Preparing For A Trip To Riga And Parnu

Monday, April 17, 2017

I hope you had a wonderful Easter, Passover, or weekend, depending on your beliefs! This week, we are off on one of our last in search ofs around the Baltics.  Can you believe it? We'll be spending the week in Riga, Latvia and Parnu, Estonia, two cities we've visited briefly but still have much to explore.

Riga, Latvia


Riga, the capital of Latvia, is full of cool art nouveau architecture, a beautiful old town, churches providing views of the city, and interesting museums. Riga is much larger than Vilnius, so I'm pretty excited that we have several days to slowly explore the city. For this trip, we've been lucky enough to get tips from friends -- and what good tips they are!

Rocket Bean Roastery: I do love a good cafe! While we were with sick Baby ISO in the hospital during our most recent visit to Riga, our friends stopped into this cafe for food and a cup of Magic Pussy Ethiopian coffee. With a name like that, Rocket Bean Roastery should obviously be our first stop!

National Library of Latvia: There are more cool things in Riga than just the old town -- and the National Library of Latvia is certainly a top option.

Labietis Brewery: Obviously we have to make a stop at J's favorite brewery of all time. Labietis has an impressive 40 beers with some having a 10% ABV. I haven't yet had the chance to visit, so I'm super excited!

Art Nouveau Museum: Another recommendation from a friend, the Art Nouveau Museum is meant to have beautiful interiors and be small enough to not have Baby ISO screaming with boredom. That sounds like a perfect combination to me!

Riga Castle: Who doesn't love a castle? Since we missed out during our other visits, Riga Castle is on our list for this trip.

Churches: Riga has some beautiful churches and I'm interested in visiting Riga Nativity Cathedral and St. Peter's Church to walk up to the platform for views over Riga.

Old Town: Heather from Ferreting Out The Fun has created a wonderful 1 day walking tour of all the essential sites in Riga, so assuming we have good weather, we'll attempt this walk, especially with several stops at cafes.

Ars Tela Textile Studio: A recent post on Travelettes turned me on to Ars Tela Textile Studio, which appears to have beautiful, hand-loomed scarfs in wonderful shades of grey. I think I'm going to have to stop and make a purchase. The same post from Travelettes also convinced me to stop at Riga Central Market and Craft Brewery Valmiermuiza, where all dishes are made from local produce -- yum!

Parnu, Estonia

Located just a two hour drive from Riga, our trip to Parnu is all about relaxation. We've booked into a nice hotel and have scheduled a few spa treatments. Parnu is Estonia's favorite resort town after all! Other than relaxing and swimming in the hotel's pools, we plan for walks on the beach (please let the weather be good!) and delicious meals out.

Parnu Museum: I like museums, so in between relaxation, we'll stop for a little visit at the Parnu Museum. They seem to have a really interesting collection of historic artifacts as well as a collection on the history of Parnu.

Kohvik Supelsaksad: Despite being difficult for me to spell, Kohvik is supposed to be one of the top cafes and restaurants in Estonia. Its beautiful interiors just add another level to my excitement for visiting!

Churches: Parnu has the beautiful St. Catherine's Church and St. Elizabeth's Church, so I'm looking forward to stopping in.

Mahedik: Another amazing restaurant in Parnu is Mahedik. It serves brunch, lunch, and dinner, and I'm tempted to try them all -- though quinoa and zucchini spaghetti sounds like it is calling my name.

Have you been to Riga or Parnu? Do you like relaxing trips?

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