A car enthusiast's dream, the Riga Motormuseum houses the largest collection of historical cars in the Baltics. The museum's website professes that it is "working in the interests of widest society by collecting, preserving, restoring, researching, and communicating antique vehicles as a part of industrial heritage and material culture." More than 230 cars, motorbikes, mopeds, bicycles and more are on display, showing the evolution of automobiles to today's standard. The gems include Vyacheslav Molotov's Rolls Royce, a Lincoln Continental that Richard Nixon gave to Leonid Brezhnev and a Mercedes Benz that was a gift from Hitler to Stalin.
Although the car with famous previous owners draw most of the visitors through the doors, the rest of the collection is impressive on its own. Definitely find the Auto Union Typ "C/D" and Renault Viva Grand Sport among the cluster of vehicles. One enthusiastic TripAdvisor user explains, "The museum is basically just one huge, 2-story display room, but it's packed to the gills with bikes, cars, trucks, and even some car-related art, so I easily spent several hours here."
Located in the bleak outskirts of Riga, the museum is hard to miss once you get there but a bit of a trek to reach. Take the number 5 bus to the "Motormuzejs" stop. The Motormuseum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission costs about 2 LVL (or $4 USD) Check out its official website for more details.
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#0 Old City Riga (Vecriga)
It's hard to believe that most of what you're seeing when walking the cobblestone streets of Old City Riga is relatively new. Much of this historic urban center was destroyed during 20th-century wars; since then, the city has recovered and rebuilt some of its oldest structures. Cars are not allowed, so you can leisurely stroll the narrow avenues and grand squares much like 19th-century Latvians did. Be sure to sample some of the traditional Latvian fare -- restaurants here are renowned for their quality, plus they're affordable compared to other major European cities. Plus, other top things to do, like St. Peter's Church and the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia pepper this area, so you are bound to spend some time enjoying the sights.
There are tours -- including a free one -- that will narrate the buildings' historical significance, but as one TripAdvisor user suggests, the best way to experience the neighborhood is to pick up a map “from the tourist information site in the center and walk through the old town" on your own. While exploring, look out for the Town Hall Square (Ratslaukums) with the impressive House of Blackheads andandand the Swedish Gate along the remains of the ancient city walls.
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