© Splendid Palace

Delve into the unique vision of Latvian artists

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.


artworks held at The Latvian National Museum of Art

$86.8 million

the amount for which the painting by Latvian-born Mark Rothko was sold in 2012


anniversary marked by Latvian national cinema in 2020

Discover artistic treasures

Latvia has a vibrant and thriving art scene that caters to all tastes and preferences. Visitors will find a rich selection of museums, galleries, and festivals to enjoy in Latvia.

Explore two centuries of Latvian art

The Latvian National Museum of Art boasts the most extensive collection of art in Latvia, with over 52,000 works.

  • The permanent exhibition, “Latvian Art: 19th–20th Century,” offers an overview of Latvian art history from two centuries.
  • The building is home to numerous Latvian paintings, graphic arts, and sculptures.
  • The museum tells the story of Latvian art evolution through key works and artists, contextualized by the cultural, historical, political, and social landscape.
© Kristiāna Zelča

Embark on a luxurious journey through time

The Art Museum Riga Bourse is home to the largest foreign art collection in the Baltic States.

  • The museum offers international exhibitions and a wide range of cultural and artistic events.
  • The museum is housed in the historic Riga Bourse building, an architectural monument built in the Venetian Renaissance palazzo style.
  • Highlights include the largest collection of Oriental art in Latvia, which includes an Egyptian mummy in a wooden sarcophagus.
kim? Contemporary Art centre © Ansis Starks

Discover the latest in contemporary art

kim? Contemporary Art Centre was established in 2009 and is named after the Latvian abbreviation of the question “What is art?” (kas ir māksla?).

  • The organization offers various events, including exhibitions, lectures, discussions, and more, all focused on contemporary art, theory, and social issues.
  • kim? has been responsible for organizing more than 160 artist exhibitions since its inception.
© Ansis Starks

Uncover the beauty of decorative and design art

The Museum of Decorative and Design Art, housed in the historic St. George’s Church, boasts seven collections of decorative and design art pieces.

  • The museum displays a diverse range of artworks, including unique textiles, ceramics and porcelain, metal art, and more.
  • Contains the largest existing collection of works by the founders of Latvian modernism.
  • The museum features a wide range of temporary shows and annual exhibitions.
© Eric BVD, Adobe Stock

Visit a unique art center dedicated to Mark Rothko

The Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre is a multi-functional center for contemporary art, culture, and education.

  • Mark Rothko, the critically acclaimed abstract painter, spent his early childhood in the city of Daugavpils in Eastern Latvia before immigrating to the United States.
  • In 2012, one of his large-scale paintings sold for over $86.8 million at a New York auction, breaking the record for the highest-selling contemporary work of art.
  • The art center is the only place in Eastern Europe where visitors can see the original masterpieces of the famous artist.

Stay ahead of the curve at art festivals

The annual international contemporary art festival Survival Kit in Riga is one of the most significant contemporary art events in the Baltics. Each year, the festival is dedicated to a different social theme. Utilizing abandoned Riga buildings as venues for the festival, it aims to draw attention to their potential for future development.

Established in 2016, The Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art draws on the rich history of Riga and the Baltic states. The biennial highlights the artistic landscape of the wider region and provides opportunities for artists to engage with the cultural, historical, and socio-political context of the city and its surroundings.

A cinematic country

The history of cinema in Latvia dates back to its inception. On May 28, 1896, just months after the first public screening of films by the Lumière brothers, the first “Moving Picture Show” was held in the Solomonsky Circus in Riga. Latvia’s national cinema marked its 100th anniversary in 2020, and Riga International Film festival is among one of the best-known and celebrated events in the cinematic industry today.

  • 2019

  • 2019

  • 2020

  • 2021

  • 2022

  • 2022


The Blizzard of Souls

Since making it to the big screen on 8 November 2019, Blizzard of Souls became the most-viewed film in Latvia over the course of the past 30 years (with over 250,000 cinema viewers), outclassing imported blockbusters such as Titanic and Avatar. It also reached a TV ratings record (with over 218,000 viewings) among both Latvian film features and all other kinds of broadcasts on any Latvian TV channel.
The film earned the Lielais Kristaps national cinema award across 6 categories, including Best Fiction Feature Film. In November 2020, the National Film Centre of Latvia promoted the film for the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oscars in the Best International Film category. The picture also qualified for the Oscars General Category and was shortlisted for the Best Score nomination. This is extraordinary success, unique for the entire Latvian film industry. The score competed against global cinema greats such as Tenet, Mank, News of the World, Soul and The Trial of the Chicago. Variety ranked Blizzard of Souls in the Top 25 Best International Films for its Oscars predictions.



Butcher Oļeg leaves for Brussels in order to earn a decent salary at a local meat factory, yet his hopeful life turns into a desperately hopeless one, when he gets under the control of polish criminal Andrzej. Director Juris Kursietis' film "Oleg" was selected for the Directors' Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival and received a nomination for Best Feature Film at the European Film Awards.


