I have visited Latvia after spending 5 days in Belarus (you can read about it here). Since I am focusing at the moment on ex-soviet union countries, Latvia had numerous places I wanted to visit, including the secret Soviet bunker in Ligatne (you can find more about It here).
My first stop in Latvia was Riga.
I didn’t really fall in love with the city, but I didn’t hate it either. The city centre was “too pretty” and too touristy for my liking but In still had some places I wanted to discover on my list so I didn’t give up hope.
Since I LOVE soviet architecture the first stop it had to be the Stalin BIRTHDAY CAKE: today it is housing the Latvian Academy of Science. This is a building you cannot miss even if you want. On the building decorations, there are still some hammer and sickle signs that haven’t been removed with the de-communization of Latvia.
It is also possible to go on the 17th-floor balcony to see a great view of the city. Similar Stalinist architecture can be found of course in Moscow but also in Warsaw.
This building made me like Riga a little bit more.
My second favorite spot has to be what they call the "aviation museum". More than an aviation museum it is a proper airplane junkyard with not only many Soviet airplanes and helicopters but with all sort of things you will find in an airport: from de-icer trucks to airport lights, fire engines to old cars and every sort of junk.
An old man is collecting all this stuff and he charges 7 Euro per person to get in and see all these amazing soviet memorabilia. The place is also very easy to find as it is literally attached to Riga airport. It is Best to visit this place when you land or before departing; It is not open on weekends and during the week it opens from 10 am to 4 pm. I recommend visiting their website to make sure of the timings.
Getting there it is super convenient with the bus number 22 that connects the city center with the airport.
now I am liking Riga way more.
After a few days in Riga, I have taken a train to Ligatne ( gotta love Latvian trains with cheap tickets and wifi on board). From Ligatne station I hiked to the Soviet secret bunker. After spending the afternoon there I continued my hiking trip to Cesis where I spent an afternoon before taking a train to Estonia.