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Holidays in Riga - good or bad?
My advice for people (especially British people with emphasis on stag and hen parties) wanting to visit Riga would be:
Don't piss on the Freedom Monument!
There have been several reports in local media about British stag parties using the Freedom Monument as a toilet in the early hours of the morning thus the caution towards British tourists. Latvians are very passionate about their history, so take care as not to appear disrespectful. I am sure you would want people doing the same while visiting your country.
2) And speaking of the above, Latvians do not worship tourists,
so learn about Latvia and its history before visiting
, reading a wikipedia article is not that hard. Visit the Occupation museum, talk to people and ask questions. Nothing gets a Latvian going like asking about the history and it will get you plus points in the eyes of Latvians.
Don't flirt with every beautiful girl you meet.
Riga has a reputation for sex-tourism and it is not a reputation Latvians are happy with, so most likely any self-respecting girl will avoid you if she spots you flirting. The girls who are more than willing to go along with it, are most likely the girls who work for clubs attracting customers and are best avoided.
Don't visit all the very obvious bars in the Old City.
They are most likely overpriced and catering almost exclusively for tourists. Instead,
Do your research before the trip.
Talk to locals online or, if already on the spot, visit any hostel in town, the staff are usually young, enthusiastic people who are able to point to you the 'hidden gems', curious, inexpensive places.
Avoid areas outside of the Old Town during late evenings and nights, avoid pickpockets at all times
, as with any large city, there is a substantial amount of crime and taking care of your belongings at all times is simply common sense and has nothing to do with it being Riga or any other large city.
Talk to the locals!
You can find many friendly people who would be willing to show you around. A great ice-breaker is polite basic phrases in Latvian. It is the ultimate way of showing respect and people will like you for it. However,
Do not talk to suspicious people
, in Old Riga this is not as common, but take care when exiting the city centre.
Of course, there are many unfriendly Latvians, however before you become hypocritical, remember that not all people in your own country are super-friendly all the time. If you go to Riga flaunting your income to everyone, forgetting that people there earn significantly less, do not be surprised that you are getting ripped off.
Overall, exercise caution and basic common sense, be friendly and respectful and you might increase your chance of having an enjoyable stay.
Do not piss on the Freedom Monument!
edited August 2013
Good and very good. I was in Riga many times. Two days to look around Riga is enought. of course, still a few days would be perfect, because you can also go to Jurmala. There is train from Riga to Jurmala and it cost, as I remember 2 lats for both directions. This summer I and my boyfriend traveled to Riga, to the Killers concert and really enjoyed, that decided to stay for few days. We chose traveling by bus, it was the cheapest way because, we don't have own car. My friend booked tickets online (ecolines.net/en) and we were sure, that we will be on time, because buses run very often. It looks that it is easier to go from Vilnius to Riga than from Vilnius to Kedainiai(center of Lithuania) In Riga we met friend, so he spare his time with us and showed some beautiful places. something was strange for us, that it is forbidden to smoke in the streets. But city is beautiful and worth to visit!
Riga is nice, but Split in Croatia is much better
It is true than in winter the whole Europe has longer nights and shorter days. So I offer you to plan your trip that you can travel on the night time and be at the different city in the morning. You will have more time to see lots of things. I think it's the best way to do that travelling by a bus. Ecolines buses company has very comfortable seats so there was no problem for me to sleep on then whole night. Plus Ecolines offers the cheapest bus tickets. I saved a lot of money travelling by bus and I saved the day time for tourism.
In a pinch you can sleep on the bus, but in general that's a terrible plan, prone to leaving you tired and stiff for a full day of sightseeing!
Personally i dont like to visit Riga... I heard that there are many people hating the another person all over the world. and Riga is not a safe place to visit.. There are people with cheap mind and they flirt with your partner, I cant inform about problems that occurs with you there and we dont know how to deal with it as well....
In Europe Riga is such a pretty place to live in, I have been to there many times. I have visited Riga Zoo, Freedom Monument, Riga Aviation Museum and many other places. Yes its common thing that everyone can't have same experience in any place but being very frank I just loved my trips in Riga.
