Latvia
Rīga

Here you’ll find travel reports about Rīga. Discover travel destinations in Latvia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

125 travelers at this place:

  • Day9

    Riga

    July 13 in Latvia

    Die verstörenden Eindrücke von gestern haben uns nicht davon abgehalten, heute Riga zu besuchen. Das "Paris des Ostens" zeigte sich so touristisch, wie wir es eigentlich auch von Vilnius erwartet hatten. Viele Restaurants mit ausladendem Außenbereich, Souvenirshops und -stände, sogar so kleine Elektrotouristenzüge und ein Hop-on-Hop-off-Bus. Die beiden Kreuzfahrtschiffe am Kai lieferten dafür prompt die Begründung. Riga hat Ostseezugang, entsprechend oft wird es auf den Reiserouten der Kreuzfahrten liegen.
    Wir schlenderten ein wenig durch die Altstadt, verspürten aber nicht den Drang, uns hier länger aufzuhalten. Das lag wohl auch an der drückenden und gewittrigen Wetterlage. Auf dem Zentralmarkt bestaunten wir die vielfältige Fischauslage und konzentrierten uns fortan darauf, die Zutaten für einen lauschigen Grillabend auf dem Campingplatz zusammen zu bekommen.
    Abends wurde der leckere Fisch zubereitet und gegen später hörte es sogar auf zu regnen, sodass wir noch gemütlich am Lagerfeuer sitzen konnten.
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  • Day37

    Riga

    October 13 in Latvia

    Wow, so viel Vercher und Mänsche hemmer scho lang nümme gseh!
    D Strass da ane isch eich e Autobahn wo so viel Flick het, das me de eigentlich Belag fasch nümm gseht und es het Liechtsignal, me vhan U turns mache und es Bahngleis het d Strass au mal na überquert :)

  • Day19

    Riga

    September 20 in Latvia

    Riga was a wonderful city. Meet some friends here I didn‘t saw for a long time. The city is truely the Paris of the north with it‘s old town and the amazing atmosphere. And it‘s soo cheap. For a taxi I pay in switzerland about 20 bucks you pay here 4€ 😂👌

    Tomorrow I go to Lithuana. Have to make a lot of kilometers to reach berlin on saturday evening. :/

  • Day9

    #8 Riga

    September 22 in Latvia

    The capital of Latvia is full of contrast, the old city with historical buildings & churches, the new century quarter and all over old wood houses in between!
    We visited an old market in the morning, strolled through the city and ended up in really nice vine bar, prefect end of a day!

  • Day15

    Abstecher nach Riga

    June 29 in Latvia

    Von Estland aus sind wir weiter nach Riga in Lettland gefahren. Unterwegs haben wir auf der Suche nach Bären noch einen Nationalpark durchquert und um einen Bären anzulocken ein Bärenmahl gekocht - das wir dann leider selber essen mussten.

    In Riga haben wir Stadt-Camping auf einem Parkplatz im Hafen probiert und uns gefragt, wie man es hier mehrere Tage aushält?

    Den Stadtrundgang nutzten wir auch für unser tägliches Körperertüchtigungsprogramm. Wie man sieht, haben es einige von uns nötig und Matzes Abgang war mit leichten Schmerzen verbunden.

    Aber was haben die Bremer Stadtmusikanten in Riga verloren? So weit vom Weg abgekommen werden die vier Tiere doch nicht sein, als sie gemeinsam nach Bremen gelaufen sind. 1990 bekam Riga die Skulptur von Bremen geschenkt. Die Tiere schauen durch einen Spalt in einer Mauer hindurch. Dieser Spalt im „Eisernen Vorhang“ entstand im Zuge der von Michael Gorbatschow begonnenen Perestroika und der damit verbundenen Ereignisse.

    Jetzt geht es durch Litauen weiter nach Polen an die Ostsee, wo wir noch etwas entspannen wollen bevor es dann zurück nach Hamburg geht.
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  • Day511

    Day 512: Train to Riga

    July 11 in Latvia

    Another day, another country! Up super early this morning, since we had an 8:15am train to catch. Said a fond farewell to our studio apartment which has been a great little spot for the past week. Walked over to the train station and boarded with plenty of time to spare - nice new train with wifi and power sockets, though I spent a lot of the trip listening to podcasts.

