BY ELIZABETH MCCAFFERTY
THE WORLD OF HAT MUSEUM
A 12-year private collection of hats housed in Riga’s ‘embassy district’. The collection became so overwhelmingly large that their owner opened a museum dedicated to his extraordinary collection. A series of 5 rooms that acts as a journey across the globe in hat form (we’re talking nearly 400 hats here- some you can even try on for 50cent)! Super quirky, one of a kind and definitely put a smile on my face.
The inner court, Vīlandes iela 7-12 entrance from, Rīga, LV-1010, Latvia
A beautiful museum dedicated to Riga’s pharmaceutical history. A passion filled guided tour filed with alchemy, vintage medicine bottles and pills. A truly unique building, brimming with history. The staff’s enthusiasm is definitely contagious, certainly not a place to skip if you enjoy all things quirky and medical!
Riharda Vāgnera iela 13, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia
KGB MUSEUM / THE CORNER HOUSE
One of the best museum tours I have ever been to. With guided tours being run throughout the day in various languages, there are no excuses not to visit. Extremely dark and harrowing, but an important part of history to learn about. The museum itself is incredibly well preserved. The beauty of the surrounding art nouveau buildings and wallpapered walls makes for an eerie, surreal and stark contrast to the dark history of the museum. You are only able to visit the prison part on a tour, so be sure to check the tour times on the website.
Brīvības iela 61, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1010, Latvia
PAULS STRADINS MEDICINE MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE
One of my favourite museums I’ve been to...in the world. If you’re into slightly dark, creepy medical history then this is the place for you. Dogs with two heads, dentistry and surgeries gone wrong. 4 floors high and filled to the brim with exhibits, at just 2 euro 50 to enter, you won’t be disappointed.
Antonijas iela 1, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1360, Latvia
MUSEE ART NOUVEAU
Two floors dedicated to Riga’s beautiful art nouveau history. With one floor dedicated to history including videos, interactive displays and a photobooth, and one floor a replica house of the period. A true travel back in time experience, with all staff dressed in period costumes of the time too. Riga’s architecture is truly beautiful; this is the perfect place to learn in more detail about its history.
Alberta iela 12, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1010, Latvia
POWDER TOWER/ LATVIAN WAR MUSEYM
Built in 1330, and now known as the powder tower, the museum is an essential part of Riga’s history. Its name originates from when gunpowder was stored in it from the 17th century. The Latvian war museum inside focuses mainly one WW1 & 2 and Latvia’s fight for independence. Free to enter with excellent translations for multiple nationalities. Cannot fault the amount of information the museum has to teach you for no charge! A must visit to learn more about Latvian history.
Smilšu iela 20, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia