COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

Cathedral of Christ's Nativity
Vacation Travel Guide

Visit a grand church that once served as a planetarium and is now known for its architecture and rich collection of religious icons.

The Cathedral of Christ's Nativity is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the Baltics. Go on a self-guided tour of the magnificent neo-byzantine structure to appreciate its architectural beauty and the many icons that adorn the interior.

The cathedral was constructed in 1876, when Latvia was part of the Russian Empire. At the time, the cathedral was one of the most expensive buildings ever to be constructed in Riga. Since then the vast church has experienced a chequered history and undergone numerous renovations. In the 1960s, the Soviets repurposed the cathedral as a planetarium and café, destroying its ceiling frescoes. The building reverted back to a cathedral when Latvia gained independence from Russia.

Spend a few minutes looking over the building’s yellow sandstone exterior with its striped tiling pattern and five domes. Then step inside to marvel at the richly decorated interior.

Look up at the beautiful ceiling frescoes and circular portraits of religious figures. You will notice the use of a lot of gold leaf in the works of art. Admire the ornate chandeliers and study the elaborate paintings on the wall of icons, which separates the cathedral's sanctuary from the nave. Look for the painting of Czar Nicholas II and his family, which depicts them with halos above their heads. The Russian royals were executed in 1918 and are now saints of the Orthodox Church.

During your visit, you may hear the chimes of the cathedral’s bells. The bell tower was a last minute addition during the cathedral’s initial construction, after Russian Czar Alexander II donated 12 bells as a gift.

The Cathedral of Christ's Nativity is located just south of Esplanade Park, close to several bus and tram routes. It is open daily and admission is free, although donations toward the building’s preservation are welcome.

Top Hotels Close to Cathedral of Christ's Nativity

Neiburgs Hotel
Neiburgs Hotel
4.5 out of 5
Jauniela 25/27, Riga
The price is $87 per night from Mar 3 to Mar 4

Located in Old Town, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Town Hall and Riga Central Market. Cathedral Square and Occupation Museum are also within ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (989 reviews)
Perfection fun Riga Old Town

"Beautiful, clean, well presented hotel in perfect setting."…"

Reviewed on Dec 9, 2019

Neiburgs Hotel
Grand Poet Hotel by Semarah
Grand Poet Hotel by Semarah
5 out of 5
Raina blvd 5/6, Riga
The price is $106 per night from Mar 9 to Mar 10

Located in Centrs, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Esplanade Park and Riga Central Market. Bastion Hill and Freedom Monument are also within 5 minutes. ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (719 reviews)
outstanding

"Can’t say enough positive things about my stay. Excellent quality across the board. The engaging & helpful staff, the superb room, the delicious breakfast,, and such admirable value for money! Looking forward to returning to the charming city of Riga, and when I do, I’ll undoubtedly be returning ..."…"

Reviewed on Oct 18, 2020

Grand Poet Hotel by Semarah
Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel
Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel
4.5 out of 5
73 Elizabetes Street, Riga
The price is $85 per night from Mar 4 to Mar 5

Located in Centrs, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Berg's Bazaar and Riga Central Market. Cathedral of Christ's Nativity and Freedom Monument ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (924 reviews)

"Outstanding hotel. Return visit with my wife for special occasion. Could not have asked for better. Friendly and attentive staff. Hotel very well located for visiting old town. Highly recommended."…"

Reviewed on Aug 11, 2020

Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Cathedral of Christ's Nativity

Cathedral of Christ's Nativity

Choose one or more items to build your trip:

Best Lodging Options Near Cathedral of Christ's Nativity

Neiburgs Hotel
Neiburgs Hotel
4.5 out of 5
Jauniela 25/27, Riga
The price is $87 per night from Mar 3 to Mar 4
Neiburgs Hotel
Grand Poet Hotel by Semarah
Grand Poet Hotel by Semarah
5 out of 5
Raina blvd 5/6, Riga
The price is $106 per night from Mar 9 to Mar 10
Grand Poet Hotel by Semarah
Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel
Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel
4.5 out of 5
73 Elizabetes Street, Riga
The price is $85 per night from Mar 4 to Mar 5
Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel
Hilton Garden Inn Riga Old Town
Hilton Garden Inn Riga Old Town
4.5 out of 5
Grecinieku 25 Riga, Riga
The price is $47 per night from Mar 31 to Apr 1
Hilton Garden Inn Riga Old Town
Radisson Blu Latvija Conference & Spa Hotel, Riga
Radisson Blu Latvija Conference & Spa Hotel, Riga
4.5 out of 5
55 Elizabetes Street, Riga
The price is $81 per night from Mar 3 to Mar 4
Radisson Blu Latvija Conference & Spa Hotel, Riga
Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga
Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga
5 out of 5
Aspazijas Boulevard 22, Riga
The price is $172 per night from Mar 12 to Mar 13
Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga
Grand Palace Hotel - The Leading Hotels of the World
Grand Palace Hotel - The Leading Hotels of the World
5 out of 5
Pils Street 12, Riga
The price is $126 per night from Apr 1 to Apr 2
Grand Palace Hotel - The Leading Hotels of the World
Wellton Riverside SPA Hotel
Wellton Riverside SPA Hotel
4 out of 5
11. Novembra Krastmala, 33, Riga
The price is $45 per night from Mar 22 to Mar 23
Wellton Riverside SPA Hotel
Wellton Centrum Hotel & Spa
Wellton Centrum Hotel & Spa
4 out of 5
33 Kaleju Street, Riga
Wellton Centrum Hotel & Spa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.