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7 Most Delightful Christmas Markets And Events In Riga, Latvia

christmas markets in riga
Anne
Anne
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Riga is the capital of Latvia and nestles at the mouth of the River Daugava on the Baltic Sea. The city is becoming popular due to its affordability and as a historic and interesting place to visit. Walking the streets reveals fascinating wooden buildings among beautiful art nouveau architecture. The medieval Old Town from the 1800s and 1900s is also of interest with its narrow, cobblestone streets and is an area designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here there are many quaint shops and restaurants, as well as Livu Square, a popular nightspot with many nightclubs and bars. The cultural center of the city hosts a number of museums and concert halls. The city goes all out when it comes to the annual festive season, which can be seen from the most delightful Christmas markets and events in Riga, Latvia–details of which are listed below.

1. Cathedral Square Christmas Market, Doma Laukums, Riga

Riga_from_top_17-6
Source: Photo by user Krists Luhaers used under CC BY 2.0

The Cathedral Square Christmas Market is held on Doma Laukums (Dome Square) during November and December of each year, ending on January 6. This is Riga’s most authentic and traditional market where the many stalls sell a range of beautiful crafts, including wool sweaters, linen tablecloths, mittens, socks, ceramics, wooden toys, and jewelry. Other stalls sell delicious traditional local food, including bacon and sausages with sauerkraut and gingerbread cookies. Children have fun visiting with Santa Claus, who is in the market each day, and they can also feed a range of barnyard animals. Adults enjoy the traditional karstvīns (mulled wine). Almost every evening sees live bands performing at the market.

Doma Laukums Riga Christmas Market

Address: Cathedral Square, Doma Laukums, Centra Rajons, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia

Website: Doma Laukums Riga Christmas Market

Opening hours: November 30 - Jan 6: 10am - 8pm

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2. Christmas Fair at Kalnciema Quarter

On the first day of Advent, Sunday 27 November, Christmas markets are opened in Riga! Traditionally, you are welcomed at...

Posted by Mosaic Hotel on Friday, 25 November 2016

The arts and crafts market at Kalnciema Quarter in Riga is renowned for selling quality local products from farmers, designers, and artisans, including organic food and items of Latvian origin. During the Christmas period, the market turns festive and Christmas trees, gifts, and festive decorations are added to the mix. Art lovers can experience the Art Hunt Premium exhibition sale to purchase work by young Latvian artists. The Christmas market is backed by festive music, along with mulled wine, Christmas concerts, a circus, and plays for the whole family to enjoy.

Christmas Fair at Kalnciema Quarter

Address: Kalnciema iela 35, Zemgales priekšpilsēta, Rīga, LV-1046, Latvia

Website: Christmas Fair at Kalnciema Quarter

Opening hours: December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 27 and 27: 10am - 4pm

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3. Esplanade Park Christmas Market

Parque Esplanade, Riga, Letonia, 2012-08-07, DD 15
Source: Photo by user Diego Delso used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The sprawling Esplanade Park is located in the center of Riga and is surrounded by Kalpaka, Krišjāņa Valdemāra, Brīvības, and Elizabetes Streets. In the center of the green and pretty park, there is a monument to Oskars Kalpaks, as well as the Art Academy of Latvia and the Latvian National Museum of Art. Esplanade Park is next to the Nativity Cathedral and offers stalls selling the usual, traditional Christmas gifts, including candles, hand-knitted items like mittens socks and shawls, and wood crafted toys. They also sell a selection of delicious traditional delicacies and mulled wine. Also, this market has a lovely addition for the children which is a little village which is populated by live rabbits. Occasionally Santa arrives on the scene, selling carrots for the children to feed to the rabbits.

Esplanade Park Christmas Market

Address: Esplanade Park, Riga, Latvia

Opening hours: December 1 - January 6: 10am - 8pm

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4. Christmas Market at Riga Central Market (Rīgas Centrāltirgus)

Posted by Rīgas Centrāltirgus / Riga Central Market on Monday, 30 September 2019

The Central Market in Riga is the largest of its kind in Europe and consists of a market and shopping Bazaar. The market, built between 1924 and 1930, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At Christmas, the market turns appropriately festive, with the bazaar section selling traditional Christmas gifts and souvenirs, locally crafted toys and jewelry, decorations, and more. Mulled wine is available to warm up chilly hands as well as the traditional festive food of Latvia.

Christmas Market at Riga Central Market (Rīgas Centrāltirgus)

Address: Nēģu iela 7, LV-1050 Riga, Latvia

Website: Christmas Market at Riga Central Market (Rīgas Centrāltirgus)

Opening hours: December 1 - January 6: 10am - 8pm

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5. Livu Laukums Christmas Market

Riga Christmas tree
Source: Photo by user Kārlis Dambrāns used under CC BY 2.0

The Christmas Market at Livu Laukums (Livu Square) is approximately a four-minute walk from Doma Laukums (Dome Square), surrounded by Zirgu, Meistaru and Kaļķu iela streets. The Riga Russian Drama Theater is in this area of the city. The market is set up with a blue-striped theme and has less of a Christmas “feel” than the Cathedral market. No traditional snacks are available, but there are a number of craft stalls selling Christmas gifts, as well as jewelry and clothing. The buildings surrounding the square are decorated beautifully for the season. During winter, an ice skating rink is set up here. The Livu Laukums Christmas Market sells many cat souvenirs–this is because the market is next to the cat house. Other items on sale included cutting boards, wooden coasters, and a variety of typical Latvian gifts. There is also a stall selling the traditional mulled wine.

Livu Laukums Christmas Market

Address: Livu Laukums, Riga, Latvia

Opening hours: December 1 - January 6: 10am - 8pm

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Riga, Latvia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Riga, Latvia

6. First Advent Concert

Catedral de la Natividad de Cristo, Riga, Letonia, 2012-08-07, DD 09
Source: Photo by user Diego Delso used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Every year on December 1, the First Advent Concert is held at Riga Cathedral to herald the coming festive season. Visitors and residents can head to the cathedral to listen to Orchestra Riga performing Christmas music by composers like Vivaldi, Bach, Schubert and more. Several soloists perform during the concert, including Lauras Grecka, Jolanta Strikaite-Lapiņa and Marlēna Keine. The conductor for the concert is Atvars Lakstīgala.

First Advent Concert

Address: Riga Dome Cathedral, Doma Laukums 1, Riga, Latvia

Website: First Advent Concert

Opening hours: December 1: 7pm

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7. The Way Through the Christmas Trees

Christmas Tree meemorial (8228985685)
Source: Photo by user Guillaume Speurt used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Riga claims the honor of being the place where the first Christmas tree was decorated 500 years ago in a market square. Due to this, Riga sets itself up as the Christmas tree world capital each year, by featuring a variety of creative art Christmas trees throughout the city. The Christmas tree light installations are made from glass, bricks, and wood by a number of different artists, as well as students from the local Art Academy. The best time to view the art is during the evening when the lights are turned on.

The Way Through the Christmas Trees

Address: Riga, Latvia

Website: The Way Through the Christmas Trees

Dates: December 6 - January 6

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Riga, Latvia and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Riga, Latvia

Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus (Merry Christmas) in Riga, Latvia

Take your time exploring the beautiful streets of this remarkable city, with their attractive Art Deco and wooden buildings, visit the museums, enjoy a little retail therapy in the shops, but when visiting over the Christmas period, make sure you take a turn at some of the most delightful Christmas markets and events in Riga, Latvia.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Anne Sewell was born in England, but has spent most of her life in Africa - Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa - and now resides on the beautiful Costa del Sol in southern Spain. She loves writing...Read more

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