    It's funny, the three Baltic countries are usually mentioned in the same breath and travelled together, but they're actually not that well connected to each other. Most of their infrastructure from the 20th century was developed with the intention of connecting to Moscow rather than anywhere else! So we rode the train for three hours to a small town on the border with Latvia.

    Here we hopped out and had a three hour wait for the Latvian train to turn up. So we chucked our stuff in a luggage locker and headed into the town. Fairly quite, though we managed to find a good restaurant where we had a couple of drinks and some mains for about 25 euros. Crazy that we can have so much when in most of the Nordic countries a single dish costs 25 euros.

    Made our way back to the station where the train had arrived and was waiting, so we hopped on and eventually crossed into Latvia. This was another three hour ride, with excellent wifi though no power sockets this time.

    Caught a tram across downtown Riga to our Airbnb, which we'd both kind of forgotten was a basement. But rather than a basement, this was basically a cellar, complete with musty smell and bare stone walls. Very odd, though we got used to it. Would've been nice to have at least one window though, particularly since it was warm and sunny outside!

    Not wanting to sit around in a damp cellar, we headed out for dinner and ate at a burger restaurant (ironically neither of us had burgers) which came complete with a craft beer wall. They gave you a swipe card and you basically poured your own beers, which were charged at a per mL rate - drink as much or as little as you please. I had small amounts of three different Latvian beers which were quite nice!
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  • Day512

    Day 513: Exploring Riga

    July 12 in Latvia

    The centre of Riga is a world heritage site, and we spent the entire day wandering around checking out various things. It's got some cool old buildings but the most interesting stuff is actually quite modern! The city had a boomtime in the late 19th century and a whole lot of art nouveau style buildings were constructed, most of which are still existing. Something like a third of all the historic buildings in Riga are art nouveau style which is pretty cool.

    We spent the entire day wandering around and filming! Just had a cheap lunch of pastries since we'd had breakfast out and would likely have dinner out. Headed home for a little while to recover before heading back out for dinner where we had traditional Latvian style sausages. Moving on tomorrow, shame we only managed two nights in Latvia!

    Interesting country, seems much more Russian influenced than Estonia did. I think a lot of Russians come here for cheap beach holidays from Moscow, since there's apparently good beaches not far out of town.
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  • Day8

    Riga

    August 3 in Latvia

    What I have grown to like about Eastern Europe is that it constantly confounds expectations. You picture horse drawn carts, industrial wastelands and brutalist Communist concrete architecture, and while there’s always plenty of that, what you also find is modernity, incredible nature and cosmopolitan and beautiful towns and cities. What I have grown to love about Eastern Europe is that, while you can get all the above in Western Europe, it’s still an unknown quantity and always comes with a side of the crazy and the unexpected. Latvia incapsulated this. When I told people in Berlin where I was going next, the response was the predictable mix of incredulity and confusion and to be honest, largely due to my lack of planning, I didn’t have a response, but I was confident that it would be worth it.

    Worth it it was! I was only in the country for four days, but what a packed four days it was. From the moment I dropped my bags at the hostel I barely stopped for breath. I immediately hit the streets, exploring the compact and spectacular old town, before finding a bar advertising craft beer and finding out two things. Craft beer has taken off in Latvia, which provides you with access to some of the best beers I have ever drunk for $4 a pint and if the bar man takes a liking to you, he will let you play with the pistol behind the bar. Deciding that that was probably as good a sign as any to leave I headed back to the hostel where I met a group of people who validated my previously held believe that Eastern Europe is also full of the best travellers in the world. Generally more mature and fewer groups than in Western Europe and fewer wankers in search of enlightenment than in Asia, they are what made last years trip so unforgettable and it was good to see that the stereotype lives on. Most exciting personally though was that one of those people was the owner of Bucket Boys, one of my favourite bottle shops in Australia, who has promised me a weekend to remember in Sydney once I’m back in Australia. Being so far north, its still isn’t getting dark until around 10:30-11pm, so we spent a long evening hanging out in Riga’s ridiculously cool outdoor bars listening to live music and, once night fell, moved indoors, finishing at 4am singing karaoke in a subterranean bar (I figure I need all the practice I can get before Japan).

