Riga skylines and views from the TV Tower

Riga has a pretty decent skyline for being a Northern European city, with a mix of medieval towers in the old town and a few modern skyscrapers on the island Pardaugava (opposite the old town) and in the outskirts. The skyline has changed the last 10 years, since most highrises have been constructed after 2000. The TV tower on Zakusala island not very far from the center is very prominent. The tower is the tallest tower in the Baltics (3rd tallest in Europe), and it offers views of the city from afar. The tallest building is the modern curvy Saules Akmens and the old, sharp St Peter's Church (both equally tall, 123.1m) to the spire.The best view of the skyline (old and new) is from the TV tower or the Latvian Sciences Academy Building, both located a bit away from the immediate city center.

This part is about the Riga TV tower and the excellent views from it, that shows all parts of the city -center and outskirts, its skylines, rural areas and the tallest buildings.



Riga Radio & TV Tower is the tallest structure in the Baltics; 368.5m tall to the top of the spire (222m to the top of the roof). It is also the 3rd tallest TV tower in Europe, and the 11th tallest in the world. It was completed in 1986, only a few years before the fall of the Soviet rule.

The observation deck, however, is located on the two lowest floors of the structure itself at 97m height. It is situated on the Zakusala Island above the river Daugava, and is very complicated to reach the tower if don't have a car. At first you have to take the bus to a bridge above River Daugava, get off in the right direction (no signs show anything about what side), get down the bridge and walk some km on a pretty abandoned island, with almost no building or traffic (except for traffic school cars). When you reach the entrance, you have to wait for at least 20 minutes before someone receive you and let you buy a ticket, and finally the guide takes you to the diagonal (!) elevator. It felt just like the old Soviet times, but it was worth it! However, there are plans to refurbish and modernise the tower, and there were even a TV team making a documentary about the development during my visit.

Riga Radio & TV Tower  

Riga Radio & TV Tower

  Riga Radio & TV Tower

Riga Radio and TV Tower from below. It has a striking, very unusual shape. There are two elevators, and one staircase in the 3 diagonal pillars.


The base of the TV tower's podium is not exactly welcoming, but redevelopment is planned.

The shadow of Riga Radio and TV Tower seen on Zakusala, a narrow small island situated in the middle of River Daugava. This is the deserted path you have to walk along ot get to the tower. There are plans to build an amusement park on the island, however.


The base of the TV tower's podium is not exactly welcoming

The observation deck at 97m, close-up


The top of the mast at 368.5m height

A model of the tower standing in the lobby



Riga new and old skyline, and Zakusala island  

Zakusala island

  This is the dull path on Zakusala Island you have to walk on to get to the TV tower

Views from the left (click on the photo to enlarge!):
Z-Towers (u/c), National Library, Preses Nams, Latvijas Televizija, Saules Akmens (Swedbank), Vansu Bridge, Akmens Bridge and 3 other bridges above River Daugava, Riga Castle, Riga Cathedral, Ministry of Agriculture Bldg, St James Cathedral, St Peter's Church, Academy of Sciences, Radisson Hotel Latvija

Riga panorama from SW-NE

Riga panorama from SW-NE

  Riga panorama from SW-NE

Old Town skyline from the left: Riga Cathedral, Ministry of Agriculture Bldg (92m), St James Cathedral (86m), and St Peter's Church (123m). Foreground: River Daugava, Central Market.


Northern outskirts

The new National Library and Z-Towers, 130m tall twin towers under construction

Latvian Academy of Sciences, a Russian style highrise from 1958, were I visited the observation platform. The district around it is Maskavas forstate.


Panorama Plaza (99 and 114m) from 2007

Rural areas near the city

Observation deck at 97m

River Daugava, looking South

  Dienvidu Bridge across Daugava

Commie block districts, East Riga

Commie block districts, East Riga

  Commie block district and the Astra Lux highrise (81m, 2007), East Riga

Building with a windmill, outskirts


Observation deck at 97m

  Maskava Forstate

Skanstes Virsotnes, four 24-storey buildings from 2008-2012, East Riga


Churches in the outskirst and marina

  Poster about the redevelopment of the tower

Riga modern skyline from the left: Z-Towers (u/c, 2x130m 2015), National Library (68m), Preses Nams (77m), Latvijas Televizija (89m) and Saules Akmens (123m)

Riga skyline from the left: Preses Nams (77m), Latvijas Televizija (89m) and Saules Akmens (123m), Vansu Bridge (109m), Riga Cathedral, Ministry of Agriculture Bldg (92m) and St Peter's Church (123m)