I will begin this post by confessing that when we booked this trip we just wanted to have fun in a low cost manner. Which we managed to do with flying colors! Riga’s downtown is full of bars and pubs where people are open to socializing and dancing. You do not need a plan, you can just walk from bar to bar and you will have for sure a great weekend. A bar that has an impressive collection of shots and good offers is SPOT KAFÉ.
Another way of taking advantage of the alleys from the Old Town is a ride with Riga Beer Bike. We met with them by chance and we negotiated the price because we wanted to rent it exactly in that moment.
One of my favorite spots from Riga is a traditional restaurant named Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs. There was live music and the best beer that I ever drank in my entire life: honey beer. I am aware that it does not sound like the kind of beer that you will die to try, but trust me… it’s worth it! In Latvia you will find a wide variety of sweet fruit syrups combined with beer.
Despite all these “naughty” pleasures, Riga has a very tasty and interesting offer of food recipes. I am not a big fan of soups, but there I ate a delicious Cold Beet Soup. I have goosebumps just remembering about it! We discovered a very cheap canteen exactly in the middle of the city, that was even cheaper if you were a student. The name of the place is Bistro Pipars and I truly recommend it. I think that it does not matter where you go, you will find amazing food. It could be some popular restaurant like LIDO and Fazenda or maybe a common pastry place where you could try some bacon rolls or vegetarian quiche. You will not be disappointed and you can have a proper meal with only 4-7 Euros. When it comes to accommodation, the center of the city is full of cheap hostels where you can pay like 6-8 Euro/day.
Riga has a very nice and diverse architecture. Your eyes can enjoy breathtaking touristic locations like the House of the Blackheads or just some colorful Orthodox Churches like Sv. Trijādes Baznīca and Church of the Annunciation of St. Virgin. A simple walk along the Art Nouveau streets: Alberta Iela and Jugenda Stila Nami will make you fall in love with the city. Another important places that are very close to each other would be: Brivibas Piemineklis (Freedom Monument), Riga Opera House and Bastejkalna Parks. In order to delight your sight with a beautiful panorama, you have to go up inside St. Peter’s Church. From there you will be able to see the famous Cat House. This city has an obvious passion for cats. You will cross your path with cat hostels. cat statues and cat coffee shops. Yeah, you read it right… check out Minka Cat Cafe.
I mentioned above the House of Blackheads and my advice is to see it during the day and during the night as well. The same goes for a lovely walk around the Daugava river. Another notable square would be the one where the Lutheran Cathedral of Riga is located. Beside the whole cat passion, Latvia has a big sensibility for Amber. I got lost among the stores that hosted gorgeous exhibitions of jewels made of silver combined with amber.
Like usual, I attended a Free Walking Tour because I always want to find out more details about what I see. And in this capital I listened to some interesting stories about the Academy Of Sciences, The Three Brother House,the Orthodox Cathedral of Riga, wood houses etc.
When I had the idea to travel to this city I did not expect much. But Riga can offer you a complete City Break. If you will visit it, I suggest you to check out the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum too. It was on my “To Do” List, but I did not have enough time to go to see it.