Where can I change money in Riga?
We hear this question all of the time and to be honest with you there are many options to change your currency.
Firstly, check the rates online. You will find many sites dedicated to giving you on the day exchange rates and this is a sure way to see if you are getting ripped off or given a fair rate.
As of January, 2014 the official currency in Latvia is EURO. The old currency LATS(LVL) is out – you can not use them in shops and markets. If for some reason you have some Lats left in your pocket, you can exchange them to Euros in the State Bank of Latvia(Latvijas Banka) or just keep them as a souvenir.
Banks in Riga
Contrary to what you may think banks are not always offering the best rates. Their rates are very competitive but they often charge for the service at a flat rate or a percentage of the amount you change, shop around and ask for hidden costs, they are however the safest place to change your money, you will receive a professional service as you would expect from any bank.
Currency exchange bureaus in Riga
There are many small currency exchange bureaus around Riga, some of which offer good rates others that will offer terrible ones. If you are happy that the rate is close to what you found online go for it but make sure you ask exactly what you will receive for the amount you wish to exchange. You can find these bureaus in many main streets but remember if the street is very touristic the rate is probably not going to be that great!
I would not advise using any independent currency exchange in Riga during the nighttime, especially if you are drunk! Two reasons for this are simple, firstly, you may get given an incorrect rate if you are drunk and secondly, it is not advisable that in the evenings in any city you show yourself to be dealing with money, the same goes for ATM’s, you never know who is watching. Do your currency business during daylight hours and have peace of mind.
ATM’s in Riga
These days you will find that Riga is full of ATM machines and by far one of the most convenient ways to get some money is to use your card. You can pay by card in most shops but beware, Riga has a history of card fraud so better withdraw the cash from the machine and then spend your cash with peace of mind.
Changing money in Riga is possible everywhere, just to make sure that you are getting a fair deal. Do not change money on the streets! There are some guys who make some money scams so it is worth avoid these at all costs. We also advise that you do not carry all of your cash around with you. Hide some of it throughout your luggage, accommodation and safe deposit box.