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Maps Events Restaurants Cafés Nightlife Sightseeing Shopping Hotels

Riga October - November 2016

Street Art

Urban beauty hiding in plain sight

Unusual Statues

Explore Riga’s unlikeliest monuments N°123- FREE COPY

Contents Sports & Leisure


Bowling alleys, gun ranges and swimming pools


Useful Addresses


Spas, doctors, business contacts and more



Gossip and rants from the editor



Beds for backpackers and business executives

Arrival & Getting Around


How to get to your hotel

Riga Basics


Getting to grips with Riga

Street Art 17 Urban beauty hidden in plain sight

Culture & Events 18 Concerts, festivals and events

Riga’s Unlikeliest Statues 25 Unusual monuments in the Latvian capital



From pork knuckle and sauerkraut to sushi



Bars, pubs and clubs



Museums, churches and the like



Boutiques, souvenir shops and shopping centres

List of small features Our favourites A guide for beer snobs Canal boats Janis Rozentāls Staro Rīga Light Festival 90 years in the making Ancient Chinese art Don’t tread on me Tamed Nature Explore Latvia Castle in the Air Football matches Hockey: Dynamo Riga Independence Day Riga for kids Old Riga walking tour

Maps & Index Old Riga map Riga city centre map Venue index / Old Riga street register Latvia map

32 46 58 60 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 68 68 71 77 78 79 80 82 83

View of Old Riga from Bastion Hill

October - November 2016


Foreword One by one, summer terraces begin to disappear. The air becomes brisk and fallen leaves crunch underfoot. The rains arrive like an unwanted guest and the days grow shorter. Yes, these typical heralds of autumn are often nothing to laugh about, but on the bright side, the city’s cultural life is reinvigorated giving Riga a much needed shot of adrenaline when it’s most needed. Students, both foreign and domestic, return to their classrooms (and favourite pubs) and local citizens who abandoned the city for beaches and country homes in the summer more often than not stay in the capital to experience classical music concerts, plays and opera performances during the autumn months. Some incredible art exhibitions will also be filling Riga’s galleries and museums including an unprecedented display of ancient Chinese art (see p.62). Finally, Dynamo Riga hockey games and World Cup 2018 qualifiers (see p.68) will fill seats at Arena Riga and Skonto Stadium. In short, the nights are certainly getting longer, but there’s also much more to do in the Latvian capital this autumn with Riga In Your Pocket.

Publisher E S S E N TI A L ©SIA “Latvijas ceļveži” C I TY G U I D E S Laipu 8 - 9a, LV-1050 Riga, Latvia ISSN 1407-2335 Company Office & Accounts Tel. (+371) 67 22 05 80,, Riga In Your Pocket is printed by SIA DuGa six times per year Editorial Editor Mārtiņš Zaprauskis Layout & Design Mārtiņš Zaprauskis Photography Mārtiņš Zaprauskis, unless otherwise noted. Events and culture photos courtesy of various media groups and concert organisers. Cover Mārtiņš Zaprauskis


Sales & Circulation Ģirts Upenieks, tel. (+371) 67 22 05 80, Jana Gorkušenko,

This issue’s cover features one of Riga’s most recognisable landmarks – St. Peter’s Church. First mentioned in medieval accounts in 1209, its original wooden spire was at one time the tallest in Europe, but unfortunately suffered over the centuries having collapsed once only to burn down after it was rebuilt. A bomb hit the church in 1941, so the current spire actually dates from 1973. Take the lift to the top for excellent views.

Copyright notice Text and photos copyright SIA “Latvijas ceļveži”. Maps copyright SIA “Karšu izdevniecība Jāņa sēta”. 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 (Bernardinu 9-4, Vilnius, Lithuania tel. (+370-5) 212 29 76). Social media Find us on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram















8 Riga In Your Pocket

In Your Pocket, the world‘s leading publisher of locally-produced city guides since 1992, recently launched a brand new smartphone app: In Your Pocket City Essentials. Featuring only hand-picked venues and sights alongside essential travel information, these city guides have been carefully crafted by our local editors and include only the places they are happy to recommend. The app - available on both iOS and Android - is free, and works offline. Go to app on your smartphone to download it. To keep up with all that’s new at In Your Pocket, follow us on Facebook (facebook. com/inyourpocket) or Twitter (twitter. com/inyourpocket).

Arriving & Getting Around Arriving in Riga is fairly simple these days. The bus and train stations are located right on the edge of Old Riga and the airport is only a short cab or bus ride away. BY BUS The first thing you’ll notice upon arrival at the bus terminal or autoosta (open 05:00 - 24:00; from 24:00 - 05:00 there is a €1 admission fee) are the impressive hangars of the Central Market to your right. Inside, LuxExpress and Ecolines offices are located to your left as well as an ATM, baggage room (€0.60 - 1.40 for the first hour, €0.30 each additional hour) and toilets for €0.30 (ask for paper). To your right is the waiting room. A bar/cafeteria and a baby-changing station are available upstairs. At the far end of the hall are bus (open 08:00 - 21:00) and tourist information centres (open 10:00 - 18:00), a currency exchange and a pharmacy. Outside you’ll find 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 €2 ticket from the driver or a much cheaper €1.15 ticket at the Narvesen newsstand or ticket machine outside). 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, so if you’d like to travel farther afield then either order a taxi by phone (see p.13) or use public transport. QJ-3, Prāgas 1, 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 ferry line 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. QB-2, Eksporta 3a.