My Favorite War

My Favorite War is an animated documentary telling the personal story of its director, Ilze, about her growing up in the Cold-War USSR. It is an exciting coming-of-age story about finding one’s own identity, truth and loyalty. Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen's animated memoir won the Annecy International Animation Film Prize at the Contrechamps Competition.


The Year Before the War

Rotterdam IFF (World Premiere),
Cottbus Film Festival,
Tallin Black Nights Film festival,
International Film Festival Torun (Camerimage),
Lielais Kristaps 2021 Awards (Winners: Best Film, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematographer, Best Make-up, Best Production Design, Best Sound. Nominee: Best Director, Best Costume Design, Best Editing)
Riga IFF 2021 (Nominee: Best Film)
Košice International Film Festival (Best Director Feature Film)


My Love Affair With Marriage

Signe Baumane's independent animated feature film has received numerous accolades, including a Jury Distinction for a Feature Film award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, an Excellence in Narrative Directing award at the Woodstock Film Festival, and Best Feature Film awards at both the Viborg Animation Festival and the Fredrikstad Animation Festival. In addition, it was the first Latvian film to be nominated for a European Film Academy Award.



Directed by Viesturs Kairišs, the movie won the Best Film award in the Progressive Cinema competition at the 17th Rome Film Fest, and Kairišs was honored as the best director, while Kārlis Arnolds Avots, who played the lead role, won for best actor. The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Festival in the United States, where it won the award for Best International Narrative Feature.

A wealth of stunning and diverse filming locations

Latvia has become a favored filming location for renowned contemporary directors. For instance, the Latvian-Hungarian co-production film Natural Light, which was shot in Latvia and directed by Dénes Nagy, won the Best Director Crystal Bear award at the Berlinale 2021. The famous Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa filmed “A Gentle Creature” (2017) and “In the Fog” (2012) in eastern Latvia.

Unique filming locations in Latvia

Rundāle Palace

Baroque and Rococo architecture and stunning grounds. Rundāle Palace has been featured in:

  • HBO’s “Catherin the Great”, a stand-in for the Winter Palace
  • BBC’s “War and Peace” miniseries
  • “Sisi” – German television’s miniseries on Austria’s empress Elisabeth


A compact city with a wealth of architectural styles that have evolved over multiple eras. Featured in:

  • Italian crime drama “Gomorrah”
  • Korean historical spy thriller “Harbin”
  • Slovakian drama “Out”
© Lukas Salna


A film studio which provides a variety of street settings from different centuries, pavilions, a train platform, a river, and other film sets. Featured in:

  • “Raven’s Hollow”, a horror and mystery movie based on Edgar Allen Poe’s work
  • “A Day in…”, a documentary series exploring the everyday life of the past
  • “The Pagan King’’, a Latvian historical fiction action film


A quaint, well-preserved medieval town and a favourite of period-piece directors. Home to the 3rd-longest brick bridge in Europe. Featured in:

  • Film drama “Invincible” (2001) with score by Hans Zimmer
  • “Die Brücke” (the bridge) – TV remake of the classic German film
  • “Harbin” (2023) – a Korean historic film

Cinema experience with a historical flavor

© Splendid Palace

The Splendid Palace Cinema, located at 61 Elizabetes Street in Riga, offers film lovers a unique and memorable movie-going experience. The building, an architectural gem in itself with its awe-inspiring neo-baroque facade, features stunning wall and ceiling paintings, and sculptures.

The film program at Splendid Palace is diverse and dynamic, featuring a mix of popular and art-house films from around the world, along with retrospectives of notable film classics, regular film club screenings, and live broadcasts of concerts, opera, and ballet performances.


years old


cinema in the Baltics to screen sound films

Award-winning repertoire

Splendid Palace was distinguished with the Europa Cinemas award for Best Programming in 2021

Did you know?

Cinephiles will greatly appreciate the Riga International Film Festival, held in the heart of the city every fall. Since its founding in 2014, Riga IFF has become a premier cultural event in Latvia, introducing local audiences to the latest developments in world cinema.

Theater is highly valued in Latvia, with seven state-funded theaters and a strong cultural tradition of theater-going:

  • Under the direction of internationally acclaimed director Alvis Hermanis, the theatre has a reputation for participating in prestigious festivals worldwide, such as Festival d’Avignon, The Edinburgh International Festival, Wiener Festwochen, and Salzburger Festspiele. The theater continues to offer innovative performances that appeal to the modern and discerning audience, both in terms of content and form.

  • The theatre offers a diverse repertory for all audiences. Recognized as one of the leading repertory theatres in Latvia, the Latvian National Theatre is proud of its traditions and rich 100-year history, as well as its significance as an architectural and artistic monument of national importance. Despite being performed in Latvian, the historic building alone is worth a visit, as it was where the state of Latvia was proclaimed on November 18, 1918.

  • The theater showcases works by renowned playwrights and contemporary writers, as well as musical performances. As the largest professional repertory theater in Latvia, it features three stages. Recently, the renowned American actor John Malkovich starred in the play In the Solitude of Cotton Fields by Bernard-Marie Koltès, directed by Timofey Kulabin, making Dailes Theater one of the most popular theaters in town.

Learn more