In Riga you can find over 50 museums, scattered over the capital of Latvia, it's a city of museums indeed. We have put together a short list of museums to visit when in Riga.
Founded in 1924, the Latvian Ethnographic Museum is one of the oldest open-air museums in Europe. Historical dwellings, peasants', fishermen's and artisans' homesteads, a tavern and windmills have been gathered here from all over Latvia. Masters of 18 different crafts demonstrate their work: spoon-carvers, bee-keepers, potters and others. Services are held at Usma Church every Sunday. The organ and folk music concerts and regular craft fairs that take place in the summer time are not to be missed. The collection contains 100 000 items.
The National History Museum of Latvia is the largest repository of Latvian material culture. The Museum's permanent exposition of Latvian history reflects the history of Latvia until 1940. Separate exhibitions explore particular themes of Latvian history in more detail.
The Museum's goal is to portray life during the three occupation periods suffered by Latvia and Latvians. The items of the exhibition tell about Latvia during the fifty+ year-long subjugation: about power politics, about Soviet and Nazi terror, about the destruction of Latvia's economy, about Soviet and Nazi totalitarian ideologies, about the opposition to the regimes, and finally how Latvians regained their freedom in 1991. There is also a virtual tour available on the Museum's website.
Riga Motor Museum is the biggest antique vehicle museum in the Baltic countries. It has gained acknowledgement in Europe and in the whole world. The exposition of the museum is dedicated to the historical development of cars, motorbikes and bicycles, there are more than 200 exhibits.
The Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMA) is located in three buildings in Riga Centre and reflects the main features of art in Latvia. The permanent displays in the LNMA museum building at 10a K.Valdemāra Street trace the development of professional art in the Baltic region and Latvia from the 18th to the mid 20th century. In the same building you will find the exposition of the unique collection of works by famous Russian artists.
The only museum in the world dedicated entirely to the sun.
Riga Art Nouveau Museum was opened in April 2009. It is located in the apartment where the outstanding Latvian architect Konstantīns Pēkšēns (1859 – 1928) lived until 1907. The current display of the museum shows the characteristic furnishings of an apartment of a Riga inhabitant in the beginning of the 20th century.
See also other museums what to visit.