Traces of Art Nouveau in Old Riga (2h)

This short walking tour will will be guided by an experienced and licensed tour guide that will show you the beauty and history of Art Nouveau in the city of Riga in the best of the ways.

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Group size (optional)

Degree of mobility (optional)
Great - love to walkAverageWeelchair or similar

Main Interests (optional - choose as many as you want)
Art NouveauArchitectureDesignsInteriorsart & culturemuseumsCafésGeneral city‘off the beaten path’

Other private tours by that could be of your interest (optional)
General 2hGeneral 4hPeksens 4hOld Riga & Jurmala 5.5hRiga by bike 3.5h

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More about this private tour:

This short walking tour will will be guided by an experienced and licensed tour guide that will show you the beauty and history of Art Nouveau in the city of Riga in the best of the ways.

You will see the famous, and the lesser known, highlights of Riga’s Old Town. There are traces of Jugendstil scattered in the area from 1899 to 1913 and in only 120 minutes you will see most of the Art Nouveau buildings built in the area.

During this private tour, the history of buildings from other times of the history will be told, with the objective that you understand the circumstances in which Riga was in 1900.

Riga has more than 800 years of history but we focus in Art Nouveau. The history of the Old Town is the history of all of Riga, the place where the Middle Ages encounter the present day.

If you visit for Riga for work or for tourism, invest two hours and get inspired. Make the most of your time and enjoy the freedom of a private tour!

There are about 800 Art Nouveau buildings in Riga, most of which are concentrated in the centre of Riga, especially in Alberta Street and the so called Quiet Centre or embassy district, where each building is worth seeing. Thus, when walking in Riga, do not only look at the pavement or shop windows, but look up and see the surprising architecture.

Hotels in Riga

You can find nice hotels in the Art Nouveau district, the Old town and the Park area:

  • Hestia Hotel JugendA22 Hotel and AC Hotel Riga, are all near or within the art nouveau district of Riga, also called “the Embassy district” or “the Quiet Centre”. It is a pleasant walk or a short taxi drive away from the city’s main shopping streets and Art Nouveau gems, as well as from Riga Old Town. All three are in modern premises and high standards, and Hestia Hotel Jugend is in an art nouveau building (not as good looking as Neiburgs Hotel, but a good choice).
  • Neiburgs Hotel and restaurant is a family Art Nouveau era property located in the heart of Riga’s Old Town (Vecrīga), next to the Dom Cathedral. It has been carefully preserved and has a radiating century-old romance look. This is the hotel to be if you want to experience living inside an art nouveau building. Also in Old Riga, our clients visited Grand Palace Hotel Riga. Dome Hotel.
  • Nearby, in front of the Opera House, check Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga. In the other part of the city park, and as the tallest building around, we recommend Radisson Blu Latvija Conference & Spa Hotel for great views. Radisson Blue has other hotels in the city, all good.



This is a 2 hours private tour in Old Riga, the district of Riga that first adopted Art Nouveau. You will walk along the narrow streets of the Medieval Old Town with your knowledgeable guide. Old Rīga is full of wonderful Jugendstil buildings bringing color and romance to the Medieval city.

We will guide through epochs revealing encrypted secret messages written on the facades. During the tour you will see the face of Kronos, fall in love with the most beautiful Art Nouveau lady of Riga, spy on masonic symbolism and listen to mysterious stories and legends.

You will appreciate the first Art Nouveau building of the city and other examples of the development of this Art Style in an area that already had plenty of buildings at the end of the 19th Century which were not Art Nouveau.

Also, you will discover the Art Nouveau style Synagogue Peitav-Shul, built in 1905 and consecrated the same year and one of the world’s few synagogues in this art style, together with those in Szeged or Subotica. This small synagogue was the only that survived the Holocaust in Riga. You will see nice decoration and texts in Hebrew language there.

You will also discover the yellow Cat House, a building with two twin turrets on which the cats are perched and that has become the unofficial symbol of Riga. During the private tour you will find out why they were put here y the owner. It is one of the interesting histories that you will discover in the Old Town.

