Useful hints and tips that will help any visitor in Riga
Check the sections down here for some advice on how to get around in Riga, wat not to fall for and and what to go for.
Escape the Old Town
Yes, it is a beautiful district of Riga, with rich culture and history but we can assure you that this does not represent the city in an honest way, nor does it offer some of the gems that can be found around the city, of Riga, all of which are within easy reach from the touristic center. Simply look at a map of Riga, you will see that there are many huge districts surrounding the old city of Riga. Hop across the river and visit Pārdaugava, a beautiful area that is full of wooden houses, parks and a very unique character. Use public transport and head out to Meža Parks, take a stroll through the woodland and maybe have a swim in the lake! What ever you do or wherever you visit, you are sure to find prices are much more down to earth away from the old city. You may even meet some locals as well!
Where to stay?
When looking for accommodation do not be worried if it is out of Riga old town, most of the more interesting, well priced hotels and B & B’s in Riga are dotted throughout the Central District. You will find that most hotels are within easy reach by foot from most sites.
How to be safe
Do not fall for scams! We have heard of so many stories repeated over and over again about people falling victim to some of the not so friendly activities conducted by some locals. Do not change money with people in the streets, do not believe that the beautiful blonde checking you out really wants you to join her in another bar for your charming company… you will probably get billed a lot of money for her cocktails! Watch your bags, do not go out and get drunk with valuables, pay in cash and don’t, please don’t become another victim. Things in recent years have improved but we are still shocked to hear some of the stories from passing visitors to the city! Keep your wits around you.
How to get on with Latvians
Be sympathetic to the local population, Latvians are a proud people, with a rich culture and history. Urinating on the Freedom monument does not go down too well! Nor does wearing t shirts with ‘CCCP’ written on it! If you show interest in the local culture, language, history and people you will find the majority of locals from Riga very welcoming. Again, it is true that by heading out of Old Riga you will bring yourselves closer to more locals and you will have the chance to mix, after all, isn’t that what traveling is all about?
Where to Eat?
When looking for good places to eat, leave the old city! There are some really nice guide books out there that have up to date info on food and places to eat but in honesty your best bet is to research before you go. Visit travel forums, and place a post with what kind of foods, prices etc you are interested in, you will find a wealth of current information out there from other travelers. Check out our guide on Where to eat in Riga.
Make use of public transport. There is a great public transport network in Riga, with tram lines being present for well over 100 years it would be a shame not to enjoy the convenient transport throughout Riga. You may even use bus 22 to reach Riga from the city airport. Tickets are best bought from kiosks or machines before riding, it is cheaper this way
As of 2014 Riga, Latvia has been using the Euro as its primary State currency. No more worries for trying to understand the conversion rates anymore! And now as of 2015 Lithuania has also joined the Euro, meaning a Baltic trip to all 3 of the states Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia can be done with one currency! Bliss!