Riga Television Tower

An iconic symbol of Riga's Soviet past, the Television Tower is the highest tower in Latvia, the tallest free standing structure in the European Union and the third highest tower from the European continent. Russia and Ukraine boost higher towers but none have the character that the Riga Television Tower has.

Built between 1979 and 1986, it stands at 368.5meters in height, the tower dominates the skyline and looks as if it has landed here from out of space. The structure consists of 3 legs with 2 of them containing specially constructed elevators that run at a slight angle up the legs, guided on rails.

When riding the elevator you have the sensation of being pulled sideways as well as upwards. The elevator will bring you up to the viewing level, which at one point also had a restaurant beneath it. You will not be able to get higher than this as the higher levels of the tower are restricted to engineers and technicians.

Tours are offered inside of the Riga Television Tower at very reasonable prices. It is advisable to get in touch in advance and be prepared for some quite genuine post soviet accents when meeting your guide.

The television tower is on an isolated island connected by a bridge to the city, so you may need to get a taxi to drive you there. The viewing platform is the highest point you will be able to reach in the city and you will get a great view of Riga from above, even being able to see all the way out to the Baltic Sea.

Just to note, there have been budget cuts that have affected the Television Tower and subsequently the windows of the viewing platform have not has a wash for a while. They require specialist window cleaning professionals that abseil down the tower to clean it and it seems they are a bit beyond the budget.

There is no question that the Television Tower is one of the most under visited sites in Riga. If you want to step back in time and have a true look at the city from a Soviet perspective, there is no better way than from this amazing piece of Soviet engineering.