Riga in Your Pocket

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N°87 - 2Ls
riga.inyourpocket.com
Hotels Restaurants Cafés Nightlife Sightseeing Events Maps
Riga
October - November 2010
“In Your Pocket: a cheeky, well-
written series of guidebooks.”
The New York Times
art Nouveau
Riga’s claim to fame
Dirty Politics
Elections, Latvian-style
Riga Shines
Unique autumn events
Contents

Contents
E S S E N T I A L C I TY G U I D E S
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Foreword 4
Gossip and rants from the editor
Arriving in Riga 6
How to get to your hotel
The Basics 8
Getting to grips with Riga
The Latvian language 10
How to add an ‘s’ to names and places
History 12
Riga’s past on two pages
Culture & Events 14
Concerts, galleries and events
Where to stay 18
Beds for backpackers and business executives
Dining & Nightlife 24
From pork knuckle to sushi
Nightlife 42
Bars, pubs and clubs
Not since the 1990s has an election caused such a stir
and the next government could determine the course of
Latvia for many years to come. Read about oligarchs,
idiots, extremists and ministers with poor fashion sense
on p.69. Photo of the Latvian parliament by M.Zaprauskis
Contents
Sightseeing 50
Museums, churches and the like
Special events 54-56
Independence & Lāčplēsis days, Riga Shines
Art Nouveau 57
Riga’s claim to fame
Getting around 58
Planes, trains and automobiles
Mail & Phones 61
It’s good to talk
Directory
Shopping 62
Sports & Leisure 66
Hockey: Dynamo Riga 66
Health & Lifestyle 68
Riga for kids 68
Officials 69
Old Riga walking tour 70
Maps & Index
Old Riga map 71
Riga city centre map 72
Country map 74
Index/Old Riga street register 75
Art nouveau architecture is one of Riga’s claims to fame,
and rightly so. The ‘new style’ gained popularity at the end
of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries and
over a third of all buildings in Riga are examples of this
unique school of design. Read more about art nouveau in
Riga on p. 57. Photo by M.Zaprauskis

Foreword
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
E S S E N T I A L C I TY G U I D E S
Editorial
Editor Mārtiņš Zaprauskis
Researchers Ģirts Upenieks and
Mārtiņš Zaprauskis
Layout & Design Mārtiņš Zaprauskis
Photos Mārtiņš Zaprauskis, unless
otherwise noted. Events and cul ture
photos courtesy of various media
groups and concert organisers.
Sales & Circulation
General Manager Ģirts Upenieks
Sales & Circulation Manager
Ģirts Upenieks
[email protected] v
(+371) 67 22 05 80
Cover: Mārtiņš Zaprauskis
©SIA “Latvijas ceļveži”
Copyright notice
Text and photos copyright SIA “Latvijas
ceļveži” 1995-2010. Maps copyright
cartographer. All rights reserved. No part
of this publication may be reproduced
in any form, except brief extracts for
the purpose of review, without written
permission from the publisher and
copyright owner. The brand name In Your
Pocket is used under license from UAB
In Your Pocket: Vokieciu 10-15, Vilnius,
Lithuania tel. (+370-5) 212 29 76.
Editor’s note
The editorial content of In Your Pocket
guides is independent from paid-for
advertising. Sponsored listings are
clearl y marked as such. We welcome all
readers’ comments and suggestions.
We have made every effort to ensure
the accuracy of the information at the
time of going to press and assume no
responsibility for changes and errors.
Riga In Your Pocket
Laipu 8 - 9a
LV-1050 Riga
Latvia
tel. (+371) 67 22 05 80
fax (+371) 67 22 34 16
[email protected] v
riga.inyourpocket.com
www.inyourpocket.com
facebook.com/inyourpocket
youtube.com/inyourpocket
twitter.com/inyourpocket
ISSN 1407-2335
©SIA “Latvijas ceļveži”
Printed by Microdot
Published six times per year
This issue’s autumn cover photo was
taken on the 11. novembra krastmala
promenade near the 1905 Revolution
monument. It’s a good place for a
leisurely stroll or, as you can see in the
picture, a bit of fishing. In the distance
you can also see the Vanšu Bridge and
the Swedbank skyscraper. Although
not exactly a lover’s lane, it’s a romantic
spot popular with Rigans of all ages.
Cover story
Just because locals are ready to sink into their traditional
autumn depression, doesn’t mean you have to. On the
other hand, Latvians might have something real to gripe
about this time. Unemployment insurance is coming to an
end for many of the tens of thousands of people without
work in this country and the October 2 elections could
well see the rise of minority Russian-speaking parties to
prominence – a true nightmare for your average Jānis or
Ieva. Worse still would be the return of ousted oligarchs
to power. Two of the nation’s most prominent multi-mil-
lionaires suspected of all kinds of illegal activities from
tax evasion to bribery and money laundering were both
hoping to become prime minister this fall with promises
of protection for the ‘little guy’ and other populist BS. For
more about dirty politics see p.69. But local politicians
shouldn’t influence your stay at all, so take advantage of
all that Riga has to offer from authentic ethnic restaurants
and charming neighbourhood bars to ritzy premieres at
the Opera and rowdy hockey games at Arena Riga. Interna-
tional acts like Faithless and a-ha will also do their thing
in the Latvian capital, while the city prepares to throw a
huge light festival to coincide with Independence Day on
18 November. So admire some art nouveau (p.57), go to
a concert or just relax with a drink at a local pub and soak
up the atmosphere of this Baltic metropolis.
Readers’ mail
“I have just come back from another trip to your beautiful
country. This time I found this excellent, handy and
informative booklet “Riga in your pocket.” I had the time to
read it through – and I was very pleased to do so... it made
me laugh several times.”
Karen Margrethe Trnka, Copenhagen, Denmark
In Your Pocket is once again breaking new ground.
Fresh from bringing you the most up-to-date city guides
around, we have recently gone Swiss with a move into
Switzerland. The first issue of Zurich In Your Pocket
is now out, providing visitors to the Swiss commercial
capital with all the usual essential information an In
Your Pocket guide provides. We also recently took
the wraps off Prizren In Your Pocket, a guide to the
second largest city in Kosovo, produced in cooperation
with Cultural Heritage Without Borders. You can
download a free PDF copy of all our guides at our
website, inyourpocket.com. To keep up with all In
Your Pocket news and events, like In Your Pocket
on Facebook (facebook.com/inyourpocket) or follow
us on Twitter (twitter.com/inyourpocket).
Europe In Your Pocket
Foreword
By bus
The first thing you’ll notice upon arrival at the bus terminal or
autoosta (open 05:00 - 24:00) are the impressive hangars of
the Central Market to your right just above the murky waters
of the Riga canal. Inside, Eurolines and Ecolines offices are
located to your left as well as an ATM, baggage room (0.40
- 1Ls for the first hour, 0.20Ls each additional hour) and
toilets for 0.20Ls (ask for paper). To your right is the waiting
room and internet area. A bar/cafeteria, a baby-changing
station, a shower and even a small hostel are available
upstairs. At the far end of the hall are a tourist and bus
information centre (open 08:00 - 21:00), currency exchange
(open 07:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 17:00) and pharmacy
(open 07:00 - 20:00) or aptieka in Latvian. Outside along the
canal is an e-talons office (open 09:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00
- 16:00; closed Sun) as well as a ticket machine where you
can buy public transport tickets. Getting to town: trams
N°7 or 9 stop in front of the bus station; ride it one stop into
the centre (buy a 0.70Ls ticket from the driver). To get there
on foot, turn left, walk through the underpass and follow the
signs ‘Vecrīga-Vaļņu iela’ into Old Riga. The cabs outside are
notoriously dodgy. Q
By car
Latvia is part of the Schengen zone of European nations
and no longer operates passport checkpoints on its land
borders with Estonia and Lithuania. Just drive across the
border. The Russian and Belarusian borders still require time
and patience. Happy trails! Q
By ferry
The ferry terminal and yacht harbour lie less than 1km north
of Old Riga. A bank machine and café (09:00 - 18:30) are
available as well as a Tallink ticket office and a souvenir/
alcohol shop. Getting to town: go right across the parking
lot in the direction of the ugly grey skyscraper. Old Riga is
just beyond it. Taxis are also available. If you’re travelling with
Aveline from Lubeck you’ll arrive at the Vecmīlgrāvis terminal
out of town. A cab is your only real option. Q
By plane
The airport (lidosta) is some 13km southwest of the Riga
city centre. Baggage claim and customs are fairly quick, but
don’t forget to pick up a complimentary copy of Riga In Your
Pocket while waiting for your luggage. A currency exchange
booth is available here as well as a tourist information centre.
Reserve a hotel room or rent a car in the arrivals hall. A 24-
hour baggage room (1Ls/day) and yet another information
centre are also available here, as well as ATMs and a post
office (open 08:00 - 17:30, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 16:00). If you’ve
departed from a non-Schengen country such as the UK or
the US, you’ll arrive in a different terminal at the north end
of the airport building. Car rental and currency exchange are
available here, but you might want to leave the terminal, make
a right and then enter the Schengen arrival hall because it
offers more services. Getting to town: A queue of eager
taxis will be waiting outside the arrivals hall. A typical ride to
the city centre should cost no more than 10Ls. The Airport
Express shuttle stops at five different hotels throughout the
city for 3Ls every 30 minutes between 05:30 - 00:45. Bus
N°22 (get off at 11.novembra krastmala or the Stockmann
shopping centre) costs 0.70Ls (buy a ticket from the driver)
and departs for the city centre roughly every 20 minutes,
but be prepared to pay an extra 0.80Ls for large pieces of
luggage. Exit the airport arrivals hall and walk across the
parking lot to find the bus stop and schedule.Q
By train
The train station (centrālā stacija) underwent massive
renovations and has been modernised with a spacious
central hal l and many shoppi ng and eati ng opti ons.
International trains arrive at platform 2. Follow signs down
to the Central Hall (Centrālā zāle), under which are renovated
pay toilets (0.15Ls - ask for paper from the surly cashier)
and a baggage room (0.50 - 1.50Ls/day), open 04:30 -
24:00. Exchange money at the currency exchanges (valūtas
maiņas) in tunnels A and B, at the Parex bank to the right of
the Central Hall when coming from the platforms, or at the
Swedbank bank to the left. There are several bank machines
in the terminal. Pay-as-you-go internet points/phones can be
found by the toilets next to tunnel A and by the Narvesen in
front of tunnel C. The train information office is open 08:00
- 20:00. Tourist information is available at the far west end
of the station by the exit opposite Stockmann.
Getting to town: you are right beside Old Riga. Turn left
when leaving the station and head toward the spire of St.
Peter’s Church, then walk through the underpass and follow
the signs ‘13. janvāra iela’ and turn right onto Aspazijas
bulvāris. Q
City of Riga Information Centre I-2,
Rātslaukums 6, tel. (+371) 67 03 79 00,
fax (+371) 67 03 79 10, www.rigatourism.
com. Offers a wide range of information in a
variety of languages.Q Open 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun.
Also on J-3, Prāgas 1 (Bus station), tel. (+371) 67 22 05
55. Open 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun, Mon; D-4, Stacijas
2 (Train station), tel. (+371) 67 23 38 15. Open 10:00
- 18:30. Closed Sun, Mon.
Tourist information
Tourists looking for a good deal can purchase the Riga
Card, which provides free use of trams, buses and trol-
leybuses, free admission or discounts at museums,
specials on car rental, discounts at restaurants, souvenir
shops and much more. The Riga Card also comes with
a free copy of Riga In Your Pocket and is available at
major hotels, tourist info centres, travel agencies and the
airport. Prices: 10Ls/24hrs, 14Ls/48hrs, 18Ls/72hrs.
Children under 16 half price. RC establishments in this
guide are given the following symbol:
Riga Card Office Tel./fax (+371) 67 21 72 17,
[email protected], www.rigacard.lv. Q
Riga Card
RC
National Opera fountain M.Zaprauskis

arriving in riga
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com

BasiCs
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
BasiCs
McDonald’s Big Mac 1.60Ls $2.96 €2.29
Loaf of white bread 0.35Ls $0.65 €0.50
Snickers bar 0.28Ls $0.52 €0.40
0.7L of vodka 5.00Ls $9.26 €7.14
0.5L bottle of local beer 0.55Ls $1.02 €0.79
20 Marlboros 1.89Ls $3.50 €2.70
Public transport ticket 0.50Ls $0.93 €0.71
Cinema ticket 3.50Ls $6.48 €5.00
1l of petrol 0.78Ls $1.44 €1.11
Exchange rates (as of 22.09.2010)
US$1 - 0.54Ls €1 - 0.70Ls £1 - 0.84Ls ¥100 - 0.63Ls
Market values
Alcohol
For a while Latvia had the dubious honour of holding the
record for the world’s drunkest person. A few years ago
an unnamed vagrant was found unconscious by police
and rushed to hospital where his blood test revealed an
astounding 7.22 parts per mille of alcohol. Before this man
was saved by law enforcement, the medical community had
agreed that four parts per mille was a lethal dose for most
humans. Although we don’t suggest you attempt to break
any records, we do hope you enjoy a local drink in moderation
while in Riga. Užavas, Bauskas, Tērvetes and Valmiermuižas
are among the nation’s best beers and the infamous Riga
Black Balsam is a potent liquor that Latvians enjoy inflicting
on tourists. Although bars are open at all hours, alcoholic
beverages are only sold in shops from 08:00 - 22:00. Q
Communism
Although Latvia was once an involuntary Soviet republic,
visitors should not come to Riga with high hopes of seeing
grand statues of Lenin, Stalin and other objects from that
bygone era. Most of these monuments, which are viewed
as symbols of oppression by Latvians, have been removed
including the Lenin statue facing east on Brīvības bulvāris
which was levelled in August 1991. A red granite monument,
once dedicated to the Latvian ri fl emen who protected
Lenin after the Revolution of 1917, still exists on Strēlnieku
laukums, but now honours all of the riflemen - Whites and
Reds. Another monument, dedicated to the Soviet ‘liberation’
of Riga, is located on the other side of the Daugava and is
still used as a rallying point for red flag wavers. The wrought
iron railing of the D-2, AB dambis also includes several large
hammers and sickles. Q
Electricity
The electrical current is 220V AC, 50Hz. European plugs
are a must. Q
Heal th & Safety
It’s no longer a state secret how much Eastern Europe’s
pristine environment has been polluted over the past half
century as a result of negligent Soviet industrialisation
policies. Latvia is by no means an exception. However,
this devastating blow to the country’s rivers, streams, and
coastlines had a silver lining. Grassroots organisations,
such as the Environmental Protection Club (VAK), protested
against these policies in the 1980s and put the first dent in
the Soviet wall of oppression. Most of the polluted areas of
Latvia have been effectively cleaned up and are now safe
for the public to enjoy. Unfortunately, air quality in Riga is
still not the best.
Although the World Health Organisation once listed Latvia
and Estonia as hot zones for drug-resistant strains of
tuberculosis, the situation has greatly improved over the
past 10 years. Unfortunately, cases of tick-borne encephalitis
are still common in the countryside. We advise vaccination
against this disease if you plan on spending much time in
Latvia’s forests. Another caution: although tap water can be
used for brushing your teeth, bottled water is recommended
for everyday consumption. Sadly, racially motivated attacks
by Russian-speaking skinheads on both men and women,
especially in Old Riga and the tunnels by the bus and train
stations, are not unheard of in Riga. Those who enjoy a good
pint and who frequent pubs and clubs should always be on
the lookout for any suspicious characters, especially young
girls on Līvu laukums who are eager to invite you to a local
bar for a drink. See Scams on p.10. Q
Local time
Latvia is in the Eastern European Time Zone (EET): GMT +2
hours. However, during the summer months (April - October)
Latvia is in the Eastern European Summer Time Zone (EEST):
GMT +3. Correct time: tel. (+371) 82 154 (in Latvian and
Russian). Q
Money
The national currency is the lat (Ls). There are 100 santīmi to
the lat, with 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 santīmi and 1 and 2 lat coins.
Bank notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and
500 lats. The lat has become one of the strongest monetary
units in Europe. As we go to press, one euro sells for 0.70Ls
and one US dollar for 0.54Ls. Although Latvia was originally
scheduled to adopt the Euro in 2008, experts believe that
the Eurozone may prove elusive until at least 2014.
There are currency exchange booths everywhere accepting
a wide range of foreign bank notes, but always check rates
before exchanging money. Major hotels, restaurants and
shops accept Visa, MasterCard and sometimes even AmEx.
In this guide we have marked establishments that take credit
cards. There are numerous ATMs around town as well.
Travellers’ cheques can be cashed at many banks and at
Latvia Tours on H-2, Kaļķu iela.Q
The American Embassy in Latvia has warned US citizens
to avoid the following establishments in Riga:
Angels – Elizabetes 22.
Babylon – Kaļķu 24 (formerly Roxy Club).
Līvu krodziņš – Kaļķu 22. Located next door to Babylon
(formerly Royal Pub, Lord Pub and Groks Pub).
Red Lion Pub – Laipu 7.
Infinity Bārs– Vāgnera 8
A13 (formerly Mary) – Audēju 13.
Enigma – Kaļķu 22. Located next door to Royal (formerly
Puzzle and Pink Panther).
Kapsula – (formerly Zephyr Bar located on Audēju iela.
Blow Style (formerly Monroe’s nightclub) – Skārņu 7.
“The American Embassy continues to be concerned about
the number of reported instances of crimes perpetrated
against foreign clientele at local bars, clubs and lounges
in Riga. There have been a number of additional reports
recently of foreign tourists being charged extortionate
prices for drinks in bars. Some have then been assaulted,
threatened or forced to withdraw money from an ATM to
pay for the bill.” For more information visit:
http://riga.usembassy.gov/warden0811.html.
Embassy warning
BasiCs

