The Cathedral Square Christmas market will be spreading holiday cheer on Doma laukums every day (open 10:00 - 20:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 22:00; Dec 24 open 10:00 - 18:00; Dec 31 open 10:00 - 02:00) from November 30 - January 6. It’s the most authentic market in Riga and will offer dozens of crafts and food stalls, as well as a giant Christmas tree. Visitors can buy traditional Latvian gifts such as linen tablecloths, wool sweaters, socks and mittens, furry hats, ceramics, wooden toys, jewellery and other souvenirs. Local food like grey peas with bacon and sausages with sauerkraut, not to mention gingerbread cookies, will also be available and the kids will have plenty to do because Santa Claus will visit the market every day. They can also feed barnyard animals like sheep here, while grown-ups imbibe karstvīns (mulled wine) or hot Black Balsams cocktails. For more information visit www.vzt.lv.
You’ll find another market on Līvu laukums with red, white and brown stalls selling all of the usual Latvian Christmas gifts as well as mulled wine, grog and other hot drinks. A unique wooden Christmas tree illuminated by real candlelight will be on the square and you can even sit indoors next to a roaring fire with some food and drink. Yet another market will offer similar gifts and libations next to the Orthodox Cathedral on the Esplanāde from December 1 - January 6 (11:00 - 19:00), but it has the added benefit of a so-called rabbit village. Yes, the wee ones can get up close and personal with dozens of the furry creatures living in a scale model of a chocolate box town.