Yacht marina near Andrejsala

10 Riga In Your Pocket


TOURIST INFORMATION LIVE RIGA TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES The Live Riga information centre offers a wide range of information in a variety of languages. The friendly staff can assist with hotel bookings, tours and other useful services. QI-2, Rātslaukums 6, tel. (+371) 67 03 79 00,, Open 10:00 - 18:00. Also at H-2, Kaļķu 16, tel. (+371) 67 22 74 44; J-3, Prāgas 1 (Bus station), (+371) 67 22 05 55. A BY PLANE The airport (lidosta) is some 10km southwest of the Riga city centre. Once you’ve got your bags and you’ve cleared customs you can rent a car, change money, have a drink at the Costa Coffee or visit the airport welcome centre in the arrivals hall for information. An ATM and a post office (open 08:30 - 13:00; 14:00 - 17:00; closed Sat, Sun) are also available. If you’ve departed from a non-Schengen country such as Ireland, the UK, the US or Uzbekistan, you will 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 as it offers more services. Getting to town: A queue of eager taxis will be waiting for you outside the arrivals hall. A typical ride to Old Riga or the city centre should cost no more than €15. The Airport Express shuttle stops at 10 different locations throughout the city, including Old Riga, the bus station, the Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija and the Albert Hotel, for €5 every 30 minutes between 04:25 - 00:35. Bus N°22 costs €1.15 (€2 if you buy a ticket from the driver) and departs for the city centre roughly every 10 - 20 minutes. Express mini-van N°222 costs the same, but doesn’t stop as often and will take you as far as the central station. Exit the airport arrivals hall and walk across the parking lot to find the bus stop and ticket machine. QAirport, www. BY TRAIN The train station (centrālā stacija) has a spacious central hall and many shopping and eating options. International trains arrive at platform 2. Follow signs down to the Central Hall (Centrālā zāle) where you’ll find renovated pay toilets (€0.30). A baggage room (€0.71 - 2.13/day; open 04:30 - 24:00) is available in the basement. Exchange money at the currency exchanges (valūtas maiņas) in tunnels A and B, at the Citadele bank to the right of the Central Hall when coming from the platforms, or at the Swedbank to the left. There are several bank machines in the terminal. The train information office is open 08:00 - 20:00. 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. QD-4, Stacijas laukums.

Arriving & Getting Around 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 Tallinn or where to catch an overnight train to St. Petersburg? Read on.

AIRPORT RIGA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (LIDOSTA) Riga International Airport, known throughout the world as RIX, lies some 10km southwest of the city. The Airport Express shuttle stops at 10 different hotels (including Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija, Albert Hotel and Monika Centrum Hotel) in the city centre and the left bank of the river (Islande Hotel and Bellevue Park Hotel Riga) every 30 minutes between 04:25 - 00:35. The trip costs €5. Bus N°22 leaving from Grēcinieku iela will take you there for €1.15 (€2 if you buy a ticket from the driver). For departure times visit The airport has undergone major improvements over the years including 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. A sushi restaurant, a pizzeria and some local cafés are available on the other side of the security checkpoint as well as a variety of duty free and paid shops, including Victoria’s Secret and Furla. For more information visit its comprehensive website.Qtel. (+371) 1817 (toll call)/(+371) 29 31 18 17 (toll call from abroad),

AIRLINE OFFICES AIRBALTIC The Latvian national airline flies to dozens of destinations throughout Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.QAirport, tel. (+371) 90 00 11 00 (toll call)/(+371) 67 00 60 06 (from abroad), Open 05:00 - 23:00. FINNAIR Direct flights to Helsinki.QAirport, tel. (+371) 67 20 70 10, LOT (POLISH AIRLINES) Direct flights to Warsaw.QAirport, tel. (+371) 67 20 71 13, LUFTHANSA Direct flights to Frankfurt.QAirport, tel. (+371) 67 50 77 11, NORWEGIAN Norway’s low cost airline offers cheap direct flights to Oslo and Trondheim as well as Stockholm and Copenhagen. RYANAIR Europe’s leading budget airline now offers cheap direct flights between Riga and Berlin, Bremen, Brussels, Cologne, Dublin, Dusseldorf (Weese), East Midlands (UK), Frankfurt (Hahn), Glasgow (Prestwick), Leeds (Bradford), London (Stansted), Manchester, Milan (Bergamo) and Oslo (Rygge) SAS SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES Direct flights to Stockholm (Arlanda).Qtel. (+371) 67 20 55 77,

*chargeable call (+371) 29 311 817 calls from foreign countries,


Arriving & Getting Around SWISS Direct flights to Zürich.Qtel. (+371) 66 16 36 81, www. TURKISH AIRLINES Direct flights to Istanbul and Antalya.QAirport, tel. (+371) 67 21 00 94, Open 09:00 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun. UZBEKISTAN AIRWAYS Direct flights to New York (JFK) and Tashkent.QB‑3, Elizabetes 11, tel. (+371) 67 32 45 63, Open 09:00 - 18:00, Fri 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun. WIZZ AIR Flights to and from Barcelona, Bergen, Doncaster Shefield, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Liverpool, London (Luton), Lubeck, Oslo (Torp), Paris and