BasiCs
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Phone numbers
The brass at In Your Pocket have decided that all guides in its
European publishing empire have to list country codes before
all telephone numbers, so we have happily complied with
this directive. Latvia’s country code is (+371), but, of course,
you only have to use it if you’re dialling from abroad. If you’re
already in Latvia and want to call one of the numbers in this
guide then just ignore the (+371) prefix and dial the eight-digit
number. For more information see Mail & Phones.
Religion
Latvians were among the last European peoples to accept
Christianity. Independent Latvian tribes still worshiped the
sun, wind, holy groves, rocks and the like until Teutonic
zealots arrived at the close of the 12th century to save the
Balts from damnation. Depending on your point of view,
the German invaders were either brave holy warriors or
murderous, thieving savages. In any event, it took centuries
to convert the Latvians to Christianity and even that’s still
up for debate. In the beginning they were forced to have
baptisms, but then, logical bunch that they were, they would
just take a swim in the Daugava and, in their eyes, wash off
the new religion returning to the gods and goddesses of
their ancestors. To this day, the pagan Midsummer’s Eve
celebration of Līgo and Jāņi, an ancient fertility festival, is still
the nation’s most popular holiday. Martin Luther’s teachings
have played a profound role in the development of Latvia
and many practicing Latvian Christians belong to Lutheran
congregations. Latvia’s Russian-speaking minorities are
largely Orthodox Christians while Catholicism is more popular
in the Latgale region of eastern Latvia. Jews were massacred
in their thousands in Latvia during the Holocaust, but a small
Jewish community still survives in Riga. Q
Train bridge over the Daugava M.Zaprauskis
Despite what you may have heard, drugs, without excep-
tion, are illegal in Latvia. If someone offers you any type
of drug, whether it’s weed, ecstasy or coke, you aren’t
allowed to buy it and you’re definitely not permitted to
carry it, even in small amounts for personal use. If you
buy pot off of a stranger in Riga there’s a good chance
you’ll get a bag of oregano or locally grown hemp that
has a THC level barely above zero which would give you
about the same buzz as you’d get from smoking dried
parsley. You can purchase hemp butter at the Central
Market legally, but it’s just something to spread on toast
and definitely won’t get you high. If you’re looking to get
inebriated, stick to Latvian beer and spirits.
Say nē to drugs
%HVWVWD\
LQ5LJD
+371 6709 9760
[email protected]
www.hoteIs.taIIink.com
10
BasiCs
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
BasiCs
Latvian is an Indo-European language (not Slavic) as old
as Lithuanian. It has six declensions and a lot of funny
accents. Although the official language is Latvian, you will
easily get around with a command of Russian, as half of the
population of Riga is Russian-speaking, and most Latvians
do understand Russian. They will, however, avoid it, except
to swear, because Russians have more colourful curses
than Latvians. Latvians also reshape foreign names to fit
their language and add an ‘s’ to the end of all male names,
i.e. Baraks Obama and Deivids Kemerons. Females will
get an ‘a’ or an ‘e’ on the end, as with pop star, Britnija
Spīrsa. But our favourite is still Sids Višess. Hilarious!
Useful phrases
How are you? Kā jums klājas?
Pleased to meet you. Prieks iepazīties.
Do you speak English? Vai jūs runājiet angliski?
Where is the nearest shop, hotel, restaurant, café, bar,
toilet?
Kur atrodas tuvākais veikals, viesnīca, restorāns,
kafejnīca, bārs, tualete?
What’s your name? Kā Jūs/tevi sauc?
My name is ... Mani sauc ...
What time is it? Cik ir pulkstenis?
How much does this cost? Cik tas maksā?
This costs too much! Tas ir par dārgu!
Hello Labdien!
Hi Sveiks!
Good morning Labrīt!
Good evening Labvakar!
Goodnight Arlabunakti!
Goodbye! Uz redzēšanos!
Bye! Čau! Atā!
Yes Jā
No Nē
Maybe Varbūt
Cheers! Priekā!
All the best! Visu labu!
Thank you Paldies
Learning the language
Numbers
1 viens
2 divi
3 trīs
4 četri
5 pieci
6 seši
7 septiņi
8 astoņi
9 deviņi
10 desmit
11 vienpadsmit
20 divdesmit
21 divdesmit viens
50 piecdesmit
100 simts
1000 tūkstotis
Street smarts
Street iela
Road ceļš
Highway šoseja
Boulevard bulvāris
Square laukums
Market tirgus
Airport lidosta
Bus station autoosta
Train station stacija
Taxi taksis
Days of the week
Monday pirmdiena
Tuesday otrdiena
Wednesday trešdiena
Thursday ceturtdiena
Friday piektdiena
Saturday sestdiena
Sunday svētdiena
Directions
Left pa kreisi
Right pa labi
Straight taisni
Back atpakaļ
Beware the following Latvian phrases
Nopirksi man dzērienu? Buy me a drink?
Negribi lāpīties? Hair of the dog?
Aizdosi man 7,5 miljardus eiro? Loan me 7.5billion euro?
Roads
Latvia has some of the world’s worst drivers. It’s not that
they can’t steer or press the break pedal, although for some
reason Latvians can’t master the art parallel parking, it’s
more likely a reckless streak that allows grown men and
women to act like children behind the wheel. Passing on
blind curves is shockingly common, red lights are ignored by
most BMWs and pedestrians on crosswalks tend to become
targets for wannabe F1 drivers in tricked out Mercedes jeeps.
If, like many locals, you enjoy operating an automobile while
intoxicated, you should bear in mind that all perpetrators,
including foreigners, face a mandatory ten-day jail sentence
and a 500Ls fine. The speed limit is 50km/h in towns, 90km/
h on the open road and it is strictly enforced. Speed traps are
prevalent and bribes are almost a thing of the past.
Parking meters are all over Riga. Traffic police will clamp
your car and demand a 5Ls fine on the spot for running out
of time, or will fine you 10Ls for being parked illegally. Old
Riga is now accessible to nearly all motor vehicles, but the
authorities have made it impossible to drive from one end to
the other having divided the town into four different sections.
Many streets have been changed to one-way streets and
certain areas, such as Doma and Līvu squares, have become
pedestrian and bicycles zones.
Naturally, the city has lost loads of revenue by opening up
the old city, but now charges equally exorbitant parking fees
that can only be paid with an SMS text message sent from a
Latvian mobile phone number. In other words, most tourists
are prohibited from parking their rented or borrowed cars
in Old Riga. The city has once again illustrated how tourist-
friendly and forward-thinking it can be. The Soviets had a
good expression to sum up this latest debacle: we wanted
something better, but it turned out like it always does. Q
Scams
The growth of the local tourism industry has created coun-
tless new jobs for Latvians, but it has also spawned another
lucrative trade, which seems to be inevitable in Eastern Euro-
pe – scams and rip-offs. While most bars and restaurants
are happy to welcome tourists into their establishments,
there are some rotten apples that will do anything to take
your money. Strip clubs, nightclubs and late night bars seem
to be the biggest culprits often taking advantage of already
inebriated patrons. Be wary of young attractive girls on Līvu
Square asking you to join them for a drink in a nearby bar.
You’ll be shocked to discover later that the barely palatable
bottle of wine you bought them costs 500Ls or more. If you
refuse the bouncers will pummel you until you give them
your PIN code. Other scams include taking your credit card
information and buying stuff online or charging your card
for much more than you purchased. Avoid seedy bars and
try to always pay in cash at nightclubs, even if they seem
reputable. Here’s a prime example of a scam sent to us by
Sid from Scotland:
“I have spotted scams by several locals one night...there
was a girl acting drunk and she had a thing going with
the barman - a proper shifty looking local and it went like
this... She flirted with customers until they bought her a
drink then when they paid using a card she actually came
across to the bar to get the pin number and the barman
would record the card details for cloning. It was strange
that I spotted them talking outside about this and she
was uber sober then she came back in acting drunk again.
My card company rang me a few days later saying that I
should cancel my card etc and as I took a picture of her I
forwarded it on to them explaining the scam to them.”
BasiCs
11
BasiCs
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Nearly 800 years of foreign occupation haven’t given
Latvians much cause to celebrate, hence an acute lack
of days off for the working man. Pagan Midsummer cel-
ebrations are the nation’s most popular holidays when
locals head out to the countryside for bonfires, beer and
assorted fertility rites.
January 1 New Year’s Day (Jaungads)
April 22, 2011 Good Friday (Lielā piektdiena)
April 24, 2011 Easter Sunday (Lieldienas)
April 25, 2011 Easter Monday (Otrās Lieldienas)
May 1 Labour Day (Strādnieku diena)
May 4 Independence day in 1990
June 23 - 24 Midsummer celebrations
(Līgo & Jāņi)
November 18 Independence day in 1918
Dec 24 - 26 Christmas (Ziemassvētki)
Dec 31 New Year’s Eve (Vecgada vakars)
National holidays
Population: 2.26 million (in 2008).
Ethnicity: 59% Latvian, 28% Russian, 13% other.
Total territory: 64,589km
2
.
Longest rivers: Gauja (452km), Daugava (352km in Latvia).
Highest point: Gaiziņkalns (311.6m).
Length of Latvian coastline: 494km.
Facts & Figures
Smoking
Latvians love to smoke and until recently you could see
them lighting up almost anywhere, from barstools in local
pubs to hospital beds. But all that has changed. As of
July 1, 2006, smoking is banned in most public places
including restaurants, clubs and government buildings. The
few establishments which have built completely separate
smoking sections with proper ventilation systems have been
assigned a smoking symbol X. Ironically, the government
has largely ignored the root causes of smoking, but new
taxes on cigarettes has brought the price of a pack of
Marlboros up to a little over €2.50. Q
Toilets
Our suggestion to improve public toilets as a condition for
EU acceptance has fallen on deaf ears. Restaurants are still
your best bet and most places won’t hassle you for not being
a customer. Men’s facilities are designated with either a V for
vīrieši or a triangle pointing down; women’s restrooms with
an S for sievietes or a triangle pointing up. Q
Visas
Citizens from Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil,
Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, EU
countries, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel,
Japan, Liechtenstein, Macao, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco,
New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, San
Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA,
Vatican City and Venezuela do not require a visa to enter
Latvia and may stay up to 90 days within a period of six
months to one year depending on nationality. For assistance
obtaining residency permits contact the Citizenship and
Migration Board, Čiekurkalna 1. līnija 1, k-3, tel. (+371) 67 21
96 64, www.pmlp.gov.lv/en. Open 09:00 - 16:00, Mon 11:00
- 19:00, Fri 08:30 - 14:30. Closed Sat, Sun. Q
In 2,500BC Indo-European tribes arrive on the Baltic Sea. In
Latvia the inhabitants split into several tribes: Zemgaļi, Sēļi,
Latgaļi and Kurši. Among surviving tongues, Latvian and
Lithuanian are the closest to the original tribal languages.
The Livonians, a Finno-Ugric group, are equally ancient
settlers.
12th - 15th Century
In the 1100s, German traders search for a trade route with
the East. They choose Riga for its strategic location at the
outlet of the Daugava and prepare to conquer with both Bible
and sword. Pitched battles near Riga ensue between the
invaders and Livonian settlers. A holy war against the Baltic
heathens is launched.
Riga is founded in 1201, when Bishop Albert builds a castle
on the site. In 1202, the military Order of the Brothers of
the Sword is founded, and over the coming decades they
crush and convert the warlike, but fatally divided, Latvian
and Livonian tribes. The foundations of the Dome cathedral
are laid in 1211. The last stand of the Latvian tribes is
crushed in 1290.
Over the next 200 years, rivalry and warfare rage between
the Church, the Teutonic Order, and Riga in a fight for trade
and territory. The Order gains the upper hand.
16th Century
German preachers bring the reformation to Latvia in 1522.
Social unrest breaks out in 1524, churches are vandalised
and monks are exiled from Riga.
17th Century
In the Polish-Swedish war (1600 - 1629), Sweden wins
northern Latvia, while the provinces of Kurzeme and Zemgale
are united into a duchy loyal to the Polish-Lithuanian empire.
Trade is expanded to all corners of the world: Latvian pines
become masts for English warships. The duchy gains the
island of Tobago, later exchanged for Gambia. During Swedish
occupation schools are opened, oppression of the peasants
lessened and the Bible is translated into Latvian.
18th Century
From 1700 until 1721 Sweden and Russia fight for control
of Livonia. At first the Swedes find success, but their armies
are defeated in Moscow. The Russians occupy Latgale in
1795, and control the entire country until WWI. The wars
devastate Latvia. After the Russians capture Riga in 1710,
90,000 people are left in all of Livonia.
19th Century
Poverty leads to a peasant rebellion in 1802, which is brutally
crushed. Another revolt, meeting a similar fate, occurs in
1840. Serfdom is abolished in Latvia between 1817 and
1819, but while Latvians are free to go where they wish, the
land remains in the hands of its previous owners.
In the second half of the century, a group of Latvian students
in St. Petersburg, the Jaunlatvieši (Young Latvians), forge a
rebellion. Their St. Petersburg Paper, published 1862 - 1865,
raises Latvian national consciousness.
One of the most significant events of this rise of national
consciousness is the first all-Latvian song festival held in
Riga in 1873.
Commerce and industry develop rapidly in Riga, making it the
third most vital industrial city in Tsarist Russia.
20th Century
This mixture of national feelings, with the demands of the
new industrial proletariat, make Latvia a hot spot in the 1905
revolution. In January 24, 1905, a general strike is called and
50,000 workers protest in the streets. Eighty people are
killed in clashes with Tsarist troops.
On October 30, 1905, the Tsar allows free speech and the
formation of a Constituent Assembly. Two months later
Russian ‘punishment bri gades’ execute al most 2,000
Latvians. Many prominent citizens are forced into exile,
including the national poet Janis Rainis.
During WWI, Latvian soldiers under the Russian army fight
the Germans. By 1915 the Germans occupy half of Latvia,
forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee. In June, the
Russians allow independent Latvian units to defen
d the country, and eight battalions are raised for battle.
The weakened Russian army fails to oppose a major German
offensive and Riga is taken September 3, 1917. At the Brest-
Litovsk peace treaty of March 1918, the Bolsheviks give the
enemy the rest of Latvia. The Latvian Riflemen withdraw to
Russia where they become Lenin’s most trustworthy soldiers
during the Civil War.
From 1917 Latvian nationalists secretly plot against the
Germans. When Germany surrenders on November 11, they
declare Latvia’s independence at the National Theatre on
November 18, 1918. Two years of war follow.
The First Republic
The Latvian army pushes back first renegade German forces,
then Russian troops, who for a while declare the country a
Soviet Republic. Under the Treaty of Riga, Russia vows to
respect Latvia’s independence, which is also recognised by
the international community on January 26, 1921.
One third of Latvia’s population is displaced by the war and
much of its industry shipped to Russia. Still, the country
grows rapidly: land is redistributed to the peasants, and soon
Latvia has one of the highest living standards in Europe.
President Kārlis Ulmanis stages a bloodless coup in May
1934 and effectively becomes a dictator for six years.
The secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
marks the twilight of independence, as Germany and
the USSR divide Eastern Europe. Latvia falls to the latter,
and troops invade on June 17, 1940. The Soviets hold
sham elections to legitimise the takeover. On the night of
June 13 - 14, 1941, they force tens of thousands into
cattle wagons and deport them to Siberia.
The Germans take Riga when invading the USSR in early
July 1941. They are welcomed by many as ‘liberators’,
but German rule does not bring independence. The
Nazis murder 90% of Latvia’s Jewish population in their
three years of occupation. From 1943 Latvian youths
are conscripted into the German army. The Red Army
retakes most of Latvia in July and September 1944.
Thousands of Latvians flee.
The reinstated communist regime forces general col-
lectivisation along with a massive wave of deportations.
On March 25, 1949, 42,000 people are deported to
Siberia. Resistance to the Soviet regime continues in
the forests until 1956.
WWII...
12
history
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
The Singing Revolution & Beyond
1986
Protests by green groups stop the devel opment of a
hydroelectric dam on the Daugava and an environmentally
disastrous plan for a Riga metro.
1987
June 14 - First protests since the war take place at the Freedom
Monument, commemorating the 1941 deportations to Siberia.
1988
November 11 - The Latvian pre-war flag is raised on the
Riga Castle.
1989
August 23 - Some two million Latvians, Lithuanians and
Estonians join hands in a human chain stretching from Tallinn
to Vilnius in the 650km-long Baltic Way, which protests the
50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
1990
May 4 - The Supreme Council adopts a declaration restoring
independence with a transitional period.
1991
January 13 - After a bloody assault on the TV tower in Vilnius,
Lithuania, barricades are erected to protect the parliament.
January 20 - Special Soviet troops attack the Interior Ministry
building in Riga, killing five people and injuring 10 others.
March 3 - 73.7% vote in favour of independence.
August 19 - 20 - Soviet troops block roads leading to Riga
and seize the Interior Ministry building.
August 21 - The Moscow coup collapses and the Latvian
parliament votes to restore independence.
August 23 - The local Communist Party is banned.
September 6 - The USSR recognises Latvia’s independence.
1993
June 6 - 7 - First free elections. The Saeima (parliament)
elects Guntis Ulmanis as president.
1994
August 31 - The last Soviet troops pull out of Latvia and
Estonia. Some 500 officers stay to operate the Skrunda
early warning radar station until 1998.
1995
May 4 - The Skrunda radar station is dynamited to celebrate
the fifth anniversary of the restoration of independence.
1996
June 18 - President Guntis Ulmanis is re-elected.
1998
August 31 - The last Russian military outpost in the Baltic
countries, Skrunda, is officially shut down.
October 3 - The People’s Party and Latvia’s Way gain the most
seats in the Saeima. A referendum is held granting citizenship
to children born in Latvia to non-citizens after 1991.
1999
March 25 - A trail of flowers over 300m long is laid at the
Freedom Monument in honour of those Latvians deported
to Siberia in 1949.
June 17 - The Saeima elects Latvia’s first female president,
Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, a Canadian-Latvian.
December 10 - Latvia is invited to begin talks with the EU.
2001
August 17 - 19 - Riga celebrates its 800th anniversary.
2002
November 21 - Latvia is invited to join the NATO.
December 13 - Latvia is invited to join the European Union.
2003
May 24 - Riga hosts the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest.
June 20 - Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga is re-elected as president.
September 20 - In a national referendum, 67% of Latvians
vote in favour of joing the European Union.
2004
March 9 - Relative outsider Indulis Emsis becomes Europe’s
first Green prime minister.
March 29 - Latvia officially joins the NATO military alliance.
May 1 - Latvia joins the European Union.
2005
January 8 - 9 - The most devastating storm to hit Latvia in 40
years rips through the Baltic Sea flooding coastal cities.
2006
October 7 - The Peoples’ Party led by Aigars Kalvītis gain the
most seats in parliamentary elections.
2007
July 8 - Parliament elects a controversial figure, former
surgeon Valdis Zatlers, as president of Latvia.
September 21 - Parliament speaker Indulis Emsis resigns
amid allegations of corruption.
October - November - More politicians are embroiled in
scandal. Citizens in their thousands meet on Dome Square
to voice their concern. The prime minister resigns.
2008
November 8 - The Latvian government makes its first bank
bail-out by taking a 51% stake in beleaguered Parex Bank.
December 19 - The IMF and EU agree to give Latvia a
€7.5billion loan with several strings attached.
2009
January 13 - After a peaceful anti-government demonstration,
hooligans cause mayhem in Old Riga vandalising shops and
attacking riot police with stones.
February 20 - Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis resigns.
March 12 - Valdis Dombrovskis of the opposition New Era party
becomes prime minister and appoints a new cabinet.
December 1 - The Latvian Parliament approves an austerity
budget for 2010 raising taxes and slashing public services.
2010
Februar y 14 - A cyber mili tia calling i tsel f the Four th
Awakening’s People’s Army found a hole in the State Revenue
Service’s online tax registry and downloaded 7.4 million
documents for government and private sector employees
all over Latvia. The leader who called himself Neo was later
apprehended after he had published the exorbitant salaries
recei ved by poli tical favouri tes who had been installed in
government firms.
June 15 - KNAB, the independent anti-corruption agency,
raids the government-owned electricity monopoly Latvenergo
seizing documents and arresting some of its most prominent
officers on corruption and money laundering charges.
The Stalinist regime begins a russification campaign in
Latvia. Russian workers are brought in to man the facto-
ries and are given housing preference. Latvians almost
become a minority and some cultural expressions are
banned. Before the war Latvians comprised 75% of the
population, but by 1989 their share dwindled to 51.8%.
Today the decline has been slightly reversed and Latvians
account for 57.1% of the population.
...and the aftermath
1
history
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Both photos are scenes from Raiskums, Vidzeme MZ
1
Culture & events
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
Culture & events
Oct
Date Time Event Venue
1 19:00 Il Trittico: Il Tabarro, Suor
Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, opera,
Puccini
OP
4 19:00 Georges Momboye dance droup
Boyakodah (France)
OP
6 19:00 Swan Lake, ballet, Tchaikovsky OP
7 19:00 Aida, opera, Verdi OP
8 19:00 Sleeping Beauty, ballet,
Tchaikovsky
OP
9 19:00 Elixir of Love, opera, Donizetti OP
10 19:00 Concert in honour of Jānis
Mediņš’ 120th birthday
OP
14 19:00 Don Quixote, ballet, Minkus OP
15 19:00 La Traviata, opera, Verdi OP
16 19:00 Carmen, opera, Bizet OP
22 19:00 Premiere: A Midsummer Night’s
Dream, ballet, Mendelssohn
OP
23 19:00 A Midsummer Night’s Dream,
ballet, Mendelssohn
OP
24 12:00 A Birds’ Opera, children’s opera,
Lūsēns
OP
24 18:00 A Birds’ Opera, children’s opera,
Lūsēns
OP
27 19:00 The Bright Stream, ballet,
Shostakovich
OP
29 19:00 Anna Karenina, ballet,
Tchaikovsky
OP
30 12:00 The Tale of Tobias the Bear and
the Stolen Notes
OPN
30 15:00 The Tale of Tobias the Bear and
the Stolen Notes
OPN
30 19:00 The Fountain of Bakhchisaray,
ballet, Asafiev
OP
31 15:00 Aida, opera, Verdi OP
Nov
3 19:00 Der Sandmann, ballet, Schumann OP
4 19:00 Don Giovanni, opera, Mozart OP
6 19:00 Werther, opera, Massenet OP
7 15:00 Sleeping Beauty, ballet,
Tchaikovsky
OP
10 19:00 La Traviata, opera, Verdi OP
11 19:00 A Midsummer Night’s Dream,
ballet, Mendelssohn
OP
12 19:00 Carmen, opera, Bizet OP
13 15:00 Chamber music concert OP
13 19:00 Il Trittico: Il Tabarro, Suor
Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, opera,
Puccini
OP
14 12:00 The Nutcracker, ballet,
Tchaikovsky
OP
14 18:00 The Nutcracker, ballet,
Tchaikovsky
OP
17 19:00 Le Corsaire, ballet, Adam OP
19 19:00 Elixir of Love, opera, Donizetti OP
20 12:00 The Tale of the Dollmaker,
children’s opera
OPN
20 15:00 The Tale of the Dollmaker,
children’s opera
OPN
20 19:00 Nabucco, opera, Verdi OP
21 12:00 The Nutcracker, ballet,
Tchaikovsky
OP
21 18:00 The Nutcracker, ballet,
Tchaikovsky
OP
25 19:30 Aplam, two acts accompanied by
music by Dzelzs Vilks
OPN
Opera & Ballet
AR - Arena Riga BBC - Bites Blues Club
CBK - Četri balti krekli DDC - Dirty Deal Cafe
DP - Depo EM - Ethnographic Museum
GG - Great Guild MP - Melnā Piektdiena
OP - Opera OPN - Opera New Hall
RAS - Riga Art Space RC - Riga Cathedral
RCC - Riga Congress Centre
SG - Small Guild
SJ - St. John’s Church (I-2, Skārņu 24)
SK - Spīķeri Concert Hall
SP - St. Peter’s Church (I-2, Skārņu 19)
Venues
Iconic UK dance act Faithless will perform at Arena Riga on
October 18 at 21:00
Cinemas
Forum Cinemas I-3, 13. janvāra 8, www.forumcinemas.
lv. Forum Cinemas is the second largest cinema complex in
Northern Europe. Q (2.30 - 5Ls). A
K. Suns C-4, Elizabetes 83/85, tel. (+371) 67 28 54 11.
K.Suns is dedicated to arty European films. Q (3Ls).
Rīga C-4, Elizabetes 61, tel. (+371) 67 18 11 44, www.
kino.riga.lv. Its ornate old world interior makes for an inter-
esting movie venue. It shows films from around the globe as
well as box office hits. Q (2.50 - 3Ls).
Concert halls
Arena Riga A-4, Skanstes 21, tel. (+371) 67 38 82 00,
www.arenariga.com. A venue for both sporting events like
the Continental Hockey League and large concerts. Perform-
ers have included Placebo, Muse and the Sex Pistols.
Great Guild (Lielā Ģilde) H-2, Amatu 6, tel. (+371)
67 22 48 50, www.lnso.lv. Home of the Latvian National
Symphony Orchestra.
Riga Cathedral (Doma baznīca) H-1, Doma laukums
1, tel. (+371) 67 21 32 13, www.doms.lv. The destination
for world-class organ concerts.
Riga Congress Centre (Rīgas Kongresu nams) F-2,
Valdemāra 5, tel. (+371) 67 04 36 78, www.kongresu-
nams.riga.lv. A large venue for dance concerts, musicals,
plays and of course conferences.
Small Guild (Mazā Ģilde) H-2, Amatu 3/5, tel. (+371)
67 22 37 72, www.gilde.lv/maza. Popular venue for small
concerts and events.
Spīķeri D/E-4, Maskavas 4, korp. 2/3, tel. (+371) 67
21 50 18, www.sinfoniettariga.lv. The national chamber
orchestra Sinfonietta Riga performs at this chic renovated
warehouse behind the Central Market.
RC
Culture & events
15
Culture & events
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Oct
Date Time Event Venue
1 22:00 dEScADOS (Hungary): grunge
music concert
DP
2 17:00 Big Folk Concert feat. Ieva
Akuratere and many others
SK
5 19:00 Blues Evening feat. Mirta & Hot
Acoustic, D11 Blues Band, Dogs
& Catfish, Mitrokhin's Master
Band and others
CBK
7 22:00 More I Korabli (Russia): hard
rock/funk concert
DP
8 22:00 Jimmie Lawson with the Latvian
Blues Band
BBC
9 22:00 Jimmie Lawson with the Latvian
Blues Band
BBC
15 20:00 Go Back Home (Ital y): hardcore DDC
15 20:00 Sadist (Ital y), Crionics (Poland)
and Virgin Snatch (Poland): metal
MP
15 20:30 Gustavo (Latvia): hip hop concert AR
18 21:00 Faithless (UK): electronic, dance
concert
AR
19 19:30 DDT (Russia): rock concert AR
20 19:30 The Glenn Miller Orchestra AR
23 18:00 City Jazz Big Band (Latvia) and
Jānis Stībelis: jazz concert
RAS
23 19:00 Moto Freestyle FMX GP World
Championship stage
AR
23 The Burning Hell (Canada): folk,
indie, rock concert
DDC
27 19:00 Mats Holmquist (Sweden), Stora
Stygga: jazz concert
RAS
Nov
1 20:00 a-ha (Norway): pop concert AR
2 20:00 Sabaton (Sweden) and Alestorm
(Scotland): metal concert
MP
7 Martin's Day folk traditions,
singing and dancing
EM
7 19:00 Francis Goya (Belgium): guitar
music concert
RCC
15 19:00 Magnus Lindgren (Sweden) &
Batucada Jazz: jazz concert
RAS
17 20:00 De-Phazz (USA/Germany): jazz,
downtempo concert
SF
18 Latvian Independence Day
celebrations throughout Riga
18-21 Riga Shines light festival in Old
Riga and the city centre
25 19:30 Mireille Mathieu (France) AR
30 19:00 Take 6 (USA): a capella music
concert
RCC
Rock, folk, festivals & More
The legendary Norwegian pop group a-ha will perform a
farewell concert at Arena Riga on November 1 at 20:00
Listen to the jazzy, downtempo melodies of the lounge-
style act De-Phazz at Sapņu Fabrika on November 17
Clubs & Other venues
Bites Blūzs Klubs B-4, Dzirnavu 34a, tel. (+371) 67 33
31 23, www.bluesclub.lv. The best place to go for blues
concerts with a wide variety of performers from as far away
as Memphis, Chicago and New Orleans.
Četri Balti Krekli I-3, Vecpilsētas 12, tel. (+371) 67 21
38 85, www.krekli.lv. This club is home to 100% Latvian
acts like Ainars Mielavs, Pērkons and Autobuss debesīs.
Dirty Deal Cafe E-4, Maskavas 12, k.2, tel. (+371) 29
55 84 75, www.dirtydeal.lv. Sporadic funky entertainment
from transvestite harpsichord players to hardcore bands in
an old Central Market warehouse.
Melnā piektdiena (Black Friday) Brīvības 193c, tel.
(+371) 29 87 94 75, www.melnapiektdiena.lv. The onl y
club in Riga dedicated to heavy metal music is located within
the brick walls of an old factory next to the VEF Bridge. Live
acts have included such heavyweights as Napalm Death.
Take tram N°6 from Barona to the VEF stop.
Riga Circus (Rīgas cirks) C-4, Merķeļa 4, tel. (+371)
67 21 34 79, www.cirks.lv. The onl y permanent circus in
the Baltics offers a show that includes clowns, jugglers, magi-
cians, illusionists, acrobats and animal acts. See website for a
complete schedule. Q Box office open 10:00 - 19:00.
Sapņu Fabrika D-5, Lāčplēša 101, tel. (+371) 67 28
12 22, www.sapnufabrika.lv. Industrial-style venue for
anything from rock to rap concerts. Headliners have included
The White Stripes, Morrissey and Air.
Skonto Stadium (Skonto stadions) B-4, Melngaiļa
1a, www.skontofc.lv. A venue for local and national football
team matches as well as large concerts. Aerosmith, Metallica
and Depeche Mode have all played here.
Opera & Theatres
Daile Theatre (Dailes teātris) B-4, Brīvības 75, tel.
(+371) 67 29 44 44, www.dailesteatris.lv. Classic theatre
like Faust in Latvian.
Latvian National Theatre (Latvijas Nacionālais
teātris) G-1, Kronvalda bulv. 2, tel. (+371) 67 00 63
00, www.teatris.lv. A beautiful building that is home to
performances of traditional plays and musicals.
New Riga Theatre (Jaunais Rīgas teātris) C-5,
Lāčplēša 25, tel. (+371) 67 28 07 65, www.jrt.lv. Local
theatre performances with an avant-garde flavour.
Opera H-3, Aspazijas bulv. 3, tel. (+371) 67 07 37 77,
www.opera.lv. A magnificent venue for opera, ballet and
international performing artists.
1
Culture & events
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
Culture & events
Oct
Date Time Event Venue
1 19:00 Organ music concert. Jolanta
Barinska (organ), mixed choir
AURA of the Physics and
Mathematics facul ty of the
University of Latvia. Programme:
J. Arcadel t, F. Schubert, R.
Schumann, E. Grieg, C. Franck, R.
Tvardovsky, J. Lūsēns
RC
1 19:30 Autumn Chamber Music Festival.
Giya Kanchelli - 75. Massimo
Mercelli (al to flute), Pavel
Vernikov (violin), Sinfonietta Rīga.
Programme: Giya Kanchelli
SG
2 19:30 Autumn Chamber Music
Festival Pēteris Vasks’ Flute
Concerto. Michael Faust (flute),
Liepāja Symphony Orchestra.
Programme: Ludwig van
Beethoven, Ēriks Ešenvalds,
Pēteris Vasks
GG
8 19:00 Organ music concert. Jan
Katchcke (Germany)
RC
8 19:30 Brahms. Pop Art. Modernism.
Ilona Meija (flute), Mareks Pinta
(clarinet), Agnese Kanniņa-
Liepiņa and Marta Jagmane
(violin), Jānis Stafeckis (double
bass), Agnese Egliņa (piano),
Ivo Krūskops (percussion).
Programme: Johannes Brahms,
Regis Campo, Yan Maresz, Santa
Ratniece
SK
13 19:00 Organ music concert. Ilze Reine
(organ), the Flensburg St. Nikolai
Choir (Germany). Programme: A.
Dvorak - Missa
RC
15 19:00 Organ music concert from the
cycle All pieces for organ by
Bach. Organ: Lelde Krastiņa,
Digna Markule, Līga Pūķe
RC
22 19:00 LNSO season opening concert.
Karen Slack (soprano), Elena
Batoukova (mezzo soprano),
Latvian National Opera Choir,
Karel Mark Chichon (conductor).
Programme: Ēriks Ešenvalds
Fanfare (world premiere), Gustav
Mahler Symphony No.2
GG
Classical music
22 19:00 Organ music concert. Thiemo
Janssen (Germany)
RC
23 19:00 LNSO concert. Karen Slack
(soprano), Elena Batoukova
(mezzo soprano), Latvian
National Opera Choir, Karel Mark
Chichon (conductor). Programme:
Ēriks Ešenvalds Fanfare (world
premiere), Gustav Mahler
Symphony No.2
GG
23 19:30 Living Music. Egīls Šēfers
(clarinet), Ēriks Kiršfelds
(violoncello), Toms Ostrovskis
(piano). Programme: Mārīte
Dombrovska, Andris Dzenītis,
Roberto Sierra, Santa Ratniece,
Steve Reich, Imants Zemzaris
SK
24 19:00 Viviana Sofronitzki plays the
piano of Chopin’s times
GG
27 20:00 An Evening Talk in St.John’s
Church. Pastor Juris Rubenis,
poet Uldis Bērziņš, the music
journalist Orests Silabriedis and
the Latvian Radio Choir
SJ
29 19:30 Astrophonia. Kristaps Pētersons
(double bass), Elīna Endzele
(percussion), Uģis Krišjānis
(keyboard), Varis Piņķis (narrator).
Programme: Ludwig van
Beethoven, Kristaps Pētersons,
Kaija Saariaho, Urmas Sisask,
Karlheinz Stockhausen
SK
30 11:00 Tiny Sprites. Symphony concert
for children
GG
30 14:00 Tiny Sprites. Symphony concert
for children
GG
31 18:00 Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto
and Stradivarius. Kirill
Troussov (violin), Sinfonietta
Rīga. Programme: Ludwig van
Beethoven, Pyotr Tchaikovsky
GG
Nov
4 19:30 Cherubini’s Requiem. Liepāja
Symphony Orhestra and the
Estonian National Men’s Choir
RC
5 19:00 Evgeny Kissin piano concert.
Programme: Chopin
OP
8 19:00 An evening of one-act ballets.
The Riga Choreography School,
ballet soloists of the LNO
and Moscow Stanislavsky
and Nemirovich-Danchenko
Musical Theatre. Programme:
Chopiniana, Mikhail Fokin
(choreography), Illusive Ball,
Dmitri Briantzev (choreography).
OP
9 19:00 An evening of one-act ballets.
The Riga Choreography School,
ballet soloists of the LNO
and Moscow Stanislavsky
and Nemirovich-Danchenko
Musical Theatre. Programme:
Chopiniana, Mikhail Fokin
(choreography), Illusive Ball,
Dmitri Briantzev (choreography).
OP
12 19:30 Chamber Symphony. Zoom In.
Al tera veritas and Sinfonietta
Rīga. Programme: John Adams,
Vilnis Šmīdbergs, Mārtiņš Viļums
GG
Classical music (continued)
The Magnus Lindgren Quartet will perform songs from
Batucada Jazz at the Riga Art Space on November 15
Culture & events
17
Culture & events
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
16 19:00 LNSO and K. M. Chichon
concert. Sergei Krilov (violin),
Michele Crider (soprano), Elena
Batoukova (mezzo soprano),
Val ter Borin (tenor), Samson
Izjumov (baritone), Rihards
Mačanovskis (bass), Krišjānis
Norvelis (bass), Karel Mark
Chichon (conductor). Programme:
Part I: Franz von Suppe’s Light
Cavalry Overture, Pablo de
Saraste’s Carmen Fantasy,
Maurice Ravel’s Bolero; Part II:
G. Verdi’s La forza del destino
Overture, Libera me from
Requiem and Grand Finale
Secondo from Aida
GG
17 19:00 LNSO and K. M. Chichon
concert (same programme and
participants as above)
GG
18 19:30 A concert marking the 60th
anniversary of the Riga Cathedral
Boy’s Choir. The Riga Cathedral
Boys’ Choir, Riga Cathedral Boys’
Choir’s men’s group, Raimonds
Pauls (piano), Sinfonietta Rīga.
Programme: Emīls Dārziņš,
Raimonds Pauls, Jāzeps Vītols
OP
20 16:00 Minotaur. Gints Gabrāns (video),
Latvian Radio Choir. Programme:
Ģirts Bišs, Voldemārs Johansons
SK
20 18:00 Minotaur. Gints Gabrāns (video),
Latvian Radio Choir. Programme:
Ģirts Bišs, Voldemārs Johansons
SK
21 16:00 Minotaur (same as above) SK
21 18:00 Minotaur (same as above) SK
25 19:30 Fire Sign. Oskars Petrauskis
(saxophone), Ēriks Kiršfelds
(violincello), Uģis Krišjānis
(keyboards), DJ Krii, Kristaps
Pētersons (double bass), Tālis
Timrots (sound engineer).
Programme: Latvian traditional
songs arranged by Volfgangs
Dārziņš, Jēkabs Nīmanis,
Kristaps Pētersons and Jāzeps
Vītols
SK
26 19:00 Organ music concert from the
cycle All pieces for organ by
Bach. Organ: Kristīne Adamaite,
Jolanta Barinska
RC
Classical music (continued)
RC
RC
26 19:30 Andris Nelsons and the
Birmingham Symphony
Orchestra. Vestards Šimkus
(piano), the Birmingham
Symphony Orchestra.
Programme: Mahler’s Symphony
No.5, S. Rachmaninov’s Piano
Concerto No.3
OP
28 11:00 Children’s concert. Cat’s Concert.
Evita Zālīte-Raituma (soprano),
Baiba Berķe (mezzo-soprano),
Jānis Tretjuks (clarinet), Riga
Choreography School soloists,
children cocal group Palāsītes
SK
28 13:00 Children’s concert. Cat’s Concert.
Evita Zālīte-Raituma (soprano),
Baiba Berķe (mezzo-soprano),
Jānis Tretjuks (clarinet), Riga
Choreography School soloists,
children cocal group Palāsītes
SK
Classical music (continued)
French superstar Mireille
Mathieu will perform
at Arena Riga on
November 25 at 19:30
Galleries
Agija Sūna I-2, Kalēju 9/11,
tel. (+371) 67 08 75 43, www.
stiklagalerija.lv. QOpen 12:00
- 19:00, Sat 12:00 - 16:00. Closed
Sun.
Arsenāls Museum of Art
H-1, Torņa 1, tel. (+371) 67
35 75 27, www.lnmm.lv. This
exhibition hall specialises in local
and international contemporary
art projects and events. QOpen
12:00 - 18:00, Thu 12:00 - 20:00,
Sat, Sun 12:00 - 17:00. Closed
Mon. Admission: 1 - 2.50Ls.
Daugava I-2, Alksnāja 10/12, tel. (+371) 67 21 28
96, www.galerijadaugava.lv. QOpen 11:00 - 18:00.
Closed Mon, Sun.
Riga Art Space I-2, Kungu 3, tel. (+371) 67 18 13
30, www.artspace.riga.lv. A mul ti functional space for
contemporary art exhibitions and even music concerts run
by the city of Riga. QOpen 11:00 - 18:00.
Riga Gallery (Rīgas galerija) H-3, Aspazijas bulv. 20,
tel. (+371) 67 22 58 87, www.riga-gallery.com. Exhibi-
tions by hot contemporary Latvian artists. QOpen 12:00
- 18:00, Sat 12:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon, Sun.
Salons Māksla C-4, Brīvības 52, tel. (+371) 67 28
08 55/(+371) 29 33 14 41, [email protected].
Opened in 1939, Riga’s oldest art gallery offers a broad range
of contemporary and modern art that will satisfy serious col-
lectors, utter neophytes and everyone in between. QOpen
11:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. A
Tickets
Ticket Paradise (Biļešu paradīze) G-1, Kronvalda
bulv. 2 (National Theatre), tel. (+371) 90 00 20 00,
www.bilesuparadize.lv. Tickets to mostl y Latvian events
such as concerts and theatre. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat,
Sun 11:00 - 18:00. Also at the box offices of the Opera (H-3,
Aspazijas bul v. 3). A
Ticket Service (Biļešu serviss) I-3, 13. janvāra 8
(Stockmann - top floor), www.bilesuserviss.lv. Tickets to
major concerts by international stars. QOpen 10:00 - 21:00.
Also at Statoil petrol stations. A
10-time Grammy Award winners Take 6 will sing a cappella
tunes at the Riga Congress Centre on November 30
1
where to stay
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
where to stay
P Air conditioning A Credit cards accepted
C Swimming pool H Conference facilities
F Fitness centre U Facilities for the disabled
6 Pets allowed L Guarded parking
K Restaurant D Sauna
W Free wireless internet Riga Card discounts
Symbol key
As part of a mad dash to get its hands on some extra
cash, the nearly bankrupt Latvian government slapped ho-
tel rooms with a value added tax of 21% in January 2009
- an increase of 16%! Naturally, this nearly destroyed the
local accommodation and tourism industries, but the gang
of 100 in the parliament has finally decided to reverse its
ill-conceived error by lowering VAT on hotel rooms to an
acceptable 10% starting May 1, 2010. Rates listed here
include breakfast and VAT unless otherwise noted.
Cream of the crop
Gallery Park Hotel F-2, Valdemāra 7, tel. (+371) 67
33 88 30, www.galleryparkhotel.lv. Buil t in 1875, this
historic building has been lovingl y restored and transformed
into what may be Riga’s most luxurious hotel. Rooms on the
first three floors look as if they were transplanted from Ver-
sailles and include massive chandeliers, high gilded ceilings,
dark wood panelling, intricate parquet floors and restored
antique furniture not to mention modern conveniences such
as wireless internet access, safe and mini-bar. Some also
include private terraces with views of the park. The top floor
is a modern affair with minimalist interiors for those who don’t
appreciate opulence. A wine bar, upmarket restaurant and day
spa are also available. Q24 rooms (superior 150Ls, deluxe
180Ls, gallery deluxe 250 - 270Ls, gallery sui tes 355Ls,
royal suites 1026 - 1110Ls, imperial suites 1280 - 1365Ls).
PHA6UFLKDXCW
Grand Palace Hotel H-1, Pils 12, tel. (+371) 67 04 40
00, www.grandpalaceriga.com. The regal entrance has
seen the likes of Catherine Deneuve and rocker Sting pass
through it on their way to some of the most attractive rooms in
Riga. All are lavishly decorated in blue, white and gold, and truly
are fit for a king. Satellite TV, free wireless internet access,
minibar, trouser press, safe and full bathroom are all standard,
with a fitness centre, sauna and steam room also available.
Q56 rooms (16 doubles 109 - 133Ls, 3 suites 246 - 260Ls,
3 junior suites 175 - 190Ls, 3 business class 140 - 154Ls, 31
deluxe 116 - 140Ls). PJHA6UFLKDW
Hotel Bergs C-4, Elizabetes 83/85 (Berga Bazārs),
tel. (+371) 67 77 09 00, fax (+371) 67 77 09 40,
[email protected], www.hotelbergs.lv. Spa-
cious, tasteful and luxurious. Pamper yourself in this sleek,
centrall y located yet quiet hotel in the trendy Berga Bazārs
shopping plaza. Offering an array of amenities, Hotel Bergs’
spacious interiors are a contrast of light and dark, wood
and linen. Discuss matters of grave importance in the top
floor glass conference hall which seats up to 120 people or
unwind in its stylish restaurant - one of Riga’s best. Hotel
Bergs is a member of the alliance of Small Luxury Hotels of
the World. Q Breakfast: 14Ls. 38 rooms (21 studio suites
from 126Ls, 7 apartment suites from 178Ls, 6 loft suites
from 178Ls, 4 penthouse sui tes from 265Ls). PHA�
RUFLKDXW
Hotel de Rome H-2, Kaļķu 28, tel. (+371) 67 08 76 00,
fax (+371) 67 08 76 06, [email protected], www.
derome.lv. A landmark hotel located in Old Riga only a stone’s
throw from the Freedom Monument, Hotel de Rome offers
tastefull y decorated rooms with cable TV, wireless internet,
phone, mini-bar and local artwork on the walls. Business class
accommodation has the added benefit of a trouser press and
heat lamps in the bathrooms, while suites provide extra space
and incredible views. An elegant top-floor restaurant called
Otto Schwarz is also available as well as a lobby bar. Q 88
rooms (6 singles from 75Ls, 35 doubles from 85Ls, 28 busi-
ness class from 91Ls, 18 suites from 113Ls, 1 presidential
apartment 600Ls). JHA6UFKDXW
Hotel Neiburgs I-1, Jauniela 25/27, tel. (+371) 67 11
55 22, fax (+371) 67 55 95 62, www.neiburgs.com.
This stylish design hotel is housed in one of Old Riga’s most
beautiful art nouveau buildings. All 55 of its apartments in-
clude a combination of modern minimalist décor and original
elements like restored parquet floors that date back to 1903.
Kitchens, spacious rooms, huge plasma TVs, free wireless
internet access, bathrooms with bathtubs, slippers and robes
and excellent views all come standard. Two-storey suites, ac-
commodation with balconies and an excellent restaurant are
also available. Q55 rooms (36 studio apartments 63 - 77Ls,
4 studio deluxe 112Ls, 8 senior suites 134Ls, 4 two-storey
suites 169Ls, 3 two-storey deluxe suites 204Ls). Breakfast:
7Ls. PJHA6UFKDXW
Radisson BLU Ridzene Hotel G-3, Reimersa 1, tel.
(+371) 67 09 33 33, fax (+371) 67 32 26 00, info.
[email protected], www.radissonblu.
com/ridzenehotel-riga. A 1980s edifice located between
two beautiful parks houses one of Riga’s most deluxe hotels.
Expect comfy rooms with cherry wood decorations and an
excellent top-floor sauna and fi tness complex wi th 180°
views. The friendl y staff has an eye for detail - our favourite
improvement to the former Soviet elite hotel is the happy
rubber duck in each bathroom. Q 95 rooms (77 standard
class from €85, 13 business class from €145, 3 suites from
€385, 1 presidential suite from €885, 1 wheelchair accessible
from €85). PHA6UFLKDXW
Upmarket
Albert Hotel B-4, Dzirnavu 33, tel. (+371) 67 33 17 17,
www.alberthotel.lv. Nearly everything in this huge 11-storey
hotel revol ves around a common theme - Albert Einstein and
his theories. Each of the 246 rooms includes a quote from the
father of modern science, the conference facilities are named
space, time and light, the ‘do not disturb’ signs simpl y say
‘I’m thinking’ and even the carpets include a pattern of work-
ing atoms. All rooms are tastefull y decorated with relaxing
autumnal colours and have the standard amenities you would
expect from a great hotel. A restaurant and 11th-floor cocktail
lounge are also at your disposal. Q246 rooms (7 singles
56 - 91Ls, 227 doubles 62 - 101Ls, 3 famil y rooms 122Ls, 9
business class 133Ls). PHAR6ULKW
Hanza Hotel E-4, Elijas 7, tel. (+371) 67 79 60 40,
www.hanzahotel.lv. Onl y a short walk from the Central
Market, the Hanza Hotel is located on a historic square
with a beautiful church at its centre. All rooms are tastefull y
decorated in warm autumnal colours and come standard with
wireless internet access, cable TV, phone and bathrooms with
heated tile floors and hairdryers. The top floor is available for
smokers and the entire building is disabled-friendly. An upmar-
ket restaurant and a charming cellar pub are also available.
Q80 rooms (22 singles 35 - 66Ls, 52 doubles 42 - 84Ls, 6
business class 60 - 104Ls). HAR6ULKXW RC
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where to stay
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October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Hotel Gutenbergs H-1, Doma laukums 1, tel. (+371)
67 81 40 90, www.gutenbergs.eu. The onl y way that this
luxury hotel could have a better location would be if it were
located inside Latvia’s largest cathedral instead of right next
to it. All rooms offer the usual amenities including satellite
TV, writing desk, wireless internet and spacious bathrooms,
but we recommend the cosy, rusticall y furnished rooms in
the section that was once a 17th-century warehouse. In
keeping with the Johannes Gutenberg theme, a small bronze
book is attached to each room key. Q38 rooms (14 singles
70Ls, 17 doubles 80Ls, 1 suite 120Ls, 6 junior suites 99Ls).
PJHA6ULKW
Hotel Rīga I-3, Aspazijas bulv. 22, tel. (+371) 67 04
42 22, www.hotelriga.lv. This immense building is located
on the edge of Old Riga opposite the opera house. Al though
its labyrinthine hall ways and large empty spaces still give
off that slightl y Soviet vibe, you couldn’t pick a more central
location. A restaurant and business centre are also available.
Q230 rooms (63 singles €50, 93 doubles €53, 13 triples
€75, 3 suites €101, 1 apartment €253, 12 junior suites €82).
JHAR6LGKDXW
Islande Hotel C-2, Ķīpsalas 20, tel. (+371) 67 60 80
00, fax (+371) 67 60 80 01, www.islandehotel.lv. In
keeping with its Icelandic theme, Islande offers stylish mini-
malist Scandinavian decor that is especiall y evident in the
lobby area that resembles a modern art gallery. All rooms
are somewhat spacious and include the usual four-star
amenities, but you can also choose to splurge on the Odin
suite with its own sauna and hot tub. A spa centre, an entire
allergy-free floor, two restaurants and even a cellar bowling
alley are among its other perks. Q213 rooms (28 singles
65Ls, 136 doubles 75Ls, 8 triples 95Ls, 2 suites 280Ls, 39
junior suites 95Ls). PHAR6UFKDX
Did you have a bad experience at a bed &
breakfast? Leave your laptop at a hotel?
Contact the Association of Hotels & Res-
taurants of Latvia www.hotel.lv.
Hotel help
Konventa Sēta I-2, Kalēju 9/11, tel. (+371) 67 08
75 07, fax (+371) 67 08 75 15, www.konventa.lv. With
foundations that were once part of the medieval city wall, the
sprawling Konventa Sēta (Convent Yard) stands its ground
against Riga’s many hotels. A maze of hall ways joins nine
historic buildings, and leads to a variety of rooms, some with
original oak beams. Standard amenities are available as well
as disabled and non-smoking rooms, not to mention plenty of
shopping and eating options in its extensive courtyard. Apart-
ments with kitchenettes are also available. Q 141 rooms
(10 singles from 36Ls, 65 doubles from 38Ls, 14 junior suites
from 43Ls, 12 suites from 52Ls, 38 apartments from 38Ls, 2
luxury apartments from 70Ls). JHA6UKXW
Metropole I-3, Aspazijas bulv. 36, tel. (+371) 67 22 54
11, fax (+371) 67 21 61 40, www.metropole.lv. The old-
est continuously running hotel in Riga, the Metropole has been
catering to the city’s visitors from its excellent location by the
Latvian National Opera since 1871. A Scandinavian influence
is evident in every aspect of the hotel, whether it is the design
of the cosy rooms or the cuisine offered in the restaurant. All
rooms, smoking and non-smoking, are tastefull y decorated
in pleasant pastel colours and include satellite TV, wireless
internet access, minibar, safe, trouser press, and bathrooms
with showers. A restaurant and bar are also available. Q 41
rooms (17 singles from €60, 24 doubles/twins from €70).
PJHAR6FKDX
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Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
where to stay
Monika Centrum Hotel B-3, Elizabetes 21, tel. (+371)
67 03 19 00, fax (+371) 67 03 19 01, www.centrum-
hotels.com. This four-star hotel housed in a completel y
renovated neo-Gothic building buil t in 1883, offers spacious
rooms with satellite TV, climate control, mini-bar, phone, in-
ternet access and private bathrooms with bathtub and bidet
as well as a bar, restaurant, modern conference facilities and
a fitness centre. Many of the rooms also include balconies
with excellent views of the park and surrounding 19th-century
architecture. Named after the owner’s daughter, Monika also
offers incredible suites with original decorative artwork and
four-poster beds. Q80 rooms (12 singles 53Ls, 50 doubles
60Ls, 3 suites 91Ls, 1 apartment 105Ls, 14 junior suites
67Ls). PHAR6UFKDXW
Old City Boutique Hotel I-3, Teātra 10, tel. (+371) 67
35 60 60, www.oldcityhotel.lv. Spread out over two Old
Riga buildings, one recentl y reconstructed and the other that
has served as a hotel for nearl y a decade, this boutique hotel
offers modern minimalist rooms decorated in subtle beige,
brown and grey tones in the new wing and more classic wood
furnishings in the older section. Satelli te TV, free internet
access, mini-bar, phone, safe and private bathrooms with
heated floors all come standard. Luxury suites with terraces
and incredible views are also at your disposal. Q66 rooms
(4 singles 32Ls, 55 doubles 49Ls, 6 suites 88Ls, 1 junior
suite 74Ls). PJHAR6KD
Radisson BLU Daugava D-2, Kuģu 24, tel. (+371) 67
06 11 11, www.radissonblu.com/hotel-riga. Singles and
doubles are spacious and include cable TV, minibar and full
bathroom. Business travellers can choose business class
rooms or suites, which are more spacious and include a few
extra perks like two phone lines for internet access and other
amenities. An excellent fitness centre with a pool is available
as well as conference rooms and a restaurant. Q361 rooms
(107 singles 48 - 70Ls, 163 doubles 48 - 70Ls, 26 suites
175 - 690Ls, 13 apartments, 52 junior suites 85 - 112Ls).
PHA6UFKDXCW
Radisson BLU Elizabete Hotel C-4, Elizabetes 73,
tel. (+371) 67 78 55 55, fax (+371) 67 78 55 54, www.
radissonblu.com/elizabetehotel-riga. Built from the ground
up in 2008, this incredibl y stylish hotel is located opposite
Riga’s most beautiful park a short walk from Old Riga. Its
interior was created by a trendy London design firm and each
of its modern, spacious rooms includes flat screen TVs, free
wireless internet, large bathrooms and many other four-star
amenities as well as views of either the courtyard or the park.
A fitness centre, a hip cocktail bar and a grill restaurant called
C.U.T. are also at your disposal. Q 228 rooms (204 standard
class from €85, 18 business class from €105, 3 junior suites
from €285, 1 suite from €345, 2 wheelchair accessible from
€85). PHAUFLGKDW
Radisson BLU Hotel Latvija C-4, Elizabetes 55, tel.
(+371) 67 77 22 22, fax (+371) 67 77 22 21, www.
radissonblu.com/latvijahotel-riga. This one-time In-Tour-
ist skyscraper has been transformed into one of Latvia’s
premier hotels. All rooms include phone, minibar, hairdryer,
climate control and satellite TV. Executive class suites are
more spacious and include a few extra amenities. Allergy and
smoke-free accommodation is also at your disposal, as well
as three bars, a restaurant, conference facilities and room
service, not to mention a new wing with dozens of shops
and a seafood restaurant. Don’t miss the view from the
26th-floor Skyline Bar. Q 571 rooms (478 standard from
€79, 47 superior class from €99, 38 business class from
€149, 3 suites from €329, 1 presidential suite from €479).
POTHA6UFKDXCW
Tallink Hotel Riga D-4, Elizabetes 24, tel. (+371) 67 09
97 60, fax (+371) 67 09 97 62, booking@tallinkhotels.
lv, www.hotels.tallink.com. This stylish hotel located a
short walk from Old Riga was buil t from the ground up in
2010. You can expect modern décor in all of its 256 rooms,
which include brown, whi te and sil ver colours, flat screen
TVs, free wireless internet access, safe, phone and other
4-star amenities as well as bathrooms with heated tile floors
and huge showerheads. A restaurant, lobby bar, café, cigar
room and beauty salon are also available and kids are given
colouring books and crayons while their parents check in. A
morning sauna is also included in the price and underground
parking is available. Q256 rooms (21 singles 68Ls, 227
doubl es 72Ls, 3 sui tes 142Ls, 5 juni or sui tes 103Ls).
PHAUFKDXW
Mid-range
ABC Šampētera 139a, tel. (+371) 67 89 27 28, www.
hotelabc.lv. Al though this place is hal fway between the
airport and the centre, it’s worth the drive if you’re looking
for decent accommodation at a good price. All rooms have
modern bathrooms wi th showers, light coloured interiors
with wooden furniture, TV, minibar, telephone and internet
as well as access to a sauna and conference room. During
the summer a small pool is available, as well as an area for
hooking up your camper or just laying out your tent. Q60
rooms (11 singles 40Ls, 36 doubles 50Ls, 10 triples 70Ls,
1 suite 80Ls, 1 apartment 99Ls, 1 junior suite 55Ls). HA�
R6UFLKDC
Art Hotel Laine B-4, Skolas 11, tel. (+371) 67 28
88 16, www.laine.lv. From the sunny staff to the unique,
spacious and colourful interior, Laine is a superb, affordable
central find located in a restored art nouveau building. Rooms
offer cable TV, mini-bar, private bathrooms and interesting
décor that includes antique furniture and paintings by Latvian
artists. Conference facilities, a restaurant with a fireplace and
summer terrace and free wireless internet access are also
available. Q 35 rooms (28 singles and doubles 32 - 50Ls,
5 triples and apartments 50 - 60Ls, 2 suites 55 - 60Ls).
HA6LKXW
City Hotel Bruņinieks B-4, Bruņinieku 6, tel. (+371)
67 31 51 40, www.cityhotel.lv. Pass the suit of armour
and walk into the reception and bar area that is actuall y a
courtyard which has been converted into a bright atrium that
connects all three of the hotel’s buildings. All rooms, singles,
doubles and suites, are surprisingl y spacious and include
standard amenities such as cable TV, mini-bar, phone, wire-
less internet and large bathrooms with hairdryer, heated tile
floors and either a bathtub or shower. A restaurant, sauna
and conference room are available on the 7th floor. Q68
rooms (4 singles 65Ls, 42 doubles 75Ls, 10 triples 90Ls,
2 suites 130Ls, 1 apartment 130Ls, 10 junior suites 85Ls).
PHAULKDW
Lauku Ceļotājs (Country Traveller) D-1, Kaln-
ciema 40, tel. (+371) 67 61 76 00, www.celotajs.lv.
The Country Traveller offers B&B outside of Riga. Check
out its comprehensive website to find the countryside
vacation of your dreams. Ride horses, go fishing, sweat
it out in a traditional sauna, enjoy a romantic evening by
a roaring fire in a renovated farmhouse or a regal stay
in an ancient castle. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00. Closed
Sat, Sun.
Countryside holidays
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where to stay
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Hotel Edvards F-3, Dzirnavu 45/47, tel. (+371) 67 43
99 60, fax (+371) 67 43 99 59, hotel@hoteledvards.
lv, www.hoteledvards.lv. Opened in late 2008, this quiet
family-run hotel is a great option for people who’d like to avoid
the noise and party atmosphere of Old Riga or travellers
who simpl y want a good night’s sleep. All rooms are similarl y
decorated with bright walls and peach-coloured doors and
carpeting and include flat screen TVs, free wireless internet
access, mini-bar, phone and bathrooms with heated tile floors.
Superior rooms are more spacious and include bathtubs and
terraces. A children’s room and a Viennese-style cafe are also
at your disposal. Al though the hotel is non-smoking, each
floor has a communal balcony where you can light up. Q20
rooms (7 singles 38Ls, 11 doubles 43Ls, 2 superior 59Ls).
PTA6LXW
Hotel Irina D-4, Merķeļa 12, tel. (+371) 67 71 53 02,
www.hotelirina.lv. Located just across the street from the
train station, one of Hotel Irina’s most obvious advantages
is its close proximity to Old Riga. Al though each of its many
rooms is slightl y different in size, most offer red carpeting and
yellow walls as well as cable TV, mini-bar, phone, internet ac-
cess and private bathrooms with showers and hairdryers. The
suite boasts a sauna, hot tub and a bidet in the bathroom, but
the interior of the room is unusual to say the least. To avoid
tobacco smells request a non-smoking room. Q75 rooms
(20 singles 30Ls, 40 doubles 40 - 50Ls, 13 triples 62Ls, 1
suite 200Ls, 1 junior suite 77Ls). HAKDX
Hotel Spāre Spāres 3, tel. (+371) 67 89 20 82, www.
spare.lv. Not far from the airport, this modest hotel with an
adjoining bowling alley and café is a good option if you have
your own transportation or don’t mind taking cabs to and from
the centre of Riga. Doubles are somewhat spacious, painted
in bright pastel colours and include a bed, private bathroom
and not much else. Doubles in the attic are more comfortable
and have the added luxury of cable TV, skylights and cosier
interior design. Hotel guests are entitled to discounted frames
of bowling. Take the infrequent bus N°8 from the central sta-
tion to the Ventspils iela stop and walk the rest of the way.
Q15 rooms (7 singles 25Ls, 7 doubles 35Ls, 1 junior suite
45Ls). Breakfast 3Ls. HA6LKX
Kolonna Hotel Brigita Saulkalnes 11, tel. (+371) 67
62 30 00, fax (+371) 67 62 31 90, reservationbrigita@
kolonna.com, www.hotelkolonna.com. This secluded
hotel located in a quiet Pārdaugava neighbourhood halfway
between the airport and Old Riga is part of the Kolonna Hotel
Group. Dozens of three-star rooms are your disposal that
include standard amenities such as cable TV, phone, safe,
free wireless internet access and private bathrooms with hair
dryers. The hotel also offers a restaurant and a wide variety of
conference facilities. Take trolleybus N°19 from Raiņa bulvāris
to the Kartupeļu iela stop. Q 45 rooms (singles from 25Ls,
25 doubles from 32Ls, 9 triples 39Ls, 4 junior suites 45Ls, 1
suite 45Ls, 6 apartments 45Ls). HA6LKXW
Kolonna Hotel Riga H-2, Tirgoņu 9, tel. (+371) 67
35 82 54, fax (+371) 67 35 82 55, reservationriga@
kolonna.com, www.hotelkolonna.com. Located on one of
Old Riga’s most charming streets just off Cathedral Square,
this stylish hotel certainl y has plenty to offer and at very af-
fordable prices. Each room is slightl y different in size but all
offer satellite TV, writing desk, phone, private bathrooms with
shower and minimalist décor. The top floor rooms also have air
conditioning and luxury two-storey penthouse suites are also
available. A wide variety of good eating and drinking venues
are available on the same street. Q41 rooms (2 singles
30Ls, 18 doubles 32Ls, 11 studios 42Ls, 2 penthouses 45Ls,
8 famil y 45Ls). JAUXW
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where to stay
22
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
where to stay
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TIA B-4, Valdemāra 63, tel. (+371) 67 33 39 18, fax
(+371) 67 83 03 90, [email protected], www.hoteltia.lv. This
three-star hotel offers comfortable accommodation in the
city centre and its 49 rooms face a quiet courtyard so you
don’t have to worry about noise. With the exception of the
upmarket suites on the top floor, all rooms are decorated in
a similar style with bright pastel colours, wood furnishings
designed by local craftsmen, cable TV, phone, safe, mini-bar
and private bathrooms with showers and hair dryers. We,
however, prefer the rooms on the sixth floor each of which
has its own balcony at no extra cost. An internet terminal at
reception, café/bar and free wi-fi are also available. Q49
rooms (6 singles 25Ls, 7 doubles 30Ls, 3 triples 45Ls, 2
suites 40Ls, 31 twin 30Ls). HAR6LGKW
Bed & Breakfast
B&B Krisjanis & Gertrude C-5, Barona 39-1 (entrance
from Ģertrūdes), tel. (+371) 67 50 66 04, fax (+371)
67 50 66 03, [email protected], www.kg.lv. Not unlike a
typical British B&B, this hotel onl y offers six rooms, but each
is decorated in a different fashion and provides cable TV, free
wireless internet access, modern bathrooms, coffee/tea set
and a cosy atmosphere that one would expect from a home
away from home. A common room is also available with a
kitchenette and a computer with internet access. Q8 rooms
(6 singles 21Ls, 6 doubles 28Ls, 2 triples 32Ls). AGW
Homestay Stokholmas 1, tel. (+371) 67 55 30 16,
www.homestay.lv. The friendl y owners of this B&B, a Ki wi
and a Latvian, rent four of the rooms of their beautiful home
in Mežaparks. After you’ve had a beer or cup of tea with the
man of the house, you can settle into your room decorated
with photos and Eastern carpets and kilims covering the hard-
wood floors. One incredibl y large room also offers a balcony
at no extra cost. A breakfast room with a large fireplace and
a TV/DVD player is available as well as a laundry room. A huge
breakfast and a free walking tour of Mežaparks are included
in the price of the room. No stag parties! Take tram N°11 to
Visbijas prospekts or call them to arrange transportation. Q
4 rooms (singles 25Ls, doubles35Ls). ILGW
Hotel Multilux C-5, Barona 37 (entrance from Ģertrūdes),
tel. (+371) 67 31 16 02/(+371) 29 40 03 43, fax (+371)
67 31 16 40, [email protected], www.multilux.lv. All of the
rooms in this historic Art Nouveau building in the centre of Riga
are completely renovated with tasteful furniture, cable TV and
en suite bathrooms. Multilux is family-owned so you’re guaran-
teed good service as well as internet access, housekeeping,
24-hour reception and a breakfast buffet. A great value! Q15
rooms (3 singles 12 - 20Ls, 3 doubles 18 - 29Ls, 2 triples 21
- 29Ls, 5 twin 15 - 25Ls, 1 six-bed room 39 - 59Ls, 1 studio
apartment 50Ls). AR6GW
Jakob Lenz B-3, Lenču 2, tel. (+371) 67 33 33 43,
fax (+371) 67 33 13 78, reservation@guesthouselenz.
lv, www.guesthouselenz.lv. This B&B located in a quiet
residential neighbourhood is onl y a stone’s throw from the
ci ty’s most impressi ve Art Nouveau buildings and offers
bright and spacious rooms, many with private bathrooms,
within renovated apartments on three floors. A full kitchen is
also available as well as a communal computer with internet
access or free wireless in rooms. Q19 rooms (3 singles 16
- 20Ls, 8 doubles 20 - 30Ls, 4 triples 25 - 35Ls, 4 apartments
35 - 45Ls). A6W
Budget
Dodo Hotel E-6, Jersikas 1, tel. (+371) 67 24 02 20,
www.dodohotel.com. Al though budget airlines have been
fl ying to Riga for years now, local hoteliers have completel y
ignored the budget accommodation niche - until now. Buil t in
2008, this Western, French-owned low-cost hotel offers 109
rooms with flat screen TVs, free wireless internet, private
bathrooms wi th showers and hairdryer for incredibl y low
prices. A continental breakfast is also available and the cafés
and bars of Old Riga are onl y a short tram ride away. Great
value for money. Q 109 rooms (105 doubles/twin 20Ls, 4
famil y rooms 34Ls). Breakfast 3.50Ls. AR6ULW
Hotel Jūrnieks Sofijas 8, tel. (+371) 67 39 23 50,
www.hoteljurnieks.lv. Surrounded by neglected housing
estates on the outskirts of Riga, the Sailor may not be the
ideal hotel for everyone, but if you don’t mind a lengthy tram
ride and you want to save loads of money on accommoda-
tion, then look no further. Completel y renovated in 2004,
its simple rooms offer cable TV and private bathrooms or
extras such as phone and internet access on the 5th floor.
Take trams N°5 or 9 from Aspazijas to the Allažu iela stop.
Q90 rooms (18 singles 32Ls, 47 doubles 32Ls, 4 suites
70Ls, 2 apartments 80Ls, 15 anti-allergy 32Ls, 4 junior
suites 70Ls, 2 disabled-friendly 32Ls). Breakfast not included.
HAR6LGKDX
Liene C-6, Avotu 75/3, tel. (+371) 67 31 47 67, www.
lathotel.lv. Liene may be difficul t to find and a little far from
the main tourist attractions, but its prices more than make
up for these deficiencies. Walk into the courtyard and through
the door on the left and you’ll discover a cosy banquet hall
and bar as well as a sauna with a huge chest-high wooden
tub for soaking yourself after a session of sweating. Rooms
are small, but comfortable and recentl y renovated with cable
TV, wri ting desk and pri vate bathroom wi th shower. The
apartments also have kitchenettes for self catering. Q16
rooms (4 singles 20Ls, 11 doubles 25Ls, 1 triple 35Ls).
ALGKDW
Reserve a room online at
riga.inyourpocket.com
RC
RC
where to stay
2
where to stay
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Livonija E-4, Maskavas 32, tel. (+371) 67 20 41 80,
www.hotellivonija.lv. Opened in late 2004, this cosy motel
offers 15 comfortable rooms just beyond the Central Market,
onl y a few tram stops from the old city. Singles and doubles
are on the small side and offer bright interiors wi th wood
furnishings, private bathrooms and cable TV. Junior suites are
basicall y the same, but more spacious and definitel y worth
the extra cash. Their restaurant serves inexpensive Latvian
food, which can also be delivered to your room, should you
be too lazy to go downstairs. Q13 rooms (5 singles 27Ls,
5 doubles 30Ls, 3 junior sui tes 30Ls). Breakfast: 2.70Ls.
A6LKW
Skanste A-4, Skanstes 9, tel. (+371) 67 51 99 23,
www.hotelskanste.lv. Not being right in the ci ty centre
comes with its advantages. Peace and quiet, fresh air, green
views, open space and the closest proximity of any hotel to
Arena Riga, the best venue for concerts and sporting events
like Dynamo Riga hockey games in the city. Skanste isn’t at
the height of fashion, but doesn’t try to be. The recipe here is
genuine country-style friendliness and straightforward com-
fort in a famil y environment. Disabled guests also welcome.
Q35 rooms (singles 21Ls, doubles 29Ls, triples 40Ls, junior
suites 40Ls). HA6LGW
Hostels
Central Hostel D-5, E. Birznieka-Upīša 20, tel. (+371)
22 32 26 62, [email protected], www.central-
hostel.lv. Just look for the onl y orange wooden house on the
corner (perhaps the onl y one in Riga). Rooms are somewhat
spacious and include bright coloured interiors. Modern shared
toilets and showers are located in the hall way and a small
kitchen and common room with TV, CD player and games
are also at your disposal. Breakfast, a smoking room with
hookahs, free internet access and a book exchange corner
are also available. A grocery store is located on the ground
floor and the hostel also rents bikes. Q 23 rooms (2 singles
15 - 18Ls, 11 doubles 18 - 29Ls, 4 twin 18 - 24Ls, 1 triple
21 - 30Ls, 3 quads 24 - 32Ls, 1 five-bed dorm 20 - 25Ls, 1
ensuite 28 - 32Ls). A6LW
Riga Hostel I-2, Mārstaļu 12, tel. (+371) 67 22 45 20,
[email protected], www.rigahostel.com.lv.
Pass the ground floor restaurant with the odd name to find
this modern, comfortable hostel. Prices for beds are afford-
able and the location on a popular Old Riga street couldn’t
be more central. Each dorm room has its own bathroom and
shower and a kitchen is available if you’d like to do your own
cooking. A relaxation room is also at your disposal where you
can watch TV or a DVD, surf the net for free or smoke a hoo-
kah. No curfew. Q 8 rooms (doubles 8 - 12Ls/person, triple
or quad 7 - 11Ls/person, 15-bed dorm 3.70 - 4Ls/person,
12-bed dorm 4 - 5Ls/person, 8-bed dorm 5 - 8Ls/person).
JA6GKW
Riga House Hostel C-5, Barona 44 - 9 (entrance from
Lāčplēša), tel. (+371) 29 38 94 50, thehouse@rigaout-
there.com, www.rigaoutthere.com. This centrally located
hostel is run by an expat tour operator, so not only will you have
a comfortable bed, but you’ll also be able to book activities on
the spot from shooting AK-47s and bungee jumping to cultural
and nightlife tours. Dorm rooms offer bunk beds and also
include hardwood floors and original Latvian tile fireplaces.
A communal ki tchen wi th a washing machine, a smoking
balcony, free internet access, shared toilets, showers and
even a bathtub are all at your disposal as well as cheeky little
signs like: ‘Burning down The House is not a good idea. Turn
off the gas tank’. Q Breakfast: 5Ls. 3 rooms (2 doubles 30Ls,
1 four-bed dorm 10Ls/person). A6KXW
The Naughty Squirrel Backpackers I-3, Kalēju 50,
tel. (+371) 26 46 12 48, www.thenaughtysquirrel.com.
The walls are cluttered with postcards, a dozen mugs hang
above a bar and youth of all nationalities are in constant mo-
tion... and that’s just the reception area. Walk down hall ways
covered in graffiti by local street artists to find singles, famil y
rooms and dorms each of which includes pri vate lockers.
Shared toilets and showers, a full kitchen and a communal
room with cable TV, a DVD player and three free computers
are also available here at the place that hostel world.com
rated the 9th best hostel in the world! It also offers a wide
range of tours and activities. Q 20 rooms (4 doubles 32Ls,
3 triples 35Ls, 2 four-bed dorms 10 - 12Ls/person, 4 six-bed
dorms 9 - 10Ls/person, 4 eight-bed dorms 8 - 9Ls/person, 2
ensuite 30 - 35Ls). Breakfast not included. JAW
Apartment rental
Agency Lilija Plus I-3, Rīdzenes 25, tel. (+371) 67
21 60 40/(+371) 29 23 81 06, fax (+371) 67 21 60
54, [email protected], www.lilarealty.lv. Great choi ce of
renovated apartments in Old Riga and the city centre from
studio to four-bedroom apartments. Airport transfer, cleaning
services and long-term rentals also available. Professional
English-speaking staff.
Agency STES Latvia C-4, Dzirnavu 55, tel. (+371) 26
44 85 10, [email protected], www.stes.lv. Furnished, renovated
apartments in or near Old Riga for short and long-term rental.
All apartments are comfortable and full y equipped with cable
TV, kitchen and bathroom. STES also offers rental properties
including apartments, country houses and summer cottages
in the countryside, Jūrmala and various locations along the
Bal tic coastline.
2
restaurants
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
P Air conditioning A Credit cards accepted
E Live music S Take away
T Child friendl y B Outside seating
X Smoking section U Facilities for the disabled
W Free wireless internet Riga Card discounts
Symbol key
The current global financial crisis has sent many a Latvian
chef packing. On the bright side, you can still find a thin-
crust pizza, fresh sushi, hearty pork knuckle and potatoes
or an Armenian shashlik without much effort and many
cafés now offer cheap lunch specials for as as low as 2 -
3Ls to lure diners into their empty establishments. Locals
are a bit stingy, but a tip of 10% is expected from foreign-
ers at most places. The average cost of a main course is
listed in parentheses.
American
T.G.I.Friday’s I-2, Kaļķu 6, tel. (+371) 67 22 90 71,
www.rrg.lv. Local anti-globalisation fanatics may be upset,
but expats and tourists can’t get enough of this American
chain of bar/restaurants. The average Joe or Jānis may gripe
about paying almost 6Ls for a burger, but it could also be
argued that the abnormall y large portions more than justify
the price. Enjoy steaks, ribs, nachos and a huge selection
of cocktails. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. Also at the airport. (6
- 12Ls). AS
Armenian
Akhtamar D-4, Merķeļa 9, tel. (+371) 67 21 50 32,
www.akhtamar.lv. This cavernous brick cellar is a maze of
rooms and niches decorated with traditional kilims hanging
from the walls. Huge servings of grilled lamb, beef, pork and
even trout are here in abundance as well as hearty soups
and stews and a great selection of wines and brandies from
across the Caucasus region. Beer lovers won’t be disap-
pointed either with Czech Budweiser and local Lāčplēsis on
draught. A large smoking section is available for anyone who
needs a cigarette with his or her shashlik. QOpen 11:00
- 24:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. (5 - 7Ls). AEX
Aragats B-5, Miera 15, tel. (+371) 67 37 34 45.
Yerevan’s loss is Riga’s gain. Going to this authentic restau-
rant is like visiting an Armenian famil y for dinner, onl y you’re
presented a bill at the end of the evening. In fact, the famil y
who runs this authentic restaurant fled earthquake-racked
Armenia onl y to open a little piece of their homeland in Riga.
Feast on mouth-watering grilled lamb, veal and pork shash-
liks and a wide variety of other delicious cuisine from the
Caucasus Mountains. Don’t miss the syrupy sweet coffees
or a certain Georgian wine that used to be Stalin’s favourite.
QOpen 13:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon. (6 - 10Ls). AX
Armenia C-4, Dzirnavu 62, tel. (+371) 28 34 36 30.
Don’t be afraid of the elegant marble interior or the wait staff
in whi te shirts and ties. This classic Armenian restaurant
actuall y offers large servings of delicious cuisine from the
Caucasus Mountains as well as some international favou-
ri tes for affordable prices and the mouth-watering Anker-
bräu Nördlingen Bavarian brews on draught are a steal at
onl y 1.20Ls per half litre. Try the juicy hinkali (large meat
dumplings) or one of 16 different shashliks (grilled meat)
from veal and pork to steak and even trout. QOpen 11:00
- 23:00. (4 - 8Ls). A
Mūķene (The Nun) E-1, Nometņu 58, tel. (+371) 67
61 83 80. Come inside the Nun for faux rock walls, chunky
wooden tables and a good selection of incredibl y cheap lo-
cal beer. The illustrated menu offers Armenian and Latvian
cuisine from succulent meats grilled outside under a canopy
of smoke to pork knuckle, herring and grey peas with bacon.
If you’re enjoying a night out on the town try the ‘appetiser
platter for real men’ consisting of smoked meat, pork fat,
onions, gherkins and two shots of vodka. QOpen 09:00
- 23:00. (2 - 5Ls). AIE
Art cafés
Art Café Sienna B-3, Strēlnieku 3, tel. (+371) 26 14
22 86. This cosy café offers unparalleled views of the art
nouveau masterpieces across the street. Inside you’ll find
comfy brown leather couches, dark hardwood floors, shelves
littered with popular English-language novels and plenty of
local artwork on the walls. Order delicious coffee and tea with
a slice of cake or a cookie or perhaps a glass of chardonnay
from its wine list. QOpen 09:00 - 20:00, Fri 09:00 - 22:00,
Sat 11:00 - 22:00, Sun 11:00 - 20:00. T
NEW
Flat C-5, Ģertrūdes46, tel. (+371) 67 29 40 10. Art cafés
are all the rage in Riga, and Flat is yet another addition to
this genre. Brick walls painted white serve as a background
for changing art exhibitions and nearl y everything else in the
place is ei ther black or whi te wi th the exception of some
turquoise chairs thrown in for good measure. Order flavoured
coffees, cappuccinos and the like or a glass of wine and maybe
even a cranberry muffin or some such snack. QOpen 11:00
- 23:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 01:00. A
Istaba C-5, Barona 31a, tel. (+371) 67 28 11 41. One
of Riga’s funkiest cafés, The Room overlooks a trendy gallery
below, offers limited seating and has no menu to speak of. The
chef asks each diner what he fancies eating and roughl y how
much he’d like to spend and then sets off to work. Cocktails,
beer and coffee can also be had at this culinary experiment
where art and gastronomy collide. Dinner is served Tuesday
- Saturday 18:00 - 23:00. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat
12:00 - 01:00. (3 - 6Ls). A
RC
Although service has improved by
leaps and bounds at many Riga
restaurants, you shouldn’t expect
flawless service at all of the city’s
eating venues. Often times the
wait staff are friendly and helpful
in the beginning promptly bringing
menus and offering the specials of
the day with a smile even (a huge
improvement from the 1990s).
But just as often this same person
disappears after the food has been brought to the table
and you’re left doing charades or practicing your sign
language to attract their attention to order the bill. Din-
ers are left in a position of contemplating a runner just
because the wait staff don’t consider payment a part
of the dining process. Then what? To tip or not to tip?
Locals are pretty stingy with tips, but 10% is expected
from foreigners, which isn’t a bad deal unless of course
you’ve been ignored by an insolent teenager at lunch,
which, unfortunately, does still occur from time to time.
Service & Tipping
restaurants
2
restaurants
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
restaurants
Asian
dADa I-3, Audēju 16 (Galerija Centrs), tel. (+371) 67
10 44 33. The absurd interior and costumes worn by the
wai t staff prove that Dadaism isn’t dead. Al though soups
and main courses are on offer, most people choose the ‘food
market’ which is essentiall y a Mongolian barbecue. Pick a
sauce (coconut curry, mango ginger, etc.), take a bowl and fill
it to the top with a variety of raw vegetables, noodles, meat
or seafood and leave i t wi th the chef. Wi thin minutes i t’ll
be cooked and brought back to your table. QOpen 10:00
- 22:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 24:00. (5 - 7Ls). A
Gan Bei D-4, Stacijas laukums 2 (Origo), tel. (+371) 67
07 30 12, www.ganbei.lv. Al though the location in a popu-
lar shopping centre may lack intimacy, this stylish restaurant
is a must see for hungry yuppie shoppers who can choose
dishes from two separate menus - one Chinese, the other
sushi. The former offers an excellent selection of dishes not
offered elsewhere in Riga; the latter original maki and nigiri
concoctions that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the
palate. Try the sesame chicken or the rainbow sushi. QOpen
10:00 - 23:00. Also on Brīvības 372 (Alfa Centre); Lielirbes
29 (Spice); Krasta 46 (Mols). (4 - 8Ls). AS
Wok Café C-4, Dzirnavu 60, tel. (+371) 67 28 28 78,
www.vairaksaules.lv. One of the city’s best pizzerias has
looked east for inspiration and opened this trendy wok café.
Pick a combination of meat, noodles and sauces to be cooked
to order in its open plan kitchen and Asian favourites like
dumplings, spring rolls, spicy salads and a good selection of
sushi. The walls are covered in photographs of green florae, so
it always feels like spring even if it’s snowing outside. QOpen
11:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 06:00. (5Ls). AS
Bakeries
Cadets de Gascogne G-2, Z.A. Meierovica bulv. 8,
tel. (+371) 67 32 01 03. Parlez-vous cholesterol? Expat
Bernard Larane’s French bakery brings kilos of buttery pas-
tries to Old Riga, including the closest thing to a Parisian pain
au chocolat this side of the Bal tic. Fresh bread, homemade
pāté, quiches, strong coffee, and fresh-squeezed orange juice
also make this boulangerie a favourite retreat. QOpen 07:00
- 22:00. Also on C-5, Barona 52 (entrance from Ģertrūdes).
Open 07:00 - 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 20:00; C-5, Ģertrūdes 30, tel.
(+371) 67 87 62 65. Open 08:00 - 20:00. Closed Sun.
NEW
Māja H-3, Merķeļa 17/19 (entrance from Inženieru).
Not to be confused with the trendy, celebrity-owned Latvian
restaurant on the other side of the river, this Māja is a small
bakery, café and eco-product shop where you can relax with
a coffee on a comfy couch, order fresh-baked pastries to
takeaway or just buy some eco-friendl y chocolate bars and
rice cakes. Unfortunatel y its shop front sign says ‘backery’
not ‘bakery.’ Perhaps they’ve never heard of Google, or a
dictionary. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
Mārtiņa beķereja I-3, Vaļņu 28, tel. (+371) 67 21 33
14. Martin’s Bakery offers a modern, beige environment to
enjoy classic Latvian pastries from freshly baked pīrāgi (bacon
dumplings) with a variety of different fillings like ham, onions
and mushrooms to delicious sweet pastries from fragrant
kanēļa maizītes (cinnamon buns) to gooey kafijas maizītes
(custard-cream buns). You can order anything it offers to take
away, including coffee, or just enjoy a cappuccino or a cup of tea
on the spot. QOpen 07:30 - 21:00, Sat, Sun 08:00 - 21:00.
Also on C-4, Marijas 19, tel. (+371) 67 28 71 61; Open 08:00
- 20:00, Sat 08:00 - 19:00, Sun 09:00 - 19:00. S
Belgian
Bon Vivant I-2, Mārstaļu 8, tel. (+371) 67 22 65 85,
www.bon-vivant.lv. Solid wood furniture, a cosy atmosphere
and assorted Benelux decorations aren’t the onl y things that
make this place an authentic Belgian beer bar. A whole page
of the menu is dedicated to steamed mussels, sausages
are ordered by the half metre and tasty brews from the Low
Countries are served in their proper glasses. The delicious
cuisine isn’t cheap, but Europeans expect nothing less from
Brussels. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00, Fri 11:00 - 01:00, Sat 12:00
- 01:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. (6 - 12Ls). AX
Cafés
Double Coffee I-2, Grēcinieku 11 (entrance from
Kungu), tel. (+371) 67 22 31 63, www.doublecoffee.
com. Double Coffee not onl y offers a smoking section, but
also a huge selection of delicious Java, tea and real hot
chocolate. Sandwi ches, breakfast food and, of course,
cocktails are all listed on the menu cleverl y disguised as a
glossy magazine. Unfortunatel y, you’ll have to light it up and
smoke it to attract the attention of the sullen wait staff, even
if you’re the onl y customer there. QOpen 09:00 - 23:00,
Sat, Sun 10:00 - 23:00. Also on H-2, Vaļņu 11 (entrance from
Kaļķu). Open 09:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 24hrs; and many other
locations. AX
Meta-Kafe D/E-4, Maskavas 12/1 (Spīķeri), tel.
(+371) 67 20 49 93, www.metakafe.lv. Located in a
restored brick building behind the Central Market in the up-
and-coming warehouse district, Meta-Kafe is popular with
both arty youngsters sporting blonde dreadlocks and mature
Bohemians wearing turtlenecks and blazers. A small menu of
affordable international cuisine and a cheap brunch are the
main attractions of this industrial space with glazed cement
floors and matching tabletops, not to mention a large library
of books that have probably never been read. QOpen 09:00
- 23:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 23:00. (3 - 5Ls). A
Osīriss C-4, Barona 31, tel. (+371) 67 24 30 02,
[email protected]. The first of opera director Andrejs Žagars’
many café ventures, and the onl y one to survi ve, Osiris
found a successful recipe in the mid-1990s and stuck with
it. Inexpensive breakfasts, sandwiches, tasty international
cuisine and a romantic candle-lit ambience make this place
a favouri te of local big shots, poli ticians and intelligentsia
so make a reservation for dinner. The onl y drawback is the
horrible iron tables that were obviousl y created as torture
devices for long legs. QOpen 08:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 10:00
- 24:00. (3 - 7Ls). A
When consi dering the Sovi et
occupation of Latvia and other
republics in the region, one is
hard-pressed to find something
positive, but we’ve found a single
aspect. Close ties between far
off lands lead to the discovery
of Caucasian cuisine. One of the
most beloved dishes is Eastern
Europe’s answer to barbecue,
the shashlik, which most Wes-
terners know as the shish kebab. In short, if it’s beef,
pork, lamb, fish or vegetables cooked on a skewer then
it’s a shashlik.
Shashlik anyone?
restaurants
27
restaurants
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Coffee & Cake
Café Balanss D-4, Elizabetes 24, www.hotels.tallink.
com. I f you’re looking to ‘balanss’ out your diet after an
evening of feasting on fatty Latvian cuisine and calorie-
laden brews you might consider substituting pork knuckle
for homemade croissants, pastries, light salads and heal thy
sandwiches at this small café on the ground floor of the Tallink
Hotel Riga. Plenty of coffee, tea and juice are also available
as well as a wi-fi connection. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00. (1
- 3Ls). ASW
NEW
Coffee Inn I-3, Audēju 15, tel. (+371) 27 79 90 91. With
its sky blue walls, livel y background music and real leather
couches and chairs, Coffee Inn attracts a crowd of pseudo-
trendy youngsters who resemble the cast of the iconic, yet
far-fetched comedy Friends. Huge cookies, cake, quiche and a
variety of sandwiches are on offer as well as some of the best
coffee in town, al though the prices could be more student-
(and journalist-) friendl y. You can also take advantage of free
wi-fi while you enjoy your teriyaki turkey wrap. QOpen 08:00
- 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 21:00, Sun 10:00 - 19:00. SW
NEW
Jasa Cafe B-3, Strēlnieku 9, tel. (+371) 29 36 12 57.
This cosy little café with worn parquet floors and couches
looks like it could also be someone’s living room, with perhaps
the exception of the big wooden wine barrel. That’s just there
to remind you that Jasa also serves a cheap house wine and
sells an eclectic collection of appellations from Germany, New
Zealand and Georgia to take with you. You can also order good
coffee, tea and even cocktails as well as Valmiermuižas brews
in bottles. All takeaway coffees cost a flat 0.80Ls. QOpen
10:00 - 20:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 22:00. Closed Sun. A
Kanēļa konditoreja C-4, Dzirnavu 84 (Berga Bazārs),
tel. (+371) 67 21 71 70, www.kanelakonditoreja.lv. The
aroma of cinnamon, chocolate and coffee is sure to lure you
into this upmarket café, but remember that luxury doesn’t
come cheap. The walls are decorated with ads for sweets
and liqueurs from the 1930s and the display case of fluffy
pastries and rich cakes is guaranteed to have you salivating
within seconds of your arrival. It takes an age for the huge
sugar crystals to dissol ve in your tea, but the Cinnamon
Confectioner’s was created wi th lounging and lingering in
mind. QOpen 09:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 20:00, Sun 11:00
- 18:00. A
Riga Black Magic I-2, Kaļķu 10, tel. (+371) 67 22
28 77, www.since1752.lv. If you’d like to discover the
mysterious properties of Riga’s national drink, you’d have a
hard time finding a better place to sip the black herbal liquor
than at Riga Black Magic. Enjoy delicious cake, chocolates and
other snacks with coffee, tea or one of its special cocktails
including the Black Mojito. The interior of wooden furniture
and exposed brick walls evokes the 18th-century when
Balzams was first concocted. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00, Fri,
Sat 10:00 - 01:00. A
NEW
Spot H-1, Jauniela 19, tel. (+371) 26 20 09 50. This tiny
bright blue and brown coffee bar and cocktail lounge offers an
interior of stylish couches and an exposed brick wall with a
medieval fresco fragment as well as views of Riga Cathedral’s
ancient gravestones across the street. Order coffee, afford-
able alcoholic drinks or one of its many flavours of homemade
ice cream including black currant, raspberry and even sea
buckthorn, which tastes much better than it sounds. QOpen
11:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. A
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restaurants
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
restaurants
Central Asian
Uzbekistāna B-5, Bruņinieku 33, tel. (+371) 67 29 22
70, www.uzbekistana.lv. A visit to Uzbekistan is like a trip to
Samarkand or Tashkent but without the heat. Its whitewashed
walls are decorated with beautiful ceramic plates, traditional
tubeteika hats and paintings of Silk Road caravans, while the
floor is covered with Central Asian and near eastern carpets.
Enjoy delicious shurpas (soups), hot non (bread), spicy manti
(meat dumplings) and shashliks (grilled meat) galore. You
can also eat at its cheaper bistro to the left. QOpen 10:00
- 23:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 24:00. (4 - 8Ls). AS
Varzob J-2, Rātslaukums 1 (entrance from Mazā Jauni-
ela), tel. (+371) 67 22 41 80. A Google search reveals that
Varzob is a town in Tajikistan and not much else. This Varzob
happens to be a tiny café at the back end of the modern
addition to the Town Hall that serves delicious Central Asian
cuisine like lagman (tomato, noodle and lamb soup) wi th
fresh non (bread) for cheap, not to mention very affordable
Užavas beer on draught. The food and drink is also usuall y
served by its friendl y owner who al ways greets his patrons
with a smile. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00, Mon 13:00 - 22:00, Sat
14:00 - 22:00. Closed Sun. (2 - 4Ls). A
Cheap & Quick
Amica Café I-1/2, Rātslaukums 1 (entrance from Rātes
pasāža), tel. (+371) 67 10 56 47, www.fazer.com. The
Fazer famil y opened their first confectionary in Helsinki over
100 years ago and since then their company has branched
out into several food businesses including budget catering
under the Amica brand. Choose from two cafeterias around
Old Riga (one under the Town Hall and one next to the National
Theatre) for tasty, inexpensive breakfasts or lunches. QO-
pen 08:00 - 16:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Also at G-1, Kronvalda
bul v. 1a, tel. (+371) 67 22 52 23. Open 09:00 - 17:00. Closed
Sat, Sun. (1 - 3Ls).
Pelmeņi XL I-2, Kaļķu 7, tel. (+371) 67 22 27 28, www.
xlpelmeni.lv. As the name suggests, it offers ‘extra large’
portions of chicken, vegetarian, pork, lamb or cheese pelmeņi
(Russian ravioli) for ‘extra small’ prices. Also available are two
kinds of soups and potato-based salads. Do as the locals do
and wash it down with a beer or, if you haven’t had enough
booze at 03:00, an XL shot of Moskovskaya vodka. QOpen
09:00 - 04:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 04:00. Also at I-3, Audēju
16 (entrance from Vaļņu). Open 10:00 - 22:00; D-4, Stacijas
2 (train station). (2Ls). S
Šefpavārs Vilhelms H-2, Šķūņu 6, tel. (+371) 67 22 82
14. Help yourself to cheese, meat, potato, banana or plain
pancakes, lash them with sour cream or a variety of jams
and gobble them down seated between walls made to look
like lumpy pancake batter. We wonder what weird incident
prompted the management to put the ‘no shower’ and ‘no
horses’ signs on the window. QOpen 09:00 - 20:00, Sat,
Sun 10:00 - 20:00. (2 - 4Ls).
Chinese
Lielais Ķīnas Mūris (Great Wall of China) F-3,
Valdemāra 21 (Valdemāra centrs), tel. (+371) 67 24
00 49. Because the food is just a few degrees shy of true
Chinese, despite its Chinese owners, imported Asian music
videos and the red lanterns help to create that Far Eastern
feeling. A good budget buffet is on until the evening on week-
days with half and full servings available, which is no doubt
why it’s almost al ways packed at lunchtime. QOpen 11:00
- 23:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. (3 - 6Ls). AS
Old Shanghai A-5, Valdemāra 123, tel. (+371) 67 37 23
37, www.oldshanghai.lv. Unlike Honkonga, which is owned
by the same people, Old Shanghai has broken away from
the traditional décor of red lanterns and Chinese landscape
paintings, choosing instead a modern grey, minimalist interior
whose chief decoration is the cooked ducks hanging in the
open-plan ki tchen behind a glass parti tion. Try delicious
dishes like shark soup, steamed scallops in garlic sauce or
curry rolls, but be prepared to part with plenty of your hard-
earned yuan. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00. (8 - 12Ls). A
Czech
Sveiks, Šveik! (Hello Švejk!) B-5, Stabu 23, tel.
(+371) 67 31 46 74, www.svejk.lv. Not unlike the scores
of other bars dedicated to Jaroslav Hašek’s classic character
the Good Soldier Švejk that dot the Bohemian countryside,
this one has a cosy atmosphere of solid oak tables and
exposed brick walls, not to mention i ts most important
feature - great beer. Užavas, Bauskas and Staropramen are
on draught, cheap Bal tic-Czech cuisine is on the menu and
the pretty wait staff refuse to smile, just like in Prague! Live
accordion music at the weekend. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00,
Sat, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. (3 - 5Ls). AE
Bergs Restaurant C-4, Elizabetes 83/85 (Berga
bazārs), tel. (+371) 67 77 09 57, www.hotelbergs.
lv. This design hotel’s stylish restaurant offers a dail y à
la carte breakfast from 07:30 - 11:00. QOpen 07:30
- 11:00. AW
Boulangerie Bonjour G-1, Jēkaba 20/22, tel.
(+371) 67 32 57 07, www.boulangeriebonjour.lv.
This French patisserie serves delicious pastries, cakes,
quiche and panini not to mention tea, juice and coffee.
QOpen 07:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 18:00. Also
at H-2, Tirgoņu 4. Open 08:00 - 21:30, Sat, Sun 10:00
- 21:30. (1 - 3Ls). AW
Cadets de Gascogne (Franču Maiznīca) G-2,
Z.A. Meierovica bulv. 8 (Jēkaba arkāde), tel. (+371)
67 32 01 03. Fresh bread and pastries, coffee, tea and
juice. Very French indeed. QOpen 07:00 - 22:00. Also on
C-5, Barona 52 (entrance from Ģertrūdes). Open 07:00
- 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 20:00. GS
Harry Morgan B-4, Dzirnavu 30 (entrance from
Antonijas), tel. (+371) 67 33 10 42, www.harrymor-
gan.lv. American pancakes with maple syrup, real eggs
Benedict, omelettes and other breakfast served all day.
QOpen 09:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 23:00. A
Osīriss C-4, Barona 31, tel. (+371) 67 24 30 02,
[email protected]. Osiris specialises in omelettes but it
also serves bacon and egg sandwiches, pancakes and
even oatmeal. QOpen 08:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 10:00
- 24:00. A
Raibais Balodis I-2, Kalēju 9/11 (Konventa sēta),
tel. (+371) 67 08 75 80. You can take advantage of
this Old Riga hotel’s earl y breakfast buffet. QOpen
06:30 - 10:30. A
Restaurant Elements D-4, Elizabetes 24, tel.
(+371) 67 09 97 60, www.hotels.tallink.com. Take
advantage of a complete breakfast buffet for around
7Ls or eggs cooked to order in the open-plan grill area.
QOpen 06:30 - 10:00, Sat, Sun 07:00 - 11:00.
Tinto C-4, Elizabetes 61, tel. (+371) 67 28 90 85.
This stylish wine bar is also open for breakfast earl y in
the morning. QOpen 08:00 - 24:00, Sat 10:00 - 24:00,
Sun 10:00 - 23:00. A
Breakfast
restaurants
2
restaurants
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Čili Pica Tel. (+371) 1822, www.cili.lv. Charge: Free
in Old Riga or 1Ls within Riga. Nearly 50 different pizzas.
QOpen 10:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 06:00.
Domino Pizza Tel. (+371) 80 00 31 31, www.
dominopizza.lv. Delivery charge: free for orders over
5Ls. Not to be confused with the American chain of piz-
zerias. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00.
Gan Bei Tel. (+371) 67 22 52 25, www.ganbei.lv.
Charge: 2Ls or free for orders over 15Ls. Delicious Asian
and Indian food from the restaurants Gan Bei and Thali.
QOpen 10:00 - 22:30.
LIDO Tel. (+371) 67 22 13 18/(+371) 67 21 73
32, www.lido.lv. Charge: 1.50 - 3.50Ls for delivery
depending on location. LIDO provides a full Latvian menu
of shashliks, gyros, kotletes (greasy meatballs) and even
pizza. QOpen 10:00 - 21:00.
Pizza Lulū Tel. (+371) 80 00 58 58, www.lulu.lv.
Delivery free of charge. English spoken. You can also
order online at www.lulu.lv. Big New York-style pizzas
and salads. Q Open 24hrs. A
Sushi Point Tel. (+371) 67 00 78 74, www.sush-
ipoint.lv. Charge: 2 - 3Ls or free of charge for orders
over 10 or 15Ls, depending on location. Sushi, stir fries
and even pizza delivered to your door from the Kabuki
restaurant chain. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00.
Vairāk Saules Tel. (+371) 80 00 90 80, www.
vairaksaules.lv. Charge: 2Ls within the centre, Old
Ri ga and Pārdaugava. Order soups, salads, sushi,
international dishes, Asian cuisine or thin crust pizzas
to your door by phone, skype (vairak.saules) or internet.
QOpen 10:00 - 22:00.
Home delivery
Doughnut shops
Ze Donats (The Donuts) F-3, Valdemāra 18, tel. (+371)
67 33 23 31, www.virtulis.lv. Not quite Dunkin Donuts, but
pretty darn close. This stylish brown and white doughnut shop
offers friendly wait staff, free wireless internet access and
even a chillout room with couches and a flat screen TV, not to
mention delicious doughnuts for only 0.20 - 0.25Ls each! Chow
down on Boston creams, glazed and dozens of other sweet
concoctions including the green Pistachio Shrek! Coffee, tea
and huge brownies are also on offer. QOpen 07:30 - 19:30,
Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. SW
Fast food
Hesburger I-2, Šķūņu 3, tel. (+371) 67 22 16 22, www.
hesburger.lv. It was onl y a matter of time before Finland’s
most popular fast food chain headed south and reached
Riga’s shores. Not surprisingl y, its menu is not unlike that of-
fered at the golden arches, still many Scandinavians contend
that the burgers are bigger, better and juicier and we happen
to agree. QOpen 10:00 - 22:30, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 07:00, Sun
12:00 - 22:00. (1 - 4Ls). AS
McDonald’s H-2, Z.A. Meierovica bulv. 18, tel. (+371)
67 22 63 46. America’s favourite clown is still the king of fast
food in Riga. With two locations in the centre of Riga you won’t
have to go far to order a Big Mac, chicken McNuggets or straw-
berry milkshake. Although the Latvian golden arches don’t
offer proper breakfast food as in other countries, its children’s
‘happy meals’ are a good bargain. QOpen 07:00 - 01:00, Fri,
Sat 07:00 - 02:00. Also at D-4, Merķeļa 1, tel. (+371) 67 21 23
56. Open 08:00 - 24:00; and other locations. AW
French
Boulangerie Bonjour G-1, Jēkaba 20/22, tel. (+371)
67 32 57 07, www.boulangeriebonjour.lv. You can’t get
much more authentic than this cosy, yellow patisserie. From
the earl y morning hours its French pastry chef serves up
delicious quiche, cakes, salads, a soupe du jour and panini
smothered in mel ted fromage. You can take your pastries
and coffee to the balcony upstairs for more privacy or sit on
the ground floor under the watchful gaze of Gérard Depardieu
whose nosy countenance rests on a shelf like a shrine to
the legendary actor. QOpen 07:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 10:00
- 18:00. Also at H-2, Tirgoņu 4. Open 08:00 - 21:30, Sat, Sun
10:00 - 21:30. (1 - 3Ls). ASW
Cadets de Gascogne (Franču Maiznīca) G-2, Z.A.
Meierovica bulv. 8 (Jēkaba arkāde), tel. (+371) 67 32
01 03, www.cadets.lv. Parlez-vous cholesterol? Expat Ber-
nard Larane’s French bakery brings kilos of buttery pastries
to Old Riga, including the closest thing to a Parisian pain au
chocolat this side of the Baltic. Fresh bread, homemade pāté,
quiches, strong coffee, and real orange juice also make this
boulangerie a favourite retreat. QOpen 07:00 - 22:00. Also
on C-5, Barona 52 (entrance from Ģertrūdes). Open 07:00
- 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 20:00.
Le Paon Bleu H-2, Tirgoņu 4, tel. (+371) 67 21 10 04.
After opening two successful boulangeries in Old Riga chef
Gilles Coupeau has turned his attention to traditional French
cuisine at the Blue Peacock where you can taste anything
from delicious fois gras, frogs’ legs and onion soup to mains
like duck breast cooked in crème de cassis. Naturall y, you
can order plenty of French wine hand selected by the chef in
this elegant restaurant with parquet floors, yellow walls, blue
glass lamps and excellent views of Cathedral Square. QOpen
11:00 - 24:00. (8 - 12Ls). A
0
restaurants
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
restaurants
Hungry for more?
riga.inyourpocket.com
Georgian
Pirosmani D-4, Maskavas 6, tel. (+371) 67 21 52 44.
Named after one of Georgia’s most revered painters, Niko
Pirosmani, this rusticall y decorated restaurant located in a
renovated warehouse beyond the Central Market also dis-
plays several reproductions of the starving artist’s colourful
paintings of bearded men in wool hats feasting. The food is
delicious and authentic from the savoury lamb stew to the
hinkali (spicy meat dumplings), which are each nearl y the
size of a fist. The mountain nation’s best wine’s are also on
offer, but you might want to order a whole bottle, and some
traditional bread, as the chefs take their time preparing each
meal. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. (3 - 7Ls).
German
Knaipe C-4/5, Blaumaņa 38/40 (in the courtyard),
tel. (+371) 67 77 05 86, www.knaipe.lv. Once upon a
time three Latvians met at a school in Münster, Germany
and 20 years later they opened a real German kneipe, or
pub, in Riga spelled Knaipe so the locals would pronounce
it correctl y. Drink delicious Paulaner helles, hefe-weizen or
märzen brews on draught and eat delicious Schweine Haxe
(pork leg) served with a generous side of Pommes mit Mayo
(fries wi th mayonnaise). German wines are also available
and you can watch a Bundesliga match inside when it gets
cold. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 01:00. Closed
Sun. (3 - 6Ls). A
Indian
Indian Raja I-2, Vecpilsētas 3, tel. (+371) 67 22 16 17,
www.indianraja.lv. All dishes, like the tandoori and curry, are
so veritably Indian, it’s almost overwhelming. This is hardly
Baltic-modified cuisine, which is why the bill won’t be small,
but will reflect one of the best dining investments in the city.
Although many of them have Indo European roots, most locals
still shy away, which means you, expats and tourists, will have
the peaceful interior all to yourself. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. Also
at I-2, Skārņu 7, tel. (+371) 67 22 32 40. (8 - 10Ls). AS
Indian Tikka House (Paddy Whelan’s) I-2,
Grēcinieku 4, tel. (+371) 67 21 01 50www.pub.lv. Its
location inside Riga’s landmark Irish pub may seem strange
at first, but there might just be a spark of genius here. Who
wouldn’t want to watch a football match with a cold beer and a
chicken tikka masala with a side of freshl y baked naan? Start
with mouth-watering onion bhajias, pakoras and samosas
and move on to classic Indian main dishes cooked in a real
tandoor. Indian food is served during the hours that we have
listed as opening times. QOpen 17:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat, Sun
13:00 - 23:00. Closed Mon. (4 - 7Ls). AXS
International
1221 I-1, Jauniela 16, tel. (+371) 67 22 01 71. If you
see a beautiful blue medieval building with cows grazing on
its façade you haven’t had too many strong Latvian beers,
but rather found a great restaurant that puts one in mind of
an upmarket country tavern if there is such a thing. You can
order huge portions of inexpensive Latvian cuisine like blood
sausage with bacon and eggs or sour kraut soup with pork
ribs and potatoes. More expensive international cuisine like
lamb chops is also on offer as well as cheap Lāčplēsis beer on
draught. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. (4 - 10Ls). AI
4 Rooms I-2, Meistaru 23, tel. (+371) 67 22 56 86,
www.4rooms.lv. The European cuisine is tasty and predict-
ably expensive given its location, but the best reason to come
here is the interior design, which looks like it was ripped from
the pages of Architectural Digest. The service can be ex-
cruciatingly slow, but the exposed medieval brick, ancient oak
beams and original floor fragments under glass in this historic
building will give you plenty to look at while you wait. QOpen
09:30 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 09:30 - 01:00. (8 - 16Ls). A
Bestsellers B-4, Dzirnavu 33 (Albert Hotel), tel. (+371)
67 33 17 17, www.alberthotel.lv. Although this stylish hotel
restaurant can accommodate hundreds of diners, its warm
autumnal colours create a cosy atmosphere despite all of the
space. The small selection of international food is by no means
unique, but the menu itself certainly is. In keeping with its
literary theme, each patron is given a pen and asked to place
a check mark next to the dishes he would like to order. A daily
breakfast buffet and lunch special are also available. QOpen
06:30 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 07:00 - 23:00. (4 - 8Ls). A
NEW
Botanica Café B-3/4, Antonijas 9, tel. (+371) 67 33 49
33. This trendy restaurant offers dark hardwood floors, grey-
ish-brown walls, a vaulted brick ceiling painted white and light
wooden furniture and a small ever-changing menu of whatever’s
fresh that week including herbs from its own greenhouse room
on the premises. The chef has worked and studied at presti-
gious European eating establishments with Michelin stars, but
thankfully the food and drink here won’t require a platinum card.
Fresh cut flowers and free bread and table water are among
its other perks. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 02:00,
Sun 12:00 - 22:00. (3 - 7Ls). A
restaurants
1
restaurants
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Charlestons C-5, Blaumaņa 38/40, tel. (+371) 67 77
05 72, www.charlestons.lv. Charlestons is impossible to
label. It’s European, yet has a decidedly North American feel to
it. The interior, the quality of the cuisine and the professional
service scream upmarket restaurant, yet the atmosphere is
incredibl y laid back and the prices are reasonable. What’s
certain is that you’re guaranteed excellent international food
from the Jack Daniels pork chop to the teriyaki salmon. A
separate bar is also available in front if you just want to have a
drink and watch some TV or the fish in the aquarium. QOpen
12:00 - 23:00, Fri 12:00 - 24:00. (5 - 10Ls). ASW
Cream Café F-3, Dzirnavu 55, tel. (+371) 67 28 40 74,
www.creamcafe.lv. Not unlike the cafés you find in Munich
and other Western European ci ties, Cream Café serves
breakfast food like oatmeal and omelettes in the morning,
local and European cuisine for lunch and dinner and cocktails
and music in the evenings. Take a seat at one of the stylish
couches facing the long bar on the ground floor or duck down
into the cellar for a bit more privacy. DJs spin dance tunes for
clubbers at the weekend. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00, Thu 09:00
- 03:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 06:00. Closed Sun. (3 - 6Ls). A
C.U.T. C-4, Elizabetes 73 (Radisson BLU Elizabete
Hotel), tel. (+371) 67 78 55 77, www.radissonblu.
com/elizabetehotel-riga. This upmarket restaurant located
on the ground floor of the Radisson BLU Elizabete Hotel
specialises in grilled cuisine from tuna steaks and salmon to
beef tenderloin imported from the South American pampas.
You can also enjoy a light lunch of Thai spiced sea scallops or
veal carpaccio in its fantastic open courtyard. A wide selection
of new and old world wines is also available as well as a dail y
breakfast buffet from 07:00 - 10:30. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00.
Closed Sun. (6 - 12Ls). AW
Esplanāde F-3, Elizabetes 55 (Radisson BLU Hotel
Latvija), tel. (+371) 67 77 22 11, www.radissonblu.
com/latvijahotel-riga. If you think that Esplanāde is just an-
other hotel restaurant then guess again. The interior is neutral
and can accommodate hundreds of tourists, but the cuisine
it serves is simpl y fantastic. Start with the Italian antipasti
platter and move on to delicious mains as diverse as baked
sea bass and ostrich fillet in a pomegranate Shiraz sauce. A
lunch and dinner buffet as well as a children’s game room are
also available. Also offers a dail y breakfast buffet from 07:00
- 10:30. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. (8 - 14Ls). TA
Fazenda B/C-4, Baznīcas 14, tel. (+371) 67 24 08 09.
Fazenda has come up with a unique dining concept. It offers
a bakery, restaurant and farmers’ market in a beautifull y
restored 19th-century wooden building that includes original
tile fireplaces, floral print wallpaper and plenty of fresh cut
flowers. The nearly Provençal-style interior and its refined, yet
affordable menu of gourmet sandwiches, salads and seasonal
main courses are all very popular with the local ladies who
lunch, so be prepared to raise your pinkie when you take a sip
of tea. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00. Closed Sun. (3 - 6Ls). A
Fazer Café & Restaurant I-3, 13. janvāra 8 (Stock-
mann - 4th floor), tel. (+371) 67 21 01 57, www.fazer.
com. This trendy cafeteria on the top floor of the Stockmann
department store offers white walls, sleek stainless steel and
light Scandinavian wood furnishings not to mention gourmet
sandwiches, tasty soups and salads as well as stir fries,
pastas and pancakes cooked to order. It’s also good place to
stop for coffee, a glass of wine, a piece of cake and excellent
views of the city. QOpen 10:00 - 21:00. Also at Krasta 46
(Mols shopping centre - ground floor), tel. (+371) 67 03 02
05. (3 - 5Ls). AS
2
restaurants
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
restaurants
Gutenbergs H-1, Doma laukums 1, tel. (+371) 67 81
40 90, www.gutenbergs.eu. Now that its top-floor terrace
is closed for the season, you can take the steps down to
Hotel Gutenbergs’ cosy cellar restaurant. In keeping with the
Johannes Gutenberg theme, the menu offers international
cuisine as well as dishes that were once popular with Riga’s
pre-war Germanic population like oxtail soup or cream of white
asparagus or crispy catfish fillets. A good wine selection is
also available. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00. (8 - 15Ls). AEX
Harry Morgan B-4, Dzirnavu 30, tel. (+371) 67 33
10 42, www.harrymorgan.lv. The story goes that Harry
Morgan opened his first New York-style deli in London in 1948
and since then it’s become a landmark establishment. History
aside, we’re just happy that Riga finally has a bona fide break-
fast restaurant where you can order American pancakes with
maple syrup, eggs Benedict or a genuine full English. You can
also try such classics as gefil te fish, roast beef sandwiches
and chopped liver in two sleek and modern dining rooms or
on the summer terrace. Great desserts like carrot cake and
apple strudel are also available. QOpen 09:00 - 23:00, Sat,
Sun 10:00 - 23:00. (3 - 5Ls). A
NEW
Just I-1, 11.novembra krastmala 17, tel. (+371) 29
55 46 14, www.justbar.lv. At night, and especiall y at the
weekend, this stylish brown and beige space with a central
rectangular bar caters to the cocktail crowd, but during the
day it offers a great two-course business lunch for about 3Ls
attracting both tourists and locals alike. Al though the sand-
wiches and salads are quite affordable, 4Ls for a mixed drink
is just a little too pricey for us. In the summer a huge terrace
with hammocks and views of the nearby river is available.
QOpen 10:00 - 23:00, Thu 10:00 - 03:00, Fri 10:00 - 05:00,
Sat 12:00 - 05:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. A
Kontakts H-2, Torņa 4-IIIC (Jēkaba kazarmas), tel.
(+371) 67 32 33 60. After years of working at some of
Riga’s best bars and pubs, two Latvian women decided to
open their own place in a cosy Old Riga cellar in the Jacob’s
Barracks. Unlike many of their trendy (and pricey) neighbours,
Kontakts serves an inexpensive menu of traditional Latvian
food like grey peas as well as a good grill menu that includes
salmon and steaks. Flat screen TVs for sports, a novuss table
(Latvian billiards), glasses of Cēsu beer for 1.50Ls and a buy
one get one free happy hour are also major draws. QOpen
11:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 01:00. (3 - 5Ls). A
Lidojošā Varde (The Flying Frog) B-3, Elizabetes
31a, tel. (+371) 67 32 11 84, www.flying-frog.lv. The
Frog has a fresh coat of paint, but it’s basicall y still the same
expat hang out it’s al ways been. This three-roomed cellar is
filled with more than just frogs - though there are lots of them,
even in the bathrooms. Eat a big burger, chow on tasty chicken
wings, or go heal thy with grilled dishes and salads. Al though
Latvian beer is on draught you can also order a refreshing pint
of Guinness. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00, Fri 10:00 - 24:00, Sat
11:00 - 24:00, Sun 11:00 - 23:00. (4 - 8Ls). AX
Merlin D/E-4, Maskavas 4 (Spīķeri), tel. (+371) 27 79 19
10. Housed in a renovated brick warehouse behind the Central
Market, Merlin offers a red semi-circular bar and a summer
terrace on the ground floor and a cosier top floor restaurant
that includes original ceiling timbers, comfy couches and even
a hammock in the corner in case you’ve had one unfiltered Cēsu
lager too many. Other Cēsu brews are on draught as well as
nearly 50 bottled beers from around the globe. International
cuisine from steamed mussels and osso buco to Caesar salads
and steaks can also be had here, but bear in mind that side
dishes cost extra. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. (4 - 9Ls). A
Neiburgs I-1, Jauniela 25/27, tel. (+371) 67 11 55 44,
www.neiburgshotel.com. One of Riga’s finest art nouveau
buildings has finally been renovated and its ground floor is now
home to a stylish restaurant offering both international and
Latvian-style food for reasonable prices. Inside you’ll find grey
walls covered by periodic art exhibitions, light parquet floors and
spider-like chandeliers made from black reading lamps. Order
salads, pasta, Australian steaks, Scottish salmon, local trout,
huge turkey burgers or inexpensive lunch specials in a refined
setting in Old Riga. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. (4 - 10Ls). A
Old City Hotel Restaurant I-2/3, Teātra 10, tel.
(+371) 67 35 60 60, www.oldcityhotel.lv. Just beyond
the bar area in the lobby of this Old Riga design hotel you’ll
find an upmarket restaurant with a stylish, yet simple interior
of brown walls accented with photos of the Latvian capital’s
old town. Chef Andis Aldersons has created a varied menu
of new interpretations of classic dishes including ostrich
carpaccio to start and mains such as grilled beef fillet with
forest mushroom ragout, Yorkshire pudding and green pepper
sauce. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. (6 - 10Ls). A
NEW
Olive C-5, Ģertrūdes 56, tel. (+371) 27 04 30 10. At first
this black and white café/club seems to be dominated by a
curvy, winding bar covered with painted olive branches, but
upon further inspection an even larger room with a stage is
available in the back. Although the place has an overwhelming
cocktail lounge vibe, it also has a full menu of typical inter-
national staples from Caesar salads and pastas to steaks
and salmon fillets. The girl behind the bar had a tough time
pouring a pint so you might want to stick to mixed drinks.
QOpen 10:00 - 23:00. (3 - 5Ls).
Raibais Balodis (Colourful Dove) I-2, Kalēju 9/11
(Konventa sēta), tel. (+371) 67 08 75 80. Al though
the interior mainl y consists of subtle beiges and blues, its
designation as ‘colourful’ comes in the form of a wide selec-
tion of fresh flowers scattered about the place. International
cuisine from venison to vegetarian food can be had here and
its seasonal specials, like autumn pumpkin soup with duck
meat, should not be missed. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. Closed
Sun. (6 - 10Ls). A
Restaurant Elements D-4, Elizabetes 24, tel. (+371)
67 09 97 60, www.hotels.tallink.com. This stylish sil ver,
brown and white restaurant on the ground floor of the Tallink
Hotel Riga serves a variety of heal thy international cuisine
prepared with local ingredients when possible. It also boasts
the onl y open-plan grill bar in Riga and offers a special treat
for adventurous diners. A hot volcanic rock is brought to your
table and you can cook any meat of your choosing on it under
the supervision of your server. A breakfast buffet and afford-
abl y priced lunch special are also available. QOpen 06:30
- 23:00, Sat, Sun 07:00 - 23:00. (5 - 10Ls). PTAXW
It’s no secret that Riga has received a lot
of bad press in recent months regarding
tourist scams at local bars and clubs. In
response, the Latvian Hotel and Restau-
rant Association has devised a system to
help Riga’s visitors choose safe, reliable
cafés, pubs and clubs. In short, if you see the above symbol
on the door or window of an establishment, it means that
it’s been officially sanctioned by the association as a good
place to spend your time and money.
Tourist-friendly symbol
RC
restaurants

