Right in the heart of the Old Town, in Dome Square, you will find a historical and newly renovated bourse building that has become a home for arts - Art Museum Riga Bourse.
I've heard from tourists that this place is worth a visit and that the price for it is really reasonable, so I checked it on a cold winter day, planning to give to myself about 2-3 hours for a visit (before it's closed at 6 pm). The museum is closed on Mondays, works from 10 am to 6 pm on all other days, except Fridays when it's open until 8 pm.
There are different halls and you can buy a ticket for specific hall/exhibition, but my choice was getting a ticket for the entire museum: combined admission fee to all exhibition halls costs 6.40EUR. As we were going there 2 persons, we decided that for the next time we are going to borrow kids somewhere, because the family ticket (1-2 adults + 1-4 kids or one large family) for the entire museum costs 7.11EUR. Well, definitely a friendly price for a family. Of course, you can also get a guided tour, but we went on our own pace without it.
So, there are temporary and permanent exhibitions and if you have a ticket for the entire museum, you get to go to all of them. You can run through the museum in an hour, but it's really too less of time. I guess 3 hours should be enough, but if you love to stand at each painting for more than 2 minutes, yes, you will need a lot more time. Well, these are not just painting there, but they make a pretty huge part of what you see there. In permanent exhibitions you will get to see Western European paintings from 16th to 19th century, sculptures and European porcelain, some furniture and different trinkets from 18th century that nowadays doesn't seem that casual at all. Next to the Western Gallery you will find a small Silver Room (with awesome optical-illusion like floor) dedicated to the beginning of 20th century that is a pretty important time for Latvian self-confidence and getting this country founded. Of course, I loved the most Oriental Gallery (for European it just seems a lot more exotic than everything that's related to Europe). This gallery features art from Middle East and Far East. China, Japan, India, Nepal... Household items, traditional clothes, theater masks, shadow theater, pipes, statues, dishes, porcelain - there is a lot to see.
Aaaand the building itself from inside is pretty impressive: I already got stories running in my head about rich people having balls there and ladies and gentlemen coming out on inside balconies to speak to their guests in fancy dresses, while someone else is hiding in another room powdering nose or maybe doing something else that should be hidden from curious eyes.
Art lovers will appreciate this great collection. And if you are not keen and well educated in arts, it's anyway interesting there. You just go there, watch things and try to figure out what were they meant for, and then you find their numbers and read - oh, that's absolutely not what I thought!
Yes, there is a lot to see, and, yes, the price really is reasonable.
Check out their website: Art Museum Riga Bourse//English
This video shows the stunning grace of the building where museum lives in:
Any thoughts, impressions or questions? Or may be some comments or advices form those who have been there?