The section of the promenade adjacent to Old Town is where river boats dock to pick up and drop off tourists. This is also an excellent place to relax on a bench and enjoy the view of the river. Meanwhile, on the section between Akmens Bridge and the Railroad Bridge, there are excellent views of the Latvian National Library building.
Furthermore, the section beyond the Railroad Bridge is popular for active residents – it is perfect for a bike ride, jogging and roller skating.
Daugava (Latgalian: Daugova) or Western Dvina (Russian: Западная Двина (Západnaya Dviná); Belarusian: Заходняя Дзвіна) is a large river rising in the Valdai Hills of Russia that flows through Belarus then Latvia into the Gulf of Riga of the Baltic Sea. It rises close to the source of the Volga. Its length is 1,020 km (630 mi), of which 325 km (202 mi) are in Russia. It is a westward-flowing river, tracing out a great curve towards its south which means it passes through northern Belarus.
Latvia’s capital, Riga bridges the estuary four times, lying on both banks, the city centre being 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the mouth and being a significant port.
According to Max Vasmer’s Etymological Dictionary, the toponym Dvina clearly cannot stem from a Uralic language, and it possibly comes from an Indo-European word which used to mean river or stream
Humans have settled at the mouth of the Daugava and around the other shores of the Gulf of Riga for millennia, initially participating in a hunter-gatherer economy and utilizing the waters of the Daugava estuary as fishing and gathering areas for aquatic biota. Beginning around the sixth century AD, Viking explorers crossed the Baltic Sea and entered the Daugava River, navigating upriver into the Baltic interior.
In medieval times the Daugava was an important area of trading and navigation – part of the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks – for transport of furs from the north and of Byzantine silver from the south. The Riga area, inhabited by the Finnic-speaking Livs, became a key element of settlement and defence of the mouth of the Daugava at least as early as the Middle Ages, as evidenced by the now destroyed fort at Torņakalns on the west bank of the Daugava at present day Riga.
Since the Late Middle Ages the western part of the Daugava basin has come under the rule of various peoples and states; for example the Latvian town of Daugavpils, located on the western Daugava, variously came under papal rule as well as Slavonic, Polish, German and Russian sway until restoration of the Latvian independence in 1990 at the end of the Cold War