The Botanical Gardens
These gardens, situated on the outskirts of the town, belong to the University of Latvia. They are very large and include tropical plants contained in greenhouses. For an additional fee, visitors can enter the butterfly house, which is highly recommended, where a variety of colorful, tropical butterflies can be admired. The variety of the plants in the gardens is extensive and is a real treat to any botany enthusiast. Overall, it is a wonderful, tranquil place to visit in order to relax after a busy day in the city.
Kandavas iela 2, Rīga, Latvia, +371 67 450 852
This park is named after the Bastion Hill (Bastejkalns) that is situated inside it. It is a beautiful park to visit and walk around. There are many lovely little bridges, flower beds, and benches to sit on. There is also a canal going across it, which makes for a perfect relaxing walk next to the water. Moreover, it is possible to rent a small boat and have a boat ride across the canal here. Some of the things to see in the park include a bridge with hundreds of locks placed there by lovers to pledge their attachment to each other and a memorial to the victims killed by Soviet Troops in 1991.
Though located close to the city center, this park is a perfect place to escape the rushing world and have a leisurely walk, or sit in one of the small cafes situated on its pathways. Like all Riga parks, it is very clean and well maintained. There are plenty of benches, flower beds, and shady, tree-lined walkways to escape the summer heat. Some of the many sculptures located in the park are fun and quirky, like a huge glittery, disco snail. There is also an opportunity to go for a romantic canal boat cruise on the water.
Though located a bit away from the city center, this park is easily accessible by tram and is a great attraction, especially for families. It is also close to Riga Zoo. The park is great for children to run around and it is easy to rent a buggy or a bike on-site. The biggest attraction of the park is an adventure area offering fun activities for children over five years old or even adults: swings, ropes, nets, challenging bridges and more. There is also a big, beautiful lake with some cafes around it to enjoy during the summer.
Another centrally located park, Kronvalda is the second richest public park in Riga. The park was named after the participant of the Neo-Latvian movement, Atis Kronvalds. It includes around 104 foreign tree and bush species and a huge, stunning fountain, which offers a show of lights and colors at night. There is also a playground, roller-skating tracks, and a canal which offers boat and water bicycle rides during the summer.
By Ieva Matiejunaite