The National Library of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas Nacionālā bibliotēka), also known as Castle of Light (Gaismas pils), is a national cultural institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture of Latvia. The National Library of Latvia was formed in 1919 after the independent Republic of Latvia was proclaimed in 1918. The first supervisor of the Library was Jānis Misiņš, a librarian and the founder of the Latvian scientific bibliography (1862–1945).To visit National Library of Latvia on your trip to Riga, use our Riga trip planner.
The current building was designed in 1989 by noted Latvian-American architect Gunnar Birkerts (1925-2017), who emigrated to the United States and made his career there. It was constructed in the early 21st century and opened in 2014. Today the Library plays an important role in the development of Latvia's information society, providing Internet access to residents and supporting research and lifelong education.
Tours To National Library of Latvia
Riga Old Town walking tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $7
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Grand Riga city tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $62
Duration: 3 to 4 hours
3-Hour Private Riga City Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $192
Duration: 3 hours
National Library of Latvia Reviews
If you are strolling alongside the river in the old city, you cannot miss this elegant structure. Take the tram to the other side and enter the building. It ha a very nice restaurant with terrace and.... more »
An interesting building, but for non-Latvian readers there didn’t seem much to do once inside apart from a small but interesting exhibition on how the library came to be, or a visit to the vegan... more »
We were surprised when we got to this place. The library is made of glass and looks interesting but strange. But inside it is fantastic. It's modern, clean and bright. There are some free interesting exhibitions dedicated to the history of books
It's perhaps the THE best place in Riga, particularly if you are a book and culture lover. I can hang out forever here. The service is excellent and free. It's all glass, steel, and solid wooden furniture decked all in with books, housed in a magnificent architectural work of Gunnar Birkerts. The audio visual hall has a fine collection of movies which you can watch in isolated rooms. There's a cafe. Check the opening times though, sometimes it changes for a state visit or so.
Plan your trip to Riga
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Riga
See all ›
Side trips from Riga
Hidden gems in Riga
See all ›
Nearby attractions in Riga
Plans to National Library of Latvia by other users
13 days in Riga Region BY A USER FROM RUSSIA May, culture, outdoors, shopping, popular & hidden gems Preferences: May, culture, outdoors, shopping Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 11 days in Latvia BY A USER FROM SWEDEN June, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: June, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 59 days in Lithuania, Estonia & Latvia BY A USER FROM SERBIA July, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems Preferences: July Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Slow & easy 33 days in Latvia BY A USER FROM LATVIA April, kids, popular sights Preferences: April, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 20 days in Riga BY A USER FROM LATVIA May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 31 days in Riga BY A USER FROM LATVIA April, popular sights Preferences: April Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium