Adoration 4 Adventure’s fun outdoor and foodie experiences in Riga, Latvia. See my review of Beautiful Riga Bike Tour and Riga Food Tasting Tour with EAT Riga.
There are many ways to see a city – on foot, by bus, or even by boat. All of these options are possible in Riga, Latvia. However, on my recent visit there with Sally of Passport and Plates Travel Blog, we decided to get to know the city through its food and on the back of bicycles.
Sally and I teamed up with E.A.T. Riga Tours to try out their Riga Food Tasting Tour (2 hours) and Beautiful Riga Bike Tour (2-3 hours) over two consecutive days. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to get to know the city, its landmarks, culture, and history.
Here is how we biked and ate our way around Riga, Latvia.
Riga Food Tasting Tour
The food tasting tour is a walking tour of the Central Market, followed by eating lunch of Latvian foods at Desa & Co restaurant. We met our group and then set off in the direction of the Central Market. Our tour guide, Agnese, shared a summarized history of the city while we walked. She was friendly, charming, and happy to answer any questions.
I had walked briefly through the Central Market on my first day, however, without having the history and background of the market, the experience was nowhere near as enjoyable as it was on the food tasting tour.
There are actually different areas of the market for meat, vegetables, pastries, clothing, and flowers. This market is a great attraction for tourists but is also a marketplace that is used by locals daily.
After visiting the market, we were excited to try some traditional Latvian food. When we arrived at the restaurant, Dessa & Co, the tables were set with dishes to taste. I was intrigued to try new cuisine and was pleasantly surprised by a few dishes including the marinated cabbage with beetroot, and the cottage cheese pastry for dessert (lucky for me – there were some left at the end of the lunch so I got to eat 3 or 4!).
The serving portions weren’t too big but were enough to fill the tummies of all the people on the tour. I felt like it was a nice introduction to the city and enjoyed the small group size of around 10 people. Private tours are also available upon request.
Food Tasting Tour Menu
- Lightly salted pickles
- Marinated cabbage with beetroot
- Rye bread with carrots
- Pīrāgi (savory pastry with bacon)
- Vecrīga (sweet pastry with cottage cheese)
- Hemp butter
- Jāņu siers (traditional cheese with caraway seeds)
- Ievas siers (cheese with pesto)
- Deer, pork and bison salami from Desa & Co
- Kvass (non-alcoholic drink)
Beautiful Riga Bike Tour
For the second day, it was time to hit the road! Both Sally and I were actually a little nervous as we were not confident about riding on the roads. Luckily for us, the bike tour was mostly based on pathways and bike lanes, with only a few small sections on the road. I never felt unsafe, and actually had a lot of fun. After this tour, I even felt brave enough to bike around Copenhagen, Denmark.
The tour begins in the Old Town, where the team fitted us with bicycles and helmets (optional). Soon we were off, zooming towards the Daugava River, stopping on the bridge to take a few photos and enjoy the views. We crossed to the island of Kipsala, an area with older wooden-style houses, some of which have been renovated while others wait to be purchased and made over.
After Kipsala, the tour crosses back into the “Quiet Centre” where you can find amazing architecture in Art Nouveau style. This is the area where Sally and I stayed, and is a great location within walking distance to the center while not being too loud or busy. On the way back to the starting point, the tour also passes through the beautiful green parks.
One of my favorite features was our guide sharing the historic moments when Latvia regained its independence and pointing out the related landmarks. If you are interested in seeing the beautiful highlights of the city, learning about its history, while getting fresh air and exercise, then the Beautiful Riga Bike Tour is the way to go.
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