Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Markets & The Nutcracker. Your Travel Destination in December: Riga

Already the next week December will be here and if you are coming to Riga on December, I’m glad you will catch our Christmas mood. Do you know from where comes the tradition of decorating Christmas tree?  The tradition spread all over the world comes form Northern Europe: the 500 years old story of decorating the Christmas tree comes from Riga!

I’m pretty sure one of the first places you will want to see will be the Old Town  where Medieval architecture lives side by side with Art Nouveau houses. And that’s the right choice – that’s where you will find Christmas markets filling cobbled streets with goods from Latvian ecological farms and hand made knick-knackeries (starting from 1st of December), that’s where you will be able to warm up with hot tea or wine. Do not forget to taste unique Riga Black Balsam, which you can get almostly in every cafe/bar with hot coffee, hot blackcurrant juice or in different coctails. One of options to enjoy it,  is Black Magic Bar (since 1752) where you will be able to get to know almostly everything about Riga Black Balsam (except its’ well kept secrets).

Another market: an old-fashion fair at Bergs Bazaar (at the city center) will be opened on 10th and 24th of December from 10am to 3pm at The Bergs Bazaar (Elizabetes Street 83/85) 

To enjoy Riga from height of birds flight, you can choose St. Peter’s church at the Old Town, you can get out of the city center to the TV Tower  or enjoy lights of Riga from the 27th floor of Radisson Blu hotel „Skyline” bar (working from 4pm, free entrance from Monday to Thursday). TheTower of the  Academy of Science is closed during this season. 

For enjoying  Christmas atmosphere with good Latvian food, Latvian music and people dressed in Latvian folk costumes you should  get out of the city centre to visit ‘LIDO’. If you are here with kids, it is a really good option: you will find there a lot of activites not only for you, but also for your kids: skating rink, place where to play with other kids (with a person who will look after children)  and other attractions. 

For those looking for entertainment with arts, you should check what Latvian National Opera (LNO) can offer you! Opera is also one of these things Latvia is famous aborad: Latvian opera singers are highly appreciated worldwide, singing on all famous stages of the world and great foreign opera singers are performing on LNO stage in Riga, historical building with pompous interior. If you like ballet,  in December 2011 LNO offers you to enjoy „Anna Karenina”, „The Sleeping Beauty” or (what can be better than this on December!!) „The Nutcracker”! Want opera? Here you are: „Don Giovanni”, „Madama Butterfly”, „Turandot”, „La Traviatta” or Latvian opera (also interesting for kids) „The Bird’s Opera”. Ticket prices from 1.50 to 18.00Ls. Check the calendar here. 
More options for your December in Riga on this blog coming soon! Feel free to ask, share your questions and impressions or experiences!

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