restaurants
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Reykjavik C-2, Ķīpsalas 20 (Hotel Islande), tel. (+371)
67 60 80 00, www.islandehotel.lv. Its minimalist, Scandi-
navian-style interior of hardwood floors and subtle grey and
whi te tones is onl y occasionall y broken up by illuminated
photographs of mel ting glaciers and rosy arctic sunsets.
Icelandic cuisine is curiousl y absent from the international
menu, but perhaps we should be thankful for small mercies.
Order anything from heal thy salads to steaks and grilled
salmon. Q Open 06:30 - 10:30; 12:00 - 21:00, Sat, Sun
07:00 - 11:30. (6 - 10Ls). A
Salt ‘n’ Pepper I-1, Palasta 10, tel. (+371) 67 22 11
42. Originality and good taste are in great abundance in this
laid-back, almost American-style restaurant/bar behind town
hall. Take advantage of the relatively inexpensive international
dishes on its menu or, if you’re in the mood to pound some
brews without the middleman, reserve the ‘drinking table’
inside that has its own beer tap. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00, Fri,
Sat 11:00 - 03:00. (3 - 6Ls). A
Irish
Paddy Whelan’s Irish Pub & Spor ts Bar I-2,
Grēcinieku 4, tel. (+371) 67 21 01 50, [email protected],
www.pub.lv. Since its opening in 1995, Riga’s first Irish pub
has been an expat favourite. With a wide variety of foreign and
domestic beers on draught, a classic Hibernian interior and
more flat screen TVs showing live sports than you can shake
a shillelagh at, Paddy’s has loads to offer a thirsty football fan.
In addition to its usual offering of pub grub, a new menu of
authentic Indian cuisine has been added to its repertoire for
those craving a delicious chicken tikka masala or maybe a
samosa starter. QOpen 11:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 11:00
- 04:00. (3 - 6Ls). AEXS
Italian
1739 I-2, Skārņu 6, tel. (+371) 67 21 13 98. Retreat
from the bustle of street of vendors and head into a historic
house where tranquillity rules. Specialities like lasagne and
gnocchi will make you wish you had an Italian grandmother
to prepare them for you all the time. The congenial wait staff
is much less intrusive than she would be, and won’t tell you
that you look too thin. Main courses will definitel y cost you,
but cheaper lunch specials are also available. QOpen 12:00
- 23:00. (7 - 15Ls). A
Monterosso H-2, Vaļņu 9, tel. (+371) 67 50 71 70,
www.monterosso.lv. There are few better places to go for
upmarket Italian dining in Riga than Monterosso. Just ask its
Italian patrons. Pass the bronze panthers by the stairs and
admire the old world atmosphere of dark wood panelling and
gil t ceilings. The thin-crust pizzas are among the best in the
city and delicious mains like sea bass with fresh tomato salad
or penne pasta with lobster and cream sauce won’t disap-
point. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. (10 - 20Ls). A
Murales C-4, Dzirnavu 84 (Berga Bazārs), tel. (+371)
67 28 20 55, www.murales.lv. Apparentl y, the town of
Orgosolo in the Barbagia region of Sardinia is famous for its
wall murals (murales), so it’s not surprising that this Sardinian
restaurant has some interesting wall art of its own. Order a
delicious coffee, a glass of wine or perhaps a bottle of Peroni
beer while waiting for dozens of different pizzas, calzones,
salads or pastas at this laid-back pizzeria. Breakfast like fried
eggs with Parma ham is available as well as main courses
such as pesce al cartoccio (rainbow trout stuffed with to-
matoes and olives served with Sardinian potatoes). QOpen
10:00 - 24:00. (3 - 7Ls). AW
RC

restaurants
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
restaurants
Rossini F-2, Pumpura 6, tel. (+371) 67 33 44 97, www.
rossini.lv. Smartl y dressed wait staff greet you with genuine
smiles as you enter this red brick cellar in the embassy district
decorated wi th photos of churches, wineries and ancient
architecture from all around the Apennine Peninsula. All of the
usual suspects are available including Italian soups, salads,
pastas and mains as well as a decent selection of thin crust
pizzas. A good wine list is also on offer not to mention free
table water - a true novel ty in Riga. Not the place to go out
with the guys, it’s good for a business lunch or a date with
the missus. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. (4 - 8Ls). A
Trattoria del Popolo I-2/3, Jāņa 8, tel. (+371) 67
35 05 59, www.delpopolo.lv. At first it wooed us with its
low prices and authentic food. But this tastefull y decorated
restaurant serving homemade Italian pastas, salads, pizzas
and main courses in an historic house in Old Riga has jacked
up the prices of most of its cuisine, which is disappointing.
At least the friendl y wait staff still offer you bread, olives and
table water for free - a revolutionary concept in Riga. QOpen
10:00 - 23:00. (3 - 6Ls). A
Un Momento C-5, Čaka 58 (entrance from Bruņinieku),
tel. (+371) 67 27 88 70. One of Riga’s gastronomic sur-
prises can be found in a section of town that seldom produces
an establishment worthy of a review. Sparsely decorated with
wine barrels and dried flowers, Un Momento is a jack of all
trades serving up breakfast, panini, antipasti, pasta, meat
and seafood dishes and a selection of pizzas. A pleasant,
informal atmosphere, attenti ve service wi th a smile and
comfortable chairs and couches will no doubt convince you
to linger longer than one moment. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00.
Closed Sun. (3 - 6Ls). A
Japanese
Kabuki C-4, Barona 14 (entrance from Elizabetes), tel.
(+371) 67 28 20 52. This trendy sushi bar and Japanese
restaurant is so chic it could easily hold its own in San Francisco
or New York. Sashimi, maki and nigiri sushi as well as hand
rolls are all available as are rice noodle dishes, soups and
main courses. The undecided can grab a seat in the back and
pick up whatever catches their fancy as it passes by on the
conveyor belt. For something hot and spicy on a cold day, try the
effervescent ginger tea. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 12:00
- 24:00. Also on I-3, Audēju 14, tel. (+371) 67 35 96 63. Open
12:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00. (6 - 12Ls). AS
Planet Sushi I-2, Šķūņu 16, tel. (+371) 67 22 38 55,
www.rrg.lv. The uninspired, corporate-sounding name
may be a li ttle hard to swallow, but the Japanese food
will definitel y please your palate and the female wait staff
dressed in kimono are also nothing to sneeze at. Peruse the
user-friendl y, photo-laden menu and enjoy tempura and teas,
sashimi and sushi, sabu sabu, business lunches and even
whiskey and beer from the land of the rising sun. Its location
next to Cathedral Square is an added bonus. QOpen 12:00
- 23:00. (5 - 10Ls). A
Samurajs I-2, Kaļķu 2 (entrance from Kungu), tel.
(+371) 67 50 31 42. The Samurai’s sword has grown a
li ttle rusty over the years. But even though the beautiful
waitresses dressed in kimono may have forgotten how to
smile and the kitchen may be missing a thing or two from the
menu, thankfull y, the food is still fantastic. Delicious ramen
soups, sushi, sashimi, tempura, teri yaki and other dishes
are all recommended and the bright interior decorated with
ceramic samurai and Japanese landscape paintings is warm
and inviting. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. (6 - 10Ls). A
Tokyo City H-3, Barona 2, tel. (+371) 67 22 77 64.
Al though the sleek, Japanese minimalist interior and the
wai t staff in pseudo-kimono lend this restaurant a more
formal feel, comfortable couches and flat screen TVs show-
ing football and hockey games instantl y make one want to
relax and lounge about. Traditional sushi, sashimi and hot
main courses are not exactl y for the budget-minded, but a
kids’ menu and 3.90Ls business lunch certainl y are. In fact,
cocktails and draught Valmiermuižas beer are surprisingl y
inexpensi ve, so kampai! QOpen 11:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat
11:00 - 06:00. (4 - 10Ls). A
Jewish
Café Lehaim C-4, Skolas 6 (entrance from Dzirnavu),
tel. (+371) 67 28 02 35. Located around the corner from
the Jewish museum this small café may lack atmosphere,
but all of the food it serves is kosher. Soups, chicken and
fish dishes and cheap pita with falafel sandwiches can be
had, as well as Jewish souvenirs, books and press. The
menu isn’t available in Hebrew, but it is written in English.
QOpen 10:00 - 21:00, Fri 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat. Open
10:00 - 22:00, Fri 10:00 until sunset for the Sabbath. Closed
Sat. (3Ls). XS
Menora B-5, A.Briāna 10, tel. (+371) 67 49 57 27,
www.menora.lv. As far as we can tell, this is one of onl y
two Jewish restaurants in Riga and al though it’s a bit of a
hike from Old Riga, if you’re into either Eastern European or
Israeli-Hebrew cuisine, then look no further than Menorah. You
can order anything from such classics as gefil te fish, falafel,
latkes and hummus to local Slavic favourites like soļanka
soup. Israeli wines are also on offer, but sadl y no Maccabee
beer, onl y Becks or Stella Artois in bottles. It offers plenty of
vodka, though. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Fri 12:00 - 18:00.
Closed Sat. (3 - 7Ls).
Although Halloween is a fairly new
holiday to Latvians, it’s not much
of a stretch for l ocals to dress
up in all kinds of crazy costumes.
In fact they’ve been doing it for
centuries. Once the hard chores
associated with the fall harvest
were completed ancient Latvians
had more time on their hands. To
keep themselves busy and to drive
away evil spirits they dressed up as
animals and mythical figures during the autumn months
and visited their neighbours singing and dancing the
whole way. You probably won’t see much of this in the
Latvian capital, but if you’re up for a Halloween party
then the bars of Old Riga are your best bet, especially
on Saturday, October 30.
Halloween
Livonija H-2, Meistaru 21. Livonia is the ancient name
of what is now Latvia and Estonia and in November a
new restaurant with this name will open in a medieval
cellar next to the Small Guild just off of Līvu Square. The
menu will specialise in traditional Latvian and European
cuisine and the interior will no doubt reflect its ancient
origins. Q A
Coming soon
restaurants
5
restaurants
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Kebabs
Cyprus Kebab House I-2, Kaļķu 2 (entrance from
Kungu), tel. (+371) 20 33 89 89. Not just a run of the mill
kebab joint with standing room only, the Cyprus Kebab House
offers plenty of big, clunky wooden tables and chairs and
warm, red and brown walls. You can order a variety of kebabs
with different fillings, including a good döner, and wash it down
with a soft drink or a beer. Al though the dürüm kebab could
use some more meat and heat, it’s cheap and so big that it
resembles a rolled up newspaper. QOpen 13:00 - 22:00,
Fri, Sat 13:00 - 04:00. Closed Sun. (2 - 4Ls). S
NEW
Dagira I-2, Grēcinieku 7, tel. (+371) 67 21 11 73.
Aquamarine and orange walls are pretty much the onl y kind
of decoration you’ll find at this small kebab shop that serves
up a cheap durum kebab lunch that includes fries and a drink
for 2.30Ls. Al though filling, the food is hardl y worth getting
excited about, but the girl behind the counter was friendly and
even tried to explain what a zapekanka sandwich is, which is
no mean feat. QOpen 11:30 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 11:30 - 01:00.
Closed Sun. (1 - 3Ls). S
Food Box F-2, Antonijas 6a (entrance from Pumpura),
tel. (+371) 29 11 33 93. After years of searching for a great
kebab in Riga, we’ve finall y found one at Food Box. This small,
casual eatery offers delicious yet inexpensive döner kebabs,
falafel and exotic pide (a ‘pizza’ of sorts) served by a young
Turkish entrepreneur. The onl y drawback seems to be the
crowds at lunchtime. The hot sauce here is also refreshingl y
spicy and not toned down for local palates like at other kebab
joints. QOpen 11:30 - 20:00, Sat 13:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun.
Also at C-4/5, Barona 31 (entrance from Lāčplēša). Open
11:30 - 20:00. Closed Sat, Sun. (2 - 4Ls). S
Kebabs Fix C-4, Brīvības 62, tel. (+371) 67 28 81 81,
www.kebabs.lv. Once a lone kebab shop on the fringe of
civilisation, Kebabs Fix has opened up other locations around
town to satisfy a growing demand for cheap, sloppy food.
Take your pick of kebabs and veggie falafel with a salad and
fries, or go with the Middle Eastern appetisers. Al though not
exactly authentic, the food is cheap and filling. QOpen 09:00
- 22:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 22:00. Also on D-4, Stacijas laukums
2 (Origo). Open 08:00 - 23:00, Sun 09:00 - 23:00; and at Alfa,
Ol ympia and Domina shopping centres. (2 - 4Ls). SW
TurKebab I-3, Vaļņu 26, turkebab.com. Red coni cal
lamps wi th black tassels hang from the ceiling like giant
fezzes, colour photos of whirling dervishes and blue-tiled
mosques adorn the walls and Turkish pop music provides
the soundtrack for this popular kebab shop on two floors.
Pizza by the slice, falafel and baklava are all on the menu but
most people come for the chicken or beef kebabs, which
are definitel y tasty, but, in our humble opinion, a bit on the
small side. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 03:00.
(2 - 4Ls). ASW
Korean
Soraksans H-1, Miesnieku 12, tel. (+371) 67 22 90 68,
www.soraksans.lv. Nealrl y everything about this authentic
restaurant, from its rustic interior decorated with traditional
masks and paper lanterns to the delicious cuisine, is fantastic.
Order the infamous kim chi, guaranteed to put hairs on your
chest, or one of the many savoury meat dishes served in
sizzling skillets or red-hot ceramic pots. You can also throw
caution to the wind and cook your own meal at the table. We
recommend the posotgogipokom which tastes much better
than it sounds. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. (4 - 8Ls). A

restaurants
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
restaurants
Latvian
With nearly 800 years of domination by a variety of foreign
powers you’d think that Latvia would have an interesting
and diverse culinary tradition. However, when one bears
in mind that Poles, Swedes, Germans and Russians once
ruled the roost, it’s no surprise that most local cuisine
consists of pork, potatoes and sour kraut served with a
generous sprinkling of dill.
Alus Ordenis H-3, Raiņa 15, tel. (+371) 67 81 41 90,
www.alusordenis.lv. Al though the food is a bit pricey for
Latvian cuisine, the menu does offer some hard-to-find local
dishes like cūku pupas (broad beans in butter sauce), fried
herring, boiled pig’s feet and ‘bulls’ glands.’ All of the standard
pork ribs, steaks and other artery clogging delicacies are also
served in this charming brick cellar as well as tasty brews in
big ceramic mugs. QOpen 13:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 13:00
- 24:00. (3 - 7Ls). AX
Alus Sēta I-2, Tirgoņu 6, tel. (+371) 67 22 24 31, www.
lido.lv. The most central of the Lido peoples’ Latvian theme
restaurants has a buffet where you order your chicken or
pork shashlik and scoop up heaps of potatoes, Latvian grey
peas, sour cream and salad. Unfortunatel y, the annoyingl y
long queues of hungry tourists have convinced its owners to
raise its prices substantially. Have a delicious Užavas draught
beer or home-brewed LIDO ale while you wait. QOpen 11:00
- 23:00. (4 - 7Ls). XS
Dzirnavas (The Mill) C-4, Dzirnavu 76, tel. (+371) 67
28 62 04, www.lido.lv. Alus sēta’s sister restaurant is
similar, but bigger, better and even fuller of happy Latvians.
The huge buffet spans a number of rooms and even makes
those who just had lunch drool. The saying over the door
states that he who belches while eating will eat there next
year. See you then! QOpen 10:00 - 21:00, Sun 11:00 - 21:00.
(3 - 5Ls). AS
LIDO atpūtas centrs (LIDO Recreation Centre)
Krasta 76, tel. (+371) 67 50 44 20, www.lido.lv. If Paul
Bunyon buil t a log cabin in Latvia it would look like this! Mr.
Ķirsons of the LIDO Empire has outdone himself wi th the
biggest buffet of home cookin’ this country has ever seen.
Enter the tremendous cellar and discover another restaurant
with two bars which serve beer brewed on the premises.
Weekends are famil y days with various activities for the kids
including in-line skating and there’s live singing and dancing
every night from 19:00. Take bus N°12 from the train station
directl y or tram N°3, 7 or 9 to the ‘Atpūtas centrs LIDO’ stop
and walk about 5 - 10 minutes in the direction of the huge
windmill. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00. (3 - 5Ls). TES
LIDO Spice Lielirbes 29 (Spice shopping centre), tel.
(+371) 67 60 92 02, www.lido.lv. As with most LIDO Lat-
vian fast food restaurants, you have to see this one to believe
it. All of the usual local foods are on offer as well as the ubiq-
uitous faux ethnographic design elements, but walk behind
the main cafeteria area and discover a children’s paradise. A
nearl y life-sized two-storey castle surrounded by an electric
go-cart track is guaranteed to cure any child of ADD, if onl y for
a few hours. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. (3 - 5Ls). S
Salve I-2, Rātslaukums 5, tel. (+371) 67 04 43 17,
www.salverestaurant.lv. The staff are polite, the location
is fantastic and the nouvelle Latvian cuisine, like the venison
with blackberry jam, is tasty and, for the most part, authentic.
However, the fake antique interior with its just-taken-out-of-
the-box look, not to mention the plastic flowers, cheapen the
atmosphere and make you realise that you’re in a Disneyfied
bar in a pretty ‘medieval’ building that didn’t even exist 15
years ago. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. (5 - 10Ls). A
Vērmanītis C-4, Elizabetes 65, tel. (+371) 67 28 62
89, www.lido.lv. A great place to eat a huge meal for cheap,
this restaurant looks like medieval Europe and interwar Latvia
collided and produced a unique space decorated with ethnic
symbols, stone and stained glass. Bop about to local ‘umm-
paa-paa’ music and help yourself to Bal tic cuisine as well as
salad and fruit bars on the ground floor and pizza and fast
food in the cellar. Great views of the park. QOpen 09:00
- 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 21:00. (3 - 5Ls). S
Medieval
Pie Kristapa Kunga B-4, Baznīcas 27/29, tel. (+371)
67 29 48 99, www.piekristapa.lv. Legend has i t that
a medieval warrior named Kristaps travelled all over the
continent returning to Riga with trophies and riches, not to
mention recipes, which are now used in this restaurant, his
former house. This modern fable serves as the backdrop for
this huge monument to kitsch offering king-sized portions of
Latvian, Russian, European and Caucasian cuisine. Patrons
can also watch sports on the big screen TV in the ‘medieval’
cellar or smoke a hookah in the ‘middle east’ room. Order the
trout and you can watch them catch it in the pond downstairs.
QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. (5 - 10Ls). AEX
Rozengrāls I-2, Rozena 1, tel. (+371) 67 22 03 56,
www.rozengrals.lv. The ci ty’s onl y authentic medieval
restaurant is already a hit with locals and tourists alike and
with good reason. The candlelit cellar, already mentioned in
ancient writings as earl y as 1293, was once used for special
events by the town hall. Today it serves onl y food available
hundreds of years ago, hence the absence of potatoes and
tomatoes. Giant portions of delicious cuisine including pork,
wild game and local fish are available as well as unique drinks
that once graced the tables of both nobles and peasants.
QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. (10 - 15Ls). A
Mediterranean
Pastarellia E-1, Mārupes 3, tel. (+371) 67 42 03 72,
www.vairaksaules.lv. This small Mediterranean-style bistro
located near the Āgenskalns Market is part of the Vairāk
Saules chain of restaurants. The menu is similar to its other
establishments but places a larger emphasis on pastas and
vegetable dishes including an excellent salad bar. The staff
is friendl y and the whitewashed walls, tile floor and blue and
white wooden furniture is the perfect antidote to a dreary,
grey Riga day. Extras include a good selection of Italian wines
and take away coffee. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 10:00
- 22:00. (3 - 5Ls). AS
Buy anything from fresh seasonal
produce and local delicasies like
rye bread baked on maple leaves
(see photo) to antiques, vintage
clothing and Soviet memorabilia
at the Berga Bazārs open mar-
ket twice every month. You can
also taste delicious organic food
prepared by chefs from some
of Riga’s best restaurants. Visit
the bazaar from 09:00 - 15:00
at Elizabetes 83/85 every second and fourth Saturday
of the month.
Food & Curio bazaar
restaurants
7
restaurants
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Middle Eastern
Habibi I-2, Peldu 24, tel. (+371) 67 22 85 51. Laid-back
decadence at its best. Kick back on comfy Middle Eastern-
style sofas and pillows, smoke from an authentic hookah and
watch gorgeous bell y dancers do their thing in the evenings.
The pipe will set you back several hard-earned lats, but who
said decadence comes cheap? Oh yes, they also serve food
and drinks, but be warned that the tempting nuts and sweets
on each table cost extra. QAlso on B/C-4, Ģertrūdes 14, tel.
(+371) 67 29 01 55. Open 14:00 - 24:00. (5 - 8Ls). X
Midnight munchies
Lauvas Nams B-5, Brīvības 82, tel. (+371) 67 31 26 61.
Located in the Lion House (there are lions all over the facade),
this restaurant offers big, cheap meals in a funky, neon-illumi-
nated interior. Choose from a large buffet which includes the
ever-present shashlik as well as other meat cooked over a
charcoal grill. Q Open 24hrs. (3 - 5Ls). AS
LIDO C-5, Ģertrūdes 54, tel. (+371) 67 28 93 96. The
late-night grub joint of years past has been retired, and in its
place has come a more polished 24-hour eatery, ą la the other
LIDO establishments. The cafeteria feel is gone, which means
that the club goers looking for breakfast Stroganoff will have
to behave a bit better. Q Open 24hrs. S
Melnais Kaķis (Black Cat) H-2, Meistaru 10/12, tel.
(+371) 67 21 10 21, www.kakis.lv. When all of Riga’s
other bars shut their doors, people come here. Head down
to the Black Cat for a late-night meal and a good selection
of beer and cocktails. You can also try your hand at billiards,
pinball, darts, air hockey, video games or the slot machines.
QOpen 08:00 - 07:00. (4 - 8Ls). AX
Pizza Lulū C-4, Blaumaņa 5a, tel. (+371) 80 00 58 58,
www.lulu.lv. Tasty New York-style pizzas by the slice or the
pie can be had here in a small, cosy restaurant that looks a
bit like an old-fashioned American mal t shop. Ideal for pizza
on the run: have a slice and a salad for lunch or satisfy your
post-pub cravings at any hour of the night. It also offers a
24-hour delivery service. Call its toll-free number or order
online. Q Open 24hrs. AS
Sonali Pub C-4, Brīvības 46, tel. (+371) 67 28 10 45.
This place just may have set a world record. As far as we can
tell this could be the onl y 24-hour sports pub and Chinese
bistro pretty much anywhere with perhaps the exception of
a few places in China itself. Drink Guinness, Staropramen or
Tērvetes brews under red lanterns while watching sports on
three large flat screens and eating cheap Asian food at any
time of the day or night. Q Open 24hrs. ASW
New Zealand
Kiwi Bar I-2, Skārņu 7 - 3, tel. (+371) 67 21 19 17, www.
kiwibar.lv. Over the years Riga has had its share of English
and Irish pubs, but this is the first kiwi pub to open its doors in
the Latvian capital. Friendl y staff from Riga and New Zealand
pour a good selection of foreign and domestic beers behind
a huge rectangular bar while patrons admire the light wood
interior and watch sports on a bunch of flat screen TVs. You
can order a variety of pub food from burgers and breakfasts to
sandwiches and ribs or even Indian cuisine from neighbouring
Indian Raja. QOpen 09:00 - 05:00. (3 - 7Ls). A
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Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
restaurants
Pizza
Čili Pica I-3, 13. janvāra 8 (Stockmann), tel. (+371)
67 22 01 89/(+371) 1822 (delivery), www.cili.lv. I f
nearl y 50 varieties of pizzas ranging in size from 20 - 50cm
in diameter don’t impress you, perhaps the incredibl y atten-
tive wait staff will. Big servings of spare ribs, salads, pasta
and soups are also available in this large space decorated
with faux marble columns and other assorted Italian kitsch.
QOpen 09:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 09:00 - 24:00. Also at H-3,
Brīvības bulv. 26, tel. (+371) 67 22 35 04. Open 10:00 - 01:00,
Fri, Sat 10:00 - 06:00; H-3, Raiņa 15; and most shopping
centres. (3 - 5Ls). AS
Pizza Lulū C-4, Blaumaņa 5a, tel. (+371) 80 00 58
58, www.lulu.lv. Tasty New York-style pizzas by the slice
or the pie served in several popular restaurants or delivered
home (order online at www.lulu.l v). The most central outlet
on Blaumaņa is small and cosy, and looks a bit like a 1950s
mal t shop. Ideal for pizza on the run: have a slice and a salad
for lunch or at 04:00 after a night of clubbing. Q Open 24hrs.
Also at C-5, Ģertrūdes 27. Open 10:00 - 21:00. Closed Sun.
(2 - 3Ls). AS
Pizza Piranija B-3, Strēlnieku 11, tel. (+371) 67 33 44
15, www.piranija.lv. Look for the restored wooden house
on the corner with the logo of a fish with big teeth to find a
refreshing change from the various chain pizzerias scattered
about town. Over 30 large thin crust pizzas are available
from 4 - 6Ls each as well as local dail y specials, pastas and
salads. Its slogan - for lovers, losers and champions - reflects
its relaxed, bohemian atmosphere. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00.
Closed Sun. (3 - 6Ls). A
Vairāk Saules C-4, Dzirnavu 60, tel. (+371) 67 28 28
78/(+371) 80 00 90 80, www.vairaksaules.lv. The name
means ‘more sun,’ but we prefer the title ‘more places like this
please.’ Al though the uniformed staff, colourful menus and
interior design give this restaurant a slightl y corporate chain
feel, the service is genuinel y friendl y and the food, whether it
be pizzas, pastas, seafood or vegetarian dishes, is fantastic.
It also provides a kids’ play area for the little ones and a
children’s menu. QOpen 09:00 - 23:00. (3 - 7Ls). TAS
Russian
Arbat H-2, Vāgnera 3, tel. (+371) 67 21 40 57, www.
arbat.lv. Walk through the doors of Arbat and you’ll be
transported to the tsarist era of opulent furnishings and lavish
banquets a la Doctor Zhivago (before the commies started
shooting kulaks and the bourgeois on the street). Slavic main
courses cost more than the average proletarian can afford,
but if you stick to beet salads and meat dumplings you won’t
lose your shirt. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. (5 - 15Ls). A
Krievu Sēta (Russkij Dvor) Ķengaraga 3, tel. (+371)
67 13 49 30, www.lido.lv. The LIDO people have buil t a
massive Russian restaurant just off of Maskavas (Moscow
Street) wi th colourful interior of elaboratel y painted oak
beams and hanging matroshka dolls. All of the classic staples
such as dumplings and borscht are available as well as Rus-
sian brews and even rhubarb juice. Take trams N°7 or 9 to the
Ķengaraga iela stop. QOpen 11:00 - 22:00. (3 - 5Ls).
Slāvu Restorāns H-2, Vaļņu 19, tel. (+371) 67 28 39
74, www.slavu.lv. Fresh flowers, huge samovars and bois-
terous wait staff make for an interesting dining experience on
Old Riga’s main pedestrian street. Al though caviar will cost
you dearl y and the grilled sturgeon is by no means cheap,
you don’t have to be a Russian oil tycoon to order traditional
dishes like pelmeni and vareniki. Ukrainian Obolon beer is
on draught, but for sheer authenticity we recommend the
horseradish vodka. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00. (4 - 8Ls). AW
Traktieris B-4, Antonijas 8, tel. (+371) 67 33 24 55.
On the political stage, Russo - Latvian relations may not be
what one would call warm, but this authentic restaurant is
popular with Slavs and Bal ts alike. Each table is topped with
an antique samovar, the wait staff wear traditional dress and
the menu includes dishes from the entire breadth of Mother
Russia. Cap it off with one of their flavoured vodkas. QOpen
12:00 - 23:00. (4 - 8Ls). AE
Seafood
Gastronome C-4, Brīvības 31 (Radisson BLU Hotel Lat-
vija), tel. (+371) 67 77 23 91, www.mc2.lv. The company
that supplies most of Riga’s seafood also owns this beige and
brown upmarket restaurant so you can be sure that the food is
as fresh as can be. It serves fresh oysters, tuna and swordfish
steaks, scallops, lobster and many more of your favourite sea
creatures. If you haven’t had your fill at the restaurant you
can also buy fresh fish and other delicacies to take away at
its shop right next door. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Sun 13:00
- 22:00. Also at Krasta 68a, tel. (+371) 67 01 96 19. Open
10:00 - 21:00, Sun 10:00 - 19:00. (6 - 15Ls). A
Le Crabe I-1, Jauniela 24, tel. (+371) 67 21 24 16,
www.lecrabe.lv. This upmarket restaurant has managed to
poach a chef from one of the city’s best seafood restaurants.
This no doubt explains the wide selection of delicacies like
Mediterranean octopus carpaccio, king crab legs baked in
butter and Dorado a la Niçoise. But even if you’re not into any-
thing fishy you can order vegetarian cuisine and meat dishes
such as rack of lamb. Unfortunatel y, all of these tasty treats
will cost you dearl y so bring your credit card or a boatload of
cash. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. (10 - 15Ls). A
In Your Pocket goes
into the movie busine-
ss... Kind of... Over the
past few months we
have gradual l y been
putting together some
extensive video guides
to various In Your Pocket cities, using our own
editors, writers and local researchers as pre-
senters. You can see much of our video content
embedded on our website at inyourpocket.com,
or view all our videos in one place on our YouTube
channel: youtube.com/inyourpocket. Check
out our latest art nouveau video!
In Your Pocket Video Guides
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restaurants

