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Are you visiting Riga and want to know some great spots around the city for taking pictures? Here you’ll find my suggestions of the best Instagram and Photography spots as well as the best time to take pictures, whether it’s a free spot or not, and the location on Google Maps.

Here are 12 of the best and must visit Instagram and photography spots in Riga.

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1. St. Peter’s Church

Starting with one of the best viewpoints in Riga which is St Peter’s Church. You take an elevator to the viewing platform up the tower, and from here you’ll be able to capture the skyline and get those postcard pictures. Pictures like this tend to do quite well on Instagram.

Best time for pics: Anytime (during opening hours)
Cost: Ticketed
Location on Google Maps

Riga skyline from St Peter's Church
Riga skyline from St Peter’s Church

2. House of Blackheads

The House of Blackheads is an amazing piece of architecture and is only a short walk from St Peter’s Church. In front, there is a large square and when taking pictures consider getting low to the ground and using the cobblestones, or if it’s been raining then use reflections.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location on Google Maps

House of Blackheads at night
House of Blackheads at night

3. Skyline Bar

The skyline bar is in the Radisson Blue Hotel on the top floor and when I visited I popped up without a reservation. However at certain times of the week, it may get quite busy, so you’d be best to make a reservation and request a window seat.

Also note this isn’t a great viewpoint once the sky is really dark as there is a lot of reflections on the windows.

Best time for pics: Day – blue hour
Cost: It would be polite to have a drink
Location on Google Maps

View from Skyline Bar Riga
View from Skyline Bar Riga

4. Trokšņu iela

There are several cute streets around Riga with “Trokšņu iela” being one of my favourites. This street has cute and colourful architecture combined with wonderful cobbled pavement. Streets like this tend to do quite well on Instagram and social media.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location on Google Maps

Streets of Riga Old Town
Streets of Riga Old Town

5. Doma laukums Square

This square is potentially best for taking photographs around Christmas time, as there is a small market there. It also serves as a great spot for taking pictures with Riga Cathedral.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location on Google Maps

Christmas markets and Riga Cathedral church at Doma Laukums
Christmas markets and Riga Cathedral church at Doma Laukums
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6. Trīs brāļi

These three buildings aptly called “Three Brothers” in English are some of the oldest buildings in the city. When taking pictures consider using a very wide angle lens. I used a 14mm when taking this image. There is also a street backwards slightly to the right where you could also stand, although you wouldn’t get a straight on shot like this.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location on Google Maps

Tris brali (Three Brothers)
Tris brali (Three Brothers)

7. Around the Bastejkalna Park

Especially nice in the winter is the Bastejkalna Park, which is close to the old town and has a small canal running through it. If you are visiting in the winter as I did, then this park may become magical with snow all around.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location on Google Maps

Bastejkalna Park in the winter
Bastejkalna Park in the winter

8. Livu Laukums (Square)

This square is probably one of the pretty and most famous in Riga. The best pictures are actually facing the buildings seen below straight on, but when I was there during Christmas I couldn’t get this view because of the Christmas Market Stalls. However, it was still beautiful to see and take photographs of.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location on Google Maps

Livu Laukums (Square) at night
Livu Laukums (Square) at night

9. Elizabetes iela

For those that like beautiful architecture, then one of the nicest streets is “Elizabetes iela” where you’ll find lots of Art Nouveau facades. This street is slightly north of the Old Town and nearby is Kronvalda park which is also quite nice.

Best time for pics: Day
Cost: Free
Location on Google Maps

TIP
Consider a walking tour to see and discover some of the city’s Art Nouveau architecture and learn more about Riga.
Elizabetes iela, Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau Architecture along Elizabetes iela

10. Krāmu iela

Back in the Old Town, there are lots of cute cobbled streets. One of my favourites would be “Krāmu iela” which leads towards Riga Cathedral. However just walk around the city and I’m sure you’ll find lots of other streets which make for good Instagram photographs.

Best time for pics: Anytime
Cost: Free
Location on Google Maps

A view along Krāmu iela towards Riga Dome Cathedral
A view along Krāmu iela towards Riga Dome Cathedral

11. Along the Daugava River

Along the waterfront just below “Akmens Tilts” (Stone Bridge) you’ll be able to get some great shots towards the National Library of Latvia and also towards Riga Railway Bridge. Both of these buildings look quite good when it’s dark as they’re lit up. When taking shots at night make sure you use a long exposure and tripod. This would give you the highest quality image and also flatten the water.

Best time for pics: Blue hour/night
Cost: Free
Location on Google Maps

National Library of Latvia at night
National Library of Latvia at night
Riga Railway Bridge at night
Riga Railway Bridge at night

12. Latvian Academy of Sciences

My final suggestion for taking pictures in Riga is from the Latvian Academy of Sciences building. This is towards the south of the city and you pay to go up to the viewpoint. From the top you will find plaques with various information about the landmarks you’ll be able to see. When I went during my visit the visibility wasn’t the best hence my pic below, but normally it should be much better.

Best time for pics: Anytime when open
Cost: Ticketed
Location on Google Maps

View from Latvian Academy of Sciences
View from Latvian Academy of Sciences
Tours and Activities

Riga Photography Tips

  • Take pictures during the blue hour and at night using a tripod. Read my post Photography Tips – Cities at Night for techniques.
  • Either wait patiently or use people in your photographs when taking pictures of streets.
  • Get close to the ground when taking photographs of streets to add the cobbled pavements and add depth to your image.
  • Visit in the winter for potential snow and Christmas decorations.
  • If it’s rainy and there are puddles then use this to your advantage. More tips in my post reflection shots.

Visit my page Travel Photography for lots more tips.

Summary

I hope this post helps on your trip to Riga. Do you know any other good photography and Instagram spots around the city? If so please leave a comment below.

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Mike Clegg

Editor-in-chief at travelanddestinations.com
Mike is the primary author of Travel and Destinations. He is from the UK but spends most of his time travelling to new places and then shares his pictures and experiences through Instagram and this blog... [Read full bio]
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