Cultural tip for Latvia No 3. Art museums & exhibitions

The first and main art museum you should visit is Latvian National Museum of Art. Recently renovated this museum is a good sample of modern museum that exhibit as much about the past as for nowadays art. The building itself is gorgeous and worth to see. During summer do not forget to visit roof terrace. It has wonderful views of the city.   You can use free audio guide (application) to get a better understanding of the artists and paintings. From one hand you get an idea of the 25 main pillars of Latvian art but from other, this guide will make you run through the different halls without telling about all paintings. Be ready to walk through all halls again to see the rest of collection. But if you really interested in art, the price for guided tours that equals 6 cups of coffee is definitely worth it.

Besides the permanent collection there are three more exhibitions you can visit – 2 smaller one’s in the roof hall and one in the fourth floor.

In the basement hall there is the biggest exhibition and usually very good one. If you have a choice, more silence you will enjoy during the week. In weekend many locals visit museum and it can be rather full.


Art museum that mostly shows contemporary and modern artists is Arsenals Exhibition Hall of the Latvian National Museum of Art. In this fine arts museum you will find interesting art exhibitions – paint, sculpture, installation, video. There are two exhibition halls. Please follow the information in the museums web page. On Thursdays you can visit this museum just for 1,50 EUR.

Krišs Salmanis

Kristaps Zariņš


Museum that will give you an insight of local art is The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design. Here you will find permanent collection of decorative applied art sing the end of 19th century to the present day. The museum itself is located in historic building – church of 13th century. The permanent collection is displayed in a bit old fashion way but it does not diminishes it’s quality. Do not expect to see much of contemporary Latvian design.

The museum organizes each year at least 5 exhibitions displaying local and foreign decorative arts.


The Riga Art space is exhibition hall of mostly Latvian modern and contemporary art works. There you will find all kinds of expression in art.

KIM Contemporary art center will please you with exhibitions of local and foreign artists.


Museum of Photography has classic exhibition how photography developed in Latvia. By the way do you know that first Minox cameras were manufactured in Riga between 1937 – 1943? Museum has also temporary photo exhibition.


The Art Museum Rīga Bourse focuses on foreign arts display. The museum building itself is worth to see as recently renovated. It has permanent collections – the Oriental Gallery, Chinese, Indian and Indonesian traditional art as well as Latvia’s only Egyptian wood mummy sarcophagus. The Painting Gallery has Western European works from the 16th – 19th century. On display in the Western Gallery is a collection of 18th – 20th century West European porcelain supplemented by German and Austrian painting from the first half of the 19th century as well as early 20th century Belgian painting and there is also the Silver Cabinet.

This museum has also temporary art exhibitions that concentrates on cultural exchange.


There are also plenty of art Galleries worth to visit to take a look at modern or contemporary artist works – particularly I would recommend Bastejs, Māksla XO, Mūkusalas mākslas salons. For women interested in contemporary jewelry, please stop at Putti Art Gallery. There you will find exhibitions of jewelry.

If you book your stay with us, we will give you the best tips how get most of your Latvia visit tailored to your interests and available time.