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Where to go hiking in Riga?
What are the best places for walks in and near Riga?
What if you are up for something more than Mezaparks or other parks in Riga? I have got you covered. Having lived in Riga since 2005, I had never really explored the city on foot or bicycle — until 2020 (thank you, Covid). Now, after a few hundred miles on foot and a 1000+ miles on a bicycle, I believe I know the city pretty well.
So, here are some of my favorite places for walks in the area.
Where to Go on a Walk in Riga?
What are the best places for hiking in Riga?
See also: Where to Go Cycling in Riga
1. Daugavgriva Beach Hike
DISTANCE: around 10 miles / 16 km in total.
But you can also make it into a longer walk. One of the ways is by walking all the way back to the starting point. Another way — by not taking a road on the way back and walking on trails instead. Take into account that buses there run only like once an hour, and you may not be able to get a taxi from Vakarbulli. So you have to plan accordingly.
Yes, it’s possible to go also on a longer hike in Riga.
Read more (+ route): Daugavgriva Beach Hike
2. Ziepniekkalns – Balozi – Ziepniekkalns Hike
DISTANCE: around 6 miles / 9.6 km in total.
That’s if you take a taxi or bus to forest and don’t walk through Ziepniekkalns.
I started walking and also finished in Tornakalns, making the walk longer.
Ziepniekkalns is a neighborhood in Riga. Situated on the outskirts of the city, it’s a place from where you can go on a nice walk in Riga. But don’t get me wrong — the neighborhood itself isn’t a good place for walking, the forest right next to it is. Consisting of mostly Soviet-built 10 story apartment buildings it may also look like a scary place for many.
There are multiple trails and forest roads in the area.
Nearest bus stop is “Ozolciema iela”.
Read more (+ route): Ziepniekkalns – Balozi – Ziepniekkalns Hike
3. Ziepniekkalns – Tiraine Walk
DISTANCE: around 3 miles / 4.8 km in total.
That’s if you take a taxi or bus to forest and don’t walk to Ziepniekkalns.
Can you do it in any other season except for winter? I don’t know. I was just eager to find another trail from Ziepniekkalns, a more interesting one, if possible, and so we ended up walking from Ziepniekkalns to Tiraine (which is, actually, very close) through forest, bushes and in some parts completely off the trail.
See our route, if you would like to do something similar.
Read more (+ route): Walking From Ziepniekkalns to Tiraine the Hard Way
4. Mezaparks park
DISTANCE: up to your preference and ability.
Mezaparks is the best known and also my favorite park in Riga.
It’s a park that feels more like a real forest. You can walk for 30 minutes, 1 hour or more there. It’s up to your preference and ability. You can do some outdoorsy things in Mezaparks, like go to the adventure park Mezakakis. Kisezers lake beach is also in Mezaparks.
Take tram 11 to go from Riga Old Town to Mezaparks.
5. Daugava Promenade Bike Path
DISTANCE (from Riga Old Town): around 7 miles / 11.3 kilometers.
That’s 7 miles walking there and back to the old town.
It’s great both for cycling and walking.
The path starts from Riga Old Town and follows Daugava river.
Read more (+ route): Daugava Promenade Bike Path
6. Riga – Marupe Bike Path
DISTANCE (from Riga Old Town): around 4 miles / 6.5 km one way.
One of greenest bike paths in Riga.
It’s great both for cycling and walking.
The path starts from Vansu bridge near the old town.
Read more (+ route): Riga – Marupe Bike Path
7. Mezaparks – Vecaki Bike Path
DISTANCE: around 7 miles / 11.2 km one way.
My favorite bike path in Riga going to the beach. You can walk or cycle one way and then take a train back to the city center. Or, if you’re walking, you can as well take a bus from Vecaki.
It’s just as great for cycling as for walking.
The path starts from Riga Zoo.
8. Kipsala Island
Just like the nearby islands of Zakusala and Lucavsala, Kipsala is an island everyone knows, especially locals, but at the same time rarely anyone wanders any deeper than they need. For example, for me Kipsala has always been the place where my university was located, and that was it.
Turns out there is more to it, and it’s also an interesting place for walking.
Start with the Balasta dambis street on the side of the old town. It is the prettiest part of Zakusala. The rest is still a bit wild. There are some newer, and some older buildings, some really nice houses and some you want to get quicker away from, some office buildings and some restricted access areas. It is possible to get to the river Daugava in some parts.
For most part you see only very few cars on the island.
Read more: Kipsala Island
9. Lucavsala Island
Until a few years ago no one went to Lucavsala, but then things changed.
One part of the island was transformed into a big park.
Now it’s a popular spot to hang out in the city, there are playgrounds for kids, a beach and you can do water sports like wakeboarding on the island. But just like with the nearby islands of Zakusala and Kipsala, there are also parts of Lucavsala rarely anyone visits.