During this walk you will observe some beautiful stairwells from the street. One is a hidden Art Nouveau gem that you will discover in a religious building.

A soon as you step on the mysterious cobble-stone streets of Old Riga you find yourself surrounded by numerous symbols woven into 800 years old history. Each century has left some notable imprint on the Latvian capital.

Riga is in the UNESCO World Heritage since 1997 because the outstanding quality and quantity of Art Nouveau buildings. After 2 hours with your private guide you will be enchanted by the grace of Riga!

Pick Up and Drop Off

Pick up from your accommodation (within Riga old town or central district) or at the cruise ship terminal in Riga Passenger Port (near Old Riga). If you require transport from/to Krievu Sala cruise port, contact us to know quotation for transfer into the city.

The private tour will end in the Old Riga. If you want, we can drop you off at the cruise ship terminal in Riga Passenger Port.


Professional fully licensed guiding service. Our guide will also be flexible to alter the route according to your interests. The time to start the tour will be at the visitors convenience.


Entrance fee to the Synagogue.

Food and drinks.

Additional Info

It is possible to visit the Synagogue everyday except on Saturdays and Jewish holidays. Practicing Jews can visit inside during the service on their own.

To book this tour start by selecting the group size and the date of your tour on the calendar.

In the event that you have difficulties while booking (not availability for your desired date/time,…) or that you have any additional query please tell us right now visiting the CONTACT section or clicking HERE.

Pay the private tour in full when booking by Bank transfer (recommended) or PayPal, which allows you to pay using your PayPal account or Credit Card.

Main trends within Riga’s Art Nouveau

There were three main trends or schools of Art Nouveau in Riga:

  • National Romanticism (main representative, Konstantīns Pēksēns)
  • Decorative Eclecticism (main representative, civil engineer Mikhail Eisenstein)
  • Perpendicular/Vertical (main representative, architect Jãnis Alksnis)

If you are specially interested in the National Romanticism style, we highly recommend you book the walking private tour that we have dedicated to this amazing architect, probably the architect that designed more buildings in the Art Nouveau era. CLICK HERE for more information.

Riga citizens are proud of its magnificent heritage of Art Nouveau architecture, and they have reasons to have this feeling. Our tour will help you understand the evolution of this art style that unites Riga citizens.

Riga at the turn of the Century

The early 20th century was the golden age for the development of Riga. Its population doubled over the course of 15 years, surpassing 500,000 on the eve of World War I and becoming one of the major centres of industry, trade and culture on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea.

In 1863 the demolition of the city medieval fortifications and city walls finished, and the city was now able to expand. The boom in the construction of the city happened between 1899 and 1913, and it has been estimated that during these 15 years more than 800 buildings were built in Art Nouveau style in Riga, a city that holds a very important place within the history of Jugendstil in Europe.

Two events marked the arrival of this new architecture to Riga: the Latvian Ethnographic Exhibition in 1896 and the Industrial and Handicrafts Exhibition in 1901, which commemorated the city’s 700th anniversary.

Local architects were employed to enlarge the city in a new style that was inspired by the German, Austrian and Finnish architecture of the time and also by local traditions. Nowadays more than one third of all buildings in the Central part of the city have Art Nouveau style, making Riga a paradise for Art Nouveau lovers. Jugendstil at its best.


We could have never imagined the large amount of Art Nouveau buildings in the small city center of Riga. There are some buildings in small streets which are difficult to find if you go on your own. My guide was wonderful and showed me some things I would miss if I was on my own.  All the history behind each of them, for example on the synagogue, is very interesting. The guide put in context all what we saw and it was fantastic. I highly recommend the experience.

José, Mexico DF, Mexico

A short private tour near our hotel is what we needed to have the first taste of the city. Two days later we did another tour with because we wanted to visit other parts of the city. The guide was a different person but great too. We took some bicycles and was fun.

Lucas, NYC

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