CAR RENTAL AUTO Only €30 - 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 address.Qtel. (+371) 29 58 04 48, www. Open 24hrs. AVIS Avis rents all kinds of premium sedans including Audis, Volkswagens, Opels and Toyotas as well as SUVs and minivans.QRiga Airport, tel. (+371) 67 20 73 53, Open 08:30 - 20:30, Sat 09:30 - 19:30, Sun 09:30 - 20:30. Also at J-3, 13. janvāra 19 (Avalon Hotel), tel. (+371) 67 22 58 76. A BUDGET Budget offers a wide selection of new Volkswagens and Toyotas of various classes for competitive prices.QRiga Airport (Arrivals E), tel. (+371) 67 20 73 27, www.budget. lv. Open 08:30 - 20:30, Sat 09:30 - 19:30, Sun 09:30 20:30. Also at J-3, 13. janvāra 19 (Avalon Hotel), tel. (+371) 67 83 09 83. A EGICARRENT This car hire company specialises in Volvos including Volvo S80s starting at as low as €27 per day, but economy class Seat Leons are also available. Free delivery to any destination in Riga and TomTom navigation devices and child seats are included in the price.Qtel. (+371) 29 53 10 44, fax (+371) 63 02 63 39, Open 24hrs. A

FERRIES RIGA PASSENGER TERMINAL If you’re travelling to Riga with Tallink from Stockholm then you’ll arrive here.QB‑3, Eksporta 3a, tel. (+371) 67 32 62 00, TALLINK Tallink provides regular ferry service between Riga and Stockholm every other day.QB‑2, Eksporta 3a, tel. (+371) 67 09 97 00, Open 09:00 - 19:00. Also at D-4, Stacijas laukums 2 (Train station - Tunnel A). Open 09:00 - 21:00. A

October - November 2016


Arriving & Getting Around LONG-DISTANCE BUSES

BUS SCHEDULE From RIGA Dep. Arr. 23:30 06:10 12:30 16:25 18:00 23:40 22:25 07:20 19:15 09:30 09:00 11:35 18:30 21:05 08:00 10:30 14:15 16:50 08:55 19:45 18:45 05:45 09:00 20:00 17:00 05:30 21:00 07:00 22:00 08:00 09:00 13:25 12:30 16:55 16:00 20:25 18:30 22:55 02:30 06:50 08:00 12:15 09:00 13:35 12:00 16:30 14:15 18:40 17:00 21:20 19:00 23:45 08:55 12:50 19:00 22:55 22:00 01:35 07:00 10:55 10:35 15:00 12:30 16:45 02:30 06:30 07:30 11:30 11:00 15:05 14:15 18:40 18:00 22:05 22:25 02:25


To RIGA Dep. 21:30 05:45 15:05 22:30 20:30 08:50 17:50 09:50 19:05 11:15 21:00 10:00 20:30 22:30 22:40 07:00 08:30 12:45 16:00 06:30 08:00 09:30 13:00 17:00 19:00 22:00 07:20 03:10 06:30 08:00 12:30 16:10 03:20 07:30 09:30 14:45 18:00 22:00

Arr. 06:00 11:45 18:50 07:20 11:30 11:25 20:25 12:25 21:45 22:20 07:45 21:45 07:00 10:35 08:50 11:25 12:55 17:10 20:25 10:35 12:25 13:55 17:40 21:45 23:15 02:20 11:15 07:00 10:30 12:25 16:45 20:30 07:20 11:45 13:55 18:45 21:55 02:20

* Lux Express ** ECOLINES Local buses depart frequently to cities throughout Latvia ( Schedule subject to change. 14 Riga In Your Pocket

BUS STATION (AUTOOSTA) The bus station is open from 05:00 - 24:00, but its information centre is open from 08:00 - 21:00. The bus is quicker and cheaper than a train journey but they often fill up quickly, especially during the summer. Ticket counters 1 - 9 sell tickets to all local destinations. For buses to destinations abroad visit Ecolines or LuxExpress, which have offices on the ground floor.QJ‑3, Prāgas 1, tel. (+371) 90 00 00 09, ECOLINES As its name suggests, this company has been providing affordable bus service to hundreds of cities in 18 European countries since 1993. You can purchase a ticket at its service centre in the Riga Bus Terminal or save some time and receive a substantial discount by ordering a ticket online at Most buses offer free coffee or tea onboard as well as electrical sockets for recharging devices and free wi-fi.QJ‑3, Prāgas 1 (Bus station), tel. (+371) 67 21 45 12, Open 07:00 - 21:00. A­W LUX EXPRESS Try its 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 Baltics, Poland and Russia.QJ‑3, Prāgas 1 (Bus station), tel. (+371) 67 78 13 50, Open 06:40 - 22:00. A­W

PUBLIC TRANSPORT Riga has nine tram lines, 19 trolleybus routes and 53 bus routes that operate from as early as 05:00 to as late as 01:00, depending on the route. You can buy €1.15 tickets at designated Riga Transport (Rīgas Satiksme) ticket offices, at public transport ticket machines or at Narvesen newsstands, post offices and Rimi supermarkets. You can also buy a ticket from the driver but it will cost you €2. Passengers have a wide variety of ticket options including tickets for one (€1.15), two (€2.30), four (€4.60), five (€5.75), 10 (€10.90) and 20 (€20.70) rides or tickets good for one (€5), three (€10) or five (€15) days of travel. The tickets are valid for trams, trolleybuses and city buses. Press the ticket 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: 9). 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.