restaurants
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Shashlik joints
NEW
Mimino C-5, Čaka 59, tel. (+371) 29 66 22 33. The
infamous Latvian expression ‘nassing speshal’ certainl y
applies to this small dive that has the audacity to calls itself
a server of authentic Georgian shashliks. Not onl y was the
chewy, fatty meat sub-par, but there reall y isn’t much else on
the menu except the harcho soup and cheese khachapuri,
which they had already run out of at lunchtime. The cheap
laminate floor, the ugly red interior and the Russian pop, which
gets considerably louder when a ‘good song’ gets airplay, don’t
make the experience any better. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00, Fri,
Sat 11:00 - 01:00. (2 - 4Ls).
Šašliki Mangaļos Mores 22, tel. (+371) 67 39 52
57. The owners of this roadside tavern are so confident
in the quali ty of their shashliks that they chose a remote
location on the far end of Mežaparks. Order a huge skewer
of meat and an Užavas draught and then choose your side
dishes: chopped onions, tomatoes and chives and freshl y
baked Armenian bread. It’s that simple. Take tram N°11 to
the Mežaparks stop and walk to the song festival grounds.
Then walk northwest on Ostas prospekts to Mores. QOpen
09:00 - 21:00. (3 - 5Ls).
Soup
Tikai karotes (Only Spoons) C-4, Stacijas laukums
2 (Origo), tel. (+371) 67 06 56 54. Not surprisingl y, Onl y
Spoons onl y serves soup. Order anything from goulash and
borsch to tomato or meatball soup in this funky green and red
cafeteria with giant teardrop lamps hanging from the ceiling.
You can also try dessert soups, coffee, smoothies and non-
alcoholic cocktails. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00. (3Ls). S
Steak houses
Steak House Dome H-1, Smilšu 2, tel. (+371) 67 32
00 37, www.steakhousedome.lv. You can order a salad,
oysters or even the duck breast, but let’s face it: this is a
steakhouse. Try the delicious steak sandwich with horserad-
ish and Bernaise sauce, tuck into a big sirloin or just splurge on
the huge steak served on an oak tray for 12.95Ls. The staff
could smile a little more, but all in all the service is excellent
and the location in a beautiful art nouveau building by Dome
Square is perfect. QOpen 11:30 - 24:00. (5 - 10Ls). A
Zilā govs (The Blue Cow) H-2, Meistaru 21, tel.
(+371) 67 22 33 07, www.zila-govs.lv. Named after a
particular breed of Latvian cow, this huge restaurant housed
in one of Old Riga’s most charming medieval buildings spe-
cialises, not surprisingl y, in a variety of different steaks that
are aged 25 - 40 days in a special meat locker. You can also
order swordfish or tuna steaks as well as nouvelle Latvian
cuisine like pork fillet marinated in quince juice fried in hemp
butter with spinach and pearl-barley risotto. Al though impos-
sible to miss, just look for the blue cow perched above the
doorway. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00. (8 - 18Ls). A
You can expect most menus at Old Riga restaurants to
list dishes in Latvian, Russian and English. Some are
guaranteed to amuse you. Favourites include ‘boiled
cancer,’ an unfortunate reference to the zodiac instead
of a crustacean, and ‘house made carbonate’ which is
actually meant to be a pork chop and not something that
an al Qaeda operative made in his basement.
Menus
0
restaurants
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
restaurants
Teatime
Amelie H-2, Zirgu 7, tel. (+371) 67 21 29 02. This cosy
little teashop offers dozens of varieties of tea stored in glass
mason jars behind the counter in a charming rustic interior.
There’s onl y one table on the ground floor, but if you take the
spiral staircase to top there’s another room with plenty of
ambience and views of the nearby square. A small selection
of homemade cakes, pies and cookies are also available as
well as iced coffee and tea in the summer. Wine and whiskey
are also on the menu. QOpen 10:00 - 21:00, Sat 12:00
- 20:00, Sun 12:00 - 19:00. A
Apsara I-2, Skārņu 22, tel. (+371) 67 22 31 60. Lovers
of imported dried leaves can enjoy a wide selection of teas
from Asia in a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere. Visit the
outlet on Skārņu for a mix of medieval and oriental decora-
tions or try the one in the Vērmanes Garden and sit on huge
oriental-style pillows in a tiny wooden house. Rumour has it
that the second floor has become a love shack of sorts for
amorous couples in the evenings. No coffee. QOpen 12:00
- 22:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 23:00. C-4, Tērbatas 2 (entrance
from Elizabetes), tel. (+371) 67 21 24 36; D-4, Barona 2a,
tel. (+371) 67 22 77 10. Open 10:00 - 23:00. A
Smilšu pulkstenis H-2, Meistaru 8, tel. (+371) 26 49
47 77. It’s al ways difficul t to get a seat at this tiny teashop
owing to its size and the delicious cakes and pastries it bakes
on the premises. Tea, coffee and freshl y squeezed juices are
all available here in a pleasant, if a bit cramped atmosphere.
The giant hourglass hanging above the door has somehow
managed to escape destruction despite the preponderance
of inebriated youth that roam Old Riga in the evenings. QO-
pen 08:30 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 20:00. Closed Sun.
Zen B-4, Stabu 6, tel. (+371) 67 31 65 21. If you feel a
cold coming on, and have an hour to spare, the exotic Chinese
tea may help cure you. As will the mellow time immersed
among pillows, lanterns, candles and other peace-seeking
patrons. This is not the place to stop in for a quick cup - the
complex brewing process is performed in front of you and
takes at least 20 minutes. For those who want something
stronger than tea, hookahs are also available. QOpen 16:00
- 02:00, Fri, Sat 16:00 - 04:00. A
Tex-Mex
Klondaika C-4, Dzirnavu 59, tel. (+371) 67 24 03 66,
www.klondaika.lv. The designer of this kitschy place has
seen one too many westerns, but we love it just the same.
Relax outside in one of the best summer courtyards the
centre has to offer, head down to the slot machine hall opti-
misticall y labelled the gold mine (zel ta raktuves), go up one
level to the saloon-style restaurant or down to the bar that
onl y closes for two hours each morning. The Tex-Mex food
is a few degrees shy of authentic, but its tasty, filling and
relativel y cheap. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri 12:00 - 02:00.
Bar open 09:00 - 07:00. (3 - 6Ls). AXW
Tequila Boom H-1, Mazā Pils 11, tel. (+371) 67 22
70 06. We’ve had enough experience wi th Mexico’s na-
tional hooch to stay away from it, but if you’re looking for the
shortcut to Drunkville then try dozens of different tequilas and
even mezcal at this cosy Tex-Mex bar. Highest marks go to
the fajitas whose marinated beef is prepared just right, but
the presence of pineapple in the burritos is a definite no-no.
The back courtyard has been enclosed so you can now eat
nachos and chilli in the ‘nearl y outdoors’ year round. QOpen
11:00 - 01:00, Fri 11:00 - 04:00, Sat 13:00 - 04:00, Sun 13:00
- 24:00. (4 - 6Ls). AX
Ukrainian
Dņipro F-2, Alunāna 6, tel. (+371) 67 22 28 58, www.
dnipro.lv. Not unlike the Orange revolution that pointed
Ukraine in a westward direction, this once Soviet-style res-
taurant was closed for business for a month onl y to emerge
from its aging cocoon a bright, inviting café. The waitresses
wear traditional shirts, the old tables and chairs have been
replaced by ornately carved furniture and the tasty, authentic
food, despite the renovations, is just as cheap as it used to
be. Order and pay at the bar. QOpen 10:00 - 21:00, Sat,
Sun 12:00 - 20:00. (2 - 4Ls). AX
Upmarket
Bergs Restaurant C-4, Elizabetes 83/85 (Berga
bazārs), tel. (+371) 67 77 09 57, www.hotelbergs.lv.
Possibly the best restaurant in Riga, Bergs never disappoints.
With a stylish interior that looks like it was ripped out of the
pages of Architectural Digest and an ever-changing menu of
international fusion and nouvelle Latvian cuisine that will satisfy
even the most demanding palates, it’s guaranteed to make your
lunch or dinner a memorable one. Special three- and five-course
meals prepared by award-winning chef Kaspars Jansons are
also available. Breakfast is served daily 07:30 - 11:00. QOpen
12:00 - 23:00. Closed Sun. (9 - 18Ls). AW
Columbine I-3, Aspazijas bulv. 36 (Metropole), tel.
(+371) 67 22 54 11, www.metropole.lv. This elegant
restaurant has re-opened after major renovations were made
to the Metropole, Riga’s oldest continuously running hotel. Its
chandeliers, brass fixtures, Persian-style carpets and paint-
ings have all been moved to the opposite end of the ground
floor and although the menu has changed to attract a more
budget-minded public, old favourites such as the giant grilled
steak served on an oak platter with mashed potatoes are still
on offer. A 3.20Ls business lunch is also available. QOpen 12:00
- 23:00. Breakfast daily from 07:30 for 5Ls. (5 - 10Ls). A
Fabrikas restorāns B-2, Balasta dambis 70, tel.
(+371) 67 87 38 04, www.melniemuki.lv. Amid cobble
stone streets and restored 19th-century houses and facto-
ries you’ll find this chic restaurant run by the same people
who brought you that staple of fine dining, Melnie Mūki. The
menu is excellent and were it not for the spectacular views
of the harbour and Old Riga’s spires, one might think they’ve
stumbled into a quaint Scandinavian fishing village. Patrons
often arrive here in Italian sports cars or in yachts which can
moor at its floating summer terrace. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00.
(8 - 18Ls). A
RC
For reviews see index on p.75.
Bar .....................................Krogs Aptieka (Pharmacy Bar)
Breakfast (early) ............................... Boulangerie Bonjour
Brunch ......................................... Harry Morgan or Osīriss
Child-friendly ................................................. Vairāk Saules
Cocktails ...................... Paldies Dievam piektdiena ir klāt
Coffee shop .........................................................Coffee Inn
Ethnic dining ........................................ Aragats or Gan Bei
Indian .................................................... Indian Tikka House
Latvian food .................................................... Alus Ordenis
Pub ............................................................................. Knaipe
Romance .......................................................... Melnie Mūki
Sports bar ..................................................Paddy Whelan’s
Style & Value-for-money ...................................... Neiburgs
Upmarket dining.................................... Bergs Restaurant
Our favourites
restaurants
1
restaurants
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
La Boheme F-2, Alunāna 2a, tel. (+371) 67 32 19 38,
www.laboheme.lv. La Boheme has a little something for
everyone. To the left is a trendy brasserie and cocktail lounge
serving light food like salads, soups and pastas for affordable
prices and to the right is an elegant upmarket restaurant
offering delicious international cuisine like Classic Charolais
entrecôte steak au poivre in veal stock sauce. Al though the
wine selection is commendable, it’s refreshing to see that
beer drinkers haven’t been forgotten. The hoppy Tērvetes
brew is available. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00, Sat 18:00 - 23:00.
Closed Sun. (5 - 8Ls; 12 - 17Ls). A
Otto Schwarz H-2, Kaļķu 28, tel. (+371) 67 08 76 23,
www.derome.lv. If you’re fabulousl y weal thy or a visiting
head of state and you’re desperate for a fantastic view of
the Freedom Monument, then the elegant, wood-panelled
Otto Schwarz si tuated on the 7th floor of Hotel de Rome
might just be the place for you. It also boasts an excellent
menu of upmarket seasonal cuisine prepared by a top chef,
one of the city’s best wine collections and even a children’s
menu. A breakfast buffet from 07:00 - 10:30 and a business
lunch from 12:00 - 16:00 are also available. QOpen 12:00
- 23:00. (15 - 20Ls). A
Piramīda G-3, Reimersa 1 (Radisson BLU Ridzene
Hotel), tel. (+371) 67 32 44 33, www.radissonblu.
com/ridzenehotel-riga. This elegant restaurant housed in
a glass pyramid has been dubbed the ‘little Louvre’ by the
local press. Its impressive international menu is guaranteed
to satisfy even the most demanding gourmet. Breakfast buffet
from 07:00 - 11:00 for 9Ls; two- and three-course business
lunch weekdays from 12:00 - 15:00 for 7 - 9Ls. It also has
great views of the park. Q Open 07:00 - 15:00; 18:00
- 23:00, Sun 07:00 - 11:00. (10 - 15Ls). A
RC
Vincents B-3, Elizabetes 19, tel. (+371) 67 33 26 34,
www.restorans.lv. A culinary institution in Riga for over a
decade, Vincents has hosted heads of state, captains of
industry and stars of the stage and screen including Prince
Charles and El ton John. In addition to an ever-changing menu
of haute cuisine cooked slowly with local eco-friendly produce,
renowned chef Mārtiņš Rītiņš also offers a variety of exotic
imported steaks. Naturall y, the interior design is also cutting-
edge. Q Open 18:00 - 23:00. Closed Sun. (16 - 22Ls). A
Vegetarian
Rāma C-5, Barona 56, tel. (+371) 67 27 24 90. This
place is popular among young people, the thri fty, those
seeking enlightenment and, of course, vegetarians because
it’s one of the cheapest places to fill your bell y in Riga and
owned by the Krishnas. The rice, cabbage and tofu dishes,
often seasoned with curry, chilli and saffron, range in taste
from bland to delicious. Proceeds from the restaurant go to
feed the poor, so eat plenty, eat often and help support two
great causes - the homeless and your wallet. QOpen 10:00
- 19:30, Sat 11:00 - 19:30, Sun 11:00 - 19:00. (2 - 4Ls).
NEW
Svada H-3, Raiņa bulv. 17 (entrance from Inženieru). In
case you’re wondering, Svada means ‘taste’ in Sanskrit and
the Indian owner of this tiny vegetarian bistro not only serves up
tasty samosas, chapati and pakora, but he doesn’t charge an
arm and a leg for them either. You can also sample some spicy
mains and soups from the Subcontinent as well as authentic
sweets and even beer and cocktails, which you can enjoy into
the wee hours at the weekend. Although it’s open from 08:00,
you shouldn’t expect a full selection of food until 11:00. Q
Open 08:00 - 23:00, Thu, Fri Sat 24hrs. (1 - 3Ls). AS
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Bars
Celsijs I-2, Mazā Monētu 5. Celsius now favours more
mainstream music, so you probably won’t hear your favourite
punk rock ditty here anymore, but it still attracts a young crowd
of students who take advantage of incredibly cheap local brews
and bottom shelf cocktails served in plastic cups. Order a drink
at the bar and try to squeeze in with strangers at one of the
wooden picnic tables. QOpen 17:00 - 06:00. AW
NEW
Ezītis miglā I-1, Palasta 9 (entrance from Jauniela),
tel. (+371) 25 93 55 56. Named after a famous Soviet-
era cartoon and children’s story, The Hedgehog in the Fog
is tucked away at the far, quiet end of a popular pub street,
which is probabl y why it seems to cater to locals instead of
tourists. Inside you’ll find the oft-repeated home-away-from-
home theme where the interior is meant to put you in mind of
your living room, with the exception of the strangers drinking
on the couch. Beer lovers should give it a pass, but if you’re
into ping-pong then order a cocktail and hit the back room.
QOpen 11:00 - 24:00.
NEW
Garāža H-2, Aldaru 10, tel. (+371) 67 33 46 96. The
garage is a small bar that tries to make the most of the
space that it has on the ground floor of a medieval building
near the Swedish Gate. The automobile theme is in evidence
everywhere from the custom American licence plate wallpaper
to the real car seats at the bar and tables. One booth is even
set up like a train sleeper car with bunk beds. The food is a
little pricey, but even grease monkeys on a budget can afford
the omelettes and pastas. Local Valmiermuižas and Cēsu on
draught. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 09:00 - 02:00, Sun
11:00 - 23:00. (3 - 7Ls). A
Gauja B-5, Tērbatas 56, tel. (+371) 67 27 56 62. Step
into a Latvian apartment circa 1970. El vis records crackle on
the Hi-Fi while a bohemian bartender grabs liquor bottles from
what appears to be someone’s grandmother’s china cabinet.
The furniture is also retro as are the Soviet style beer mugs
and the antique magazines and books. Try a milky Brenguļu
brew out on the sidewalk or grab a stool and knock back a
cheap vodka shot. In keeping with the communal living theme,
space is limited. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00.
HHC (Hardcore Hangover Club) I-2, Peldu 21, tel.
(+371) 67 22 47 99. The name says it all. HHC is definitely a
good place to nurse a hangover in relative anonymity. Choose
from three different varieties of Lāčplēsis beer from dark to
light for cheap prices or the more expensive Brenguļu micro-
brew also on draught. You can also order cocktails, play board
games, have a smoke in the back room or just have a giggle
at the sight of hard-drinking goths and bohemians sitting on
bright, floral patterned couches - a leftover from the defunct
hippy bar John Lemon. QOpen 12:00 - 04:00. A
Riga In Your Pocket has received readers’ complaints and, in
some cases, horror stories about the following places:
A13 (formerly Mary) – Grēcinieku iela;
Blow Style (formerly Monroe’s) – Skārņu 7
Enigma (formerly Puzzle) – Kaļķu iela (Līvu Square);
Līvu krodziņš (formerly Royal Pub, Lord Pub and Groks)
– Kaļķu iela (Līvu Square);
Babylon (formerly Roxy) – Kaļķu iela (Līvu Square);
Radio Bar - Šķūņu 17 (entrance from Zirgu)
Red Lion Pub - Laipu 7;
Riga Student Hostel - Teātra 12.
Warning!
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Krogs Aptieka (Pharmacy Bar) H-1, Mazā Miesnieku
1. After presiding over a staple of the Washington DC nightlife
scene for several years, American-Latvian Kristaps Krēsliņš
has opened yet another Pharmacy Bar, but this time in the
Latvian capital. Medieval brick walls, medicinal tinctures and
scales, tables embedded with capsules and pills and painted
silhouettes of old-fashioned bottles on two floors are a clever
combination of old and new and the perfect backdrop for a
night of cocktails and beers. The bar also provides a smoking
courtyard, summer terrace and a jukebox that offers anything
from Johnny Cash and Bob Marley to the Pixies and Metallica.
QOpen 17:00 - 01:00, Thu 17:00 - 03:00, Fri, Sat 17:00
- 05:00. AEX
La Belle Époque I-2, Mazā Jaunavu 8 (entrance from
Mazā Monētu), tel. (+371) 67 21 22 80. An unusual mix
of teenage boys and girls and curious foreigners congregate
in this cellar bar to take advantage of the incredibl y cheap
beer on draught. Al though it often looks like a mix between
a high school dance and an all-night rave with scant lighting
and lots of bodil y contact, the barmen/chaperones encour-
age mingling with shots of Absinthe and other hard alcohol.
QOpen 17:00 - 03:00. Closed Sun.
Lobby Bar F-3, Elizabetes 55 (Radisson BLU Hotel
Latvija), tel. (+371) 67 77 22 22, www. radissonblu.
com/latvijahotel-riga. What traveller hasn’t spent a little time
at a lobby bar out of sheer necessity? Unlike most reception
area lounges, the Radisson BLU Hotel Latvija’s offers cutting
edge design, an impressive variety of cocktails and an excel-
lent menu that offers everything from a Nicoise salad or a
Mediterranean tapas platter to big burgers and the best club
sandwich in the city. You’ll pay more for a beer than at most
other places in town, but style and comfort don’t come cheap
in Riga. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00, Fri 10:00 - 01:00. A
Pieci Vilki (Five Wolves) B-4, Stabu 6, tel. (+371)
67 29 95 55. Owned by a prominent member of a local
motorcycle club, Five Wol ves is sometimes frequented by
local neighbourhood types and at other times by hard-drink-
ing leather-clad men with beards. The menu offers a bit of
everything including fried eggs and bacon, chicken wings in
extra large sizes and steak served just right. Shot takers
shouldn’t pass up the vodka bottle served in a block of ice.
QOpen 10:30 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 13:00 - 24:00. A
Rock ‘n’ Riga J-2, 13.janvāra 33, tel. (+371) 20 04 48
01. Rock music has a new home on the edge of Old Riga.
Rock ‘n’ Riga offers a worn interior of rusty lamps, a central
wooden bar and exposed brick walls festooned with old signs,
guitars and a giant mural of rock gods Morrison, Hendrix, Kiss,
ACDC and Ozzy. The beer selection, including the popular
Valmiermuiža microbrew, is excellent, albeit pricey (2.50Ls!),
and you can order decent pub grub like chicken wings, Caesar
salads and burgers. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 09:00
- 02:00, Sun 12:00 - 21:00.
Dstyle (Dionysus Style) I-2, Skārņu 9, tel. (+371)
27 88 77 71. As we went to press Dstyle was nearing
its grand opening celebration. Located on one of Old
Riga’s most central streets, Dstyle, an homage to the
Greek god Dionysus who can be seen hanging from the
ceiling, is operated by one of Latvia’s most popular music
personalities, DJ Ella. During the day it will be a restaurant
serving international cuisine and pizzas and at night it’ll
be a cocktail lounge and club. QOpen 11:00 - 00:30,
Thu 11:00 - 03:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 06:00.
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NEW
Roks cepurē C-5, Stabu 32, tel. (+371) 29 17 58 63.
Al though it hasn’t been in this 19th-century wooden building
for very long, i ts cluttered, worn interior of rock posters,
photos, flags and the largest collection of airplane liquor
bottles in creation make it appear that it’s been here for ages.
Al ternative and hard rock music ensure a crowd of bohemian
students as well as biker types or perhaps they just come
here for the cheap beer and the largest selection of soups in
the country (about 30). Live acts occasionall y squeeze onto
the small stage. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00, Fri 12:00 - 05:00,
Sat 16:00 - 05:00, Sun 16:00 - 01:00. E
Shot Café H-2, Torņa 4-IIIB (Jēkaba kazarmas), tel.
(+371) 67 22 41 65. This popular cellar bar offers a full
menu of international food and drink during the day, but it’s
at night that Shot Café shows its true colours. Packed with
a young crowd of arty snowboard types dancing to a variety
of al ternative and house music, it’s a great place to go for a
long night of short drinks for reasonable prices. Try the ābolu
pīrāgs (a shot of vodka and apple juice topped with cinnamon).
QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 04:00. A
NEW
Taka B-5, Miera 10. Popular with Bohemians of all stripes,
this cosy bar is surprisingl y dark gi ven that i t’s walls are
painted every colour of the rainbow and are covered in artwork
including a giant golden bull’s head made of insulation foam.
The music leans toward the al ternative and the downright
obscure, the draught Valmiermuiža costs onl y 1.50Ls and its
homemade apple wine is also worth a try. Sit on a worn couch
with your laptop and use its free wi-fi, order some food or just
take in the funky atmosphere. QOpen 12:00 - 01:00. W
NEW
Trīs vīri laivā (Three Men in a Boat) C-5, Avotu 35,
tel. (+371) 28 34 87 16. Named after the classic Jerome
K. Jerome comic tale, this cosy, neighbourhood bar mainl y
caters to locals who live in the area, but it also offers a few
things that might just lure some Brits away from Old Riga.
Order beef Wellington, fish and chips or an English breakfast
and drink an incredibl y cheap local beer or imported brews
like Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA. If you’re still not convinced,
it also offers SkySports. Q (3 - 6Ls). W
Adul t entertainment
Jockey Club F-3, Elizabetes 49, tel. (+371) 67 22
88 44. The Scandinavian-owned Jockey Club has provided
adul t entertainment for Riga’s citizens and visitors since the
mid-1990s. Naked ladies practice their trade every 20 to 30
minutes, but fully clothed women dance around a pole for your
amusement between shows. A fulll stocked bar is of course
available, but private dances from incredibly beautiful women
seem to be the major draw. An expat favourite. QOpen 20:00
- 06:00. Admission: 10Ls. A
Labi C-5, Lāčplēša 47, tel. (+371) 67 28 61 15, www.labi.
tev.lv. For nearly 20 years this chain of sex shops has offered pri-
vate video booths, live strip shows and a huge selection of films,
sex toys and other gear to spice up one’s love life. Unlike many
clubs that are out to rip you off in Riga, Labi provides professional
staff and decent prices should you be one of this planet’s many
financially challenged lonely males. Splurge on an erotic massage
for around 35Ls or spend much less on a peep show. Q Open
24hrs. Also at C-4, A. Kalniņa 8. Open 24hrs; B-5, Brīvības 98;
Lāčplēša 61. Open 10:00 - 22:00. AIDC
RC
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Clubs
Amber Night F-3, Elizabetes 55 (Radisson BLU Hotel
Latvija), www.ambernight.lv. Descend into the depths
of the Radisson BLU Hotel Latvija, to find this sleek, stylish
nightclub designed with an over 25 crowd in mind. Listen to
Top 40 from the past three decades while you sip expertl y
poured cocktails served at two different bars. Hit the dance
floor, relax on gold and black couches in the main hall or occupy
one of the tables in the back that have buil t-in champagne
buckets that change colou. QOpen Thu 19:00 - 03:00, Fri,
Sat 22:00 - 05:00. Admission: Fri, Sat 5Ls. A
WaRNiNg
Babylon I-2, Kaļķu 24, tel. (+371) 67 22 52 50, www.
clubbabylon.lv. Once known as Roxy, a dodgy club, where
tourists were known to get ripped off, it appears that Babylon
has changed little apart from its name. Hit the dance floor,
have a seat on the couches upstairs and on stage, chill out
in the bar downstairs or, like most people, scratch your head
and wonder why there are so many middle-aged men dancing
with very young girls. Enter at your own risk and if you do then
be sure to pay in cash. QOpen Thu, Fri, Sat 21:00 - 06:00.
Admission: 3 - 5Ls. A
Club Essential C-4, Skolas 2, tel. (+371) 67 24 22 89,
www.essential.lv. This vibrant hotspot is not another typi-
cal boring Riga techno club. In fact, it’s quite stylish offering a
funky chill out room and several distinct areas on two levels
which are all a part of the action surrounding the central dance
floor. The music is fast-paced and progressive which is what
you’d expect given the talented DJs it imports from around
Europe each weekend. QOpen Wed, Sun 23:00 - 05:00,
Thu 23:00 - 06:00, Fri, Sat 23:00 - 10:00. Closed Mon, Tue.
Admission: 3 - 5Ls. AX
NEW
Coco Loco I-2, Pēterbaznīcas 17. Al though not exactl y
a full-fledged Jamaican bar (not yet anyway), nearl y every
wooden surface is stained in the Rastafarian colours of
red, yellow and green. I t will eventuall y be open also on
weekdays and offer a menu, but right now it’s primaril y a fun
cocktail bar and club on Friday and Saturday nights offering
Lāčplēsis on draught and plenty of rum drinks. QOpen Fri,
Sat 22:00 - 05:00.
Coyote Fly I-1, Palasta 3, tel. (+371) 67 22 77 94,
www.coyotefly.lv. The interior of black and white designer
ads and red neon is a bit lacking, but the food is tasty, albeit
expensive, and the lunch special is good value for money. The
glass box for smokers looks like a science experiment gone
awry when full and the dizzying disco lights above the urinals
might just inspire an unwanted result, but locals come here in
droves to watch girls dance on the bar and don’t mind waiting
outside. Unfortunatel y, the bouncers at the door usuall y onl y
allow Latvians to enter so you might want to give it a pass.
QOpen Thu 21:00 - 04:00, Fri, Sat 21:00 - 06:00. Closed
Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. AW
REMODELLED
Depo (Depot) I-2, Vaļņu 32, tel. (+371) 67 22 01 14,
www.klubsdepo.lv. Underground music lovers, hip youth
and, yes, even bald, over the hill travel writers, this is the
stop where you get off. Indie groups and DJ’s from abroad,
garage bands and an al ternative crowd all co-exist happil y in
this club, one of the few in Riga to sponsor rock, hardcore,
heavy metal, punk, reggae and experimental music genres.
Watch the bands perform in the basement or just have a
beer on the ground floor. QOpen 12:00 - 05:00. Admission:
concerts 3 - 5Ls. AEX

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NEW
L.A. (Lounge Alexantria) I-3, Audēju 11. Los Angeles
is about as far away from Riga as you can get but that hasn’t
stopped the owners of L.A. from opening this café/lounge
with a City of Angels theme. Mul ti-coloured cave-like walls, a
rock garden under glass and otherwise too dark interior don’t
exactl y scream California, but the Robert De Niro sandwich
(mozzarella and grilled peppers, aubergines and zucchini on
a toasted roll) was tasty, especiall y at 2.50Ls. At night L.A.
becomes a club that leans more toward hip-hop, R’n’B and
urban music with plenty of cocktails, weekend karaoke and
a cellar dance hall. QOpen 16:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 16:00
- 05:00, Sun 16:00 - 23:00. A
NEW
Moon Safari I-2, Krāmu 2, tel. (+371) 29 44 20 65,
[email protected], www.moonsafari.lv. One might
think that the queue outside indicates a steep admission
fee or strict face control, but neither is true. The bouncers
are just checking the IDs of the pretty young girls dressed in
mini-skirts and thigh-high boots. Inside you’ll discover a cav-
ernous club with even more young ladies in tempting outfits
and pleasantl y cheap drinks like Lāčplēsis beer. The music
includes pop and local Top 40 and karaoke and VIP rooms
are also available. QOpen 17:00 - 07:00.
Nabaklab H-2, Z.A. Meierovica bulv. 12, www.nabak-
lab.lv. Take a hip music club and add art exhibits and a vintage
clothing shop and you have a recipe for Riga’s best al terna-
tive hotspot. You can watch a live band in one hall, dance to
DJs in another, relax with a beer in a retro Soviet apartment
room or have a smoke and a drink at a picnic table in its huge
courtyard. Definitel y not the place for techno or pop music
fans. Did we mention that its own Nabaklab brew costs onl y
0.90Ls? QOpen 12:00 - 02:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 06:00.
Admission: Fri, Sat 2Ls. EX
Piens (Milk) A-5, Aristida Briāna 9, www.klubspiens.
lv. Located in a renovated 19th-century brewery on the edge
of the city centre, this self-proclaimed sofa bar is hard to find
and that’s the way the owners like it. Those in the know know
that this is one of Riga’s hottest clubs and many don’t mind
queuing up at the weekend to sit on one of many couches that
are each completely different in style from your grandma’s sofa
to one you’d see in your doctor’s waiting room. With two large
terraces and a funky, eclectic interior, hip and laid-back Milk is
hard to beat. Sadly, on busy nights they often bar entrance to
non-Latvians. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 05:00.
Plenty more boozers at
riga.inyourpocket.com
PUSH G-3, Tērbatas 2 (entrance from Merķeļa), tel.
(+371) 20 22 33 22, www.push.lv. Two Swedes and two
locals have put their years of club experience together to
open this huge venue onl y a block away from the Freedom
Monument in the Vērmanes Park. Popular house music and
international DJs entertain a crowd of Riga’s 25+ beautiful
people while go-go girls dance above the bottles of the central
bar. Nearl y 22km of fiber optic cable in the chandelier and
elsewhere set the mood with changing lights and drinks are
‘tax-free’ before midnight, meaning 21% cheaper. QOpen
Fri, Sat 22:00 - 06:00. Admission: 5Ls. A
NEW
Sapņi un kokteiļi C-4/5, Blaumaņa 32, tel. (+371) 22
08 72 98, www.suk.lv. When you enter the foyer and leave
your coat with the gentlemen in a suit, you might think that this
popular club is a bit old school but once you reach the main
hall you’ll no doubt be happy to realise that the atmosphere
is actually laid back and casual. A huge L-shaped bar manned
by men and women in bright overalls will no doubt grab your
attention as will the swings that surround it, not to mention
the fake garden ‘growing’ from the ceiling. Upstairs you’ll find
a hookah and cigar bar. The drinks aren’t exactl y cheap, but
no one seems to mind. QOpen Wed, Thu 17:00 - 01:00, Fri,
Sat 17:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Sun.
The Club I-2, Kungu 8, tel. (+371) 26 77 17 71, www.
theclub.lv. The name may not be too original, but there’s
plenty to see and do and The Club. A good mix of foreigners,
students and beautiful local women congregate here and
gyrate and drink to popular club music on two floors. Hi t
the dance floor to meet and greet and or take a seat on a
comfortable couch upstairs and watch the mayhem unfold
below. To avoid paying an admission fee, download a flier
from its website. QOpen Fri, Sat 22:00 - 06:00. Admission:
men 3 - 5Ls. A
Golden Bar & Club C-5, Ģertrūdes 33/35, tel.
(+371) 25 50 50 50, www.mygoldenclub.com.
Golden doesn’t promote itself much as a gay club from
the outside, but the flamboyant bartenders do a pretty
good job of convincing you just in case you didn’t get the
hint coming in. After navigating corridors and staircases
for a time, you’ll find a stylish interior, as one might ex-
pect, where patrons can sit at the bar in the atrium or
relax in the smoker’s lounge. Thankfully, it doesn’t have
that sleezy vibe that some gay clubs tend to exude.
QOpen 17:00 - 02:00, Mon, Sun 20:00 - 01:00, Fri,
Sat 20:00 - 05:00. A
Gay Riga
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Cocktails
B-Bārs I-1, Doma laukums 2, tel. (+371) 67 22 88 42.
The stylish brown interior of leather couches and chairs
spread out over three rooms is warm and inviting, the expen-
sive cocktails, including the ones made with Latvia’s national
drink, are among the best the city has to offer. QOpen 10:00
- 24:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 03:00. A
Cream Café F-3, Dzirnavu 55, tel. (+371) 67 28 40 74,
www.creamcafe.lv. Not unlike the cafés you find in Western
European cities, Cream Café serves breakfast food like om-
elettes in the morning, local and European cuisine for lunch
and dinner, cocktails and music in the evenings. Take a seat
at one of the stylish couches facing the long bar or duck down
into the cellar for a bit more privacy. DJs spin dance tunes for
clubbers at the weekend. QOpen 09:00 - 24:00, Thu 09:00
- 03:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 06:00. Closed Sun.
Cuba Café H-1, Jauniela 15, tel. (+371) 67 22 43 62,
www.cubacafe.lv. The global fascination wi th Fidel and
Guevera is still alive and well in Riga in this dimly-lit café whose
walls are adorned with black and white photos of the tropical
nation and its immortal leader. Although a few assorted start-
ers are on offer, Cuba Café is more of a cocktail bar serving
pricey island drinks in an intimate setting. QOpen 15:00
- 02:00, Fri, Sat 15:00 - 05:00. AX
Mad House H-2, Kaļķu 11, tel. (+371) 67 22 05 54. Mad
House offers a scatter-brained interior of old movie posters,
niches that look like retro living rooms and kitchens and even
a portrait of old Lenin. Mixed drinks are delicious but will cost
you dearl y so you might want to stick with a local draught
beer like Tērvetes. A full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu is
available as well as a dance floor and a chill out room hidden
in the depths of the cellar. QOpen 09:00 - 03:00, Fri 09:00
- 06:00, Sat 10:00 - 06:00, Sun 10:00 - 03:00. A

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Skyline Bar F-3, Elizabetes 55 (Radisson BLU Hotel Latvi-
ja - 26th floor), tel. (+371) 67 77 22 82, www. radissonblu.
com/latvijahotel-riga. A visit to the Skyline Bar has become
a mandatory stop Riga’s tourists and this fact is reflected in its
largely foreign clientele. The views are spectacular and the retro
interior of shag carpeting, comfy couches and an abundance
of pillows is warm and inviting. Getting one of the seats by the
windows is a chore, but it’s worth the effort. The wait staff can
be a little lethargic, but perhaps it’s due to the altitude. Tapas
and sandwiches available. QOpen 16:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat
15:00 - 02:00, Sun 15:00 - 01:00. AEX
Star Lounge B-4, Dzirnavu 33 (Albert Hotel - 11th floor),
tel. (+371) 67 14 27 49. The name is certainl y in keeping
with the Einstein theme of the hotel, but perhaps it’s also due
to the fact that everyone’s much closer to heavenl y bodies
on the 11th floor. In any event, you’re guaranteed fantastic
views from several stylish couches and a wide selection of
cocktails for typicall y high prices given the establishment’s
elevated position. An outdoor terrace is also available for
fearless drinkers in the summer months. QOpen 15:00
- 01:00, Fri, Sat 15:00 - 02:00. A
Live music
Bites Blues Club B-4, Dzirnavu 34a, tel. (+371) 67 33
31 25, www.bluesclub.lv. The dark interior is basic without
any trendy trappings, the way a real blues club should be. If
you’re unfortunate enough to miss the live acts on weekend
nights, sometimes from as far away as Memphis, classic
performances are often broadcast on the big screen during
the day. Even if the blues is just another colour to you, it’s
worth a visit for the delicious international cuisine and the
Užavas beer on draught. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00, Fri 11:00
- 01:00, Sat 14:00 - 01:00. Closed Sun. Admission: Fri, Sat
5 - 15Ls. AE
Četri Balti Krekli I-3, Vecpilsētas 12, tel. (+371) 67 21
38 85, www.krekli.lv. Ultra-Latvians raised on folk songs and
beer find their way to this restaurant/club when they want to
hear nothing but familiar rock and quality live performances.
Bring a well-versed native to point out famous writers and art-
ists, who often find inspiration under the brick ceiling. White
shirts aren’t required, but no matter how much you smile at
the bouncer, you won’t get in wearing trainers. QOpen 22:00
- 05:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Sun. Admission: 1 - 5Ls. AEX
Kabata (Pocket) I-2, Peldu 19, tel. (+371) 67 22 33
34, www.kabata.lv. Descend the spiral dungeon stairs
and enter this Pocket filled with teenage bodies gyrating to
three-year-old top 40 radio hits. Though it’s worth catching
local musicians some nights, the scene of questionabl y legal
youngsters on their third beer might warrant a pass. On the
other hand, if it’s young local ladies you’re after in the small
hours of the morning, then look no further. QOpen 22:00
- 05:00. Admission: 1 - 3Ls. AEX
Pubs
Kiwi Bar I-2, Skārņu 7 - 3, tel. (+371) 67 21 19 17, www.
kiwibar.lv. Over the years Riga has had its share of English
and Irish pubs, but this is the first kiwi pub to open its doors in
the Latvian capital. Friendl y staff from Riga and New Zealand
pour a good selection of foreign and domestic beers behind
a huge rectangular bar while patrons admire the light wood
interior and watch sports on a bunch of flat screen TVs. You
can order a variety of pub food from burgers and breakfasts to
sandwiches and ribs or even Indian cuisine from neighbouring
Indian Raja. The Kiwi Bar is also open nearly all day and night.
QOpen 09:00 - 05:00. (3 - 7Ls). A
WaRNiNg
Līvu krodziņš H-2, Kaļķu 22. The city’s most infamous
rip-off joint has yet again changed its name, this time to Līvu
krodziņš. When this place was known as Groks, it was the
most notorious perpetrator of tourist scams in Latvia. After
Riga In Your Pocket and its readers brought this to the at-
tention of the local media, it soon shut its doors. To our horror
and dismay it was re-opened as Lord Pub, but police raids,
bad press and your comments once again made them change
their name to Royal Pub. Don’t even look at this place!
Restorācija B/C-5, Tērbatas 54, tel. (+371) 26 44
42 78. Run by a member of a local motorcycle club and a
popular Latvian actress, this small pub and restaurant draws
a diverse crowd of bearded, tattooed men in leathers, thirsty
poli ticians, neighbourhood bohemians and the occasional
granny out for a slice of coffee and cake. Al though the menu
offers all kinds of interesting dishes like honey marinated
venison with cranberry sauce and Latvian favourites like blood
sausage, it’s also just a good place to have a delicious local
beer for a very reasonable price. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00.
Closed Sun. (3 - 6Ls). A
Runcis (Tomcat) I-2, Jāņa sēta 1, tel. (+371) 67 22 41
98. The kind of place where you wish everybody knew your
name. It’s totall y Latvian in its beer, food, and frequenters,
who are usuall y playing chess, playing cards and exchanging
anecdotes. If the thought of seeing another tourist makes
you queasy, head here to hide and enjoy some of Old Riga’s
cheapest beer. In short, it’s a place that most women find
boring and most men intriguing. QOpen 12:00 - 02:00, Sat,
Sun 14:00 - 02:00. A
NEW
Stacijas robeža C-4, Blaumaņa 14. With oil paintings
of locomoti ves, red and gold banners wi th hammers and
sickles, rail way signs and even children’s wallpaper wi th
bunnies riding trains, this cosy cellar pub is a depot of Soviet
era railroad cul ture. Order Bal tic style food from omelettes
to ‘Lenin’s meat dumplings’ that come with a shot of vodka
and a gherkin or just enjoy Latvian brews or cocktails. A big
screen is also available for concerts, hockey games and the
like. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 02:00, Sun 17:00
- 24:00. (2 - 4Ls). W
Riga Out There Tel. (+371) 29 38 94 50/(+371)
67 48 24 43, www.out-there.eu. On Thursday, Friday
and Saturday nights English-speaking guides will take
you and your friends to Riga’s best bars and clubs. The
20Ls tours include at least five destinations and a free
drink or free admission depending on the venue. Groups
of 6 - 20 people are welcome on the tour that is meant
for people who want to experience the ‘real’ Riga, not
the drunken wanderings of a stag party. They also of-
fer sightseeing tours as well as shooting, paintball and
bobsleigh excursions.
Riga Weekend Tel. (+371) 26 57 61 66, www.
rigaweekend.com. If you’re looking for a custom tai-
lored nightlife tour of Riga for only 15Ls, this company
will set you up with a charming female guide that will take
you on a pub crawl of the city’s best bars that includes
free admission to a striptease club and a nightclub. They
also arrange a wide variety of activities in Latvia such as
paintball, bobsleigh runs, go-carting, shooting with real
guns, airport transfers and much more.
Nightlife tours
nightliFe