    Feeling very worse for wear the next morning, but determined to get out and explore the city more, I used the excuse of the Riga free walking tour as motivation to get out of bed. Luckily the local taking us around was hilarious as well as very knowledgeable and open about his own city and country. At 35, he was the same age as me, but our lives couldn’t have had a more different trajectory. Having grown up in the USSR, he remembers when the collapse happened and at 9 was with his father manning the civilian barricades in 1991 when the Communists, with the backing of the Soviet army, attempted to take back control, pointing out the bullet holes still visible at the very spot. In the 25 years since, he has witnessed the bursts of optimism and waves of pessimism that have permeated the ex-Soviet states. A country that has only been independent for less than 50 years of the last 500, it is no surprise that his biggest fear remains the resurgent Russia. Already, the country has had to cede a small slither of land on their eastern border to Russia in the last few years and the situation in Ukraine is causing a lot of local angst despite the country being a member of NATO, but then Trumps comments regarding Macedonia recently would give anyone pause as to whether the West’s promises are worth the paper they are written on.

    Following the tour I headed to the Museum of the Popular Front of Latvia, which charts the story of the fight for independence from the Soviet Union. Again confirming that each of the Soviet states journey to independence was unique, it was fascinating to find out that the sparks of independence in Latvia were lit by the environmental movement campaigning against the construction of a hydro electric dam and the shocking environmental destruction left behind by Soviet industrial policies in the mid 1980s. Maybe this isn’t as surprising when you consider that still today Latvia is covered in over 40% forest and the country has always had a strong relationship with the countryside, but it’s still not the usual story of economic conditions and democratic aspirations.

    As per tradition I next headed to the Central Markets, which may well be in my top 10 markets of all time. These are the largest covered markets in Europe, which makes sense when you discover they are located in the last remaining zeppelin hangers in existence. Now included on the UNESCO world heritage list, along with Riga old town, it’s located right on the edge of the old town, the markets are imposing and rather elegant, with each individual hanger being devoted to produce, dairy, fish or meat. Each hanger also has stalls selling beer, of course, and local specialities, which while predictably stodgy, were excellent and perfect for my hangover. A couple of plates of potato pancakes and perogis later I was feeling a new man.
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  • Day4

    Day 4 Riga

    August 6 in Latvia

    In the morning we left our fancy apartment and took a bus to Riga. The ride was about 4,5 hours long and was good. When we arrived we looked for our next flat in the old town of Riga. We found it in the near of the Riga cathedral. After we could check in we strolled around the old town and saw already some sights of Riga. We rested in a park and drank a beer. Then we returned to the flat. Later we went to have dinner at one of the local Latvian restaurants. Next to the interiour (a cool vaulted cellar) the food was delicious and the beer was great. The evening mood already started once we finished dinner. Therefore we enjoyed a beer in our flat and played awesome music. In the end we didn't go out anymore, as it was Monday it wasn't that bad anyway.Read more

  • Day5

    Day 5 Riga

    August 7 in Latvia

    This day we got up and headed to St. Peters Church where a free walking tour started. This time we were lucky - the guide Tom was informative and funny. He took us 2 hours around the old town and told a lot of stories. After the tour we decided to rent bikes to explore areas outside of the city center. No sooner said than done we went to a bike rental shop and got us 2 bikes. We visited the neighbourhood north and east of the old town where lots of Jugendstil buildings are. Then we saw the Nativity Cathedral and a big market. Next to the market was a prominent Soviet building which looked a little bit like the Empire State Building. On the top was an observation deck, so we went up there and enjoyed the view over the city. Afterwards we crossed the river Daugava to see the city from another perspective. Later we went to have dinner in another Latvian restaurant. For the sunset we sat at the river Daugava and drank some beers.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Rīga, Riga, Ryga, Рига

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