Arriving & Getting Around



To avoid being swindled order a taxi by phone or use the cabs at the Radisson BLU Hotel Latvija or the Albert Hotel.

CENTRAL STATION (CENTRĀLĀ STACIJA) 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. Do not confuse perons (the platform) and ceļš (the track). They are numbered separately 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.QD‑4, Stacijas laukums, tel. (+371) 1181, Open 05:00 - 24:00.

BALTIC TAXI The bright green Baltic Taxis are among the most reliable cabs in Riga.QČaka 148-7, tel. (+371) 20 00 85 00, www. Open 24hrs. A RED CAB (RĪGAS TAKSOMETRU PARKS) These reliable red and white cabs are at your door within minutes of ordering one. Also available at the airport.Qtel. (+371) 8383, Open 24hrs. A

TOURS & TRAVEL AREA TOURS A jolly, English-speaking Latvian man will drive you anywhere in Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia with a car or van for as long as you like. Make your own itinerary and drive! Available day or night. Recommended.Qtel. (+371) 29 58 04 48, TRAVEL2RIGA Travel2Riga offers low-key or VIP nightlife tours, a day out with AK47s at the shooting range, go-karting, sailing trips, paintball, zorb football, bungee jumping and even bobsleighing just to name a few activities. Naturally, its guides can also take you on walking, cycling or Segway tours of Riga.QI‑2, Tirgoņu 10, tel. (+371) 22 08 46 13, www. A

LATVIAN RAILWAYS (LATVIJAS DZELZCEĻŠ) QD‑4, Gogoļa 3, tel. (+371) 1181/(+371) 67 23 11 81 (from abroad),

A tram buzzes by Bastion Hill


October - November 2016


Riga Basics ALCOHOL


For a while Latvia had the dubious honour of holding the record for the world’s drunkest person. In the summer of 2012, a vagrant was found unconscious by police and rushed to hospital where his blood test revealed an astounding 8.89 parts per mille of alcohol. 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 and Valmiermuižas are among the nation’s best beers, but keep your eye out for great craft brews by Labietis and Malduguns. The infamous Riga Black Balsam is a potent spirit that Latvians enjoy inflicting on tourists. Bars are open at all hours, but alcohol is only sold in shops from 08:00 - 22:00.

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 celebrations 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 14, 2017 Good Friday (Lielā piektdiena) April 16, 2017 Easter Sunday (Lieldienas) April 17, 2017 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)

COMMUNISM Although Latvia was once an involuntary Soviet republic, visitors should not come to Riga with high hopes of seeing grand statues of Lenin and other objects from that bygone era. Most of these monuments, which are viewed as symbols of oppression by Latvians, have been removed. A red granite monument, once dedicated to the Latvian riflemen 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. Hammers and sickles can also be seen on the wrought iron fence on A-B dambis near the Radisson Blu Daugava Hotel.

POST LATVIAN POSTAL SERVICE (LATVIJAS PASTS) Send postcards, letters and packages, buy stamps and public transport tickets or do what most locals do here (hence the queues) and pay your utility bills. Take a number and have a seat.QH-3, Brīvības bulv. 32, tel. (+371) 67 50 28 15/(+371) 67 00 80 01, Open 07:30 19:00, Sat 09:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun. Also at D-4, Stacijas laukums 2, tel. (+371) 67 07 39 00. Open 07:00 - 21:00, Sat 09:00 - 20:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00. A


LOCAL TIME Latvia is in the Eastern European Time Zone (EET): GMT +2 hours. Correct time: tel. 82 154 (in Latvian).

MONEY As of January 1, 2014, the Latvian national currency is the euro. One euro contains 100 euro cents. There are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 euro cent coins as well as 1 and 2 euro coins. Banknotes are available with the following values: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. There are currency exchange booths and ATMs everywhere. Most hotels, restaurants and shops take credit and bank cards and we’ve marked the establishments that accept them.

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 of 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 huge 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 not recommended.


University of Latvia overlooking the canal

16 Riga In Your Pocket


Some strip clubs, nightclubs and late night bars take advantage of inebriated patrons. Be wary of attractive girls on Līvu Square asking you to join them for a drink in a nearby bar. You’ll be shocked to discover that the barely palatable bottle of wine you bought them costs €700 or more. If you refuse the bouncers will pummel you until you give them your PIN code. Avoid seedy bars and try to always pay in cash at nightclubs.

