If you have just 24 hours (or less) in one city, you have to be well prepeared. You have to manage a lot and there is no time to get lost in the city if you have some special interests. I don’t think you wanna be in a hurry looking for something to see. You want to enjoy. Any new place should give you good emotions. And nobody knows better than you what are you interested in, so there is some work you have to do before these 24 hours:
1) Find out the most famous places and look them up in the map to get an idea is it possible to see them all without being in a hurry. And choose. Study the map before you come.
2) Find a guide! It doesn’t matter – trhough the agency or some local. Tell them who you are, what are your interests. Some agencies will give you the full programme for these 24 hours with details and maps. Some local people will show you the shortest way to fullfill your wishes. You can also start your day in a new place with guided tour and after – continue on your own. If you can get a bus tour through the city – it’s just perfect – in some hours by bus in the city you will see and get to know a lot. In Riga the duration for the most popular bus tour is 3 hours in which you see all the important places, after that you can come back to any place you saw during the tour and enjoy the rest of your time there – it solves a lot of problems.
3) Check the working hours for museums and other places you know you would like to visit. Check it twice.
4) Ask yourself what makes you happy, are you keen on something, what do you want to see, try, get etc. And get it exactly in that new place you are coming to!
5) Time for lunch: forget Mc’Donalds! Choose something specific for that place, but just a little bit if you are not sure it won’t make any problems. You have no time to get sick.
6) If you are carefully planning you tour and going to be really busy with sightseeing, tasting, watching etc, don’t forget to have in your plan some time to rest. It’s more important to feel good in this new place than to see everything. Anyway there is no chance to see "everything".
7) Relax and don’t stick to your plan in case if something changes. Let the new place give you new emotions and impressions. Enjoy.
You are already here and not prepeared before? You want to make the most of your time here?
1) Get to the tourist information centre.
2) Know what you want.
3) If you have no special wishes ask from the people you meet on your way: what should I see here and how to find it? Communication with local people is already an adventure which helps you to feel the city.
Why I think any of Baltic capitals - Vilnius, Tallin, Riga - are good for a short visit? These are not big cities and you can manage to see a lot, although I know people who have chosed to spend even one months of their vacation in Riga to truly feel the city, but it's another story. 24 hours is for seeing the place not feeling it. Some help for your short term visit in Riga: