months – with an ideal fire, and candles lit on autumn and winter evenings.
• Krišjāņa Barona iela 31, cafeosiris.lv
At a look
Ryanair flies to Riga from a number of UK airports, together with Edinburgh, East Midlands, Manchester and Stansted, from about £55 return. British Airways flies from Gatwick, Glasgow and Manchester.
Early May to late October is mostly considered the most effective time go to. The first Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (rigabiennial.com) runs till 28 October, at 9 venues throughout the town. Later this 12 months nevertheless, is the centenary of Latvia’s independence, on 18 November, which coincides with the Staro Riga Light Festival (16-19 November) during which visible artists will mild up the capital’s buildings, monuments and squares.
Agniya Mirgorodskaya is founding father of the brand new Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art
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