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Europe's Most Underrated Photography Destination

Panoramic Photo of Riga Latvia by Shawn M. Kent

Introducing Riga, Latvia

Riga Latvia is a vastly underrated travel photography destination. I’ll confess until I found out I would be heading there on a work trip I would not have been able to pick it out on a map. Riga is virtually unknown, getting only 2 million tourists each year, compared to the 83 million Paris receives. But this is to its benefit as a photography destination as there will be fewer tourists to contend with when shooting.

While Riga is little known, it is at its essence an artistic city. With absolutely breathtaking Art Nouveau architecture, a medieval old town, and idyllic parks there is no shortage of shooting opportunities. As an added photographic bonus, the days are also incredibly long in the summer.  Sunset does not begin until midnight, lasts forever, and then sunrise is only 4 hours later. Do yourself a favour and shoot all night when you visit.

Old Town Riga

The first stop on your photo adventure should be a visit to Old Town. This medieval district is full of incredible photo opportunities. Everywhere you turn is begging to be photographed. Discover ancient churches, historic dwellings and more along the narrow cobblestones streets. I recommend shooting at night to get the best results. The ambient lighting is superb, and at night there are fewer tourists to clutter your shots.

Parks of Riga

Next up on your photography schedule should be the parks of Riga. Riga is full of gorgeous parks, public spaces, and sculptures. Do yourself a favour and go for a walk along any of the beautiful open areas in the city. While wandering, you will discover hidden gems and peaceful photo locations in the many parks in the city. If you are in a romantic mood, hire a boat for a tour of the canals or simply walk the many paths that meander through the city parks.

Riga Architecture

Perhaps most noteworthy is the stunning architecture. Not only is Riga home to some of the finest and best-preserved Art Nouveau architecture in all of Europe, but modern architecture also dots the landscape.  Discover stunning sculpted facades in the vicinity of Alberta street. Then take your tripod and camera down to the waterfront to shoot the amazing modern additions on the west side of the Daugava river.

Riga Latvia Quick Facts

Women To Look Up To

Latvian women hold the world record as being the world’s tallest, with the average Latvian lady coming in at an impressive 170 cm.

A Pagan Past

Latvians were among the last to join Christendom and remain very pagan at heart. A number of pagan celebrations and traditions are still celebrated today.

Hockey, Hockey, Hockey

Latvia's National Sport is Hockey, a number of Latvians play in the NHL and the National Team fans are some of the loudest and most passionate in the world.

This collection of photos can only scratch the surface of the many great shooting locations in Riga. While I had just a few days in this stunning city, I left feeling there still were so many more places to discover. Without a doubt, this beautiful city is near the top of my list of favourite places to visit.

Finally, you can discover all these locations and more in the PIXEO App. Do yourself a favour and book a trip to this often overlooked jewel of Europe. You won’t be disappointed.

Waterfront View of Vanšu Bridge in Riga Latvia - Photo by Shawn M. Kent

Shawn.Kent

Shawn M. Kent is the creator of the PIXEO App and shares responsibility for running PIXEO Inc, with his wife Lisette Kent. By day he is the Public Affairs Chief Warrant Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces and in his free time he is a landscape photographer and father.