Street Art Graffiti is nothing new as ancient scribblings have been discovered in Roman ruins and Egyptian temples. It seems that since time immemorial humans have had a need to express themselves or at least to etch a somewhat lasting message for future generations even if it only reads ‘I was here’. Unfortunately, much of what we see today in Riga’s urban landscape are ill-conceived tags by pubescent hooligans who’ve yet to discover similarly vain pursuits on social media pages. They’re the scourge of the city and even medieval churches haven’t been spared from this blight. Thankfully, proper street art that can be both beautiful and insightful can also be found on the ‘mean streets’ of the Latvian capital if you know where to look. Unfortunately, most of the street art locations are spread out across the city, so it’s hard to make a convenient and comprehensive walking tour of them all in one day. With this in mind we’ve added the closest, if not entirely related sights underneath each location, so you don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth just to see one mural. ANDREJSALA Andrejsala is home to the city’s best waterfront restaurants, but if you do a little exploring you’ll also discover some great street art on the back side of an old garage just opposite the KOYA restaurant. You’ll see unusual green creatures that appear to be celebrating Midsummer’s Eve with gusto. QB‑2, Andejsalas 2 k-8. Nearby cafés & shops: KOYA, Riga Sunset Lounge and Spirits & Wine. BARONA 114 Although this doesn’t exactly qualify as clandestine graffiti, as it was no doubt paid for by a private company, this full-scale mural covers the entire side of a building on Tallinas iela. A man (or perhaps an ancient pagan god?) with a long white beard and a sword is flanked by two Latvian women in folk costumes – one holds a kokle (a string instrument), while the other cradles a pitcher in her arms. QB‑6, Barona 114. Nearby sights: Sparģeļu iela street art, Grīziņkalns Neighbourhood, Wooden Riga and Ziedoņdārzs Park. GRĒCINIEKU TUNNEL Although it’s ‘state-sponsored graffiti’ commissioned to keep taggers at bay, its walls are covered in skateboarders, athletes, cyclists and lots and lots of birds. Duck down into the tunnel under 11.novembra krastmala that connects Grēcinieku iela with the Daugava river promenade.QI‑1, Grēcinieku iela. Nearby sights: House of Blackheads, Town Hall Square, Roland Statue and Mentzendorff’s House.

MIIT COURTYARD The owners of the popular MiiT vegetarian café and bike shop have commissioned a piece of street art that’s out of this world. Orange aliens straight out of a Simpsons episode seem to be shooting at four-eyed foxes on bikes. On weekdays it’s often partially obscured by cars, but it’s usually fully visible at night and on weekends.QB/ C‑4, Lāčplēša 10. Nearby sights & cafés: Jews in Latvia, KGB Museum and MiiT. MOSCOW DISTRICT BRIDGE Our favourite examples of street art can be found under the bridges where Elijas, Maskavas and Lāčplēša steets meet. It’s an easy walk or bike ride from the Central Market or you can simply take tram No.7 or 9 to the Elijas iela stop, but bear in mind that there’s lots of car and tram traffic here, so stick to the sidewalks to be safe.QE‑5, Elijas, Maskavas & Lāčplēša streets. Nearby sights: Central Market, Warehouse District and Riga Ghetto Museum. SPARĢEĻU IELA Although there’s plenty of lowend graffiti in the 19th-century working-class neighbourhood of Grīziņkalns, an outstanding example of street art can be found by one of the entrances to the Ziedoņdārzs Park. The top half of the wooden building’s wall is now home to a big hairy rat. It’s odd, to say the least, but definitely intriguing.QC‑6, Sparģeļu 5. Nearby sights: Barona 114 street art, Grīziņkalns Neighbourhood, Wooden Riga and Ziedoņdārzs Park. TORŅAKALNS BRIDGE Although not the most accessible, this curious collection of street art offers portraits of people either real or fictional including none other than Jesus Christ and what appears to be Johnny Depp playing Hunter S. Thompson’s Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Take tram No.10 from Grēcinieku to the Torņakalna stacija stop. Bear in mind that you’re not actually allowed to walk under the bridge as trains pass by frequently, but you can get a pretty good view from above. You could also take a look out the window at the Torņakalns station on a Jūrmala bound train. It’ll be on your right side.QF. Brīvzemnieka iela. Nearby sights: Riga Luther Church, Arcadia Park and the Soviet Victory Monument. October - November 2016


Culture & Events Perhaps the best aspect of Riga’s cultural life is that worldclass performances are very affordable. Locals hold the opera and theatre in the highest esteem and make it a point to attend often. For a full list of concerts, exhibitions and other local happenings visit

CINEMAS FORUM CINEMAS Forum Cinemas is the second largest cinema complex in Northern Europe.QI‑3, 13. janvāra 8, Open 10:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 24:00. (€4 - 8). A K.SUNS / KINOGALERIJA Kinogalerija is mostly dedicated to films of an arty or European variety.QC‑4, Elizabetes 83/85, tel. (+371) 67 28 54 11, (€5).

