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By RigaNOW!. 29.01.2016

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In the latest series of articles looking at expats’ personal recommendations in Riga, Henrik Landerholm, the Swedish Ambassador to Latvia, reveals his favourite haunts.

I am Henrik Landerholm and I have been posted in Riga as the Swedish Ambassador since 1st September 2013. I arrived from Mazar-e Sharif in Northern Afghanistan where I served as the head of the Swedish civil-military effort. Before going to Afghanistan in 2011, I was not a diplomat, but served my country altogether for 33 years as an army officer, a Member of Parliament and a civil servant in charge of the Swedish National Defence University and the Folke Bernadotte Academy (a state agency focused on international peace operations).


At the Swedish residence co-located with the Embassy. On top of the shop so to speak, but extremely conveniently located just between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence in the middle of Klusais Centrs (the quiet centre). It is a truly calm and relaxing area with a lot of cafes, good restaurants and services. It is not the cheapest part of Riga but as mentioned, very convenient.

Favorite restaurants

Oh, there are so many favourites depending on the purpose of the visit. First of all, Vinometr and their Jalapeno gnocchi with tiger prawns, and then Riviera with their mango-avocado salad. Rossini and Amarone for pasta. Lido (any of them!) for their yummy and rustic Latvian food. Garage is also nice and, of course, 36. Line in Jurmala (only during a day). Vincents is the obvious choice for fine dining.

But, naturally, my overall favourite is the kitchen of the Swedish Embassy where my experienced chef Tamara Petrova creates memorable meals for our honoured guests.

Favorite walk

I usually walk along Elizabetes Street to the gym at the corner of Bergs and Dzirnavu Street, then back to the Embassy. But, honestly, I prefer walking or cycling along the Daugava.

Pub or bar

I am not a regular – not much of a barfly - but when entertaining Swedish guests, I choose any of the sky bars at hotels Latvija or Alberts due to the view. This summer the new open-air place on top of Galleria Riga has been my favourite during sunny days.


Secret Riga:

a hidden gem

Vecaki beach is more folksy and as comfortable and beautiful as Jurmala. In the city, I particularly like the Arkadija park.

Art gallery

The one in Spikeri – KIM? Contemporary Art Center.

 Cultural or music venue

This summer our favourite events were the Nordic-Baltic Choral Festival in Mezaparks and the marvellous concert by Prata Vetra in “New Hanza City”.

 Favorite store

I am not a heavy shopper; therefore, I very seldom visit any shops. But Gandrs on Kalnciema Street and ZZK (on the road to Jurmala) are good for outdoor sports and bicycles.

 Weekend activity

Cycling around the city or playing tennis in Viesturs Park with my 12-year-old daughter. 

Out of town retreat

Any of the small towns of Latvia; so far Cesis, Kuldiga and Ludza have impressed me the most for their beauty and tranquillity, but I also fancy the seaside resorts Tuja, Saulkrasti, Abragciems, Roja, Jurkalne and Pavilosta.


If you are an expat living in Riga/Jurmala  and you would like to share your opinion about Riga, please feel free to contact us:


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