Explore romantic Riga, the largest of the three Baltic capitals, often described as a metropolis of Art Nouveau. A powerful industrial city in the 19th century, Riga was home to a newly wealthy Latvian bourgeoisie who embraced the new style based on naturalistic designs and forms. These motifs are found in the period’s architecture, interior design, jewellery, furniture and textiles and the movement’s philosophy which saw ‘art as a way of life’ quickly caught on in the ancient Hanseatic city. The ‘Jugendstil’ lifestyle of wealthy patrons is beautifully preserved and waiting to be discovered in the company of architectural expert Mike Hope on this three-night tour based at the Hotel Monika.
The four-star Hotel Monika is located in the cultural and historical centre of Riga, and is encircled by one of Europe’s most eminent block of Art Nouveau buildings, close to the Old Town of Riga. The hotel's restaurant 'Sokrats' creates a pleasant atmosphere with excellent cuisine. Bedrooms are comfortable with en-suite bathrooms, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, minibar, TV, safe, hairdryer and telephone.
Hotel Monika Website
YOUR LECTURER - Mike Hope
Mike Hope author, lecturer, curator and designer, has spent more than twenty-five years at four universities (Staffordshire, Portsmouth, Nottingham Trent and Plymouth) and nearly thirty years delivering Summer School Programmes. He has lectured around the world and was a founder board member of The European Academy of Design. Alongside an extensive publication list, he has researched, designed and curated many exhibitions, and advised on stained glass to the Diocese of Exeter. He specialises in Art and Design History, Stained Glass; Churches and Cathedrals; the English Country House and Garden and has also spent fourteen years teaching the Bauhaus Movement.
Please note that all flight times are provisional and subject to airline schedules and changes.
HEALTH & INSURANCE – EHIC CARD
Please note that EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) only allows access to the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the EU country they are temporarily visiting. It is NOT an alternative to travel insurance and will not provide the same level of cover as a travel insurance policy. The EHIC will not cover any private medical healthcare or the cost of things such as repatriation to the UK or lost or stolen property. It is also important to note that each country’s healthcare system is slightly different, so the EHIC might not cover everything that would be generally free on the NHS. On the EHIC application website, there is a section called Access to Healthcare Abroad which clarifies all the conditions and inclusions.
Full details of this tour can be found in the itinerary
Click here to go to the itinerary
Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Riga and transfer by coach to the four-star Hotel Monika in the heart of the city for a three-night stay. Remainder of the afternoon is free to explore this lovely UNESCO World Heritage listed old town before the welcome reception, lecture by Mike Hope 'Art Nouveau in Riga – an essay in Latvian independence’ and dinner with wine at the hotel this evening.
Day 2: Today we explore Riga’s old town with visits to the Dome Cathedral, famous for its unique acoustics, as well as the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design. Throughout the Medieval old town there are outstanding architectural monuments of the 13th to 20th centuries such as the Swedish Gate, the Small and Big Guild Houses, the 13th century St Peter’s Church, the House of Blackheads, Town Hall square and medieval houses. After free time for lunch we visit the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design which was opened in 1989 in the former St. George’s Church, the oldest stone building in Riga having been built in 1204. The museum houses a collection of artworks dating back to the late 19th century when Latvia’s national style began to emerge. The rest of the day and evening is free for you to explore at leisure. Evening lecture by Mike Hope at the hotel 'Art Nouveau as a tool of Cultural Change, Protest and Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe’ followed by dinner with wine at Neiburgs Restaurant.
Day 3: This morning we visit the Art Nouveau area of Riga for a tour visiting streets and buildings on Alberta, Elisabetes, Vilandes, Strelnieku, Brivibas, Terbatas and ending with a visit to the Riga Art Museum. Riga embraced ‘Jugendstil’ architecture as well as other fields of art at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century and retains one of the biggest and most distinguished collections of Art Nouveau architecture in Europe with many elegant masterpieces. After free time for lunch (not included) we head to the newly reopened Latvian National Museum of Art which houses more than 52,000 works of art reflecting the development of professional art in the Baltic area and Latvia from the middle of the 18th century to the present day.
Day 4: A free morning in Riga to explore, relax or do some last minute shopping with an afternoon departure from the hotel to Riga Airport.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Offering a wide range of extended tours and cultural short breaks for the discerning traveller, Travel Editions was established in 1994 and is now one of the leading specialist independent escorted tour operators in the UK. The company started with the idea of creating itineraries that were not readily available on the high street, and the team still remains focused on offering escorted tours that appeal to travellers rather than tourists.
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In almost all cases, daily excursions are included in the price of a trip, and all excursions are taken by private coach. The size of the group varies depending on the escorted tour, and Travel Editions limits some holidays to lower numbers to suit the nature of the specific holiday. Walking, culinary and special interest tours are limited to approximately 20-30 passengers, and the Europe by Rail and Europe by Air holidays are limited to a maximum of 35 passengers. Then there’s the UK British Heritage Tours with a maximum capacity of 49, however, some are much less than this. No matter which tours you choose, you will never feel as though you are in a big group.
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In addition to offering extended tours and cultural short breaks, Travel Editions offers a large range of special events in the UK that bring the culture and history of the United Kingdom to life. These events can be found in the Art & History Abroad programme and include expert speakers, entertaining concerts and impressive dinners in historic locations.