Fresh and smoked fish, various meat produce, fresh and pickled vegetables, fruits, berries, milk and cheese, organic produce, real country bread, honey – an extensive range of products is available at the central market of Riga with samples available at almost every stand.
Local craftsmen produce is also available here with hand-made knitted socks, scarves, caps and other accessories and souvenirs.
The Central Market is renowned for of its pavilions which since the 1920s have been a striking landmark of the city and still are an important architectural site. What are these strange buildings, acclaimed by global architects and designers? It turns out that these were originally constructed as military buildings. During World War I these were hangars for the huge airships of the Kaiser’s German army which were based in a town in Kurzeme – Vaiņode. After the war, when the city of Riga began to expand, it was decided that these hangars could serve as market pavilions for the Central Market. Thus, these five 240 metre long, 46 metre wide and 38 metre tall halls came to Riga, but the Central Market itself was acknowledged to be the largest and most modern market in Europe in 1930!
In 1998 the vast territory of Riga Central Market was included on the UNESCO Global Heritage List. From the perspective of architecture, the market is interesting not only because of its pavilions, but also the old warehouses, the so-called Spīķeri, located within the market and next to it. Presently, a block of creative industries has been set up in the old warehouses.
Since 1995, the Central Market has been a joint stock company with 100% of shares owned by Riga City Council spanning across 72.3 thousand square metres of commercial area with over 3000 trade stands each 1 to 100 square metres large. The market has five pavilions – vegetables, dairy products, meat, fish and grocery. It is one of the largest markets in Eastern Europe and every day is visited by 80 000 to 100 000 people
Price from Ls 10 (EUR 15) per person
Duration: 1.5 hours