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October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Sports bars
Alberts Pub H-2, Šķūņu 19, tel. (+371) 22 33 20 41,
www.albertspub.lv. Bishop Albert founded Riga in 1201, so
it’s perhaps appropriate that this sports pub located across
the square from the cathedral he buil t bears his name. You
can watch sports on three large flat screens, sample over a
dozen different beers for under 2Ls and order burgers, fish
and chips, an English breakfast or other pub food for afford-
able prices. In fact, nothing on the menu costs more than
5Ls. Naturall y, Alberts shows all of the usual sporting events
including local hockey, English, Spanish, German and even
Scandinavian football and pretty much anything else you
could possibl y want to watch. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Fri,
Sat 12:00 - 01:00. AW
Paddy Whelan’s Irish Pub & Sports Bar I-2, Grēcinieku
4, tel. (+371) 67 21 01 50, www.pub.lv. Although it’s con-
sidered a traditional Irish pub it’s also a sports bar dedicated
to the finer things in life - namely football and formula one. On
the ground floor you can expect a dozen or so flat screen TVs
showing different matches, while upstairs you’ll find a cosier
atmosphere with loads of memorabilia on the walls including
a portrait of Pierluigi Collina. In addition to the usual Irish and
international pub food, Paddy’s also offers a menu of authentic
Indian cuisine cooked in a real tandoor. QOpen 11:00 - 01:00,
Fri, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 04:00. AEXS
Grecinieku iela 4, Old Riga, Latvia. Tel: +371 67210150
Open daily 11:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 04:00
www.pub.lv
Your home away from home!
17 kinds of local and imported
beers and ciders on draught
Live sports on Sky Sports
on a large screen and
numerous flat screen TVs
Extensive, affordable menu
including home-style Indian
food made by Indian chefs.
Late nite munchies until 02:00
British owned and managed
Friendly, service-minded staff
Karaoke every Fri, Sat
at 22:00. Jukebox, darts
and table football
D’vine F-3, Elizabetes 55 (Radisson BLU Hotel
Latvija), tel. (+371) 67 77 22 17, www.radissonblu.
com/latvijahotel-riga. Banish all images of typical wine
bars where scruffy men sit and smoke at wooden tables
stained with the ghosts of drinks past. Sleek, modern
D’vine is located on the second floor of the new glass and
cutting-edge metal arrow jutting out of the Radisson BLU
Hotel Latvija. Snack on Mediterranean tapas and salads
while you sip a wide variety of wine and spirits by the glass,
half-bottle or bottle. QOpen 12:00 - 23:00, Fri 12:00
- 01:00, Sat 12:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. A
NEW
La Dolce Vita C-4, Tērbatas 23/25, tel. (+371) 67
28 18 31, www.ladolcevita.lv. From the outside it’s hard
to tell whether this place is a bar or an exclusive shop - the
kind where men in black suits constantly give you the eye.
Inside the feeling is similar, like you’re afraid to talk or break
something, but the staff are friendly and can recommend
Italian whites, reds and rosés with a side salad or maybe
a prosciutto plate. The bare white walls are occasionally
punctuated with a colourful modern painting. QOpen
11:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. A
NEW
Tinto C-4, Elizabetes 61, tel. (+371) 67 28 90 85.
Al though this stylish wine bar and café with merlot co-
loured couches offers great views of passers-by on busy
Elizabetes iela as well as the twisted bronze statues of
the Riga cinema next door, it’s tucked away off of the
street so you could pass by and never know it’s there.
An earl y breakfast, delicious tapas like baba ghanoush
and fried sardines, Spanish ham, cheese and olive plat-
ters and refined meat and seafood main courses are just
a few reasons to dine here. A good selection of wine by
the bottle or glass as well as top-shelf spirits like Maker’s
Mark bourbon are also tempting. QOpen 08:00 - 24:00,
Sat 10:00 - 24:00, Sun 10:00 - 23:00. (3 - 8Ls). A
Wine bars
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what to see
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
what to see
Essential Riga
Art Nouveau architecture B-3, Alberta 2, 2a, 4, 6,
8, 13; Elizabetes 10a & 10b; Strēlnieku 4a. Visit the big-
gest gallery of Art Nouveau architecture by Russian architect
Mikhail Eisenstein, father of the illustrious filmmaker Sergei
Eisenstein who was born in Riga. Most of the buildings have
now been renovated and of particular interest is the house at
Strēlnieku 4a. Built in 1905 it has since undergone a complete
facelift and is now home to the Stockholm School of Econom-
ics in Riga. Don’t miss the Riga Art Nouveau Museum at the
end of Alberta iela, a must see.
Latvi an Ethnographi c Museum (Latvi j as
etnogrāfiskais brīvdabas muzejs) Brīvības gatve
440, tel. (+371) 67 99 45 15, www.brivdabasmuzejs.lv.
100 hectares of life as it used to be. Farmsteads, windmills,
fishing villages, churches and other historic structures have
been moved here and preserved for posterity. Watch crafts-
men perform various tasks or try some Latvian cuisine and
drink in the tavern. Take bus N°1 from the corner of Merķeļa
and Tērbatas to the Brīvdabas muzejs stop. QOpen 10:00
- 17:00. Admission: 2Ls.
Riga Cathedral (Doma baznīca) H-1, Doma laukums,
tel. (+371) 67 21 32 13, www.doms.lv. The largest place
of worship in the Bal tics, measuring 187 x 43m, with walls
two metres thick, Riga Cathedral also has one of the big-
gest organs in Europe (6,768 pipes!). It was such a marvel
in its day that Franz Liszt composed a piece of music in its
honour. The drop from Cathedral Square (Doma laukums) to
the church’s base shows how the level of the city has risen in
the 800 years since its foundations were laid on the site of a
Livonian fishing village. Unfortunatel y, the massive structure
is in desperate need of repairs, hence the steel beams and
other supports you’ll see around columns and just below
the ceiling. The price of the ticket also includes access to
its Romanesque cloister. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00, Wed, Fri
09:00 - 17:00. Admission: 2Ls.
St. Peter’s Church (Pēterbaznīca) I-2, Skārņu
19, tel. (+371) 67 22 94 26, www.peterbaznica.lv.
First mentioned in ancient chronicles in 1209, St. Peter’s
was a Catholic church until 1523, when it turned Lutheran.
Its wooden tower, the highest in Europe at that time, was
destroyed several times. It first collapsed in 1666 and was
rebuil t a year later. To see how long it would last, the builders
hurled a glass from the top: the more pieces the vessel broke
into, the greater the tower’s longevity. Alas, a pile of straw
cushioned the glass’ fall and the spire burnt down one year
later. Artillery fire destroyed the structure again in 1941. In
1973 it was finall y rebuil t and the glass ritual was repeated,
this time with smashing resul ts. Take the lift to the observa-
tion platform for spectacular views of the city. QOpen 10:00
- 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission: tower 3Ls.
The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia (Latvijas
okupācijas muzejs) I-2, Strēlnieku laukums 1, tel.
(+371) 67 21 27 15, www.occupationmuseum.lv. Once
a museum honouring the Latvian Red Riflemen, the building
now houses a fascinating museum dedicated to the Nazi and
Soviet occupations of Latvia. The various exhibits display the
atrocities committed against the people of Latvia and the
systematic destruction of their nation’s sovereignty. Visitors
can walk into a reconstructed gulag barracks and catch a
glimpse of the intolerable living conditions in Siberian labour
camps. Exhibits are available in English, German, Latvian and
Russian, but you can also choose to use an audio guide with
headphones in English or German or just ask for a live guide.
QOpen 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission: donations.
Churches
Orthodox Cathedral (Pareizticīgo katedrāle) G-3,
Brīvības 23, tel. (+371) 67 21 12 16. Buil t between 1876
and 1884, this yellow-brick church capped with five gilded cu-
polas was turned into a planetarium during the occupation but
was finall y returned to its congregation in 1990. The Soviets
destroyed many of the church’s ornate works of art includ-
ing wall and ceiling frescoes by the famous Russian painter
Vereshchagin. Much of the cathedral has now been restored
to its former glory. (08:00 and 17:00, Sat 07:00, 09:30, 17:00,
Sun 08:00, 10:00, 17:00 - Church Slavonic)
St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Church (Sv.
Aleksandra Ņevska pareizticīgo baznīca) C-4,
Brīvības 56, tel. (+371) 67 28 32 01. Construction of this
Classicist wooden building began in 1820 and was completed
five years later. In 1862 its eclectic-style belfry was added.
Yellow and round with a large green dome, it’s hard to miss
it on the corner of Brīvības and Blaumaņa. Inside you’ll find
three porticoes, beautiful icons and, unusually, a central altar
in the middle of the room.
St. James Cathedral (Jēkaba katedrāle) H-1, Jēkaba
9, tel. (+371) 67 32 64 19, www.catholic.lv/katedrale.
This church beside the parliament was first mentioned in
ancient chronicles in 1225. In 1522, it became the first church
in Latvia to hold a Lutheran service, but during a brief Polish
occupation 60 years later i t was returned to i ts Catholic
flock, who have held it ever since. (08:00, Sun 09:00, 18:00
- Latvian) QOpen 07:00 - 19:00.
St. John’s (Jāņa baznīca) I-2, Skārņu 24, tel. (+371)
67 22 40 28. First mentioned in 1297 when it served as
the chapel of a Dominican abbey, the monastery and church
were closed during the Reformation in 1523. The building was
used for a time as the city’s armoury, until it was taken over
by a Lutheran congregation in 1582. During the building’s
construction two monks were bricked into the southern wall
and lived out their lives there, fed through the window grate.
QOpen 11:00 - 20:00, Wed 11:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon.
Admission: donations.
St. Saviour’s (Anglikāņu baznīca) H-1, Anglikāņu 2a,
tel. (+371) 67 22 22 59, www.anglicanriga.lv. This little
church commissioned by British traders living in Riga was built
in 1857 on a shipload of English soil speciall y imported from
the UK. Consecrated in 1859, the church was onl y full when
British warships visited Latvia. Transformed into a student
disco during Soviet times, it is once again a place of worship
which is attended by Riga’s English-speaking expat popula-
tion. Its pastor and his dedicated flock are also renowned for
their charitable works. (Sun 11:00 - English)
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October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
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Museums
Fire-Fighting Museum (Latvijas ugunsdzēsības
muzejs) B-4, Hanzas 5, tel. (+371) 67 33 13 34. Set
up in 1978 on the premises of a former fire station buil t in
1912, this museum displays the history of fire fighting in Latvia
from the second half of the 19th century until the present.
View fire fighting equipment, uniforms, flags, photographs
and documents. QOpen 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Sun.
Admission: 0.20Ls.
History Museum of Latvia (Latvijas vēstures
muzejs) H-1, Pils laukums 3, tel. (+371) 67 22 13
57, www.lnvm.lv. Visitors can view the evolution of Latvia
and its people from the Stone Age to the present here. The
exhibi ts display a variety of themes including Bronze Age
artefacts, ancient currency, folk costumes and tradi tional
farming tools. Of particular interest are the black and white
still photos of farmers demonstrating their specialised tasks.
QOpen 11:00 - 17:00, Wed 11:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon.
Admission: 0.50 - 1Ls.
Latvian National Museum of Ar t (Latvijas
Nacionālais mākslas muzejs) F-3, Valdemāra 10a,
tel. (+371) 67 32 44 61, www.lnmm.lv. Enter this time
capsule and marvel at the red-carpeted marble stairs and gilt
walls and ceiling, which display murals of Latvian landscapes.
View classic paintings, drawings, watercolours and sculptures
by the Latvian masters Rozentāls, Annuss, Val ters, Padegs,
Liberts and many more. Works by the famous philosopher,
artist and explorer Nicholas Roerich and many other Bal tic-
Russians and Germans are also available. Postcards and
reproductions of famous Latvian paintings are available for
sale in the lobby. QOpen 11:00 - 18:00, Fri 11:00 - 20:00, Sat,
Sun 12:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission: 1 - 3Ls.
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Latvi an Photography Museum (Latvi j as
fotogrāfijas muzejs) I-2, Mārstaļu 8, tel. (+371) 67
22 27 13, www.fotomuzejs.lv. This small museum covers
the development of photography in Latvia from 1839 - 1941.
View antique equipment from the previous two centuries and
the world’s largest exhibit dedicated to the famous Latvian
produced Minox ‘spy camera.’ The first floor displays black
and white stills of Latvians at work, war and play and key
historic events. The top floor contains periodic local photo
exhibitions. QOpen 10:00 - 17:00, Thu 12:00 - 19:00. Closed
Mon, Tue. Admission: 1.50 - 2.50Ls.
Latvian Railway Museum (Latvijas dzelzceļa
muzejs) E-2, Uzvaras 2/4, tel. (+371) 67 23 28 49,
www.railwaymuseum.lv. Retrace the tracks of rail history
in Latvia in this museum run by Latvian Rail ways (Latvijas
dzelzceļš). Inside the brick hangar you’ll find old photographs,
antiquated machines and a few specimens of old wagons.
Outside you can look at restored Soviet diesel and electric
locomotives buil t in Ukraine and Russia as well as a German
locomotive buil t in 1942 that no doubt became a spoil of war.
QOpen 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Sun. Admission: 1Ls.
Latvian Sports Museum (Latvijas Sporta muzejs)
I-2, Alksnāja 9, tel. (+371) 67 22 51 27, www.spor-
tamuzejs.lv. This small museum housed in an histori c
medieval building traces the evolution of Latvian sport from
the late 19th-century when cycling, swimming and wrestling
were all the rage to the present day when hockey and other
winter activities seem to dominate. Look at black and white
photos, old medals, posters from the 1930s and some trul y
interesting memorabilia like world champion Uljana Semjon-
ova’s enormous (men’s US 21/EU 58) basketball shoes! An
excellent colour photo exhibit is available upstairs. QOpen
10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Sun. Admission: 0.50Ls.
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what to see
Latvian National Museum of Art M.Zaprauskis
Riga Bike Tours J-2, Kalēju
78, tel. (+371) 26 40 57 84,
www.rigabiketours.lv. For €17
you can take a guided bike tour of
Riga that includes the old town’s
best si ghts, the ci ty centre’s
parks and art nouveau treasures
as well as l esser-known areas
l i ke the port and the Moscow
District. Daily tours begin at their
office in Old Riga at 11:00 and
15:00. Q A
Riga City Tour I-1, Rātslaukums, tel. (+371) 26
65 54 05, www.citytour.lv. Buy a ticket good for 48hrs
for 10Ls and hop on and off the red double-decker Riga
City Tour buses wherever and whenever you like. An
audio guide in nine languages including English is also
available. Tours begin at Rātslaukums.
Riga Out There Tel. (+371) 29 38 94 50/(+371)
67 48 24 43, [email protected], www.out-there.
eu. Offer daytrips to Sigulda, Jūrmala, Rundāle Palace
and the Ethnographic Museum in Riga as well as night-
life tours of the Latvian capital. Also organise extreme
sports excursions, airport transfers, accommodation
and much more. Q A
Segway Tours H-2, Torņa 4 (Jēkaba Kazarmas II-
C), tel. (+371) 27 87 64 71, www.segway.lv. Avoid
traffic or the exhaustion of walking! Join the modern
age and take a tour of the city not on foot or by bus, but
on a segway. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat, Sun 11:00
- 19:00. A
Activities, excursions & Tours
Mentzendorff’s House (Mencendorfa nams) I-2,
Grēcinieku 18, tel. (+371) 67 21 29 51, www.mencen-
dorfanams.com. For fans of antiquity this fascinating histori-
cal house that once belonged to a weal thy Riga merchant
is a must. Restored furniture, 18th century frescoes and a
true medieval atmosphere are all here for your perusal. Not
onl y can you see how the medieval rich li ved in their fine
apartments, but also how the servants toiled in the massive
kitchen area. Guided tours in English and German available.
QOpen 11:00 - 17:00, Thu 12:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon, Tue.
Admission: 1 - 2Ls.
Museum of Decorative Art & Design (Dekoratīvās
mākslas un dizaina muzejs) I-2, Skārņu 10/20, tel.
(+371) 67 22 22 35, www.lnmm.lv. Latvian textiles, ce-
ramics as well as glass, wood and metal work are all housed
in this gallery/museum. Formerl y St. George’s church, i t’s
the oldest survi ving religious stone building in Riga (13th
century). You can also purchase local textiles, jewellery and
other souvenirs here at i ts shop. Exhibi tions usuall y cost
extra. QOpen 11:00 - 17:00, Wed 11:00 - 19:00. Closed
Mon. Admission: 2 - 3Ls.
Museum of Doll Art (Leļļu Mākslas muzejs) I-3,
Teātra 3, tel. (+371) 29 25 72 85, www.dollart.lv. This
unique museum is scheduled to move to its new location
on Teātra iela in Old Riga at teh beginning of October. View
a variety of antique and modern dolls and stuffed animals
from porcelain, plastic and rag dolls to classic Teddy bears.
The oldest exhibition dates back to 1802 and the museum
also explains the art of doll making over the past centuries.
Educational seminars are also on offer. QOpen 11:00 - 18:00,
Thu 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Sun.
Admission: adul ts 2.50Ls, children 1Ls.
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Museum of Pharmacy (Farmācijas muzejs) I-2,
Vāgnera 13, tel. (+371) 67 21 30 08, www.mvm.lv.
The making of medicine used to be an art, judging from the
exhibit in this historic home in Old Riga. Displays of porcelain
containers, tools and century-old remedies trace the history
of pharmacology in Latvia, and the authentic drugstore brings
visitors back to the 1920s. It’s worth calling ahead to book
a tour, because onl y then will the more obscure and even
ominous aspects of prescribing and creating medicine be
explained. Many of the antique packages and flasks contain
their original contents, which in some cases are still potent.
Just because the warning labels aren’t in a language you
understand doesn’t mean you should try the drugs. QOpen
10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Sun. Admission: 1Ls.
Museum of Riga’s History and Navigation (Rīgas
vēstures un kuģniecības muzejs) H/I-1, Palasta
4, tel. (+371) 67 35 66 76, www.rigamuz.lv. Enter this
unique museum and walk up the stairs to the first floor to
discover temporary exhibitions from Latvia and abroad, as
well as art and memorabilia from the days of the first Latvian
Republic. The second floor displays Bronze Age artefacts
and medieval curiosities, such as the sword used by Riga’s
executioner in the 16th century and the mummified hand of an
unlucky criminal. You can also take a peek at Riga Cathedral’s
courtyard, which is also open to the public, from upstairs.
QOpen 10:00 - 17:00, Thu 12:00 - 19:00. Admission: 3Ls.
Museum of Romans Suta and Aleksandra Beļcova
(Romana Sutas un Aleksandras Beļcovas muzejs)
C-4, Elizabetes 57a - 26, www.vmm.lv. Head into the
courtyard and take the stairs to the fifth floor to find this small,
yet fascinating museum dedicated to a husband and wife
that produced a wide variety of interesting art in the 1920s
and 1930s. Romans Suta painted common scenes such as
pub life, but is perhaps best known for his contribution to the
world of design having created film sets, fashion and porcelain
flatware. His wife Aleksandra was an accomplished painter
who specialised in portraits. You can see period furniture,
paintings, sketches and memorabilia in this restored apart-
ment where they once lived. QOpen 11:00 - 18:00, Thu
11:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission: 1.50Ls.
Museum of War (Kara muzejs) H-2, Smilšu 20, tel.
(+371) 67 22 81 47, www.karamuzejs.lv. Latvia is one of
the most war-ravaged countries in Europe. Crusader, Swed-
ish, Polish, German and Russian armies have all left their
mark. This museum of photos and memorabilia documents
the struggles of the 20th century, from WWI and the war for
independence up to and including the Nazi and Soviet occu-
pations of WWII. One exhibition chronicles the development
of the Latvian army from WWI until 1940. QOpen 10:00
- 17:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission: free.
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what to see
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
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RC
RC
Canal boats For 3 - 5Ls you can
climb aboard a unique 100-year-
old wooden launch (or a replica)
and take a one-hour tour of the city
from an unusual perspective - the
Riga Canal. Although most people
get on at Bastion Hill you can also
wait for the electric launch every
hal f hour below the Stockmann
shopping centre and across the
street from the Central Market and by Big Christopher
on the Daugava River. The trip takes an hour before it
returns to your original embarkation point, but you can
get off at any of the other stops along the way between
09:00 - 23:00. Weather permitting, the boats usually
operate until the end of October and sometimes into
November.
KMK Tel. 26 66 86 61, www.kmk.lv. Three boats are
now available on the canal – the Darling, built in 1907,
and its replicas the Maria and the Rebeka. Q
Boat cruises
Natural History Museum of Latvia (Latvijas Dabas
muzejs) D-4, Barona 4, tel. (+371) 67 35 60 24, www.
dabasmuzejs.gov.lv. One of Riga’s oldest museums has
been renovated and modernised in recent years with interac-
tive exhibits, informative touch screens and learning games
for the kids. The second floor is dedicated to palaeontology
and geology with mock-ups of ancient ecosystems and fossils
under glass, while the third floor specialises in zoology with an
unparalled taxidermy collection that includes everything from
eagles to lions and even a giraffe. The fourth and fifth floors
present exhibits relating to human evolution, marine biology,
botany and entomology. An impressive hanging skeleton of
a killer whale offsets gruesome exhibits of human skulls and
foetuses. QOpen 10:00 - 17:00, Thu 10:00 - 18:00, Sun
10:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission: 1.20Ls.
Paul Stradin Museum of the History of Medicine
(P. Stradiņa medicīnas vēstures muzejs) B-3,
Antonijas 1, tel. (+371) 67 22 26 65, www.mvm.lv.
Named in honour of the Latvian physician Pauls Stradiņš, this
fascinating museum traces the medical practice throughout
the ages. View straight jackets, old medical equipment, a
recreated 19th-century pharmacy and plaques warning of
smallpox. QOpen 11:00 - 17:00, Thu 11:00 - 19:00. Closed
Mon, Sun. Admission: 1.50Ls.
Riga Art Nouveau Museum (Rīgas Jūgendstila
muzejs) B-3, Alberta 12, tel. (+371) 67 18 14 65, www.
jugendstils.riga.lv. This museum is housed in an apartment
where one of Latvia’s best art nouveau archi tects once
lived - Konstantīns Pēkšēns. The prolific artist and engineer
who was responsible for the creation of no less than 250
buildings in Riga also designed this impressive edifice. The
historic house was also home to the illustrious painter Janis
Rozentāls and the writer Rūdolfs Blaumanis to whom another
museum is dedicated on the top floor. View period furniture
and artwork from one of the Latvian capital’s most creative
eras. A must see. Don’t miss the grand staircase! QOpen
10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission: 2.50Ls.
Riga Film Museum (Rīgas Kinomuzejs) I-2, Peitavas
10/12 (entrance from Alksnāju/Mazā Peitavas), tel.
(+371) 67 35 88 73, www.nfc.lv. Al though difficul t to find,
if you’re a film buff it’s might be worth the effort to visit this
small museum hidden away in an Old Riga courtyard. Its main
collection of memorabilia, photos and other movie history is
available at an even less accessible location, but periodic
exhibitions on interesting film topics are open to the public
here year-round. QOpen 11:00 - 18:00, Thu 13:00 - 20:00,
Sat 11:00 - 16:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Sun. Admission: 0.50
- 2Ls (Wednesdays free).
Riga Motor Museum (Rīgas motormuzejs)
Eizenšteina 6, tel. (+371) 67 09 71 70. If you’re an au-
tomobile aficionado or a fan of Soviet concrete architecture,
then it’s definitel y worth the trip to high rise suburbia. An
eclectic collection of cars, from vintage Rolls Royces, BMWs
and Mercedes’ to Soviet mechanical wonders can all be seen
here, but don’t miss the wax figures of Stalin in his armoured
ZIS 115 and Brezhnev at the wheel of his crashed Rolls
Royce. Take bus N°21 from Brīvības to the Pansionāts stop in
Mežciems. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Admission: 1.50Ls.
Rīga Porcelain Museum (Rīgas porcelāna muzejs)
I-2, Kalēju 9/11 (Konventa Sēta), tel. (+371) 67 50
37 69, www.porcelanamuzejs.lv. The Konventa Sēta
houses the onl y porcelain collection of its kind in the Bal tics.
The exhibit traces the rich history of porcelain manufactur-
ing in Riga, chiefl y started in 1841. An enormous red and
gold vase dominates the exhibit, and is a standout not onl y
because of its size, but because it was speciall y made for
Riga on her 700th birthday in 1901. One room is filled with
works from the Soviet era, when images of leaders were im-
mortalised on vases. QOpen 11:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon.
Admission: 1Ls.
Sun Museum (Saules muzejs) I-2, Kungu 1, tel.
(+371) 67 22 55 87/(+371) 29 69 04 16, www.saules-
muzejs.lv. Iveta Gražule, the museum’s owner and curator,
began collecting images of the sun with the purchase of a
sil ver necklace ornament in Portugal in 1999. Over the years
her collection grew so large that she finall y decided to open a
museum to house it. View 342 porcelain, metal, iron, wood,
papier-mâché, coconut and glass wall decorations of the
sun from 43 countries and six continents at Europe’s onl y
sun museum. You can also paint your own plaster sun in the
cellar workshop, which is included in the price of admission.
Not surprisingly, the collection keeps growing as visitors send
their own sun mirrors, clocks, plates and ceremonial masks
from around the globe. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00. Admission:
adul ts 2Ls, children free. TJ
Art nouveau on Alberta iela M.Zaprauskis
5
what to see
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
what to see
On November 18, 1918, a group
of Latvian intelligentsia declared
their nation’s independence from
the disintegrating Russian Empire.
Dominated by foreign powers since
the arrival of Teutonic knights at
the end of the 12th century, Lat-
vians finally had their own state.
Unfortunately, rogue German mili-
tary units and the new Bolshevik
government in Russia didn’t take
the declaration seriously and fighting continued until,
with the help of the Polish and Estonian armies, all of
Latvia’s enemies were expelled from the country in 1920.
Independence Day is celebrated with various events
and concerts in Riga, a military parade on 11.novembra
krastmala and a speech by the Latvian president.
Independence Day
Parks & Cemeteries
Bastion Hill (Bastejkalns) G-2, Separating Old Riga
from the new centre. This hill was created from 1857 to
1859 to replace the old defensi ve sand bul wark. Wi thin
its precincts are memorial stones to five people killed by
Soviet bullets during the January 1991 disturbances. Among
the dead were camera operators documenting the stormy
events. Despite the popular coverage of the Gulf War at the
time, their footage was shown all over the globe, much to the
chagrin of the Soviets.
Brothers’ Cemetery (Brāļu kapi) Aizsaules 1b. The
Cemetery of Heroes is the last resting place for the Latvian
soldiers who died defending Latvia from 1915 - 1920. Buil t
by Kārlis Zāle in the constructivist style of the 1920s with
white tufa, you can’t miss the impressive statue of ‘Mother
Latvia,’ who dominates an army of little graves. Take tram
N°11 from Barona to the Brāļu kapi stop.
Great Cemetery (Lielie kapi) A-6, between Senču,
Miera, Klusā and Klijānu. The Great Cemetery must have
trul y lived up to its name when it was a popular resting place
for Riga’s elite in the 18th and 19th centuries. Unfortunatel y,
many of the headstones were removed or destroyed during
the Soviet period, but a large restored crypt built in 1777, Ger-
man and Latvian famil y plots and the graves of Krišjānis Bar-
ons and Krišjānis Valdemārs have survived and are all worth a
visit. Take tram N°11 from Barona to the Mēness stop.
Places of interest
Cat House (Kaķu māja) H-2, Meistaru 10/12. The Cat
House is named for two black felines perched on the points
of its towers. Not onl y did the beasts curse their first sculptor,
he fatall y fell while putting them up, but their purpose was to
cause trouble. Roughl y 100 years ago, the Latvian owner of
the building was excluded from the powerful Big Guild across
the road by its ethnocentric German occupants. He ordered
the cats to be turned around, backside up, as an insul t to his
enemies. They were turned around after a lengthy court battle
and he was eventuall y admitted to the Guild.
Central Market (Centrāltirgus) J-3, Centrāltirgus
iela, www.centraltirgus.lv. When construction was com-
pleted in 1930, Riga’s Central Market was one of the largest
and most modern marketplaces on the European continent.
Seventy years later, four of the five pavilions, which were used
as zeppelin hangars during WWI, still serve their original func-
tion as meat, fish, produce and dairy markets. The bustling
atmosphere also hasn’t changed much, al though most of
the hawkers are more reluctant to haggle than in the past.
The markets spill out beyond the confines of the hangars
and operate throughout the day, some longer than others.
QOpen 08:00 - 17:00, Mon, Sun 08:00 - 16:00.
Freedom Monument (Brīvības piemineklis) H-3,
Where Brīvības and Raiņa meet. ‘Milda,’ as she is affection-
atel y known, was unveiled in 1935 and is a national shrine for
Latvians. Designed by Kārlis Zāle, the friezes around the base
of the sculpture depict Latvians singing, working and fighting
for their freedom, while the three stars in the maiden’s hands
represent the three historical regions of the country: Kurzeme,
Vidzeme and Latgale. Locals are always placing flowers at the
base of the monument, an act for which people were deported
to Siberia in Soviet times. The honour guard changes every
hour on the hour from 09:00 - 18:00.
Great & Small Guild Halls (Lielā & Mazā Ģilde) H-2,
Amatu 6 and Amatu 5. During the centuries of German eco-
nomic domination, the guilds were Riga’s power brokers. The
former, dating from 1384, was the home of the merchants,
while the latter held the city’s artisans. These slightl y differ-
ent audiences are reflected in the respective usage of the
buildings today: while the Great Guild is home to the Latvian
Symphony Orchestra, its smaller cousin hosts conferences
and the occasional disco.
House of Blackheads (Melngalvju nams) I-2,
Rātslaukums 7, tel. (+371) 67 04 43 00, nami.riga.lv/
mn. One of the architectural treasures of Riga, it was rebuil t
in honour of the city’s 800th anniversary in 2001. Dating
from 1344, it was destroyed in 1941. The Soviets completely
pulled down the ruins in 1948, because it was considered to
represent ‘decadent’ German architecture. A striking Gothic
building with a Dutch Renaissance facade, it was used to
house travelling, single members of the merchants’ guild.
Many of i ts fantastic riches accompanied Bal tic-Germans
who repatriated to Germany in the late 1930s. The building
is now open to the public. QOpen 11:00 - 17:00. Closed
Mon. Admission: 2Ls.
Laima Clock (Laimas pulkstenis) H-2, Where Brīvības
and Aspazijas meet. Satiekamies pie Laimas pulksteņa
- let’s meet at the Laima clock! The yellow-brown clock in front
of the Freedom Monument has been a meeting place since it
was erected by social democrats in 1924 so people wouldn’t be
late for work. For decades it has advertised Laima chocolate,
and many a sweet romance has started here. The famous
clock was completely renovated some years ago.
Ribbit! M.Zaprauskis
what to see
55
what to see
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Every year around Latvia’s inde-
pendence day festivities in No-
vember, Riga puts on an amazing
light festival for a few nights which
i s seen by tens of thousands
of peopl e. Dozens of buil dings
throughout the city are illuminated
with photographs, games, films
and other artistic creations and
the old town is usuall y flooded
with people. The atmosphere is
definitely festive and it’s a great night out for families,
groups of friends or individuals who’d like a glimpse of
something truly unique. This year’s celebration will begin
on November 18 and will be visible every night until No-
vember 21. For more information about light installations
and specific routes around the city visit www.staroriga.
lv. Photo courtesy of the Riga City Council
Riga Shines
Monument to the Repressed (Represēto pi-
emineklis) Torņakalns train station. During the Soviet
occupation of Latvia, tens of thousands of men, women and
children were ripped from their homes and sent to Siberia
as slave labour. The most infamous dates for deportation
are June 13 - 14, 1941 and March 25, 1949, when roughl y
15,000 and 42,000 people, respectivel y, were abducted in
the middle of the night. They were crammed into cattle cars
for the long trip to destinations unknown. Few ever returned.
A monument has been erected in memory of these people
at the station from which many began their horrible journey.
Take tram N°10 from Grēcinieku to the Torņakalna stacija stop.
The monument is directl y behind the station.
Old City Walls & Swedish Gate (Vecpilsētas mūris
& Zviedru vārti) H-2, At the corner of Torņa and Aldaru.
This is the oldest remaining portion of the Old Town fortifi-
cations, the rest having been progressivel y knocked down
because artillery made them obsolete. This fragment was
built between the 13th and 16th centuries and restored during
Soviet times, hence its rather ‘new’ appearance. It used to
run between the Bishops’ Castle and the Castle of the Broth-
ers of the Sword. At the end of Aldaru, is the Swedish Gate
(Zviedru vārti), buil t in 1698 to celebrate the Scandinavians’
occupation of the city, and the onl y such structure left in Old
Riga. The apartment above belonged to the city executioner
or bende, who would put a red rose on the window ledge on
the morning before a head rolled.
Powder Tower (Pulvertornis) H-2, Smilšu 20. Dating
back to the beginning of the 14th century, onl y the rock foun-
dations remained after it was destroyed by invading Swedish
troops in 1621. It was rebuil t in 1650 with 2.5m thick walls to
protect its valuable contents inside and was obviousl y suc-
cessful, as nine Russian cannonballs that hardly made a dent
were later embedded in its walls by cheeky masons. At the
end of the 19th century a German student fraternity bought
the building, but today it’s part of the War Museum.
Riga Castle (Rīgas pils) H-1, Pils laukums 3. Buil t
in 1330 as a base for the Li vonian Order, the castle was
destroyed several times during battles with the local towns-
people. After the Order’s destruction, the various occupiers
of the city housed their governors inside. Latvia’s first post-
Cold War president Guntis Ulmanis made it his official office to
continue the tradition begun by Latvia’s interwar presidents in
the 1920s and 1930s. It also houses two museums.
Riga National Zoo (Rīgas zooloģiskais dārzs) Meža
prosp. 1, tel. (+371) 67 51 84 09, www.rigazoo.lv. Take
a look at a wide variety of animals from around the globe
including tortoises from the Galapagos, Japanese macaques,
Bactrian camels, African zebras, lions, tigers, and giraffes,
Asian red pandas and European bears, wolves and seals. The
zoo also has a top-notch tropical house filled with rare birds,
snakes, frogs and insects. Take tram N°11 from Barona to the
Mežaparks stop. QOpen 10:00 - 16:00. Admission: adul ts
4Ls, children 3Ls, free for children under four.
Salaspils 22km south-east of Riga. The memorial site of
a concentration camp where the Nazis murdered thousands
of Jews and other ethnic groups, including Latvians, is outside
of Riga city limits, but worth the trip. On the walls of a concrete
structure, which now serves as the gateway to the camp, the
words ‘The earth moans beyond this gate’ are inscribed. Half
a dozen monumental statues symbolising hope and defiance
are located here. A metronome eeril y ticks in memory of the
victims and the foundations of the barracks are still visible.
Take a south-eastern train bound for Ogre, Liel vārde or Aiz-
kraukle seven stops to the Dārziņi station.
Three Brothers (Trīs brāļi) H-1, Mazā Pils 17, 19, 21,
tel. (+371) 67 22 07 79, www.archmuseum.lv. The Three
Brothers are the oldest stone residential buildings in the city
and represent different stages in the architectural develop-
ment of Riga, from medieval to Baroque. The oldest of the
three is N°17 and dates back to the 15th century. The other
two were buil t in the 17th and 18th centuries, respectivel y.
The Riga Museum of Architecture is located in building N°19.
QOpen 09:00 - 17:00, Mon 09:00 - 18:00, Fri 09:00 - 16:00.
Closed Sat, Sun. Admission: free.
Town Hall Square (Rātslaukums) I-2, Rātslaukums.
The statue of St. Roland, Rīga’s patron saint, was erected in
the centre of Town Hall Square in 1897, but was later moved
to St. Peter’s after it was damaged in WWII. A replica now
occupies i ts pedestal. Most of the medieval square was
destroyed during the last war, but has now been rebuil t with
mixed resul ts. The reconstructed town hall on the northern
side of the square is graced with a baroque tower and a post-
modern roof and is now once again open for business.
Warehouse District (Spīķeru kvartāls) D/E-4, Be-
tween Maskavas, Turgēņeva and Krasta streets, www.
spikeri.lv. Located just behind the Central Market these
beautiful brick buildings were originall y erected in the second
half of the 19th century as part of a concerted effort to keep
warehouses out of the city centre. After the massive market
was created in the 1930s some of the buildings were recon-
structed, but many still retain their original functional brick
architectural style. The area between Maskavas and Krasta
streets has been designated an area of urban revitalisation
and restaurants, bars and galleries have opened here.
Old Riga window M.Zaprauskis
5
what to see
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
Riga Ghetto Museum M.Zaprauskis
November 11, al so known as
Lāčpl ēsis Day, marks a turning
point in Latvian history when the
newly formed national army, with
the help of civilian volunteers, won
a decisi ve victory in 1919 over
enemy troops driving them from
Riga. Traditionally, the event, which
honours the nation’s freedom fight-
ers, is commemorated by lighting
candl es i n apartment wi ndows
throughout the city and at the H-1, Riga Castle wall on
11.novembra krastmala.
Lāčplēsis Day
Jewish Riga
Great Choral Synagogue (Die Greise Hor Shul) D-
5, At the corner of Gogoļa and Dzirnavu, www.jews.lv.
Al though the colossal synagogue no longer exists, it’s worth
the 10 minute walk from the train station to see what remains
of this one-time place of worship and to meditate on one of the
most beastl y crimes committed during the Nazi occupation
of Latvia. On Jul y 4, 1941, hundreds of Jewish refugees from
Lithuania and local Latvian Jews were herded into the base-
ment of the synagogue which was then intentionall y burned
to the ground. Onl y ruins, a metal menorah and a memorial
stone remain. A memorial to Žanis Lipke and other Latvians
who saved hundreds of Jews is located next to it.
Jews in Latvia C-4, Skolas 6, tel. (+371) 67 28 34
84, www.jews.lv. Located on the third floor, this small, yet
informative museum documents, in Latvian and English, the
history of Jewish life in Latvia beginning with the 18th century.
Visitors can discover the important role Jews played in Latvian
society and the contributions they made to intellectual life,
the arts and even sports. The exhibits are also a moving tes-
timony to the suffering Latvian Jews experienced at the hands
of the Nazis and Soviets. The last section of the museum en-
titled ‘The Jewish People Survived’ illustrates the triumphant
rebirth of Judaism in Latvia after independence. QOpen
12:00 - 17:00. Closed Fri, Sat. Admission: donations.
NEW
Riga Ghetto Museum (Rīgas geto muzejs) E-4,
Maskavas 14a (entrance from Krasta). Although more of an
outdoor monument with exhibits than a museum, this courtyard
between Maskavas and Krasta streets is still worth a visit,
especially if you’re interested in Jewish history. Its main feature
is an ominously long wall covered with the names of victims of
the Holocaust in Latvia. You can also look at Nazi propaganda,
horrifying photos of tortured bodies, stills of ghetto life and
grainy black and whites of old synagogues across the country,
most of which no longer exist. A proper indoor museum is also
in the works, but might not open for some time. QOpen 10:00
- 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Admission: donations.
Synagogue (Peitav Shul) I-2, Peitavas 6/8, tel.
(+371) 67 21 45 07, www.jews.lv. Buil t in 1905, this is
the onl y surviving Jewish prayer house and the main meeting
place for the 12,000-strong community. Although it was used
as a warehouse during the Nazi occupation, its sacred scrolls
and other treasures were hidden and escaped destruction.
It is said that the building was not burned to the ground as
others had been due to its close proximity to other houses in
Old Riga. It’s been closed for renovations, but is due to open
sometime this autumn.
Soviet Riga
Latvian Riflemen Monument (Strēlnieku pieminek-
lis) J-1, Strēlnieku laukums. In the centre of Old Riga stands
a controversial statue in honour of the Latvian Red Riflemen,
some of whom became Lenin’s personal bodyguards. Some
view the monument as a symbol of the old communist system
and would love to tear it down. Others believe it is a neces-
sary tribute to Latvians who fought in the earl y years of WWI.
Politics aside, it’s quite an impressive statue.
Pokrov Cemetery (Pokrova kapi) A-5/6, Mēness
3, www.pokrovskoe.lv. Al though this old cemetery is
seldom visited by anyone apart from the occasional animal
enthusiast out to walk his dog, it’s a fascinating place to stroll
about for an hour or so. Most of the headstones are from the
19th century and tell tales of tsarist bureaucrats who will be
dearl y missed, but a small section is also dedicated to fallen
communist soldiers crowned by a large gold-coloured monu-
ment depicting a soldier carrying a Soviet flag. One bizarre
stone also immortalises roughl y a dozen orphans who were
supposedl y drained of their blood by the Nazis. The orthodox
church and chapel are also worth a quick peek.
Riga Aviation Museum (Rīgas aviācijas muzejs)
Airport (to the right of the terminal), tel. (+371) 26 86
27 07, aviamuseum.org. If you’re a fan of Tom Clancy novels
or the Cold War in general, then this little known museum
located to the right of the airport terminal is a must see
when in Riga. Walk among Soviet helicopters and planes of
varying age and size from MiG fighter jets to the enormous
Mi-6 passenger helicopter which set world records for speed
and hauling capacity. Its rotor has an unbelievable diameter
of 36m! Q Open 10:00 - 17:00, Sat, Sun by appointment
onl y. Admission: 2Ls for locals, 5Ls for tourists.
Soviet Victory Monument (Uzvaras piemineklis)
E-2, Over the Akmens Bridge in Pārdaugava. The Soviet
war memorial which commemorates the supposed com-
munist ‘liberation’ of Riga is the place to meet die hard reds
on Soviet anniversary days. Buil t in 1985 to lionise the Red
Army and to dishearten and annoy the Latvian populace,
the monument consists of a tall concrete obelisk adorned
with five golden stars symbolising the five years of WWII. On
either side are bronze statues of Mother Russia and soldiers
advancing with their weapons raised. Dozens of hectares of
parkland surround this shrine to former Soviet glory. Take
tram N°5 from 11. Novembra krastmala to the second stop
over the Akmens Bridge.
what to see
Art nouveau architecture is one of Riga’s claims to fame,
and rightly so. Not to be confused, as it often is, with 1930s
art deco that is so famously illustrated in the Chrysler and
Empire State buildings of New York, the ‘new art’ or ‘new
style’ often referred to as Jugendstil is a slightly older form
of expression that gained popularity at the end of the 19th
and beginning of the 20th centuries. Confused? A general
rule of thumb is that if something looks sleek, angular and
shiny it’s probably art deco, but if you’re faced with elaborate,
flamboyant naked maidens, floral motifs and funky gargoyles,
it’s most likely art nouveau.
Over a third of all buildings in Riga are examples of this unique
school of design which begs the question: why are there so
many in the Latvian capital? The answer is actually quite
simple. When art nouveau was at the height of its popularity,
Riga just happened to be at the zenith of an unprecedented
financial boom. This incredible wealth also coincided with
an earlier lifting of a ban against erecting masonry buildings
outside the city walls. In medieval times, all of the wooden
buildings outside the ramparts would be razed to prevent
an invading army from using them for shelter. By the mid-
19th century it finally dawned on the Russian authorities
that ‘modern’ warfare had rendered the city’s ancient walls
and forti fications obsolete. The result was an incredible
era of construction that lasted much longer than the city’s
recent boom that ended in disaster both aestheticall y
and financially speaking. One of the city’s most prolific art
nouveau architects was Mikhail Eisenstein (1867 - 1921),
father of the legendary Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein
who gave the world such cinematic treasures as Battleship
Potemkin and Ivan the Terrible. He is best known for his
collection of buildings on Alberta iela that is famous for its
unusual sculptures, coloured bricks and tiles, geometric
ornaments and uniquely shaped windows.
Ethnic Latvians would also leave their mark on Riga and
Konstantīns Pēkšēns (1859 - 1928) designed no less than
250 buildings including the iconic edifice at Alberta 12, which
the architect once called home and that now houses the Riga
Art Nouveau Museum. A founder of the Riga Architects Union
and a Riga councilman, he embraced all of the styles of the
times and moved on from the eclecticism so popular in mid
to late-1800s Riga to art nouveau and later its offshoot,
national romanticism. The latter was an attempt by Latvian
architects to incorporate elements of ethnic mythology and
folklore into their designs.
But art nouveau wasn’t only relegated to the façades of the
city’s buildings. The flowery style became a part of everyday
life and was present in well-to-do homes in furniture, flatware
and fashion and was commercially used in graphic design,
most famously in advertisement posters. For a fascinating
look at an art nouveau apartment where even the bathroom
and kitchen are adorned with Jugendstil elements visit the
Riga Art Nouveau Museum where the staff give tours dressed
in period costume (see below).
Essential art nouveau
Alberta iela (B-3)
Nearly every building on this street is an
art nouveau masterpiece and roughly
hal f of them were designed by Mikhail
Eisenstein including the buildings at 2, 4, 6, 8 and 13. The
most stunning example is arguably the latter that boasts a
massive woman’s face, a screaming woman, a satyr and
large busts of crowned representations of lady liberty. The
building at No.11 is a classic example of Latvian national
romanticism designed by Eižens Laube in 1908, another
prolific local architect of the age. You’ll also find a sphinx
or two guarding entrances and windows shaped like old
keyholes. The philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin lived at No.2.
Blaumaņa 28 (C-4)
Punctuating the narrow space where
Blaumaņa and Pērses streets meet at
Barona, this classic art nouveau building
designed by Karl Johann Felsko in 1903
looks like something only Bram Stoker or
Mary Shelley could conceive. It’s covered
in dragons, wolves and a variety of hideous gargoyles with
gaping mouths – art nouveau’s dalliance in the macabre.
Elizabetes 10a & 10b (F-2)
Two of Eisenstein’s most iconic buildings
can be found next to one another at
the corner of Elizabetes and Antonijas
streets. The blue façade on the left with
the incredibly long faces at the top is
one of the most photographed buildings
in the city and the one on the right is no
less impressive with it’s oddly shaped windows and smiling
sun face under the balcony. The building across the street
at No.33 is also his creation.
Jauniela 25/29 (I-1)
This massive yellow edifice that replaced
several Old Riga buildings in 1903, stood
nearly abandoned after independence
until it was recently re-opened as one
of the ci t y’s premi er desi gn hotel s
– Neiburgs. It’s a blend of art nouveau
and eclecticism and is famous for the enormous woman’s
head hovering above the entrance. It was designed by a
Riga architect with the decidedly German name of Wilhelm
Ludwig Bockslaff.
Kalēju 23 (I-2)
One of Riga’s most beautiful buildings was
the brainchild of Pauls Mandelštams, who
is also considered to be the city’s first
Jewish architect. You can’t miss its grand
entranceway embellished with daisies
and a hanging lamp made to look like a
flower, not to mention the golden son above.
Smilšu 2 (H-1)
Built in 1902, this red brick building that
looks like it has been overgrown by a
forest of trees and flowers as well as
mythical creatures is an early example of
Konstantīns Pēkšēns conversion to the
ideals of art nouveau. The naked figures
of an Atlas-like man and woman growing
out of tree trunks prop up the centre of the façade which
is adorned with a stele of a peacock – a popular symbol
of art nouveau.
For more art nouveau treasures and our art nouveau video
tour of Alberta iela visit www.inyourpocket.com/latvia/Art-
Nouveau-in-Riga_71844f.
More art nouveau
Riga Art Nouveau Museum (Rīgas Jūgendstila
muzejs) B-3, Alberta 12, tel. (+371) 67 18 14 65, www.
jugendstils.riga.lv. This museum is housed in an apartment
where one of Latvia’s best art nouveau architects once lived
- Konstantīns Pēkšēns. View period furniture and artwork
from one of the Latvian capital’s most creative eras. QOpen
10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission: 2.50Ls.
Art Nouveau Riga B-3, Strēlnieku 9, tel. (+371) 67 33
30 30, www.artnouveauriga.lv. The onl y shop in Riga to
exclusivel y sell art nouveau merchandise. Buy small plaster
faces from Riga’s most famous facades, silk scarves with art
nouveau designs, mugs, greeting cards, books and linens.
Naturall y, it’s located at the end of Alberta iela opposite the
Art Nouveau Museum. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. A
57
art nouveau in riga
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
5
getting around
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
getting around
Days Dep Arr Ship Dep Arr Days
From Riga Stockholm To Riga
17:30 09:30 Romantika* 17:00 11:00
17:30 09:30 Festival** 17:00 11:00
From Liepāja Travemunde+ To Liepāja
4,7 04:00 07:30 Kaunas 18:00 22:30 2
Kaunas 20:00 23:30 5
From Ventspils Travemunde+ To Ventspils
2,5 04:00 07:30 Urd 18:00 22:30 3,6
From Riga Travemunde To Riga
3,7 06:00 09:00 Bal tic Amber 21:00 02:00 1,5
From Ventspils Nynashamn
(Stockholm)+
To Ventspils
2 00:01 10:00 Ask 10:00 22:05 1
3 09:00 19:00 Ask 19:00 07:05 2
4 20:00 08:00 Ask 22:00 10:00 3
6 18:00 06:05 Ask 22:00 10:00 5
7 23:00 09:00 Ask 08:00 20:00 7
Ferry schedule
+ Visit www.scandlines.lv for information about other destinations around the
Baltic Sea. * Departs Riga on even days and Stockholm on odd days in October;
departs Riga on odd days and Stockholm on even days in November. ** Departs
Riga on odd days and Stockholm on even days in October; departs Riga on even
days and Stockholm on odd days in November. Schedule subject to change.
Tarom www.tarom.ro. The Romanian national airline offers
direct flights to Bucharest.
Turkish Airlines H-3, Aspazijas bulv. 22, tel. (+371)
67 35 94 44, www.turkishairlines.com. QOpen 09:00
- 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Also at the airport, tel.(+371) 67
35 94 44. Open Wed, Fri, Sun 10:30 - 15:30. Closed Mon,
Tue, Thu, Sat.
Uzbekistan Airways B-3, Elizabetes 11, tel. (+371)
67 32 45 63, www.uzairways.com. Direct flights to New
York (JFK) and Tashkent. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00, Fri 09:00
- 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
Wizz Air www.wizzair.com. Flights to and from London
(Luton), Oslo (Torp) and Turku, Finland.
Airport
Airport (Lidosta) Tel. (+371) 1187 (toll call)/(+371)
29 31 11 87 (toll call from abroad), www.riga-airport.
com. Riga international airport, known throughout the world
as RIX, lies some 13km southwest of the city. The Airport
Express shuttle stops at three different hotels (Hotel Riga,
Nordic Bellevue and Monika) in the city centre and two hotels
on the left bank of the river (Islande Hotel and ABC Hotel) every
30 minutes between 05:30 - 00:45. The trip costs 3Ls. Bus
N°22 leaving from 13. janvāra will take you there for 0.70Ls
(departure times - www.rigassatiksme.l v).
The airport has undergone major improvements over the
years and the latest upgrade includes a new terminal for
low cost airlines. A TGIFriday’s is available at the far right
of the airport and a LIDO Latvian restaurant is open on the
top floor of the main terminal for those who want a last sip
of a local beer or who just can’t stand airplane food. Latvian
souvenirs from music CDs to local alcohol are available at a
shop located on the other side of the security checkpoint. For
more information visit its comprehensive website.
Car rental
AddCar Rental Airport, tel. (+371) 26 58 96 74, riga@
addcarrental.com, www.addcarrental.com. An inexpen-
sive al ternative to the large brand name car rental agencies.
Short and long term rental of new cars for travel in all three
Bal tic nations. Q A
Auto Tel. (+371) 29 58 04 48, www.
carsrent.lv. Onl y €40 - 50/day and an
English-speaking driver can also be hired
if you don’t feel like sitting at the wheel. It
also offers 24-hour reservation, unlimited
mileage and free delivery to any Riga ad-
dress. Q Open 24hrs.
EgiCarRent Tel. (+371) 29 53 10 44,
fax (+371) 63 02 63 39, egicarrent@
egi.lv, www.egi.lv. This car hire company
specialises in Volvos including Volvo S80s
starting at as low as €27 per day. Free
deli very to any destination in Riga. Q
Open 24hrs. A
Europcar H-2, Torņa 4 - IIIC - 102, tel.
(+371) 67 22 26 37, www.europcar.
lv. Q Also at the airport, tel. (+371) 67
20 78 25. A
Vintage Car D-5, E.Birznieka-Upīša
20, tel. (+371) 29 52 06 26, info@
vintagecar.lv, www.vintagecar.lv. I f
you’re looking for a unique experience and
maybe also a glimpse into Latvia’s past,
why not rent a classic Soviet car? It won’t
have an mp3 player, or power steering
for that matter, but it will have plenty of
character.
RC
Looking for cheap flights in Europe? Need to know how
much a tram or trolleybus costs? Want to know what time
a bus leaves for Liepāja or when to catch an overnight train
to St. Petersburg? Read on.
Airline offices
Aeroflot F-3, Skolas 9, tel. (+371) 67 24 02 26, www.
aeroflot.lv. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
AeroSvit Airport, tel. (+371) 67 20 75 02, aerosvit@
neonet.lv, www.aerosvit.com. Flights to Kyiv, Ukraine.
airBaltic Airpor t, tel. (+371) 90 00 11 00 (toll
call)/(+371) 67 00 60 06 (from abroad), www.airbaltic.
lv. The Latvian national airline flies to dozens of destinations
throughout Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. QOpen
05:00 - 23:00. Also on C-4, Tērbatas 14. Open 09:00 - 18:00,
Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun.
Belavia Airport, tel. (+371) 67 32 03 14, www.belavia.
by. Direct flights to Minsk.
City Airline Tel. (+46) 31 60 03 85, www.cityairline.
com. Flights to Gothenburg, Sweden.
ČSA Czech Airlines Airport, tel. (+371) 67 20 76 36,
www.czechairlines.com. QOpen 06:45 - 17:00, Sat 10:00
- 16:00, Sun 11:00 - 16:00.
Finnair Airport, tel. (+371) 67 20 70 10, www.finnair.
com.
LOT (Polish Airlines) Airport, tel. (+371) 67 20 71
13, www.lot.com. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00, Sat, Sun 12:30
- 15:30.
Lufthansa Airport, tel. (+371) 67 50 77 11, www.luf-
thansa.lv. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 15:00.
Norwegian Tel. (+371) 90 00 62 00, www.norwegian.
no. Norway’s low cost airline offers cheap direct flights to
Oslo and Trondheim.
Ryanair www.ryanair.com. Europe’s leading budget airline
now offers cheap direct flights between Riga and Bremen,
Bristol, Brussels, Dublin, Dusseldorf (Weese), East Midlands
(UK), Frankfur t (Hahn), Glasgow (Prestwi ck), Li verpool,
London (Stansted), Milan, Oslo, Stockholm (Skavsta) and
Tampere, Finland.
SmartLynx Airport, tel. (+371) 67 20 73 92, www.
smartlynxweb.com. A subsidiary of Icelandair Group that
offers charter flights.
getting around
5
getting around
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
You can fl y direct from Ri ga to
dozens of major cities including
Dublin, London, Frankfurt, Mos-
cow and even New York, not to
mention more exotic locales such
as Amman, Baku, Beirut, Dubai,
Dushanbe and Tashkent. Best
of all, Riga Airport has become a
popular destination for a variety of
European low cost airlines so you
can buy tickets without losing your shirt. For a complete
schedule and a complete list of airlines that service Riga
visit www.riga-airport.com.
Flight schedule
Ferries
Ave Line Zivju 1 (Vecmīlgrāvis Terminal), tel. (+371) 29
44 49 99, www.aveline.lv. Ferries from Riga’s Vecmīlgrāvis
terminal to Lubeck (Travemunde), Germany.
Riga Passenger Terminal B-3, Eksporta 3a, tel.
(+371) 67 32 62 00, www.portofriga.lv. If you’re travelling
to Riga with Tallink from Stockholm then you’ll arrive here.
Scandlines Ventspils, Dārzu 6, tel. (+371) 63 62 07
83, fax (+371) 63 62 06 90, www.scandlines.lv. Regular
passenger and cargo ferries from Ventspils and Liepāja to
Travemünde, Germany and from Ventspils to Nynäshamn,
Sweden (60km from Stockholm).
Tallink B-2, Eksporta 3a, tel. (+371) 67 09 97 00, www.
tallink.lv. Tallink provides regular ferry service between
Riga and Stockholm with two modern ships. QOpen 09:00
- 19:00. Also at D-4, Stacijas laukums 2 (Train station - Tunnel
A). Open 09:00 - 21:00. A
Long-distance buses
Bus Station (Autoosta) J-3, Prāgas 1, tel. (+371)
90 00 00 09, www.autoosta.lv. The bus station is open
from 05:00 - 24:00. For information try the info centre (08:00
- 21:00) next to the main entrance. Riga is linked to major
European cities in the East and West. The bus is quicker and
cheaper than the train but they often fill up quickl y, especiall y
during the summer. Ticket counters 1 - 9 sell tickets to all local
destinations. For buses to Kyiv, Moscow and Western Europe
visit the international ticket office or starptautiskā kase next
to the waiting room or contact the following:
Ecolines J-3, Prāgas 1 (Bus station), tel. (+371) 67 21
45 12, www.ecolines.net. Buses to a number of destina-
tions throughout Europe. QOpen 07:00 - 21:30. Also on
C-5, Čaka 45, tel. (+371) 67 27 44 44. Open 09:00 - 19:00.
Closed Sat, Sun.
Eurolines Lux Express J-3, Prāgas 1 (Bus station),
tel. (+371) 67 78 13 50, www.luxexpress.eu. Try i ts
luxury express buses to Tallinn and Vilnius that include free
wi-fi, coffee and tea, toilet and a lounge in the back of the bus.
Also operate routes to other cities in the Bal tics, Poland and
Russia. QOpen 06:40 - 22:00. A
Nordeka Dzirciema 121, tel. (+371) 67 46 46 20,
www.nordeka.lv. Operate both foreign and domestic bus
routes. Tickets can be bought at the bus station any day
of the week 08:00 - 23:00 (international). QOpen 08:00
- 16:30. Closed Sat, Sun.
Parking
You can park your car safely in one of many guarded park-
ing lots or autostāvvietas. Prices vary.
EuroPark G-2, Z.A. Meierovica bulv. 8 (Jēkaba Arkāde),
tel. (+371) 67 32 45 08, www.europark.lv. Offers park-
ing lots of varying capacities throughout the city starting at
1.50Ls/hour or 4.50Ls/day. See website for more locations
and prices. Q Also at F-3, Elizabetes 55 (Radisson BLU Hotel
Latvija - entrance from Baznīcas); D-4, Stacijas laukums 4
(Origo); C-5, Lāčplēša 32; C-4, Pērses 2A. Open 24hrs.
Petrol stations
Dinaz B-3, Hanzas 16b, tel. (+371) 67 33 34 84. 24-hour
petrol station, shop and toilets. Q Open 24hrs. Also at A-4,
Skanstes 7, tel. (+371) 67 37 35 58. A
Statoil G-1, Eksporta 1c, tel. (+371) 67 32 50 66, www.
statoil.lv. Petrol stations with shops and toilets. Q Open
24hrs. Also at A-5, K.Valdemāra 104, tel. (+371) 67 36 08
13; A-6, Brīvības 176a, tel. (+371) 67 31 69 48; D-5, Kurbada
8, tel. (+371) 67 24 42 63. A
Public transport
Riga has nine tram lines, 20 trolleybus routes and 54 bus
routes that operate from as early as 05:00 to as late as
01:00, depending on the route. Buy a ticket from the driver
for 0.70Ls or purchase a cheaper e-talons ticket for 0.50Ls
beforehand at desi gnated Ri ga
Transport (Rīgas Satiksme) ticket
offices, at public transport ticket
machines or at Narvesen and Plus
Punkts newsstands, post offices
and Rimi supermarkets.
If you’re planning on using public
transport frequently then it’s more economical to buy a ticket
for more than one trip or for a period of time. Passengers can
choose from a wide variety of different ticket options which
include tickets for one (0.50Ls), five (2.50Ls), 10 (4.75Ls) and
20 (9Ls) rides or tickets good for one (1.90Ls), three (5.70Ls)
or five (9.50Ls) days of travel. The tickets are valid for trams,
trolleybuses and city buses. If you buy an e-talons ticket you
have to press it up against the electronic ticket readers on
the bus or tram as soon as you board the vehicle. The green
light will flash and the display will show you how many more
rides are left on the card (e.g. Atlikums: 7).
You can also take a mikroautbuss or mikriņš, passenger
vans that list their destinations and route numbers on their
windscreens. They are a scourge to urban transit as they’ll
basically stop anywhere along their routes to pick up or drop
off passengers causing delays and traffic jams. Pay the driver
the fare, which varies depending on the route.
Read more about routes and exact departure times in
English on the Riga Transport Authority’s website www.
rigassatiksme.lv. RC
A walk past St. Peter’s façade M.Zaprauskis
0
getting around
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
Mail & Phones
From Riga To Riga
Dep Arr City Dep Arr
07:12 10:59 Daugavpils 06:15 09:12
13:00 16:40 (6,7) Daugavpils (6,7) 13:08 16:52
16:14 19:05 Daugavpils 07:17 10:58
17:25 21:07 Daugavpils 17:53 21:58
18:30 21:35 (5,7) Liepāja (1,6) 06:00 09:10
10:30 14:39 Ludza 04:12 08:30
16:50 21:07 Ludza 16:26 20:40
16:20 09:41 Moscow 18:59 10:05
18:50 09:00 St.Petersburg 20:55 09:00
06:32 09:48 Valga (Valka) 05:10 08:28
13:54 17:11 Valga (Valka) 11:42 15:03
18:15 21:23 Valga (Valka) 17:29 20:39
Long distance train schedule
Trains to Sigulda, Cēsis, Valmiera, Jūrmala and Jelgava
depart the central station frequently. Trains run daily
except where noted otherwise (numbers in parentheses
indicate days of departure; ex indicates days when there
are no departures). For more times and destinations visit
www.ldz.lv. Schedule subject to change.
Taxis
All licensed cabs have special yellow licence plates. Insist
on the meter being turned on. For shorter journeys try not
to pay more than 3Ls. To avoid being swindled order a taxi
by phone or use the cabs at the Radisson BLU Hotel Latvija
or the Albert Hotel.
Baltic Taxi Tel. (+371) 20 00 85 00, www.baltictaxi.
lv. Run by the national airline airBal tic, this company charges
a flat fee of 9Ls from the airport to anywhere in Riga and
vice versa. Q A
Lady Taxi Tel. (+371) 27 80 09 00, www.lady-taxi.lv.
All cabs are driven exclusivel y by female drivers.
Rīgas Taksometru Parks Tel. (+371) 80 00 13 13
(from fixed lines)/(+371) 8383 (from mobiles), www.
rtp.lv. Q A
Smile Taxi Tel. (+371) 22 57 76 77, www.smiletaxi.lv.
Tours & Travel
Area Tours Tel. (+371) 29 58 04 48. A joll y Latvian man
will take you on English-language tours anywhere in the coun-
try with a car or van. Available day or night. Recommended.
Impro C-4, Merķeļa 13 - 122, tel. (+371) 67 22 13
12, www.improtravels.lv. Offer guided tours of Riga and
excursions around the Latvian countryside. QOpen 09:00
- 18:00, Sat 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. A
Trains
Central Station (Centrālā Stacija) D-4, Stacijas lau-
kums, tel. (+371) 1181. Tickets for immediate departures
have to be bought in the main ticket hall on the right side of the
main entrance, counters N°1 to 13. Tickets for international
trains are sold at counters N°1 to 6. For overnight trips to
Minsk or St. Petersburg choose the more luxurious coupe,
four-bunk compartments or, on the train to Moscow, the first
class SV, two-bunk compartments, with video and on-board
service. Do not confuse perons (the platform) and ceļš (the
track). They are numbered separatel y in Latvia and can be
quite confusing. Pietur means stops and nepietur means
doesn’t stop, so if you see a train schedule with a list of towns
and cities in the margin, it is best to check whether the train
stops there or not. QOpen 05:00 - 24:00.
Latvian Railways (Latvijas Dzelzceļš) D-4, Gogoļa
3, tel. (+371) 1181/(+371) 67 23 11 81 (from abroad),
www.ldz.lv.
From Riga To Riga
Dep Arr City Dep Arr
10:40 06:45 (ex7) Berlin** (ex2) 22:00 18:55
18:30 23:50 (5) Budapest** (3) 01:55 11:15
22:10 07:05 Kaliningrad* 21:00 06:00
10:40 16:15 (ex7) Kaunas** (ex3) 15:05 18:55
19:00 23:30 Kaunas* 04:50 09:20
16:00 10:00 (ex3) Kyiv** (ex3) 19:00 13:00
08:30 13:00 Klaipeda* 07:00 11:55
12:30 17:00 Klaipeda* 14:00 18:30
18:30 12:35 (5) Krakow** (3,7) 14:15 11:15
12:30 08:10 (2,5) Lviv* via Vilnius (7) 18:10 17:00
19:15 10:40 Moscow** 20:30 09:30
10:40 08:50 (2,5) Prague** (1,5) 09:00 11:15
08:40 21:10 St. Petersburg* 09:00 20:05
18:45 06:10 St. Petersburg* 11:55 21:25
21:30 11:00 St. Petersburg** 20:10 08:30
07:00 11:25 Tallinn* 00:30 05:10
10:00 14:25 Tallinn* (ex6,7) 05:45 10:00
12:30 16:55 Tallinn* 07:00 11:15
14:30 18:55 Tallinn* 08:30 12:50
16:00 20:25 Tallinn* 10:00 14:15
17:00 21:25 (ex6,7) Tallinn* 12:45 17:00
18:30 22:55 Tallinn* 15:45 20:05
21:00 01:15 Tallinn* 18:30 22:55
08:00 12:15 Tallinn** 06:30 10:30
12:00 16:15 Tallinn** 14:00 18:10
19:00 23:15 Tallinn** 19:00 23:15
08:40 12:35 Tartu* 06:45 10:45
18:45 22:40 Tartu* 17:45 21:25
19:00 22:55 Tartu** 06:30 10:30
07:00 10:55 Vilnius* 06:30 10:50
08:30 12:40 Vilnius* 12:30 17:00
12:30 17:00 Vilnius* 14:15 18:15
18:00 22:15 Vilnius* 18:30 22:25
10:40 14:40 (ex1) Vilnius**
(ex1,3)
11:25 18:55
10:40 22:55 (ex7) Warsaw** (ex3) 06:15 18:55
19:00 07:00 Warsaw* 19:30 09:20
International bus schedule
Buses run daily except where noted otherwise (numbers
in parentheses indicate days of departure; ex indicates
days when there are no departures). * Indicates Lux
Express, Simple Express or Eurolines ** Ecolines
For more destinations visit either www.luxexpress.eu or
www.ecolines.lv. Schedule subject to change.
Hanging out by the Daugava M.Zaprauskis
getting around
1
Mail & Phones
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Like most Europeans, Latvians are absolutely mad for new
technological gadgets and most locals wouldn’t be caught
dead with last year’s mobile phone. Wireless internet is
also sweeping the nation and even the post office has
been modernised, excluding, of course, some of its elder
staff that still insist on barking orders at patrons.
Express mail
Cargobus D-4, Gogoļa 13 (entrance from Puškina), tel.
(+371) 67 22 55 66, www.cargobus.eu. A reliable, quick
way to send parcels of any size in the Bal tic region. QOpen
09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. A
DHL Mārupe, Plieņciema 35, tel. (+371) 67 71 55 00,
www.dhl.lv. QOpen 09:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. A big
company, but sadl y it can’t guarantee delivery dates.
TNT Latvia Mārupe, Plieņciema 11, tel. (+371) 67 66 80
00, www.tnt.lv. QOpen 09:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
Internet cafés
Elik H-2, Kaļķu 11, tel. (+371) 67 22 70 79, www.elik-
kafe.lv. Almost 100 computers with internet for 0.85Ls/hour
in the old town and above the McDonald’s near the station.
Q Also at D-4, Merķeļa 1, tel. (+371) 67 22 17 82. Open
24hrs.
Mobile phones
Bite C-4, Brīvības 62, tel. (+371) 80 00 16 01, www.
bite.lv. Pre-paid GSM phone cards.
LMT I-2, Tirgoņu 13, tel. (+371) 80 00 00 76/(+371) 67
77 37 00, www.lmt.lv. Good service, but pricey. QOpen
09:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
Tele2 G-3, Merķeļa 21, tel. (+371) 29 56 06 00, www.
tele2.lv. Cheap, but the network coverage could be much bet-
ter! QOpen 09:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun.
Post
Central Post Office H-3, Brīvības bulv. 32, tel. (+371)
67 50 28 15/(+371) 67 00 80 01, www.pasts.lv. QO-
pen 07:30 - 20:00, Sat 08:00 - 18:00, Sun 10:00 - 16:00.
Post Office F-3, Elizabetes 41/43, tel. (+371) 67 33 16
09. QOpen 07:30 - 21:00, Sat 08:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun.
Public telephones
Public telephones are all over town. Telephone cards worth 2,
5 and 10Ls can be bought at any post office or newsstand.
Cards and di gi tal tel ephone booths are also availabl e
throughout the countryside. It’s also possible to call to a
phone booth and pay with your credit card. The number of
each booth and dialling instructions are listed inside. Each
phonebooth is a wi-fi hotspot so look inside for directions on
how to get wireless internet within a 100m of the phone.
Telephone
The explosive demand for phone numbers has prompted
the government to move from a seven-digit to an eight-
digit system. A 2 now precedes all mobile phone numbers
and a 6 has been added to all fixed numbers.
Lattelecom directory inquiry: tel. (+371) 1188.
Wireless internet
Paid & Free wi-fi If you’d like to check your e-mail or just
surf the net while sipping a cappuccino or beer then all you
have to do is find a café with the Lattelecom Wi-Fi symbol
and purchase a card behind the bar. If however you’re on a
tight budget you’ll be happy to know that many hotels offer
free wireless internet access in their rooms, restaurants and
bars. Just look for the W symbol in this guide to find venues
with free wireless access.
2
shoPPing
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
Alcohol & Tobacco
Latvijas Balzams I-2, Audēju 8, tel. (+371) 67 22 88
14, www.lb.lv. Over 50 different Latvian alcoholic beverages
including the famous Rīga Black Balsam. Also sells Balzams t-
shirts. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 22:00. Also on H-2,
Šķūņu 16; H-2, Vaļņu 21; ; and many other locations. A
Tabakas Nams (Tobacco House) H-2, Vaļņu 8, tel.
(+371) 67 22 58 97, www.tng.lv. Alcohol and plenty of
cigars. QOpen 08:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00. Also at
B-4, Dzirnavu 31; C-4, Brīvības 37. A
Antiques
Antikvariāts C-5, Avotu 31, tel. (+371) 29 71 55 50.
Art books, ancient vinyl records, ceramics, money and plenty
of WWII memorabilia including uniforms, medals and even
helmets. QOpen 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun.
Antikvariāts Avots C-5, Avotu 8, tel. (+371) 29 48 15
68. Small shop offering a bit of everything including paintings,
porcelain, books, old records, Soviet medals, a great selection
of antique postcards and even vintage handbags. QOpen
10:00 - 18:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun.
Antikvariāts Desaret I-1, Palasta 9 (entrance from
Jauniela), tel. (+371) 67 22 51 88. This small shop offers
a bi t of everything including Soviet medals, paintings, old
postcards, books, jewellery and lots of porcelain. QOpen
11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun. A
Antiqua I-3, Vaļņu 25, tel. (+371) 67 22 59 30.
Li thographs, maps, paintings, sculpture, books, furni ture
and fine arts. QOpen 12:00 - 17:00, Sat 11:00 - 15:00.
Closed Sun. A
Galerija C-4, Dzirnavu 53, tel. (+371) 67 28 29 78.
Soviet memorabilia, books, coins and assorted nick-nacks.
QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun.
Konvents I-2, Kaļķu 9/11 (Koventa Sēta), tel. (+371)
67 08 75 42. Antique furniture, books, icons and porcelain.
QOpen 10:00 - 19:00. A
Raritāte C-5, Čaka 45, tel. (+371) 67 27 51 57.
Icons, Riga porcelain, paintings, coins, stamps, sil verware
and furniture. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00.
Closed Sun.
Volmar I-1, Krāmu 4, tel. (+371) 67 21 42 78. Paint-
ings, religious icons, porcelain, memorabilia and much more.
QOpen 10:00 - 20:00, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. A
Books
Globuss I-3, Vaļņu 26, tel. (+371) 67 22 69 57, www.
gramatnicaglobuss.lv. A large sel ecti on of of classi c
English-language literature as well as a some contemporary
novels. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 18:00, Sun
11:00 - 17:00. A
Jāņa Rozes C-5, Blaumaņa 31, tel. (+371) 67 24 04
13, www.jr.lv. A decent selection of contemporary and
classic literature in English upstairs. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00,
Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. A
Jāņa Sēta C-4, Elizabetes 83/85, tel. (+371) 67 24 08
94, www.mapshop.lv. Latvia’s largest selection of maps
and travel books, not to mention a wide variety of In Your
Pocket guides. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00.
Closed Sun. A
Jumava C-4, Dzirnavu 73, tel. (+371) 67 28 25 96,
www.jumava.lv. Some English-language novels and travel
guides as well as a good selection of antique books. QOpen
10:00 - 19:00, Sat 12:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun. A
Robert’s Books B-4, Antonijas 12 (entrance from
Dzirnavu), robertsbooksriga.com. Owned and operated by
a Riga expat, this shop sells second-hand English language
books. You can find anything from guidebooks and romance
novels to award-winning contemporary literature for 1, 3 or
5Ls. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00. Closed Sun.
Valters un Rapa H-3, Aspazijas 24, tel. (+371) 67 22
74 82, www.valtersunrapa.lv. This book shop on three
floors is probabl y the biggest in the Bal tics. Mostl y Latvian
and Russian books, as well as local maps and guides like
this one and some literature in English and German. QOpen
09:00 - 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 21:00, Sun 10:00 - 16:00. A
Fashion
Pērle B-5, Tērbatas 65. This funky vintage clothing shop
and bar is co-owned by a former MTV VJ who can occasionally
be seen here with her glitterati acquaintances. If you like the
musty smell of old clothes and shoes, then stick around for
a drink. QOpen 11:00 - 21:00, Thu 11:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat
11:00 - 02:00. Closed Sun.
Retro Spectro H-2, Z.A. Meierovica bulv. 12, tel.
(+371) 20 05 30 98. Located on the premises of the hip,
al ternative club Nabaklab, this retro shop sells vintage cloth-
ing and music by local underground bands. QOpen 12:00
- 20:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 02:00, Sun 12:00 - 17:00.
Games & Toys
Lāčuks C-5, Čaka 72, tel. (+371) 67 31 18 48, www.
lacuks.lv. Barbie dolls, remote control cars, stuffed animals,
a wide selection of puzzles, children’s in-line skates and much
more on three floors. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00
- 18:00, Sun 10:00 - 16:00. Also on I-2, Grēcinieku 3, tel.
(+371) 67 22 84 95. Open 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00,
Sun 12:00 - 16:00. A
Lelle C-4, Barona 23, tel. (+371) 67 28 32 18. An ex-
cellent selection of learning toys, games and dolls. QOpen
10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. A
Gifts & Souvenirs
Amber Line H-2, Torņa 4 (Jēkaba kazarmas), tel. (+371)
67 32 50 58, www.amberline.lv. Designer amber jewellery
for all budgets set in sil ver, gold, platinum, steel and even tita-
nium. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00. Also at H-2, Šķūņu 6, tel. (+371)
67 22 00 79; D-4, Stacijas laukums 2 (Origo), tel. (+371) 67
07 39 31; H/1-2, Tirgoņu 17, tel. (+371) 67 21 52 86; Audēju
16 (Galerija Centrs), tel. (+371) 67 10 44 57; and four other
shops on H-2, Torņa 4 (Jēkaba kazarmas). A
RC
Central Market J-3, Centrāl-
tirgus 1, tel. (+371) 67 22 99
85, www.centraltirgus.lv. This
giant bazaar wi th i ts fi ve huge
aircraft hangars is a truly fasci-
nating place to visit. Buy meat,
fish and produce inside or CDs,
appliances and clothing outside
of the hangars for suspiciously
low prices. Opening hours di ffer
slightly for each pavilion. QOpen
08:00 - 17:00.
Flower Market G-3, Tērbatas 2a. The biggest selec-
tion of flowers from near and far. Q Open 24hrs.
Latgales Market D-5, Sadovņikova 9a, tel. (+371)
67 22 39 55. If you’ve had something stolen on your visit
to Riga, you can probably buy it back here for a fraction of
what it originally cost you. You’ll also find anything from
power drills to army uniforms, not to mention suspiciously
cheap music and software. QOpen 08:00 - 16:00.
Markets
shoPPing

