This was my first trip to Riga and I label myself as a proud tourist because the city didn't disappoint me at all.
I was on an annual trip so landed here through Helsinki and it was a comfortable one hour journey through air Baltic. I found Riga to be quite cheap in terms of prices and stuff . On arrival I took bus 22 from airport. The bus stop is very conveniently located outside airport and you can buy tickets either via machine or directly from driver. The stop near centre is autoosa and few more. I was staying in smart hostel as it is in down town and very economical . I payed 23 pounds for a single night. From my perspective I don't like dorms and prefer single room but with central location. I am less worried about too many high facilities as long as basic are available as I need a room to crash. Toilet and kitchen was shared but room was good in ninth floor and very neat.
After leaving luggage I started my journey with St Peter church which is the best attraction. It is five minutes away from old town. You can buy tickets directly from reception. Both cards and cash are accepted. Hall ticket is five euros and tower is eleven euro. After buying tickets you land inside and climb two rounds of stairs and then comes an escalator which takes you to the top. There are barriers on top but do not hinder the view in anyway. You get the best breathtaking 360 degree views of Riga. I spent hour there.
Then I head back and walked to old city town square. The area is very cultural and the architecture is very good. The place is very vibrant and there are lots of tourists and there are lots of restaurants. The food is cheap and economical. I had my lunch and then walked to bastion hill park.
Bastion hill park is just located five minutes away. The place is relaxing as there is a bridge and you see the Riga canal. The hill is near by with a small walk. Views are ok but it's absolutely free and there are lots to tourists. I enjoyed sun here.
Then I started walking along the side of canal and went to vermanes park. The Track is scenic. You see lots of cruise going through canal and lots of people doing boating on different type of boats. There was a festival going on so this made it even more magical. Then I passed the pilsetas kanals and took a small cruise and relaxed for an hour.
Then I walked towards the bridges. There are three of them. One of them you can't walk on but the best one for views is vansu bridge. The interior of bridge is beautiful and you see the other two from here as well. The river is called dougava river. There is a beautiful walking track and u can walk on the road path and enjoy River and take stairs up and down to each bridge. There are stairs as well.
I again explored old town in night as it is well illuminated and you enjoy the culture. I had few pints and then went back to my accomodation as had to fly next day for Krakow(transit via stockholm) so slept early.
Overall it is a very nice city. It is very economical. The canal is fantastic and the views from church are marvellous. The bridge is also a very good experience. The temperature is very pleasent and less colder than near by European cities.
Also if u have a morning flight u can comfortably call a taxi. It takes only six euros from central hotels at a fixed rate and it is very nice that drivers do accept card. The language barrier though is still there and most people don't understand English but I don't expect them to.
Do visit this beautiful nice city and have fun. I hope you find the above useful.