CLUBS & OTHER VENUES ANGLICAN CHURCH (ST. SAVIOUR’S) Church services are still held in English here every Sunday and it also hosts the occasional concert.QH‑1, Anglikāņu 2a, tel. (+371) 67 22 22 59, DEPO Underground club that’s a venue for indie, industrial and experimental groups.QI‑2, Vaļņu 32, tel. (+371) 67 22 01 14, FOLK CLUB ALA Local folk music concerts most days of the week.QI‑2, Peldu 19, tel. (+371) 27 79 69 14, K.K. VON STRICK’S VILLA This former mansion and its shabby chic rooms are occasionally used for fashion shows, seminars, concerts, special events and weddings.QA‑5, A. Briāna 9, tel. (+371) 29 44 66 78. LATVIAN ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM This outdoor museum hosts a number of ethnographic events, concerts and fairs throughout the year. Take bus N°1 to the Brīvdabas muzejs stop.QBrīvības gatve 440, tel. (+371) 67 99 45 15, Open 10:00 - 17:00. L­K LATVIAN NATIONAL LIBRARY Also know as the Castle of Light, the new building of the Latvian National Library hosts a number of concerts and exhibitions.QE‑3, Mūkusalas 3,

English singer-songwriter Passenger will perform at Palladium Riga on October 9 at 20:00. Photo courtesy of FBI -

18 Riga In Your Pocket

MUSIC & EVENTS Oct Date Time Event Caliban (Germany). Heavy 4 20:00 metal. €12 Sunset Trail (Czech Repub5 22:00 lic). Nu-metalcore concert Spanish dancing with 7 19:00 Jesus Lozano. €12 - 40 Ballroom dancing at the 8 19:00 Small Guild. €10 Klondaika Fight Arena. 8 19:00 Kickboxing title fight (BFCA; 82kg). €15 - 25 Passenger (UK). English 9 20:00 singer-songwriter. €29 Infected Mushroom 9 20:00 (Israel). Electronic / trance concert. €35 - 80 Hang Massive (UK/Swe11 19:00 den). The world's best hang drum duo. €23 - 35 12 19:00 Nino Katamadze & Insight Khroma (Finland). Alterna12 22:00 tive metal Sound Forest (Skaņu Mežs) adventurous music. R. 13 18:00 Andrew Lee plays Dennis Johnson’s November (USA); Aminata (LV) of Eurovision 13 19:00 fame: Red Moon. €14 Latvian Blues Band. Lat14 20:00 via's most renowned blues musicians Sound Forest adventurous music festival featuring King Midas Sound + Fennesz (UK / Austria), 14 20:00 Vatican Shadow (USA), Michael Finnissy (UK) and more; €10 - 20 Dark Bottle (Finland). 14 22:00 Psychobilly / alt-country Motofreestyle Latvian 15 19:00 Grand Prix. €25 - 65 Latvian Blues Band. Lat15 21:00 via's most renowned blues musicians







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Sound Forest (Skaņu Mežs) festival featuring Tropic of Cancer (USA), Zebra Katz (USA), M.E.S.H. (USA), DMH Black Spirituals (USA), Killing Sound (UK) and more; €10 - 20 Nervosa (Brazil). Trash DP metal. €10 Frank Sinatra 100 with Daumants Kalniņš and the DMH Jelgava Bigband. €12 - 28 The Winyls (Finland) DP Riga A Cappella Festival with Postyr (Denmark); PR rigasacappellafestivals. lv. €15 Riga A Cappella Festival with The Real Group PR (Sweden). €15 Placebo. 20 Years of PlaAR cebo Tour. €39 - 100 Epidemia (Russia). Power MP metal. €15 Latvian Blues Band. Latvia's most renowned blues MS musicians Eve of the Dead. Ancient Latvian tradition of venerEM ating ancestors long gone with singing and dancing Riga A Cappella Festival grand finale; rigasacappel- RRC €25 Korpiklaani (Finland) and Skalmöld (Iceland). FolkMP metal concert. €8 Frank Sinatra 100 with Daumants Kalniņš and the DMH Jelgava Bigband. €12 - 28

Pop music legend Elton John will perform at Arena Riga on November 15. Photo courtesy of Makroconcert -

Indie-rock superstars Placebo will perform their best hits from the past two decades at Arena Riga on October 22 as part of their 20th anniversary tour. Photo courtesy of LTips -




Black Tongue (UK). Doomcore metal. €8 Porta Music Festival. Banda Magda (USA), Arto 18:00 Tunçboyaciyan (USA) and Elza Rozentāle (LV); www. €18 - 28 22:00 Autopilot (Hungary). Rock 20:00












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Kings on Ice. Ice-skating stars like Stéphane Lambiel, Evgeni Plushenko, AR Adelina Sotnikova and others. €5 - 55 Porta Music Festival. Dom La Nena (Brazil), Cheikh Lô (Senegal), Brāļi un māsas DMH (LV) and Ralfs Eilands (LV); €18 - 28 KOK World GP 2016 Riga AR Final. €15 - 300 Martin’s Day celebrations with lots of singing, folk EM dancing and costumes Arena New Music Festival. BIT 20 with Vinko Globakaru GG (trombone / France). €5 - 15 Arena New Music Festival. Heloïse Ph. Palmer (piano) RRC performs In Love With Liberty. €7 Luca Stricagnoli (Italy). The guitar virtuoso live. GG €15 - 35 October - November 2016


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Arena New Music Festival. Musiques Nouvelles string quartet (Belgium) performs Cordes Intimes. RRC Programme: P.Vasks, Jean-Paul Dessy and V. Kissine. €7 Dearly Beloved (Canada). DP Garage / punk music Arena New Music Festival. Lisbon Guitar Quartet. KQ 21st-century Portuguese music. €10 Lāčplēsis Day. Candlelighting ceremony at Riga Castle after dark Ballroom dancing at the SG Small Guild. €10 DaGamba (LV). Vivaldi Rocks Tour. Latvia's hippest classical musicians PR play anything from Led Zeppelin to the Game of Thrones theme song. €15 Disco 1980s with London Beat, Fancy, Sandra and AR Savage. €19 - 35 Sound Forest featuring Autechre (UK), Russell Haswell (UK) and Andy MadDMH docks (UK / DJ set); www. €10 - 15 WhiskeyDick (USA). Heavy DP metal honky honk Elton John. €45 - 300 AR Brit Floyd. Pink Floyd PR show. €35

