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The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia
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2-Night Round–Trip Cruise from Riga to Stockholm With City Sightseeing Tours
Ranked #15 of 223 things to do in Riga
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia is an historic educational institution located in Riga, Latvia. It was established in 1993 to exhibit artifacts, archive documents, and educate the public about the 51-year period in the 20th century when Latvia was successively occupied by the USSR in 1940, then by Nazi Germany in 1941, and then again by the USSR in 1944.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2014

Every visitor to Latvia needs to visit here first. It gives a necessary background to the country to enable a better understanding of its culture and social history.

Visited May 2014
2 Thank Colin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,252 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Stura Maja (KGB building) is GREAT!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2014 via mobile

We went to the Temporary exhibition on the occupation of Latvia (above the park near Freedom monument, well-marked) which is cheap and full of interesting information, but low on artefacts. Worth the few euro for the hour, but by far the one thing you should definitely do is go up to the Stura Maja KGB Building.

The KGB building is open from May to October while they try to decide what to do with the building. You can find it by going from freedom monument away from town centre for a few blocks. The entrance is 10 EUR for the exhibitions and 10 EUR for the tour. Worth it. Really.

The exhibitions cover a range of history and commentary from artists depicting the Latvian and Baltic area occupations and current situation. Allow a few hours. It's a great way to see the building. There is a lift, but speak to staff if you've mobility issues.

The tour is guided, at set times throughout the day. We arrived at about 10, the next tour was at noon. So we went to the exhibits, then went back to finish them after the tour. We were included in a group of 21 Dutch students. I think the group size was a bit big, so do inquire about group size. But the guide was fantastic, really knew about the place and the history, and we got to see how the KGB used the building against the people of Latvia. There are stairs, but not too many flights.

I don't know when the Museum of the Occupation will return to the original building in old town, but in the mean time, if going to Riga before October 2014, you MUST go visit the Stura Maja KGB Building.

Oh, and if you're bored of town, leave and go on a day trip to Sigulda.

Visited May 2014
3 Thank Beekysky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunstable, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Thought provoking”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2014

Good explanation, would have benefitted from more artefacts from the period. Donations rather than entry fee. Very good.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Vanillafudge58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Russia
Level Contributor
37 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“A Work in Progress”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 6, 2014

I visited this museum with my Russian boyfriend (and if anyone needs to learn about the occupation of Latvia from another perspective it is the Russians) and was therefore disappointed that the information on the exhibits was presented only in English and Latvian. I'm not sure if this is a political choice on their part, or due to a lack of funding. In either case, if you don't read one of these languages, the museum will have little to offer you.
The museum was quite small, and for this reason (I assume), the entry fee is a donation based on what you feel it is worth it to pay.
If you are interested in Latvia's history, this is a good place to visit.

Visited May 2014
2 Thank Лора О
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asuncion, Paraguay
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Interactive museum and great service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2014

In this museum you start by watching a video about the occupation, you choose the language and wow was that part of history new to me. I had some idea that times under the Soviet regime were bad but I just didn't know how bad. In many ways it was similar to the military dictatorship in South America, but that's another story.
There was much to read, many pictures, and videos to see. I think one needs at least 2 hours to see it all, because there are other people there as well and you might not understand the language they choose to watch the videos on. There was also a video with people speaking in Latvian with subtitles in Russian so, naturally, I couldn't understand a thing. When we complained about this, a member of the staff told us that video was new and that they are still translating it. The video was about people who had experienced being deported to Russia and how it affected them and their families. It was a pity we couldn't understand a thing but the girl told us that there is a book in English about the same subject in the shop. The book is "With dance shoes in Siberian snow" by Sandra Kalniete. That was one of the best books I have read, so sweet and sad at the same time. Great book recommendation and great guest service.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank ReleenaL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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