Riga, just like most European cities, has nature getaways tucked in among the bustling residential areas. In the centre, parks like Esplanāde and Viesturdārzs are hard to miss, but nothing compares to the spacious and relaxing atmosphere of the Biķernieku forest.
Bordering the suburbs of Mežciems and Teika, Biķernieku mežš is a pine forest with minimal overgrowth, making it perfect for explorers who love going off the beaten track. In the winter and summer, its wide paths and cleared-out forestry make exploring the woodlands a breeze. It is also home to many historical monuments, honoring the fallen victims during World War Two.
When I was a kid, my family took countless weekend strolls through the park, walking our dog or jumping into an improvised snowball fight. Biķernieku forest is truly a place where you can find yourself getting lost, climbing tall hills, taking in the scent of pine, and realizing that you might just be the only soul on the horizon. That is until a friendly jogger crosses your path. If you are in Riga and in need of a place to feel grounded and serene, then this forest is your playground.