Discover the beauty and fascination of the capital of Latvia on our Jewish Riga tours! Once dubbed the 'Paris of the North,' Riga is an architectural gem replete with medieval houses, Gothic gabled roofs, Renaissance guild houses, lavish Baroque homes, and Art Nouveau housing designed by Jewish architect Mikhail Eisenstein, on a par with the architecture of Vienna or Barcelona.
Learn how the Torah scrolls were saved at the only active Riga synagogue that survived the Nazi period, the Peitav Shul. At the Parliament Building, discover the role played by Latvian Jewish democrats in the creation of the first independent Latvia in 1920, and learn about Jewish parliamentarians at work today.
The Maskavas Forstate (suburb), with its unique wooden housing, was the historical Yiddish-speaking quarter of Riga, home to Poles, Russians, and Old Believers. Never a ghetto until the Nazi years, Maskavas Forstate became the main area of Jewish settlement in the 19th century. The first Jewish secular school is used today as a private Jewish school. Likewise the historical Jewish hospital Bikur Holim is still in use. The sites of the Great Choral Synagogue and old Jewish cemetery are now places of contemplation of the Nazi inhumanities.
Two roads from Riga lead to the Rumbula and Bikernieki forests where mass murders were carried out. Both are now important memorial sites. Stories of those who survived and also of the Righteous Among the Nations who helped save lives can be found in the excellent museum dedicated to the Jews in Latvia. This comprehensive museum is housed in the Jewish Community Center and is a must for any visitor. Have a tasty kosher meal next door at Lehaim restaurant or chat with a community member.
Riga is among our popular port destinations. Will you be exploring Riga while traveling by cruise ship? Let us organize your transfer and arrival for a perfectly planned Riga shore excursion!