Riga is famed for its Old Town (Vecrga) and city center (Centrs), which have approximately 800 buildings of the Art Nouveau (aka Jugendstil) style. Riga’s old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Art Nouveau style is characterized by beautiful building facades adorned with carvings of flowers and mythical animals, as well as ornamental doors and windows. Much of the old town was destroyed by fire or by the Germans during WWII and remained in ruins until it was reconstructed in the late 1990s, primarily to make Riga more appealing as a tourist destination.
Riga is also well-known for its nightlife and bargain airlines that provide low-cost flights to and from much of Europe.
Riga has a humid continental climate.
The coldest months are January and February, when the average temperature is 5 °C (23 °F), however temperatures as low as 20 to 25 °C (4 to 13 °F) may be reported on the coldest days practically every year. Because of the proximity of the sea, there are frequent autumn rains and fogs. A continuous snow cover could last up to eighty days.
Summers in Riga are warm and humid, with an average temperature of 18 °C (64 °F) and highs of 30 °C (86 °F) on the warmest days.
The city is located at the mouth of the Daugava River on the Gulf of Riga. Riga has a land area of 307.17 km2 (118.60 sq mi) and is located on a flat and sandy plain between 1 and 10 metres (3.3 and 32.8 feet) above sea level.
Riga is one of the Baltic States’ most important economic and financial hubs. Riga employs almost half of all Latvians and produces more than half of Latvia’s GDP as well as roughly half of Latvia’s exports.
The top exporters include wood products, information technology, food and beverage production, medicines, transportation, and metallurgy.
The port of Riga is one of the biggest in the Baltics. It handled a record 34 million tons of cargo in 2011 and has room for expansion with additional port expansions on Krievu Sala. Tourism is also a significant business in Riga, having grown 22 percent in 2011 alone after slowing during the previous global economic recessions.
Riga has a lot of Internet cafés.
Hotels, hostels, pubs, cafés, and libraries all provide free Wi-Fi.