The Porta Music Festival will guarantee excellent world music at the Daile Music House on October 29 and November 5. Headliners include Banda Magda (USA - see photo), Cheikh Lô (Senegal), Dom La Nena (Brazil) and others. Photo courtesy of

20 Riga In Your Pocket

MELNĀ PIEKTDIENA (BLACK FRIDAY) The only club in Riga dedicated to heavy metal music. Take tram N°6 from Barona to the VEF stop.QBrīvības 193c, tel. (+371) 29 87 94 75, MOONSHINE If B.B.King were still alive and riffing, he would no doubt feel at home at this two-storey shrine to American music. QH/I‑2, Kaļķu 12, tel. (+371) 67 22 22 03/(+371) 26 65 63 68, Open 11:00 - 05:00.

CONCERT HALLS ARENA RIGA A venue for both sporting events like the Kontinental Hockey League and large concerts.QA‑4, Skanstes 21, tel. (+371) 67 38 82 00, DAILE MUSIC HOUSE (MŪZIKAS NAMS DAILE) A former cinema is now a venue for Latvian concerts. QC‑4, Barona 31, tel. (+371) 67 96 98 54, DZINTARI CONCERT HALL Jūrmala’s largest events venue.QTuraidas 1, Jūrmala, tel. (+371) 67 76 20 92, GREAT GUILD (LIELĀ ĢILDE) Home of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra.QH‑2, Amatu 6, tel. (+371) 67 22 48 50, ĶĪPSALA HALL A large venue for trade fairs and concerts on the left bank of the river.QC‑2, Ķīpsalas 8, tel. (+371) 67 06 50 00,














Latvian Independence Day celebrations at 11.novembra krastmala and the Freedom Monument Disco 1990s with Ace of Base, Dr. Alban, SNAP, Haddaway and La Bouche. €8 - 25 Raxtu Raxti Independence Day concert with Auļi. Expect Latvian folk songs and classic works by Latvian composers. €10 - 25 Carnival Youth. Latvia's new super group live. €15 Latvian Blues Band. Latvia's most renowned blues musicians Mielavs un Taurētāji. Ainars Mielavs & friends perform classic Jauns Mēness and Mielavs songs with wind instruments. €21 Ani Lorak (Ukraine). Pop singer . €20 - 80






Culture & Events OPERA & BALLET Oct Tickets: €8 - 60; Date Time Event Venue Romeo and Juliet, ballet, 5 19:00 OP Prokofiev 6 19:00 La Traviata, opera, Verdi OP The Sound of Music. The 7 17:30 classic musical for young OPN and old. Sold out Raymonda, ballet, 7 19:00 OP Glazunov The Sound of Music. The 8 12:00 classic musical for young OPN and old 8 19:00 Macbeth, opera, Verdi OP Sleeping Beauty, ballet, 9 19:00 OP Tchaikovsky Scheherezade and Her Tales. Ballet. Music by 12 19:00 OP Rimsky-Korsakov and Zoltán Kodály The Immured, Latvian op13 19:00 OP era, Ešenvalds & Zandere 14 19:00 Coppélia, ballet, Delibes OP Madame Butterfly, opera, 15 19:00 OP Puccini The Birds' Opera, opera 12:00 16, for children based on & OPN 23 the story of Dr. Doolittle, 18:00 Lūsēns Premiere. Peer Gynt, ballet 28 19:00 based on Ibsen's play with OP music by Grieg Peer Gynt, ballet based on 29 19:00 Ibsen's play with music OP by Grieg 12:00 Die Fledermaus (The Bat), 30 & OP operetta, Strauss 19:00

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Watch the Latvian National Opera & Ballet perform Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty on October 9. Photo courtesy of


19:00 Faust, opera, Gounod The Barber of Seville, 19:00 opera, Rossini Swan Lake, ballet, Tchai19:00 kovsky 19:00 Rigoletto, opera, Verdi 12:00 The Little Magic Flute. A & production for children 15:00 with music by Mozart Peer Gynt, ballet based on 19:00 Ibsen's play with music by Grieg The Marriage of Figaro, 19:00 opera, Mozart La Bayadère, ballet, 19:00 Minkus 19:00 Macbeth, opera, Verdi The Sound of Music. The 12:00 classic musical for young and old Karlsson Flies..., fantasy 15:00 ballet for children, Karlsons The Immured, opera, 19:00 Ešenvalds & Zandere Scheherezade and Her Tales. Ballet. Music by 19:00 Rimsky-Korsakov and Zoltán Kodály Le Villi. Gianni Schicchi, 19:00 opera, Puccini 15:00 Le Corsaire, ballet, Adam Peer Gynt, ballet based on 19:00 Ibsen's play with music by Grieg 19:00 Faust, opera, Gounod Bolero, ballet, music by 19:00 Maurice Ravel and Modest Mussorgsky 12:00 Die Fledermaus (The Bat), & operetta, Strauss 19:00 12:00 The Nutcracker, ballet, & Tchaikovsky 18:00