shoPPing
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
shoPPing
Amber The petri fied sap isn’t as plenti ful as it is in
Lithuania or Kaliningrad, but it still washes up on Latvian
beaches. It’s sold in all souvenir shops and there are
dozens of amber stalls behind St. Peter’s Church, on
Vaļņu iela behind Hotel Riga and on Līvu laukums.
Antiques You can find antique shops in and around Old
Riga. If you’re looking for good deals on old unpolished,
unframed materials, try the shops on C-5, Avotu iela
between Ģertrudes and Matīsa streets.
Art Nouveau souvenirs Nothing screams Riga like a
screaming gargoyle. Buy Art Nouveau silk scarves, post-
cards, ceramic dishes, books and plaster busts based on
beautiful heads seen on the city’s best early 20th-cen-
tury facades at Art Nouveau Riga, B-3 Strēlnieku 9.
Designer handbags Una Vita produces fashionable
handbags made from llama, cow and goat leather and wild
fox, beaver and mink furs that are legally harvested here
in Latvia by local hunters. Visit Una Vita (D-5, Lāčplēša
87E, www.unavita.lv. Open 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat,
Sun) or its website for more information.
Eco-Medications Although by no means a typical pur-
chase, the people at Silvanols Ltd., a local pharmaceutical
company, produce a wide range of 100% natural food
supplements, medications and vitamins, some of which
are based on local folk remedies. Buy these Latvian-made
products at any pharmacy in Riga or visit www.silvanols.
lv for more information.
Honey The Latvians revere their honey (medus) like the
French do their wine and even claim that it has healing
properties so taste some for free at The Honey Room
(I-2, Pēterbaznīcas 17. Open 10:00 - 19:00).
Lingerie Latvia’s beautiful and sexy women are legend-
ary, so perhaps it’s not surprising that the nation also has
a major lingerie producer. Visit
Lauma Lingerie (I-2, Kaļķu 2,
tel. (+371) 67 22 10 53, www.
lauma.lv) in Old Riga.
Local food The following can
be found in any supermarket:
Latvian rye (rupjmaize) and sour-
dough (saldskābmaize) breads
are delicious and easily trans-
ported. Latvian smoked cheese,
carraway seed cheese and the
Talsu ritulis marinated in herbs
are all classic cheeses worth
taking home. Sprats (šprotes) in oil, similar to sardines, are
the perfect snack to go with the Latvian vodka you bought.
Music Music is absolutely essential to Latvian life. Upe
(I-2, Vāgnera 5. Open 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00.
Closed Sun) has the best selection of Latvian folk, rock
and classical CDs in Riga as well as wooden toys and
instruments.
Riga Black Balzams Originally intended as a cure-all
elixir, Balzams has been made in Riga since the late 18th
century and is still used today to alleviate hangovers and
stomach-aches and as the main ingredient in many local
cocktails. Consisting of over 24 herbal ingredients, it
looks like used motor oil and is sold in charming ceramic
jugs. Try it in coffee or currant juice.
Soviet memorabilia Cheap nick-knacks, coins, medals
and busts of Lenin? Buy all the red remnants you crave
in most antique shops around town.
Sweets The Laima factory in Riga has been producing
delicious chocolates since 1870. They can be found in
any supermarket or at Laima shops around town.
What to buy in Latvia
Art Nouveau Riga B-3, Strēlnieku 9, tel. (+371) 67 33
30 30, www.artnouveauriga.lv. The onl y shop in Riga to
exclusivel y sell Art Nouveau merchandise. Buy small plaster
faces from Riga’s most famous facades, silk scarves with Art
Nouveau designs, mugs, greeting cards, books and linens.
Naturall y, it’s located at the end of Alberta iela opposite the
Art Nouveau Museum. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. A
Līvs I-2, Kalēju 7, tel. (+371) 67 22 90 10. Excellent se-
lection of rings and necklaces modelled after ancient Latvian
jewellery. Also have a wide variety of woven items. QOpen
10:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun. A
Mājas Deko I-2, Jāņa 5, tel. (+371) 67 61 75 99,
www.majasdeko.lv. This designer’s workshop specialises
in creating unique textiles and other interior design elements
for your home and they can add any pattern or picture to
lampshades, pillows or paper. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Sat
10:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun.
Senā Klēts I-1/2, Rātslaukums 1 (entrance from Mazā
Jauniela - Rātes pasāža), tel. (+371) 67 24 23 98,
www.senaklets.lv. The onl y shop in Latvia to specialise in
authentic Latvian folk costumes also sells a wide variety of
traditional souvenirs such as Bal tic jewellery, ceramics, wool
blankets, linen tablecloths and much more. QOpen 10:00
- 19:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 17:00. A
Tornis I-2, Grēcinieku 11-2 (entrance from Pēterbaznīcas),
tel. (+371) 67 22 02 70, www.balturotas.lv. What do Hill-
ary Clinton and Queen Margareth II of Denmark have in com-
mon? They have both bought jewellery here. Ancient Baltic
designs as well as modern pieces can all be found at the
‘Tower.’QOpen 11:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. A
Jewellery
Frey Wille H-2, Vaļņu 10, tel. (+371) 67 21 30 17,
www.frey-wille.com. This international chain of designer
jewellers with shops in Los Angeles, London and many other
world capitals has finall y opened a shop in Riga. Buy mod-
ern, colourful gold and enamel jewellery inspired by art from
ancient civilisations and more contemporary masterpieces
by such names as Monet, Klimt and Mucha. QOpen 10:00
- 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. A
Music
Randoms I-2, Kaļķu 4, tel. (+371) 67 22 52 12, www.
randoms.lv. Pop, Latvian, Russian, world, folk, heavy metal
and alternative rock music, not to mention souvenirs including
pricey t-shirts lampooning local politicians. QOpen 10:00
- 22:00, Sun 12:00 - 20:00. A
Upe H-2, Vāgnera 5, tel. (+371) 67 22 61 19, www.
upett.lv. This shop sells folk music from around the globe
including Latvian CDs as well as tradi tional instruments
and souvenirs. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 16:00.
Closed Sun. A
Shopping centres
Berga Bazārs C-4, Elizabetes 83/85 / Marijas 13, tel.
(+371) 67 50 23 10, www.bergabazars.lv. Riga’s swanki-
est shopping courtyard offers high-end shops, restaurants,
cafés, a fitness club and a bi-monthly food and antique bazaar
every second and fourth Saturday of the month. QOpen
10:00 - 21:00. A
Galerija Centrs I-3, Audēju 16, tel. (+371) 67 01 80
18, www.galerijacentrs.lv. Already a shopping centre in
the 1920s and 1930s, it was renovated in the 1990s and
most recentl y in 2006. It now occupies nearl y an entire block
of Old Riga and houses cafés, a supermarket, and dozens of
trendy shops. QOpen 10:00 - 21:00. Rimi, Narvesen open
08:00 - 22:00. A
RC
shoPPing
5
shoPPing
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
COMiNg SOON
Galleria Riga C-4, Dzirnavu 65, www.galleriariga.com.
This Norwegian shopping centre on several floors is sched-
uled to open at the end of October with dozens of shops never
before seen in Latvia as well as a food court, restaurants and
a rooftop terrace right in the centre of Riga. Q A
Latvija Shopping Arcade C-4, Elizabetes 55 (Radisson
Blu Hotel Latvija). A variety of shops that sell anything from
souvenirs and home wares to gourmet delicacies and fast
food hot dogs. QOpen 09:00 - 21:00. A
Origo D-4, Stacijas laukums 2, tel. (+371) 67 07 30 30,
www.origo.lv. Straddling the central train station, this vast
shopping centre on three floors offers countless shops with
everything under the sun. Includes a supermarket (open 07:00
-24:00) and a few restaurants. QOpen 10:00 - 21:00.
Speciality shops
desa&co D-4, Maskavas 4 (Spīķeri), tel. (+371) 67 21
61 86. This shop and bistro specialises in meat products like
venison sausages, fillets and even pâté made from farm-raised
deer. You can also eat some of the food on the premises.
QOpen 09:00 - 18:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 16:00. AS
Hanumans C-5, Barona 56, tel. (+371) 67 27 41 42.
Head down to the cellar of the Hare Krishna house to buy
chutney, curry paste, exotic spices and even refrigerated ghee
as well as incense, silk scarves and Indian trinkets. QOpen
10:00 - 19:30, Sun 11:00 - 19:00. A
Monte Kristo C-4, Ģertrūdes 27, tel. (+371) 67 31 63
61. Offers a huge selection of coffee beans, coffee blends and
tea. QOpen 09:00 - 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 21:00, Sun 11:00
- 20:00. Also on B-4, Elizabetes 10, tel. (+371) 67 28 32 71.
Open 08:00 - 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 19:00. Closed Sun. A
Muhamors - Marcipāns B/C-4, Baznīcas 14 (entrance
from Lāčplēša), tel. (+371) 29 14 67 10. Part café, part
art gallery and part souvenir shop, you can buy all kinds of
funky things here like ceramic lamps that look like mushrooms,
palm oil candles, buckwheat pillows and fashion accessories.
QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. A
Otrā Elpa (Second Wind) C-4, Marijas 13 (Berga
Bazārs), tel. (+371) 67 28 71 72. This shop sells second
hand clothes, electronics, toys, board games, LPs, DVDs,
books (some even in English) and lots of other stuff. Proceeds
go to local chari ties. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00
- 17:00. Closed Sun. A
The Honey Room (Daugmales Jāņa bišu medus)
I-2, Pēterbaznīcas 17, tel. (+371) 26 99 94 42, www.
daugmalesmedus.lv. This charming Old Riga shop offers
beeswax candles and nearl y a dozen different varieties of
honey including buckwheat, heather and linden blossom
honeys that can be bought by the small jar or the bucket.
You can also taste them on the premises while admiring
the rare 17th-century ceiling fresco above. QOpen 10:00
- 19:00. A
Supermarkets
Gastronome C-4, Brīvības 31, tel. (+371) 67 22 80 53,
www.mc2.lv. The first boutique market and deli in Latvia.
Buy exotic tea, gourmet coffee, a fresh baguette, loads of
spices, a t-bone steak and a kilo of prawns or just have a
seat with a glass of wine and a cheese platter. QOpen 08:30
- 21:00, Sun 10:00 - 18:00. Also on Krasta 68a (mc2 shop-
ping centre), tel. (+371) 67 00 68 68. Open 10:00 - 21:00,
Sun 10:00 - 19:00. A
Rimi D-4, Stacijas laukums 2 (Origo), tel. (+371) 67
07 30 90, www.rimi.lv. This large chain of Western su-
permarkets sells nearl y everything a supermarket should,
but the hypermarkets on the outskirts of town are still your
best bet for service and selection. QOpen 07:00 - 24:00.
Also on I-3, Audēju 16, tel. (+371) 67 01 80 23. Open 08:00
- 22:00. A
Stockmann I-3, 13. janvāra 8, www.stockmann.lv. The
deli counter is fantastic and the meat section actuall y offers
real cuts of beef including steaks. It also stocks products
you won’t find anywhere else in Riga like Chips Ahoy cook-
ies, Campbell’s soup, Stovetop stuffing and Betty Crocker
cake and brownie mix. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00
- 22:00. A
Sweets
Emihls Gustavs Chocolate C-4, Marijas 13/VI (Berga
bazārs), tel. (+371) 67 28 39 59, www.sokolade.lv.
Friendl y staff are keen to offer useful suggestions on sin-
full y rich chocolates to eat on the premises or to take away.
QOpen 10:00 - 21:00. Closed Sun. Also on H-3, Aspazijas
bul v. 24, tel. (+371) 67 22 83 33. Open 09:00 - 22:00, Sun
11:00 - 21:00; and at most shopping centres. A
Laima B-5, Miera 22 (factory outlet), tel. (+371) 67 37
05 54, www.laima.lv. Latvia’s largest chocolate maker has
outlets all over the city, but you can all buy its products at local
supermarkets. QOpen 09:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Also
at D-4, Stacijas laukums 2 (Origo). Open 10:00 - 22:00. A
Wine shops
Arka C-4, Tērbatas 10/12, tel. (+371) 67 28 48 26. Fine
wines and cognac from around the globe. Decent selection
of Australian, Italian and South African wines. QOpen 10:00
- 20:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. A
Eirovīns H-2, Smilšu 14, tel. (+371) 67 22 44 41, www.
eirovins.lv. Good selection of wine from around the globe.
QOpen 09:00 - 21:00, Sat 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. Also
at F-3, Dzirnavu 51, tel. (+371) 67 22 89 83. Open 08:00
- 22:00, Sat 09:00 - 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 19:00. A
Ervins & Filles C-4, Dzirnavu 84 (Berga Bazārs), tel.
(+371) 67 28 70 45. Specialises in French boutique wines.
QOpen 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 19:00. Closed Sun. A

