Paris is having a moment this year, for better or worse.

Better as they are hosting the Summer Olympics where hordes of tourists will flock to their city for a bucket list event, and worse as Paris will surely take on a new identity shoving authentic cultural experiences to the side.

Plus, France and the U.S. Embassy issued a new travel alert in tandem where all tourists visiting the mega popular country are asked to keep their head on a swivel during their trip.

Riga, Latvia on the other hand, has been dubbed ‘The Paris of The Baltics‘ and has no such concerns for tourists visiting this beautiful, underrated city in Eastern Europe.

Here are 5 reasons why you should visit the Paris of The Baltics on your next trip to Europe:

1) A Cheaper Alternative For Paris Vibes

aerial view of riga latvia

British author Graham Greene has been credited with dubbing Latvia’s capital city ‘The Paris of the North’, given its delightful sidewalk cafes, nouveau architecture, and booming arts scene.

A visit to Riga isn’t to take selfies with a dupe of the Eiffel Tower like Paris, Texas. Riga does have the unmissable Freedom Monument, but tourists find this city offers its own unique charm and attractions, which just so happen to rival France’s iconic city.

Of course, Riga is shrunken down compared to the vast ‘City of Light’ and will probably never host any Olympic events.

That being said, Riga is one of the most intriguing cities in the beautiful Baltics and can be enjoyed on a tight budget.

While perusing the cobbled streets, it’s hard to resist the temptation to stop at a cafe and visit a museum, which is often at least 30% cheaper than Paris.

Riga has also seen more connectivity as over 1.2 million tourists visited this city in 2023. Budget airlines like RyanAir and airBaltic can save travelers lots of money from dozens of airports.

2) A Historic City Dating Back To 1201

shoppers at riga central market

While we all remember partying like it’s 1999, Riga has been going at it since 1201, and it shows in the best of ways.

Riga is very well-kept and fun to explore on foot, taking in the gorgeous architecture and historical sites like the Town Hall Square, the 14th-century House of the Black Heads, and a handful of beautiful cathedrals.

The largest market and bazaar in all of Europe, Riga Central Market, is a must-stop on your trip and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tourists can find handmade crafts and delicious food, but what tourists love is the authentic feel this massive market has. It doesn’t seem touristy.

3) Perfect For Digital Nomads

sidewalk cafe in riga latvia

Given Riga’s affordability and cultural richness, these 2 aspects are what digital nomads commonly seek.

Factor in how small Riga is compared to other major cities, and you will feel a sense of community rather than just becoming another face in the crowd.

For long-term stays, apartments can easily be found under $500 and even cheaper away from the city center.

Transit passes and internet bills are also super cheap, but if we’re being honest, you’ll find yourself using one of the many lovely sidewalk cafes as your office.

Plus, Latvia’s digital nomad visas are one of the easiest to obtain without stringent requirements.

4) Tourists Surprised By How Much They Love Riga

couple walking down charming street of riga latvia

Riga conducted a survey with exiting foreign tourists and the results were better than expected.

Over half of foreign tourists felt they had a much better impression of the city after visiting than before they arrived and were delighted with the city’s offerings.

Overall, 98% of survey participants left glowing reviews as Riga met or exceeded all expectations on their trip.

5) Riga Is a Beach Destination?!

tourists at jurmala beach riga latvia

Riga is still gaining steam as more tourists are adding this beautiful city to their wishlist.

What may not be known is Latvia’s capital lies along the Gulf of Riga in the Baltic Sea.

We’re not going to overhype Riga as a beachfront paradise among the likes of the Maldives or Los Cabos, but it’s definitely worth a visit as an underrated beach destination.

The city offers a variety of scenic beaches, with the most popular being Jurmala Beach, Vecaki Beach, and Vakarbuļļu Peldvieta.

Riga is also a cruise port with multiple name-brand cruise lines to choose from.

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