If you’re up for some exploration, just head to the opposite side of the island.
Read more: Lucavsala Island
10. Zakusala Island
Zakusala is an island in the Daugava river.
It is one of several islands on river Daugava, but also the one you have definitely seen if you have been to Riga. That is the island with the Riga TV Tower on it, situated very close to the city center and easily accessible in several ways, including by foot.
To be honest, until recently I thought this place is super boring.
And that there’s nothing at all to see, except for the TV tower. I didn’t know it’s possible to get to both ends of the island. Turned out that I was wrong. And I found it out only while exploring different neighborhoods of Riga looking for interesting places where to go cycling in Riga.
Even though there isn’t any infrastructure, it’s a nice, quiet place where to chill by the river, go on a short bicycle ride or walk.
Having very nice views of the city and without any people around you.
If that is your thing, check out the Zakusala island, both its sides.
I, personally, like the one closer to the Railway bridge.
Read more: Zakusala Island
Hiking Near Riga
Here are some great places for hiking near Riga.
11. Priedaine – Varnukrogs – Bolderaja
DISTANCE: around 9 miles / 14.5 km.
I haven’t actually walked from Priedaine to Bolderaja.
I have only cycled from to Riga to Varnukrogs and Bolderaja. But I know that this part is also great for walking. Here’s how I would do. Take a train to Priedaine. Walk to Bolderaja. Take a bus back to the city. Easy and simple, and away from the crowds.
Read more (+ route): Cycling Riga – Varnukrogs – Bolderaja
12. Lilaste – Gauja Hike
DISTANCE (from Lilaste station): around 4 miles / 6.4 km.
If you will be walking back to Lilaste, it will take you another hour. Or you can do like we did — check out also river Gauja, walk along the river to the beach and finish at the train station of Gauja. It’s gonna take you approximately 3 hours.
It’s a very enjoyable short hike near Riga that you can turn into a longer hike.
Read more (+ route): Lilaste – Gauja Hike
13. Lielupe – Ragakapa Nature Park Hike
DISTANCE (from Lielupe station): around 7 miles / 11.2 km in total.
There are multiple trails and forest roads in the area.
Plus, both the beach and Lielupe river are never too far away. And if you are up for a longer walk, you can keep walking on the beach for as far as you wish. Thanks to the railway running near the same beach (in the direction of Jurmala) you will always have a chance to get back to Riga easy and cheap.
It’s possible to drive to Ragakapa Nature Park and park a car there.
Read more (+ route): Lielupe – Ragakapa Nature Park Hike
14. Melna Ezera Swamp Hike
DISTANCE: around 8.5 miles / 13.6 km.
That’s if you start from Jaunmarupe and finish on the highway, and take a taxi back to Riga, as we did. You can also make it into a longer walk — by continuing to Jaunmarupe or Marupe.
There are two popular bog hiking trails near Riga. The most popular one is in Cena Bog, the other one – Great Kemeri Bog. Located a short ride away from Jaunmarupe, Melna Ezera Swamp is even closer to Riga. So if you want to go on a walk in the nature and you enjoy more off the beaten path kind of places, this is the place for you.
Read more (+ route): Melna Ezera Swamp Hike
15. Cena Bog Boardwalk Hike
DISTANCE: around 3.1 miles / 5 km.
You can either drive, take a taxi or cycle there.
It’s a boardwalk, so you can’t get lost.
And since it’s a circular trail, you don’t have to make any decisions. Just follow the trail, and that’s it. If, however, you aren’t ready for the full circle, I would recommend you to turn to the right when there’s a choice. This way you’ll get to the most beautiful part of the bog faster – to the Skaista lake.
Read more (+ route): Cena Bog Boardwalk Hike
16. Ogre Blue Hills Nature Park
DISTANCE: up to your preference.
There are a lot of short hiking trails in Latvia.
And Ogre Blue Hills Nature park is one of the best options, when you are looking for something close to Riga. Most of the Ogre Blue Hills park is covered with a protected, coniferous forest. There are several walking and cycling trails in the forest. Dubkalnu water reservoir is located on the edge on of the park. The place is neither tiny, nor too big. It’s just the right size for a couple of hours in the outdoors.
The park is approximately 2 miles / 3.2 km away from the train and bus station.
Read more (+ route): Ogre Blue Hills Nature Park
Have you been to Riga? Did you go hiking in Riga or somewhere nearby? What was your experience?
Book Your Trip Like a PRO
1. Book Your Flight. Find cheap flights using Kiwi.com, Momondo.com. Or subscribe to Dollar Flight Club, if you don’t want to be searching for the flights yourself. Momondo usually is my first choice.
2. Book Your Accommodation. Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!
3. Buy Your Travel Insurance. World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.
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