As parks in the city center are quite busy and full of people, some cafes & events not always makes them good for quite relaxing, Viesturdārzs is the hidden gem of Riga’s park.
Well, actually nobody has hidden it, it’s too big for that. It’s just located on the border of the area we’d consider the center. So that’s why so many people prefer parks in the city center instead of it. Viesturdārzs might be neglected, which it doesn’t deserve.
Why? First of all, it’s the oldest park in Riga, founded by the Russian Tsar Peter I himself. Also, it is the place where the first Latvian Song Festival was held (please google Latvian Song and Dance Festival, you must understand what it is 😉 ). Although the Song festival is very important for Latvians, the monument to honor the 100-year anniversary of it in Viesturdārzs is not in its best shape.
But maybe it’s just waiting renovation like the recently renovated Triumph Arc on one side of the park – BTW the only Triumph Arc in Latvia. Don’t miss the place (a market with a small monument) where Peter I planted an elm tree. It was growing more than 200 years. Now you can enjoy the grandchildren of this famous elm.
It’s important, but not crowded. But on the other hand that’s good – you don’t need to compete with somebody to find a place in the shade; you can enjoy nature and find fishermen near a pond.