What will the Advent markets be like in Riga this year? Program and important information in one place

Which city will you visit this year for punch and the Advent atmosphere?

How about an unconventional trip to the Baltics?

Christmas markets in Riga will pleasantly surprise you in many ways.

In the article, we will tell you what awaits you here.

Riga Advent Markets

Riga is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most underrated capital cities, and those who want to experience it at its most magical should definitely visit during the Advent season.

At the traditional Christmas markets, which begin on the first Sunday of Advent, mulled wine is the main drink, and the aroma of cinnamon, ginger, and roasted almonds fills the air.

Old Town Christmas Market

On the Doma laukums square (Dom Square) you will find the most famous Advent market in Riga – Vecrīgas Jūljuku. Twinkling lights, a Christmas tree, and wooden stands create the right atmosphere.

In Riga, they think of children and prepare a rich program for them every year. They can look forward to weekend rides on ponies, sheep, and rabbits, fun with Christmas elves, gingerbread baking, a carousel, or a post office from which they can send a letter to Santa Claus in Lapland.

Just a short distance from the Christmas market in Old Riga, you will find another cozy market on Līvu Square, together with a unique Christmas tree made of wooden planks.

Riga’s famous Esplanade Park is another place where you’ll find a fun little Christmas market. It has several rows of stalls selling handicrafts and tasty treats, as well as cute activities for kids, including a little rabbit village.

source: emerging-europe.com

Would you like to know more about Latvian Christmas? Check out our article on how Christmas is celebrated in Latvia.

Why go to the Christmas markets in Riga?

The Christmas markets we go to are most often in Vienna or Dresden. But Riga? You might not even have thought of that. Advent in Riga is worth it!

While we can hardly count on snow in December, Riga will probably be white during your visit. You will surely agree that the snow makes the markets more magical.

The further north you are, the longer the night in winter. It gets dark about an hour earlier on Advent in Riga than in the Czech Republic. This means that you will have an hour more time to enjoy the light decoration. And that they have it rich in Riga!

Finally, there is one more advantage. While the most famous destinations face a massive onslaught of tourists, fewer tourists go to Riga. Not that the streets there are empty of people, but the difference is noticeable. If crowds bother you, plan a trip to Riga.

Christmas markets at the Cathedral Learning Network in Riga
source: unsplash.com

How to get to Riga?


The plane is a comfortable and fast way to get to Latvia, not only from the nearest but also from somewhat distant countries.

Direct flights to Riga are available from more than 100 cities in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. Latvia’s national airline, airBaltic, serves over 70 destinations in the Baltics, Europe, and the Middle East.

The international airport “Riga” is located only ten kilometers southwest of the center of Riga. The airport is facing exciting changes – various projects are planned until 2027 to create the future “RIX Airport City” with hotels, office centers, logistics, and cargo warehouses. You can access it easily via public transport, taxi, or car-sharing services.


The ferry is a great way to reach a destination by the sea. This type of transportation allows you to enjoy more carefree travel from port to port, experiencing activities available on the ferry during the journey. It is also an easy and accessible way to get to Latvia with a personal vehicle.

The ferry is a great way to reach a destination by the sea. This type of transportation allows you to enjoy more carefree travel from port to port, experiencing activities available on the ferry during the journey. It is also an easy and accessible way to get to Latvia with a personal vehicle.

Ferry traffic in Latvia is available from several ports. Riga Passenger Port provides comfortable and safe berths for cruise ships, all other types of boats, ferries, and yachts.


The train is a comfortable, quick, and feasible way to travel when you’re already in Latvia. The train from Riga Central Railway Station runs to almost all major cities in Latvia. Also, it stops in smaller towns worth visiting, allowing you to enjoy Latvia a bit further from the classic tourist attractions.

Travelling by train is a very appealing and carefree way of getting from point A to point B because you can enjoy the scenery, stop at smaller undiscovered towns, not worry about traffic and get to your destination relatively quickly.

Bus traffic

Just like traveling by train, the bus also has its own charm and ease: you simply sit in a comfortable chair and watch the scenery pass by through the window. Although this form of travel is slightly more time-consuming, it is still more economical than, for example, a flight or traveling with one’s car.

“Lux Express” is the major passenger transporter in the Baltics, providing several rides a day from Tallinn, Tartu, Parnu, Vilnius, Warsaw, etc.

Driving a car

Having your car offers considerable freedom, which allows you not to worry about transport schedules, other passengers, and the amount of luggage – when traveling with a personal vehicle, you can take as much luggage as fits in your car. There’s so much more room for spontaneity: you can detour via smaller roads, explore a road that piques your interest, and decide how fast you want to go. It’s an easy way to get to Latvia and discover it further.

When you drive through Poland, it is definitely worth stopping at one of the local Advent markets. The Christmas market in Wrocław is famous.

What to see in Riga?

The Christmas market in Riga is not the only attraction. There are also a lot of historical buildings, monuments and other interesting places that are worth seeing.

Town Hall Square (Ratslaukums)

The square is an example of Baltic architecture. The most important buildings include the Basilica of St. Peter from the 13th century and the House of Blackheads, where various merchants used to meet. The basilica has a 148 m high tower.

Riga Castle

It was originally a castle that was built in the 14th century. It did not retain its original appearance, it was changed by reconstructions in the 16th and 19th centuries. Today, the castle houses the president of Latvia and cultural institutions.

Riga Cathedral

The cathedral is definitely not to be missed, as the main Christmas markets are held in its immediate vicinity. The temple stands out for its organ with 6768 pipes. In the 19th century, when the organ was built, it was the largest in the world.

source: browneyedflowerchild.com

Church of the Nativity of Christ

Explore Orthodox architecture. The temple dates from the 19th century and is richly decorated outside and inside. Admission is free, so you can walk in and see dozens of holy images.

Dust tower

Like other cities, Riga used to have a walled fortification, nowadays it is only remembered by the Dust Tower. The monument from the 14th century fell into disrepair for many years. Nowadays it belongs to the military museum.

Latvian National Museum of Art

View artworks from Latvian artists. The museum is open every day except Mondays. It opens at 10 a.m., the end of the visiting hours change during the week: from Tuesday to Thursday it closes at 6 p.m., on Friday at 8 p.m., at the weekend at 5 p.m.

Museum of History and Shipping in Riga

Are you interested in the past of Riga, Latvia, and the entire Baltic region? The history museum is a place where you can learn about important historical moments and also see how people used to live in the area. In the winter, the museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you want to visit the Latvian Museum of Photography, the Menzendorff House, and the Museum of History and Shipping in Riga, buy a convenient, comprehensive ticket.

Milan & Ondra

We simply enjoy Christmas. On the Vionacedarceky.sk website, we want to show you the best recipes, decorations and information about Christmas in one place. Are we missing something here? Let us know and get inspired with us! :)

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