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Ķīpsala


Seven figures.
Seven figures.

Once home to fishermen and mariners, this island in the Daugava is today seven-figure property, but also a unique heritage area.Thanks largely to former Latvian PM-turned-developer Māris Gailis and his architect wife Zaiga Gaile - an amazingly sensitive and visionary couple in the cutthroat world of post Soviet politics - many of Ķīpsala's gracious timber houses have been joyously restored. Gawk at them on Balasta dambis and admire Old Riga's spires across the water, and visit the Žanis Lipke Museum, a Holocaust hiding place in Jewish Riga.


Food & drink: Feast on tasting menu dainties and awesome views at Hercogs restaurant (Balasta dambis 70). Ostas skati on the north end of the island delivers international cuisine on a cool pontoon terrace with great views. The 9th floor restaurant and 10th floor summer terrace at Islande Hotel have - you guessed it - stunning views.


Transport: Walk or bike over Vanšu tilts (the cable bridge).

Safety: It's windy up there - bring a jumper.