Can I just add, I have a fiance in Riga for the last two years and have travelled there many times. And yes some are rude and so are there nice people to. I am from Amsterdam, and one day I was with a lady frend standing in a falafel bar in Amsterdam wating for our order minding our own business. I turn around and suddenly hear my frend screaming.I look backand some drunk English Lad is touching her ass. I warned him of and he was lucky I am not an agressif person. With this kind of behaviour you will not be welcome anywhere in the world.So stop behaving like al women are whores and act like the British empire still exists. Because it doesnt.When you give respect you get respect.
edited April 2014
We had a fantastic weekend in Riga, so completely nothing to complain about. Instead of getting ourselves drunk, we went to paintball park (www.citypaintball.lv), shooting range (www.rigashootingrange.com) and off road driving (www.rigaoffroad.com/). 4x4 Riga off road driving was awesome!
My boyfriend & I (both respectful, well travelled Brits in our early 30s) have now cancelled our trip to Riga after reading the comments on this site & others - what a shame.
We have just arrived back from an amazing weekend in Riga, we were nervous about going as we had read so many negative reviews on the city.
We were blown away by how beautiful the city was and although some of the people are not the friendliest we were certainly not intimidated by anyone we encountered.
We stayed in an amazing privately owned apartment just across from the station which was a perfect location for us.
We caught the bus from the station which dropped us a few minutes walk from the apartment.
We look a look around the old town which is beautiful, so much to see and so many beautiful old and new buildings, the architecture is amazing.
The next day we took a train ride into Sigulda which is a beautiful national park area we did a beautiful walk seeing castles, caves, cable car ride etc. highly recommend a day here, it was wonderful
On our final day we went to the beach by train again to a place called majori in Jurmala. We walked around the town which again was beautiful with some amazing houses and then down to the beach which is miles of soft white sand.
Do not be afraid to visit riga and it's surrounding areas, it is a beautiful city and I cannot wait to return
As I read the comments, many people say that people in Riga are rude and have no manners. To be honest you're right! People in Riga isn't the persons you'd want to meet when you're on your holiday. But maybe before you judge the whole country, go to other cities like Liepaja, valmiera, jelgava, Jurmala, Bauska etc.
I am dutch guy (27years old) and i intended to visit riga in april 2015 with four friends. However, after reading all these negative comments i am not so certain anymore. We all thought Riga was a great place and we only had positive prejudices about the inhabitants since they are part of our 'european family' and here in the Netherlands you never hear something negative about the country. The dutch perspective -as far as i know- is that, they are hard working people with a proper accountable government who - from a budgetary point of view- are doing great compared to some other european countries (e.g. Ireland, greece, portugal, spain). Would someone be so kind to give me a fair and informed advice? I have not booked my ticket yet.
I have to admit that we choose riga for two reasons: its old city, but also because of its alleged great night life. Me and my friends love to watch architecture and maybe even visit the country side when we have some time left. At the same time, we are young, and similar to the most young people, we like to have fun and party at night In my opinion, this is not a crime. We are alll happy with our girl friends (who are staying at home ;-)) so we are not interested in scum bars, girls, strippers or whatsoever. We just would like to visit the normal pubs and clubs and have great time at day and at night. I also consider us as decent, polite and interested in others peoples culture and habits. I would certainly not compare us to the screeming english youngsters (they make me feel uncomfortable as well). But does this all matter when the inhabitants of riga simply don't like foreign visiters or count everyone as 'peeing english tourists'? I would be very thankful if someone would be so friendly to comment on my post.
edited March 25
I can suggest you Baltic Suites apartments as great place to stay in Riga. Stayed there with my wife, had really nice time.
edited April 15
Hi. Last time I stayed in Riga I liked it so much. I with my friends rented a nice apartment for 2 days near old town and in that time had a lots of fun. We were in Latvia last year 24-25th of June (right when Latvians have ther summer festival Ligo). It was great.
, your post has been deleted due to bad language and hate speech. If you would like to post again in defense of your city please do so in a more polite manner. If you continue to post this sort of stuff you will be banned.
Went to Riga in May. Take a walk with friend around old town. Beautiful city. And at night we didn’t know in which club go to, and asked cab-man where we have to go to have a good time. He recommended a Royal Gentlemen's club. So we decide to go where.
Oh. It's a very nice place with beautiful girls. Cool interior and good service.
I will come back there 100%
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