Arts & Culture

Boundless imagination nourished by rich cultural heritage

© Adobe Stock

A culture that punches way above its weight


in the EU in the percentage of government spending on culture


of Latvians attend cultural events


people on average attend the yearly iconic music festival Positivus

Unveil the hidden gems of Latvia's arts and culture scene

© Latvia Travel


The architectural heritage of Latvia encompasses a wide range of styles and eras, including traditional rural homes, unique wooden buildings, grand palaces and manors, churches, and striking Art Nouveau buildings. These architectural treasures can be found not only in the capital city of Riga but also in towns, villages, and countryside throughout Latvia.

© Nikolay N. Antonov, Adobe Stock

Riga Old town

Featuring a mix of architectural styles, including Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, classicism, and modernism, the Old Town is home to numerous cultural monuments, many of which have been restored or reconstructed following Latvia’s independence. Recognized for its unique architecture, the historical center of Riga was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997.

Conductor Guntis Kuzma in a concert performance
© LNSO, conductor Guntis Kuzma


Latvia is renowned for its rich choral and classical music traditions. Latvian singing is widely regarded as the nation’s greatest cultural hallmark and unifying force, as demonstrated by the “singing revolution” of the late 80s and early 90s, which saw the power of mass song events bring the Latvian population together in their quest for independence.

Explore some of Latvia’s most celebrated musicians

The Latvian contemporary music scene boasts a rich and diverse landscape, offering a wide array of musical styles and genres to cater to the tastes of every listener.


From pop to rock, hip-hop to classical, Latvian musicians are pushing the boundaries of modern music and creating a dynamic and exciting musical environment:

  • Prāta Vētra (Brainstorm) is one of Latvia’s most beloved rock music bands. Having received numerous awards at the Latvian Music Awards and performed for large crowds of up to 30,000 people, the band was one of the first Eastern European bands to enter the Western music market, starting with the hit single “My Star” in 2000.

  • As one of the premier Latvian metal bands, Skyforger has been upholding a distinct and authentic musical style since the release of their iconic demo, “Semigalls’ Warchant,” in 1997. Their lyrics delve into the history of Latvia, recounting tales of old battles and exploring the country’s rich folklore.

  • Raimonds Pauls, a Latvian pianist and composer, is held in high regard as one of the most beloved musicians in his country. He has composed music for a diverse range of productions, including over 50 movies and theater performances, six musical films, three ballets, and numerous musical theaters. His music has gained recognition both within Latvia and abroad, with his compositions being featured on CDs released in Japan and Finland, among other countries.

Discover Latvia’s rich cultural heritage

Latvians have a strong relationship with their cultural heritage and traditions, demonstrated by events such as the Jāņi Summer Solstice holiday, the grand Song and Dance Festival, and the cultural practices of distinct local communities such as the Livs and Suiti.

Whether you’re a lover of folk art, music, dance or simply looking to experience the true essence of Latvian culture and traditions, make sure to put the Nationwide Song and Dance Celebration on your itinerary. Held once every five years, this week-long celebration is more than just a cultural event – it’s an expression of the country’s spirit and soul.


The year the festival first took place




visitors (2018)


events (2018)

© Jurģis Rikveilis


From its origins as local choir singing gatherings to its recognition as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, the celebration has always served as a powerful expression of Latvian identity and unity. It’s a singular event that captures the essence of Latvian culture and heritage. Get to know more about the Latvian cultural traditions here!

Explore the local flavors

Latvia is known for its fresh, locally sourced, and seasonal ingredients, as well as its talented chefs and brewers. This is evident in the growing popularity of Riga as a destination for gourmet holidays and the city’s spring and autumn restaurant weeks, which are highly anticipated events.

Did you know?

Raimonds Tomsons, a Latvian, achieved an impressive feat by winning the title of the world’s best sommelier at the Paris championships in 2023, despite Latvia not being a traditional wine country.

Cosmopolitan choice of restaurants

Good food knows no boundaries, and Latvian restaurants can offer diverse menus inspired by cuisines from around the world.

  • Founded in 1994 by Latvian culinary icon Mārtins Rītiņš, Vincents has established itself as a leader in modern organic cuisine and a trendsetter for quality.

    A menu of exquisite food and wines is complemented by the restaurant’s elaborate interior and art gallery.

    Chef Uvis Janičenko, who honed his skills at Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe and Japan for 10 years, offers his signature menu, which emphasizes the “slow food” culture and collaboration with local farmers and producers.

  • The restaurant Barents takes great pride in its Northern heritage.

    Guests can choose from an “à la carte” menu or opt for the tasting menu, which includes a choice of five or seven courses, including cold water seafood, vegetables, and other delicious goods that are locally sourced from local farms and fishermen.

    The Barents’ sommelier has also carefully selected a range of wines from colder climates that can best accompany the food.

  • Discover Entresol, a charming French-style restaurant helmed by expert chef Raimonds Zommers.

    With a focus on classical elegance combined with the latest dining trends, the restaurant offers a unique dining experience marked by subtle sophistication and the highest standards of excellence.

    You can expect a good choice of appetizers and a standard menu featuring seasonal dishes with an artistic flair.

© Splendid Palace

Visual art & Cinema

Throughout history, Latvian artists have cultivated a distinct aesthetic vision that draws inspiration from the natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of the region. Their impact on the global art scene is evident in their representation at prestigious events like the La Biennale di Venezia, where they have left a lasting impression on audiences through their national pavilion exhibitions.