Riga lies on both banks of the river Daugava in the form of a circle and can roughly bedivided into two parts, the right and left side of the river. The right side of the city is where Old Riga, New Riga and other districts are located. The left part of the city is also called “Pārdaugava”, meaning “Across the Daugava," and suburbs and other districts are located on this side.
Āgenskalns & Ķīpsala
Located on the left bank, Āgenskalns was mainly built in the 19th and 20th Century. The district has the beautiful Maritim Park Hotel Riga and Agenskalns Market. Ķīpsala is an island on the left bank connected to the rest of the city by the Shroud Bridge.
Centrs (New Riga)
New Riga was built in the first half of the 20th century. It mainly comprised of six-story houses, numerous cafes, shops and restaurants as well as beautiful Orthodox churches. The famous Art Nouveau architecture is also represented in this part of the city. Full of deluxe hotels, boutiques, expensive cafes and restaurants, shopping centers, bars, the best night clubs are all there. Governmental and business organizations, major private companies, most important banking facilities are concentrated there. The Brīvības piemineklis (Freedom Monument) is also located in this district. The monument is not only a symbol of Latvia freedom, it is also a symbol of the city. For shopping you can find a great deal at Barona Centrs . The Vegas Entertainment Complex is a great for entertainment since its a casino, nightclub, restaurant and bar.
Čiekurkalns & Mezaparks
Located on the right side of Daugava this area is mainly a lovely residential area. However, the Mezaparks area has a sad history and the Kaiserwald Concentration Camp was was located near here when the Nazis occupied the city. Now Mezaparks contains a park and grand houses, it also contains the Riga Zoo.
Jugla, Mežciems & Purvciems
These districts can be found on the right side of Daugava and are mainly contain shopping and residincial areas. Latvijas Etnografiskais Brivdabas Muzejs (Ethnographic Open-Air Museum) can be found here and is one of the best museums in the city. There is also shopping at Domina and Alfa .
Ķengarags & Maskavas forštate
Ķengarags & Maskavas forštate can be found on the right side of the river. The Rīgas Centrāltirgus (Riga Central Market) is located here and was started in 1930. There are also great restaurants, such as krievu sēta .
Vecrīga (Old Town)
The Old City is famous for its narrow cobbled streets and alleys and historical houses many of which have maintained their looks up to the present day. Old Riga is not tall, there are three or four story houses among which the steeples and peaks of beautiful medieval churches can be seen. Pulvertornis (Powder Tower) is a 1330 tower and was part of the Riga fortification wall, now it houses the Kara muzejs (Museum of War) . The 1330 Rīgas Pils (Riga Castle) now houses the President of Latvia. Old Town also has some of the oldest churches, such as Jēkaba katedrāle (St James' Cathedral) , Svētā Pētera Evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca (St. Peter's Church) and Svētā Jāņa Evaņģēliski luteriskā baznīca (St John's Church) . Visitors shouldn't miss Melngalvju nams (House of Blackheads) or Lielā Ģilde (The Great Guild) .
Being a multi-cultural city Riga has a variety of restaurants, bistros, bars and cafes offering various cuisines and interesting interior. Regarding the smoking policy in Riga, almost all places of the kind have either separate zones for smokers and non-smokers or do not allow smoking at all.
Vecriga (Old Town)
Riga's cobble-stoned Old Town boasts plenty of restaurants nestled among the low-rise buildings and medieval churches, and is especially great for local traditional food. For some local cuisine paired with international offerings, a relaxed ambiance and live music on weekends, come to Jaunais Balzambāra Restorāns . This popular and fashionable restaurant is a good option for a lively dinner or a delicious business lunch. Rozengrāls is a medieval restaurant, said to be the oldest in Riga. This is a popular destination for those looking to soak up the medieval ambiance of the Old Town while dining on local and other Eastern Euopean fare. Another hot spot offering local cuisine is Pulkvedim neviens neraksta , which is a quality restaurant and bar by day, and happening nightclub when the sun goes down. For more international options, Melnie Mūki has you covered with Mexican, French, Italian, and Eastern European. This modern eatery is housed in a former 13th century monastery, making the contrast a thrilling setting to dine in. Steakhouse Dome claims to be the best steakhouse in the entire country, but in addition to these steaks, they also offer an abundant menu of Eastern European dishes. For an upscale, romantic dinner, Kaļķu Vārt is the perfect place to go. When you're done eating, downstairs is a venue for live music. If you are a garlic lover, you must give Ķiploku Krogs a try. Every dish on the menu features garlic as an ingredient, including dessert! Another steakhouse with a distinctly different feel is Steiku Haoss . This two-story theme restaurant is decorated to evoke the atmosphere of an old Western movie, adorned with saddles, animal skins and cowboy waiters.
Centrs (New Town)
The more modern and Art-Nouveau New Town of Riga features numerous restaurants and cafes of all types all over the place. Da Sergio is a pleasant and authentic Italian restaurant, serving and displaying all things Italian, from the wine to the music.Their woo-burning oven turns out delicious, authentic pizzas. Galerija Istaba is a two-story building featuring an arts, gifts and souvenir shop on the ground floor, and the tasty cafe upstairs featuring local cuisine. Čīīz Bar features local specialties as well as other international cuisine; they are especially well known for their creamy cheese soup Chester. This is a great place for groups and meetings. One of the fanciest restaurants in the city located inside Hotel Bergs, Bergs is elegant and intimate. The international menu features upscale contemporary as well as traditional cuisine. Osiris is an elegant and artsy restaurant serving contemporary cuisine, and Goija is a Moroccan-style tea house serving over 50 different types of teas from all over the world, as well as vegetarian cuisine, and a seperate hookah bar area.