Museums in Riga
10 June, 2014
There is so much to see in Riga for every type of tourist, and if you’re a museum-person you’ll be spoilt for choice! Here are our top five not-to-be-missed museums:
1. National History Museum of Latvia (Latvijas Dabas muzejs)
One of Riga’s oldest museums has been recently renovated and modernised and now boasts interactive exhibits and learning games! With floors dedicated to palaeontology, zoology, marine biology and human evolution, if you have any interest in taxidermy or fossils, this is the museum for you! They have a fantastic hanging skeleton of a killer whale and for a slightly gruesome touch, human skulls on display.
2. Laima Chocolate Museum (Laimas šokolādes muzejs)
No trip to Latvia is complete without trying some Laima chocolate, and now the largest chocolate producer in Latvia has opened an interactive museum on Miera Street, in their historic building. There are plenty of different exhibits showing how to make chocolate and detailing chocolate tradition. You can make your own chocolate video or have a personalised message put onto a chocolate bar that would make an excellent gift! If you want even more chocolate-y fun, if you book ahead you can take part in a creative workshop and make your own chocolates!
3. Latvian Sports Museum (Latvia Sporta muzejs)
After an indulgent trip to the Laima chocolate museum, it’s time to do some sport! Visit the Latvian sports museum which tells us the evolution of sport in Latvia from when cycling, swimming and wrestling were the most popular, to today when hockey and other winter sports are the new favourites. There are plenty of old posters, medals and photos among the memorabilia on display like a pair of size EU 58 basketball shoes!
4. Fire-Fighting Museum (Latvijas ugunsdzēsības muzejs)
For something a little bit different, take a trip to the fire fighting museum, set up in 1978 on the premises of a former fire station. The history of fire fighting in Latvia is on display here and you can see the equipment, uniforms and flags and learn all the stories. As Riga castle was partly burnt down last year, you’ll learn just how important these brave people still are.
5. Sun Museum (Saules muzejs)
Voted the most original museum in the world, the Sun Museum is one of Riga’s jems. Started by Iveta Gražule, the huge collection of sun images and decorations began from just a silver pendant shaped like the sun, bought in Portugal in 1999. The museum showcases over 350 items and explains the science and the future of our sun, as well as detailing how different civilisations and cultures throughout the ages and across the globe have interpreted the sun. You can even paint your own plaster sun afterwards!