looking at Riga

Riga was the city I spent the first 19 years of my life.. Now, when I visit it once in a while, I look at Riga differently – like a tourist. And you know what  -Riga Is Beautiful! Especially the old town. This week (end of August every year)- Riga City Festival celebrates Riga’s 8009th Birthday! Here is a typical panoramic view of Riga embankment and Riga Castle.

Riga Airport is less than 30min drive from the city centrer. Airlines to fly with: AirBaltic (wide destination choice), Ryanair (usually quite cheap), Wizzair (havent tried it out yet but it’s quite cheap too), Norwegian, Finnair, Lufthansa etc.

This time I will just show you the Old Town, which is my favourite part of Riga. Daytime it is for sightseeing and a bit of shopping, and nightime it is where all the nightlife fun in clubs and bars is. This is the House of Blackheads at night – one of many beautiful buildings there..

There are so many beautiful buildings and churches.. and so many nice places to go out in this area.. and often they are next to each other. Quite funny – shot bar next to a church.. Also my favourite cocktail bar Cuba is located in the Dome square right next to Riga Dome Cathedral..

There are so many architectural styles in Riga: gothic, modernism, art nouveau and many more.. The buildings that have been renovated look incredible, unfortunately there a lot of buldings (mostly outside city center) which really need renovation..

There are many cafes and restaurants with live music in evening in the squares – one of the reasons why I prefer to go to Riga in summer.

Here is what I like – every time I visit there’s something new.. There is a legend that’s tells how Riga will never be completed. Nice to know that it is true – slow, but still a progress.  Now there are a few places to rent bicycles. Also a now thing: in couple places there are these info boards where you have a number to call if you are interested to here about the particular place. This one I found by the Three Brothers.

Couple words of advice.. There cave been scams against tourists like over-charging etc, so don’ t get too drunk and be careful. The American Embassy has also published a list of bars, clubs to avoid – so the best advice is to check to wich places not to go beforehand. There are also few bars and clubs where tourists are rarely let inside because of incidents with too drunk and misbehaving tourists who come to Riga for stag parties.

But don’t worry, just be aware – and lots of taxis, bars etc have these tourist friendly stickers, which is a guarantee you won’t get scammed. Nice hotels can be found on web sites like baltichotelsonline. I just found this online guide which might be helpful. And of course, the best is to know some locals :) I know a great tourist guide Anete Zīlīte – took her tour and there were so many things I didn’t know about Riga!