sPorts & leisure
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
RC
The Kontinental (sic) Hockey League, the successor
to the Russian Super Hockey League, may not be as
prestigious as the NHL in North America, but like most
things Russian, its sheer scope is enormous. Spread out
over a dozen time zones, the league also includes three
teams from beyond the borders of the Russian Federa-
tion. Dynamo Riga (Latvia), Dynamo Minsk (Belarus) and
Barys Astana (Kazakhstan) will compete with 21 Russian
teams in the 2010-2011 season. Many of the teams have
adopted or kept their Soviet-era names, hence all of the
dynamos, locomotives and metallurgists.
Most Dynamo Ri ga home games take pl ace at
Arena Riga, A-4, Skanstes
21, www. arenari ga. com.
Ti ckets can be bought at
the arena or at Biļešu ser-
viss (www.bilesuserviss.lv)
outlets throughout the city.
Unfortunately, the October
exhibition game against the
Phoenix Coyotes was sold
out in 13 minutes, but you
could try to buy tickets from
scalpers at the arena. For more information about Riga’s
team visit www.dinamoriga.eu. Upcoming fixtures at
Arena Riga include:
October
Date Time Game
6 19:30 Dynamo Rīga v. Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)
9 17:00 Dynamo Rīga v. Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod
11 19:30 Dynamo Rīga v. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl
13 19:30 Dynamo Rīga v. Atlant Moscow Oblast
25 19:30 Dynamo Rīga v. Dynamo Moscow
27 19:30 Dynamo Rīga v. Vityaz Chekhov
November
28 17:00 Dynamo Rīga v. Sibir Novosibirsk
30 19:30 Dynamo Rīga v. Amur Khabarovsk
Hockey: Dynamo Riga
Bowling
Bowlero Lielirbes 27, tel. (+371) 67 80 46 00, www.
bowlero.lv. This ultramodern entertainment centre offers 24
bowling lanes (6 - 10Ls depending on time), pool tables, a bar,
a children’s room and an upmarket restaurant. QOpen Mon,
Tue, Wed 12:00 - 23:00, Thu 12:00 - 24:00, Fri 12:00 - 02:00,
Sat 11:00 - 02:00, Sun 11:00 - 23:00. TA
Islande C-2, Ķīpsalas 20, tel. (+371) 67 60 80 16, www.
islandehotel.lv. Six lanes in the cellar of the Hotel Islande
for 5.90 - 9.90Ls/hour. A bar and two pool tables are also
available. QOpen 15:00 - 24:00. A
Toss Ķengaraga 6, tel. (+371) 67 13 59 00, www.toss.
lv. 24 lanes (4.80 - 9Ls/hour) as well as pool tables, darts, a
restaurant and a bar. Take tram N°7 or 9 to the Ķengaraga iela
stop. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 24:00. A
Zelta boulinga centrs E-2, Uzvaras 2/4, tel. (+371) 67
61 07 07, www.zelta.lv. 22 lanes for 5.99 - 10.49Ls/hour,
four squash courts, one tennis court, 11 pool tables, indoor
mini-football, arcade games and a bar/restaurant. QOpen
13:00 - 24:00, Mon 15:00 - 24:00, Fri 13:00 - 02:00, Sat
10:00 - 02:00, Sun 10:00 - 24:00.
Curling
Kērlinga halle (Curling Hall) Biķernieku 121h,
tel. (+371) 29 53 53 79/(+371) 67 56 56 51, www.
kerlingahalle.lv. Riga’s onl y curling hall! Take trolleybus
N°18 from Čaka to the Eizenšteina iela stop. Closed from
May - September.
Entertainment centres
Brazīlija Jūrkalnes 100, tel. (+371) 25 40 00 00, www.
brazil.lv. This indoor beach sports centre offers beach vol-
leyball, football and tennis courts for 15 - 25Ls/hour as well
as a café/bar and a children’s area. QOpen 07:00 - 23:00,
Sat, Sun 08:00 - 23:00. A
Go Planet G. Astras 2b, tel. (+371) 67 14 63 46, www.
goplanet.lv. Explore 15,000m2 of indoor attractions includ-
ing go-carts, a laser tag labyrinth, a Formula 1 simulator, a 4D
cinema, virtual reality gear, pool tables, children’s games and
more. Three bars, a kids’ cafe and a restaurant are also at
your disposal. Take trolleybus N°17 or N°23 from the Central
train station to the ‘Mēbeļu nams’ stop and walk up one block.
QOpen 12:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 22:00. A
Fitness clubs & Gyms
A-Step B-4, Stabu 14, tel. (+371) 67 28 95 67, www.
a-plus-s.lv. Aerobics, PACE, sauna, weight room, etc. for
reasonable prices. QOpen 07:30 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 09:00
- 16:00. A
City Fitness C-4, Marijas ielā 13/8 (Berga Bazārs), tel.
(+371) 67 28 85 85, www.cityfitness.lv. QOpen 07:00
- 22:00, Fri 07:00 - 21:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 21:00. Also at
D-2, Kuģu 24 (Radisson Hotel), tel. (+371) 67 0611 24. Open
07:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 08:00 - 22:00. A
Joker klubs A-3, Katrīnas 12, tel. (+371) 67 09 98
00, www.jokerklubs.lv. Al though the gym is available
from the earl y morning hours, the pool is usuall y onl y open
from 10:00 and even later at the weekend. See website for
exact times. QOpen 07:00 - 23:00, Sat 09:00 - 20:00, Sun
10:00 - 18:00. AC
Olympic Spor ts Centre (Olimpiskais spor ta
centrs) A-4, Grostonas 6b, tel. (+371) 67 38 77 10,
www.ocriga.lv. A modern, state-of-the-art sports centre for
swimming, football, basketball, tennis, aerobics, gymnastics
and many other disciplines. A café is also available. QOpen
07:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 08:30 - 22:00.
Paintball
Jugland Paintball Park Salaspils novads, tel. (+371)
27 82 10 00, www.jugland.lv. If you’re in the mood to vent
some frustration, the Latvian Paintball Club has devised a
way to inflict some pain on your friends. All you need to do is
to reserve a time online, by phone or in person at their office
on Valdemāra and take a trip out to the Jugland Paintball
Park outside of Salaspils. Q Riga office: B-4, Valdemāra
40, tel. (+371) 67 29 14 00, www.paintball.l v. Open 10:00
- 19:00. Closed Sun.
Saunas
Baltā pirts B-6, Tallinas 71, tel. (+371) 67 27 17 33,
www.baltapirts.lv. Opened in 1908, the White Sauna is
owned and operated by an American-Latvian who happens to
be a direct descendant of its founder. Both traditional Latvian
and modern saunas are available as well as a swimming pool,
baths, a cafe and English-speaking staff. QOpen 08:00
- 20:00, Fri, Sat 08:00 - 21:00, Sun 08:00 - 19:00. Closed
Mon, Tue. Cashier open until one hour before closing.
Masonu pirts C-5, Čaka 71, tel. (+371) 67 31 48 26.
Rented out to larger groups this place offers a variety of
saunas, small pools, a hot tub and a small banquet hall for
parties. Q Open 24hrs.
Autumn is the perfect time for a little curling M.Zaprauskis
7
sPorts & leisure
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
RC
Latvia’s greatest football achieve-
ment occurred in the 2004 Euro-
pean Championship in Portugal
when the Latvian side had to settle
for a 0-0 draw with Germany. Many
spectators bel i eve that Latvi a
should have been awarded a pen-
alty kick after one of its forwards
was imprisoned in a headlock and
dragged to the ground by a German
defender just shy of Deutschland’s
goalmouth. Since then, major ‘victories’ haven’t been
forthcoming, with perhaps the exception of local side
FC Ventspils’ advancement to the group stage of the
UEFA Europa League in 2009. In fact, Latvia’s moment
of glory in Portugal was essentially repeated, by Latvian
standards anyway, when Ventspils drew 1-1 with Hertha
Berlin on the German side’s home pitch last season.
More recently, Latvian striker Artjoms Rudņevs denied
Juventus a win against the Polish club Lech in a Europa
League match by scoring a hat-trick against the Italian
football giant. Here in Riga you can watch a Euro 2012
qualifier as Latvia take on Georgia at the Skonto Stadium
(B-4, Melngaiļa 1a, www.skontofc.lv) in October. Tickets
can be bought at the stadium. In case you were wonder-
ing, Latvia lost to Croatia 3-0, but defeated Malta 2-0 in
its previous qualifiers. Photo by Roberts Lismanis
October
Date Time Game
12 20:00 Latvia v. Georgia
Football in Riga
Segway rental
Super Segway H-2, Torņa 4 (Jēkaba Kazarmas II-C),
tel. (+371) 27 87 64 71, www.segway.lv. Join the
modern age and take a tour of the city not on foot or by
bus, but on a segway. Sign up for an organised tour or rent
a segway for 20Ls/hour. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat, Sun
11:00 - 19:00. A
Shooting galleries
Photo ID is required, so don’t forget to bring your passport.
Regro S C-1, Daugavgrīvas 31, tel. (+371) 67 60 17 05,
www.regros.lv. Shooting with real guns in an underground
Soviet fallout shel ter. Choose from a wide variety of pistols
and even automatic weapons from old Lugers to Uzis. Re-
member you’re charged for ammunition so a few seconds with
an AK-47 could cost you dearl y. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat
10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. Sundays by appointment onl y.
Riga Out There Tel. (+371) 29 38 94 50/(+371) 67
48 24 43, www.out-there.eu. Don’t want to learn Russian
just to fire a weapon? Not keen on communicating with Ivan
when he’s got a Kalashnikov in his hands? The people at
Riga Out There will organise a shooting session and do the
talking for you. Q A
Skydiving
Aerodium Sigulda, A2 Riga - Sigulda highway, tel.
(+371) 28 38 44 00, www.aerodium.lv. If you’ve ever
wanted to skydive, but decided that the risk was too great
or the height too daunting, then the people at Aerodium have
designed the perfect adrenalin ride for you. The onl y vertical
wind tunnel in Eastern Europe is onl y a short ride from the
Latvian capital just outside of Sigulda. Professional instruc-
tors will teach you all you need to know in onl y 20 minutes
and then you’ll be ready to feel what it’s like to jump out of a
plane but without the usual worry of a defective parachute
and a life-ending bounce on the ground. A helmet, goggles,
flight suit and other accessories are provided. Geronimo! Q
Price: starting at 15Ls/2 minutes. You must book a flight time
prior to your arrival.
Swimming pools
Akvalande E-3, Mūkusalas 45/47, tel. (+371) 67 62
97 00, www.akvalande.lv. Three swimming pools includ-
ing a 100m long circular pool, waterslides, a children’s pool
as well as a bar. Adul ts 5Ls, children 2 - 3Ls. QOpen 10:00
- 21:30. A
City Fitness D-2, Kuģu 24 (Radisson Daugava Hotel),
tel. (+371) 67 06 11 24, www.cityfitness.lv. A 25m
swimming pool, sauna and gym are all at your disposal just
across the ri ver. QOpen 07:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 08:00
- 22:00. A
Ķīpsala Sports Centre C-2, Ķīpsalas 5, tel. (+371)
67 61 69 89, www.baseins.lv. Large swimming pool for
5.65 - 7.20Ls/90 minutes. QOpen 07:00 - 22:30, Sat, Sun
08:00 - 22:00.
Līvu akvaparks Lielupe (Jūrmala), Viestura 24, tel.
(+371) 67 75 56 36, www.akvaparks.lv. Latvia’s largest
indoor aqua park charges roughl y 11Ls/adul t for two hours
of fun, but children under six can go for free. A wave pool,
children’s pool and water slides are at your disposal as well as
a poolside bar, saunas and hot tubs. QOpen 12:00 - 22:00,
Sat 11:00 - 22:00, Sun 11:00 - 21:00. TALDC
Olympic Sports Centre (Olimpiskais sporta cen-
trs) A-4, Grostonas 6b, tel. (+371) 67 38 77 10, www.
ocriga.lv. An Olympic-sized swimming pool is at your disposal
every day.QOpen 07:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 08:30 - 22:00.
Tennis
Enri Kalnciema 207, tel. (+371) 67 20 75 50, www.enri.
lv. Indoor and outdoor courts for 9 - 15Ls/hour. Take airport
bus N°22 to the Rūdas stop. QOpen 08:00 - 22:00. Also
at Stirnu 34a, tel. (+371) 67 80 22 08. A
Zelta boulinga centrs E-2, Uzvaras bulv. 2/4, tel.
(+371) 67 61 87 78, www.zelta.lv. One indoor court for
8 - 18Ls/hour depending on the time of day. QOpen 07:00
- 23:00. A
Yoga
Daya Yoga C-5, Stabu 51/2, tel. (+371) 26 55 50 60,
www.joga.lv. This yoga studio offers something for everyone:
yoga for beginners, for professionals, for pregnant women
and for children, a wide variety of massage options, medita-
tion classes and even Indian dance lessons. QOpen 09:00
- 19:00, Sat 09:00 - 13:00. Closed Sun. A

health & liFestyle
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
Eating out Finding child-friendly restaurants and cafés
in Riga can sometimes be a bit of a chore, but a few have
realised that providing a play area for children can actu-
ally add to their bottom line. Vairāk Saules (C-4, Dzirnavu
60, tel. (+371) 67 28 28 78) offers a kids’ menu and all
the legos a child could ever want and T.G.I.Friday’s (I-2,
Kaļķu 6, tel. (+371) 67 22 90 70) offers colouring books
and a kids’ menu.
Educational trips The Open-Air Ethnographic Mu-
seum (Brīvības gatve 440, tel. (+371) 67 99 45 15) is
a great place for kids. Not only can children learn about
Latvian customs and rural living, but they can also see
people in period costume performing various tasks like
shaping iron at the blacksmith’s. The Riga National
Zoo (see What to see) is always a good option for kids
and after a tour of the Sun Museum (I-2, Kungu 1, www.
saulesmuzejs.lv) kids and parents can go down to the
cellar workshop and paint plaster suns, which is included
in the price of admission.
Just f or fun Līvu Akvaparks
(Jūrmala, Li el upe, Vi estura 24,
www.akvaparks.lv) offers a wave
pool, a children’s pool, six water
slides and a tubing river guaran-
teed to keep the kids happy all day
long. The giant Lido Recreation
Centre (Krasta 76, www.lido.lv)
also has plenty to offer including
a huge skating rink and lots of
children’s attractions. Finally, the
Riga Circus (C-4, Merķeļa 4, www.
cirks.lv) is the only permanent circus in the Baltics and it
offers a show that includes clowns, jugglers, magicians,
illusionists, acrobats and animal acts. See website for
show times. For bowling, entertainment centres, swim-
ming pools and other activities for the whole family see
Sports & Leisure.
Riga for kids
Currency exchange
Most currency exchange booths (valūtas maiņa), with a
few exceptions, offer decent rates, but many banks and
exchanges charge a ridiculous fee for any notes that are
torn, dirty or marked.
Marika D/C-4, Brīvības 30, tel. (+371) 67 28 08 75.
One of the few 24-hour currency exchange companies in
Riga. Rates are slightl y worse after midnight. Q Also on C-4,
Dzirnavu 96, tel. (+371) 67 24 34 55. Open 24hrs.
Tavex H-3, Aspazijas bulv. 22, tel. (+371) 67 20 55 33,
www.tavex.lv. Located across the street from the Opera, it
offers friendl y staff and good rates. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00,
Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. A
Dentists
Adenta A-4, Skanstes 13, tel. (+371) 67 33 93
00/(+371) 29 12 08 54, www.adenta.lv. Professional
English-speaking staff. Also available at the weekend in emer-
gencies. QOpen 08:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. A
Diplomatic Service Medical Centre C-4, Elizabetes
57, tel. (+371) 67 22 99 42, www.dsmc.lv. English-speak-
ing dentists. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
Elladent B-3, Vīlandes 18, tel. (+371) 67 33 30 04,
www.elladent.lv. All kinds of dentistry including cosmetic
dentistry. QOpen 09:00 - 21:00, Sat 09:00 - 18:00. Closed
Sun. A
Sandent B-4, Hanzas 6, tel. (+371) 67 33 44 26, www.
sandent.lv. QOpen 09:00 - 20:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Satur-
day and Sunday by appointment onl y. A
Home entertainment
DVD Baltija C-5, Bruņinieku 45, tel. (+371) 67 31 60
96. English-speaking staff and a great selection of films.
Become a member or leave a 10Ls deposit for each film.
QOpen 12:00 - 21:00.
Massage
Life Veda Institute of Authentic Ayurveda C-5,
Barona 56, tel. (+371) 67 29 89 51/(+371) 28 81 11
44, www.lifeveda.lv. The onl y authentic Ajurveda institute
in the Bal tic region offers traditional Indian massages and
treatments performed by certified Ajurvedic doctors and
therapists from India. Al though these ancient holistic me-
dicinal treatments command astronomical prices in Western
Europe, the same procedures are available here for a fraction
of the cost. It also provides its services at major hotels.
Medical
ARS F-3, Skolas 5, tel. (+371) 67 20 10 07, www.ars-
med.lv. English-speaking doctors. Listed opening hours are
for the trauma centre. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 10:00
- 20:00. For a 24-hour medical consul taion call its hotline at
tel. (+371) 67 20 10 03.
Diplomatic Service Medical Centre C-4, Elizabetes
57, tel. (+371) 67 22 99 42, www.dsmc.lv. English-
speaking doctors and dentists. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00.
Closed Sat, Sun. A
Pharmacies
Ģimenes aptieka B-6, Tallinas 57b, tel. (+371) 67 31
42 11, www.gimenesaptieka.lv. Q Open 24hrs. Also at
Audēju 16 (Galerija Centrs), tel. (+371) 67 01 80 59. Open
08:00 - 22:00; C-4, Brīvības 38, tel. (+371) 67 28 97 61. Open
08:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. A
Mēness aptieka B-5, Brīvības 74, tel. (+371) 67 27
16 19, www.menessaptieka.lv. The one on Aspazijas is
an American-style pharmacy where you can pick up over-the-
counter medications from the shel ves wi thout consul ting
a pharmacist. Q Also at I-3, Aspazijas 20 (entrance from
Audēju), tel. (+371) 67 22 38 26. Open 24hrs. A
Spas
ESPA Riga F-3, Baznīcas 4a (Radisson BLU Hotel Lat-
vija), tel. (+371) 67 71 52 22, www.espariga.com. ESPA
Riga is the largest five-star spa in the Baltic and Scandinavian
region with a futuristic interior and atmosphere that put one
in mind of utopian societies found in science fiction films and
novels. Hidden behind the beautiful facade of an historic art
nouveau building, you’ll find six modern floors of swimming
pools, saunas, treatment rooms, gyms and relaxation areas
- all of which include cutting-edge design and technology.
Luxurious changing facili ties are also at your disposal as
well as a café serving heal thy dishes and a shop selling ESPA
products. QOpen 07:30 - 22:30. AFKDC
Translations
Roberts Līsmanis Tel. (+371) 29 50 61 92. Specialis-
ing in Latvian-English and legal translation. Highl y recom-
mended by local expats. Member of the New York State
Bar Association.

oFFiCials
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Foreign representations
For a complete list of foreign embassies and consulates in
Riga including opening hours visit www.mfa.gov.lv/en/min-
istry/mission.
Canada B-4, Baznīcas 20/22, tel. (+371) 67 81 39 45,
[email protected], www.latvia.gc.ca.
China (People’s Republic of) E-3, Ganību dambis 5,
tel. (+371) 67 35 70 23, lv.chineseembassy.org/eng.
Denmark H-1, Pils 11, tel. (+371) 67 22 62 10, www.
ambriga.um.dk.
Estonia C-4, Skolas 13, tel. (+371) 67 81 20 20, www.
estemb.lv.
Finland B-3, Kalpaka bulv. 1, tel. (+371) 67 07 88 00,
www.finland.lv.
Germany H-3, Raiņa bulv. 13, tel. (+371) 67 08 51 00,
www.riga.diplo.de.
Ireland B-3, Alberta 13, tel. (+371) 67 03 93 70, www.
embassyofireland.lv.
Japan F-3, Valdemāra 21, tel. (+371) 67 81 20 01, www.
lv.emb-japan.go.jp.
Lithuania B-3, Rūpniecības 24, tel. (+371) 67 32 15
19, lv.mfa.lt.
Netherlands G-1, Torņa 4 - Ia, tel. (+371) 67 32 61 47,
www.netherlandsembassy.lv.
Norway H-2, Zirgu 14, tel. (+371) 67 81 41 00, www.
norvegija.lv.
Poland B-3, Mednieku 6b, tel. (+371) 67 03 15 00,
www.ryga.polemb.net.
Russia F-2, Antonijas 2, tel. (+371) 67 33 21 51, www.
latvia.mid.ru.
Sweden F-2, Pumpura 8, tel. (+371) 67 68 66 00, www.
swedenabroad.com/riga.
United Kingdom F-2, Alunāna 5, tel. (+371) 67 77 47
00, ukinlatvia.fco.gov.uk/en.
United States of America G-2, Raiņa bulv. 7, tel.
(+371) 67 03 62 00, riga.usembassy.gov.
Government & Municipality
Citizenship & Migration Affairs Office (Pilsonības
un migrācijas lietu pārvalde) Čiekurkalna 1. līnija 1,
k-3, tel. (+371) 67 21 96 64, www.pmlp.lv. Residency
permits. QOpen 09:00 - 16:00, Mon 11:00 - 19:00, Fri 08:30
- 14:30. Closed Sat, Sun.
Government (Ministru Kabinets) G-3, Brīvības 36,
tel. (+371) 67 08 28 00, www.mk.gov.lv.
President (Valdis Zatlers) H-1, Pils laukums 3, tel.
(+371) 67 09 21 06, www.president.lv.
Riga City Council (Rīgas dome) I-2, Rātslaukums 1,
tel.(+371) 67 02 61 01, www.rcc.lv.
Saeima (Parliament) H-1, Jēkaba 11, tel. (+371) 67
08 73 21, www.saeima.lv.
Organisations & NGOs
American Chamber of Commerce H-2, Torņa 4, 2A
- 301, tel. (+371) 67 21 22 04, www.amcham.lv.
European Movement - Latvia B-3, Vīlandes 3-11, tel.
(+371) 67 32 65 48, www.eiropaskustiba.lv.
Goethe-Institut Riga H-1, Torņa 1 (entrance from Klos-
tera), tel. (+371) 67 50 81 94, www.goethe.de/riga.
Latvian Investment and Development Agency C-4,
Pērses 2, tel. (+371) 67 03 94 99, www.liaa.gov.lv.
Soros Foundation B-3, Alberta 13, tel. (+371) 67 03
92 41, www.sfl.lv.
Swedish Chamber of Commerce B-3, Strēlnieku 4a,
tel. (+371) 67 28 56 67, www.scc.lv.
The Latvian Institute C-4, Elizabetes 57, tel. (+371)
67 50 36 63, www.li.lv.
Local politicians have been gearing
up for the October 2 parliamentary
elections and by the time you read
this Latvians will have cast their
ballots. Not since the 1990s has
an el ection caused such a stir
and the next government could
well determine the course of the
country for many years to come.
Reputed oligarchs who have been
thieving for years are desperately
trying to keep their seats at the table, while pro-Kremlin
forces have promised to steer the nation in Moscow’s
direction should they take power. At the time of writing
the current government represented by Vienotība (Unity)
was expected to gain slightly less seats in parliament
than frontrunners SC. After the parties of the oligarchs
nearl y bankrupted the nati on, Val dis Dombrovskis
took the rei gns of government as PM and made
scores of unpopular, yet necessary decisions that his
predecessors were too cowardly, clueless or corrupt to
implement. Naturally, these same irresponsible politicians
are now blaming the whole crisis on Mr. Dombrovskis.
Although each party has its own agenda, many locals
know the parties for the following things:
Par labu Latviju (PLL) This coalition of parties largely
responsible for Latvia’s financial woes united because
they realised that their past performance precluded
them from passing the 5% barrier needed to gain seats
in parliament on their own. Its two leaders are reputed
oligarchs who have been implicated in illegal activities.
PCTVL Even the pro-Russian SC think these guys are
extreme. They refuse to admit that Latvia was ever
occupied by the Soviet Union and want to make Russian
an official language.
Saskaņas centrs (SC) This coalition of left-leaning, pro-
Russian parties is expected to do well this year sparking
terror in the hearts of most Latvians who fear a return
to the ‘bad old days’ under the Kremlin’s wing. Although
they claim to represent the interests of the poor, many
of its top politicians are filthy rich.
Vienotība This coalition of progressive parties led by
Prime Minister Dombrovskis passed an austerity budget
limiting public services and cutting costs wherever
possible to comply with the IMF’s rigid loan requirements.
Its most controversial figure, the eccentric finance
minister Einars Repše, has mystified people both locally
and abroad with his custom tailored, pin-striped leather
suit which he wears nearly every day. He is not running
for office and will leave politics after the election.
VL!-TB/LNNK This right wing coalition might just squeak
into parliament. They have a tendency to despise
anything Russian and often back lost causes such as
getting back Abrene, a small piece of land that was
annexed by the Russian SSR during WWII.
Zaļo un zemnieku savienība (ZZS) The so-called
greens and farmers are anythi ng but and they’re
candi date for prime minister is a reputed oli garch
awaiting trial for money laundering and bribery among
other charges. The party’s last prime minister later
resigned as parliament speaker in 2007 after he reported
that his briefcase containing US$10,000 was stolen in
the parliament building. Obviously people wanted to
know why he was strolling around government’s holiest
of holies with that much cash.
Dirty politics
One could easily stroll about Old Riga’s meandering streets
and ancient alleyways for days, but for most travellers time
is at a premium and a long journey is a luxury few can af-
ford. With this in mind, we’ve prepared a condensed walking
tour which includes many of Old Riga’s best sights.
Begin at H-3, the Freedom Monument on
the edge of Old Riga and the famous Laima
Clock. Walk up to the top of G-2, Bastion
Hill for views and then walk across ZA Mei-
erovica (Basteja) until you reach H-2, the
red brick Powder Tower and the Museum
of War next door.
Next walk down Torņa. The Jacob’s Bar-
racks on the right side of the street is
home to many trendy shops and cafés
and remnants of H-2, the Old City Walls are
visible on the left side. Walk left through
the H-2, Swedish Gate and immediately
make a right on Trokšņu, one of Riga’s
narrowest streets. Go left then straight
between H-1, St. James Church and the
Saeima (parliament).
Make a left on Klostera to find H-1, the
Three Brothers ahead. Take a peak inside
to see how medieval Europeans once lived. Go right on
Mazā Pils to Pils laukums where you’ll find H-1, Riga Castle
which also houses the History Museum of Latvia.
Next walk up Pils to Cathedral Square (Doma laukums).
Take a tour of H-1, Riga Cathedral and its hidden Roman-
esque cloister.
Walk down Tirgoņu and proceed to Kaļķu. Make another
right there and walk to I-2, the House of Blackheads, the
new town hall, I-1, the Latvian Riflemen Monument and I-2,
the Occupation Museum of Latvia, which is a must see.
Next walk down Grēcinieku in the opposite direction of the
River Daugava to I-2, the Mentzendorff
House. After a short tour of the house
continue down Grēcinieku and make a
left on Skārņu. You can take a look at I-2,
St. John’s Church on the right or walk to
the entrance of St. Peter’s on the left and
take the lift up to the top of for excellent
views. On Skārņu you’ll find dozens of
souvenir vendors.
Walk into I-2, John’s Courtyard (Jāņa sēta)
and emerge on Kalēju. Go left until you
reach H-2, Livs’ Square (Līvu laukums)
which is home to H-2, the Great and Small
Guildhalls, the Russian Drama Theatre
(currently undergoing renovations) and
the Cat House.
This concludes your walking tour. You
can relax at one of the many restaurants
and bars here for a well-deserved Latvian brew or a hot
drink. It’s also a good place to buy local souvenirs like
amber jewellery and paintings. If you’d like to see a video
of this tour visit: www.inyourpocket.com/latvia/riga//fea-
ture/71284-Old_Riga_walking_tour.html.
Old Riga walking tour
Leaves on Trokšņu iela MZ
70
walking tour
Riga In Your Pocket riga.inyourpocket.com
Riga City
Tour
index
75
index
October - November 2010 riga.inyourpocket.com
Old Riga street register
11. novembra krast-
mala I-1/J-2
13. janvāra I/J-3
Aklā H-1
Akmens til ts J-1
Alberta laukums I-3
Aldaru H-2
Alksnāja I-2
Alunāna F-2
Amatu H-2
Anglikāņu H-1
Arsenāla H-1
Aspazijas bul v. H/I-3
Atgriežu H-1
Audēju I-2/3
Barona H-3
Basteja bv. (Z.A.
Meierovica) G/H-2
Bīskapa gāte I-1
Brīvības G/H-3
Citadeles F/G-1
Doma laukums H-1
Elizabetes F-3
Freedom Mon. H-3
Gleznotāju H/I-2
Grēcinieku 1/2
Herdera lauk. H-1
Inženieru H-3
Jāņa I-2
Jāņa sēta I-2
Jaunavu H/I-2
Jauniela H/I-1
Jēkaba G/H-1
Jēkaba lauk. G-1
Jeruzalemes F-3
Kalēju I-2/3
Kaļķu H/I-2
Kalpaka bv. G-2/3
Ķēniņu H-2
Klostera H-1
Konventa Sēta I-2
Krāmu I-1/2
Kronvalda bv. F/G-1
Kungu I-2
Laima clock H-2
Laipu H-2
Līvu laukums H-2
Mārstaļu I/J-2
Mazā Miesnieku H-1
Mazā Monētu H/I-2
Mazā Muzeja H-1
Mazā Pils H-1
Mazā Smilšu H-2
Mazā Trokšņu H-1
Meistaru H-2
Merķeļa G/H-3
Miesnieku H-1
Minsterejas J-2
Mucenieku H-2
Muitas G-1
Mūku H-1
Palasta I-1
Pasta J-2
Peitavas I-2
Peldu I-2
Pēterbaznīcas I-2
Pils H-1
Pils laukums H-1
Prāgas J-3
Pumpura F-2
Radio I-3
Raiņa bul v. G-2/H-3
Rātslaukums I-1/2
Reimersa G-2
Rīdzenes I-3
Rozena H-1
Skārņu I-2
Šķūņu H-2
Smilšu H-1/2
Strēlnieku laukums I-1
Teātra I-2/3
Tirgoņu H/I-2
Torņa G-1/H-2
Trokšņu H-2
Ūdensvada I-2
Vāgnera H/I-2
Valdemāra G-1/F-2/3
Vaļņu H-2/I-3
Vecpilsētas I-3
Vingrotāju F-2
Z.A. Meierovica (Basteja
bul vāris) G/H-2
Zirgu H-2
Riga Info Centre I-2
Bus Station J-3
1221 30
1739 33
4 Rooms 30
ABC 20
Agency Lilija Plus 23
Agency STES Latvia
23
Akhtamar 24
Albert Hotel 18
Alberts Pub 49
Alus Ordenis 36
Alus Sēta 36
Amber Night 45
Amelie 40
Amica Café 28
Apsara 40
Aragats 24
Arbat 38
Armenia 24
Art Café Sienna 24
Art Hotel Laine 20
B&B Krisjanis &
Gertrude 22
B-Bārs 47
Babylon 45
Bergs Restaurant
28, 40
Bestsellers 30
Bites Blues Club 48
Bon Vivant 26, 48
Botanica Café 30
Boulangerie Bonjour
28, 29
Brown Sugar 28
C.U.T. 31
Cadets de
Gascogne 26, 29
Café Balanss 27
Café Lehaim 34
Celsijs 42
Central Hostel 23
Četri Bal ti Krekli 48
Čili Pica 29, 38
City Hotel Bruņinieks
20
Club Essential 45
Coco Loco 45
Coffee Inn 27
Columbine 40
Coyote Fl y 45
Cream Café 31, 47
Cuba Café 47
Cyprus Kebab
House 35
dADa 26
Dagira 35
Depo 45
Dņipro 40
Dodo Hotel 22
Domino Pizza 29
Double Coffee 26
Dstyle 43
Dzirnavas 36
Esplanāde 31
Ezītis miglā 42
Fabrikas restorāns
40
Fazenda 31
Fazer Café &
Restaurant 31
Flat 24
Food Box 35
Gallery Park Hotel 18
Gan Bei 26, 29
Garāža 42
Gastronome 38
Gauja 42
Golden 46
Grand Palace Hotel
18
Gutenbergs 32
Habibi 37
Hanza Hotel 18
Harry Morgan 28, 32
Hesburger 29
HHC 42
Homestay 22
Hotel Bergs 18
Hotel de Rome 18
Hotel Edvards 21
Hotel Gutenbergs 19
Hotel Irina 21
Hotel Jūrnieks 22
Hotel Mul tilux 22
Hotel Neiburgs 18
Hotel Rīga 19
Hotel Spāre 21
Indian Raja 30
Indian Tikka House
30
Islande Hotel 19
Istaba 24
Jakob Lenz 22
Jasa Cafe 27
Jockey Club 44
Just 32
Kabata 48
Kabuki 34
Kanēļa konditoreja
27
Kebabs Fix 35
Ki wi Bar 37, 48
Klondaika 40
Knaipe 30
Kolonna Hotel
Brigita 21
Kolonna Hotel Riga
21
Kontakts 32
Konventa Sēta 19
Krievu Sēta 38
Krogs Aptieka 43
L.A. 46
La Belle Époque 43
Labi 44
La Boheme 41
La Dolce Vita 49
Lauvas Nams 37
Le Crabe 38
Le Paon Bleu 29
LIDO 29, 37
LIDO atpūtas centrs
36
Lidojošā Varde 32
LIDO Spice 36
Lielais Ķīnas Mūris
28
Liene 22
Livonija 23, 34
Līvu krodziņš 48
Lobby Bar 43
Mad House 47
Māja 26
Mārtiņa beķereja 26
McDonald's 29
Melnais Kaķis 37
Menora 34
Merlin 32
Meta-Kafe 26
Metropole 19
Mimino 39
Monika Centrum
Hotel 20
Monterosso 33
Moon Safari 46
Mūķene 24
Murales 33
Nabaklab 46
Old City Boutique
Hotel 20
Old Shanghai 28
Olive 32
Osīriss 26, 28
Otto Schwarz 41
Paddy Whelan's Irish
Pub & Sports Bar
33, 49
Pastarellia 36
Pelmeņi XL 28
Pieci Vilki 43
Pie Kristapa Kunga
36
Piens 46
Piramīda 41
Pirosmani 30
Pizza Lulū 29, 37, 38
Planet Sushi 34
PUSH 46
Radisson BLU
Daugava 20
Radisson BLU
Elizabete Hotel 20
Radisson BLU Hotel
Latvija 20
Radisson BLU
Ridzene Hotel 18
Raibais Balodis
28, 32
Rāma 41
Restaurant
Elements 28, 32
Restorācija 48
Reykjavik 33
Riga Black Magic 27
Riga Hostel 23
Riga House Hostel
23
Riga Out There 48
Riga Weekend 48
Rock 'n' Riga 43
Roks cepurē 44
Rozengrāls 36
Runcis 48
Salmu Sēta 36
Sal t 'n' Pepper 33
Samurajs 34
Sapņi un kokteiļi 46
Šašliki Mangaļos 39
Šefpavārs Vilhelms
28
Shot Café 44
Skanste 23
Skyline Bar 48
Slāvu Restorāns 38
Smilšu pulkstenis 40
Sonali Pub 37
Soraksans 35
Spot 27
Star Lounge 48
Steak House Dome
39
Sushi Point 29
Svada 41
Sveiks, Šveik! 28
T.G.I.Friday's 24
Taka 44
Tallink Hotel Riga 20
Tequila Boom 40
The Club 46
The Naughty
Squirrel
Backpackers 23
TIA 22
Tikai karotes 39
Tinto 28, 49
Tokyo City 34
Traktieris 38
Trattoria del Popolo
34
TurKebab 35
Un Momento 34
Uzbekistāna 28
Vairāk Saules 29, 38
Varzob 28
Vērmanītis 36
Vincents 41
Wok Café 26
Ze Donats 29
Zen 40
Zilā govs 39

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