October - November 2016


Culture & Events CLASSICAL MUSIC Oct Date Time Event Venue Kristīne Opolais (soprano). Programme: F.Cilea, 4 19:00 OP G.Puccini, C.Saint-Saëns and G.Verdi. €40 - 100 Organ Duo. Ilze Reine & 5 19:00 Aigars Reinis. Programme: RC B.Smetana. €10 - 20 Autumn Chamber Music Festival. Alexei Ogrintchouk and SinfoGG 6 19:00 nietta Rīga. Programme: Mozart, Mendelssohn and Bellini. €7 - 25 R.Zariņš and the Latvian National Symphony Orches7 19:00 GG tra. Programme: R.Strauss & V.Dārziņš. €25 - 35 Aija Ziņģīte (organ) and 7 19:00 Ivars Bezprozvanovs RC (cello). €10 - 20 Autumn Chamber Music Festival. Inga Kalna (soprano) and Diāna Ketlere DZH 8 19:00 (piano). Programme: R.Strauss, A.Kalniņš and J.Mediņš. €7 - 25 Autumn Chamber Music Festival. An Evening of 12 19:00 SG Sonatas by Beethoven, Debussy and Franck. €10 Jurjānu Andrejs’ International Competition 14 19:00 final. Felix Renggli (flute / GG Switzerland). Programme: I.Breģe's Concerto No. 4

BIT 20 (Norway) and Vinko Globakaru (trombone / France) will kick off the Arena New Music Festival at the Great Guild on November 8. Photo courtesy of the Arena New Music Festival -

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Organ concert. Edīte Alpe (organ) and Ilona Bagele (mezzo-soprano). RC Programme: W.A.Mozart, R.Wagner and K.Jenkins. €10 - 20 Autumn Chamber Music Festival. Meditation for Voices and Electric Guitar. Matīss Čudars and the Latvi- RBM an Radio Choir. Programme: Karlheinz Stockhausen & M.Čudars. €12 Autumn Chamber Music Festival. Happy Birthday, Steve Reich! Programme: SK Music by Steve Reich, John Cage and arrangements of Radiohead songs. €10 100th Anniversary of Yehudi Menuhin. Elīna HB Bukša, Daniils Bulajevs and other violinists. €7 - 50 Autumn Chamber Music Festival. A Symphony by Beethoven and the Premire of Vasks’ Viola GG Concerto. Maxim Rysanov (viola) and Sinfonietta Rīga. €3 - 30 Riga Jazz 2016: Celebrating Ella Fitzgerald. Riga Big LNL Band Orchestra On Infinity. Programme: music by Romualds OPN Kalsons, Claude Debussy and Henri Dutilleux. €10 Arta Arnicāne performs Water Moods. Programme: ZB F. Chopin, C. Debussy, F. Liszt and J. Vītols. €5 Vassily Sinaisky & The Damnation of Faust. The LNSO, the Riga Dom Cathedral Boys' Choir and GG the Latvija State Choir. Programme: P.Vasks’ Cantabile and H.Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust Tālivaldis Deksnis jubilee concert. Programme: RC J.Vītols, M.Einfelde, P.Vasks and Z.Liepiņš. €10 - 20

Culture & Events


27 Italian guitar virtuoso Luca Stricagnoli will perform at the Great Guild on November 9. Photo courtesy of

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50th Anniversary of the 19:00 Latvian Radio Big Band with Intars Busulis. €7 - 40 Bach Chamber Music Festival. Luminis (Belgium). 19:00 Programme: Martin Luther, J.L.Bach and J.K.Bach. €7 Georgijs Osokins (piano) and the Amadeus cham19:00 ber orchestra (Poland). Programme: F.Chopin and M.Mussorgsky. €7 - 50 Bach Chamber Music Festival. La Galania (Spain). 19:00 Programme: 17th-century Spanish and Italian Baroque music. €5 - 7 Bach Chamber Music Festival. D.Liepiņš (piano) and 19:00 Madara Liepiņa (violin). Programme: J.S.Bach Bach Chamber Music Festival. The Festival Choir. 19:00 Programme: J.S.Bach, Claudio Monteverdi and Heinrich Schutz Bach Chamber Music Festival. Georgijs Osokins 19:00 (piano). Programme: J.S.Bach Beethoven & Tchaikovsky. Alexey Stadler (cello) and Sinfonietta 19:00 Rīga. Programme: Qigang Chen, Tchaikovsky and L.v.Beethoven. €7 - 25










LNSO - 90. Gunārs Upatnieks and the LNSO. Programme: Santa Ratniece's 19:00 Glittering Promenade; Eduard Tubin's Double Bass Concerto; Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5 First Advent concert with Elīna Šimkus, the Ave Sol chamber choir and the Riga Orchestra. Pro19:00 gramme: Bach, Schubert, Mozart, Haydn, Dvořák and popular Christmas carols. €10 - 20 Bach Chamber Music Festival. Musica Antiqua Roma 19:00 (Italy) with Ricardo Minasi (viloin). Programme: chamber music




LATVIAN NATIONAL OPERA & BALLET A magnificent venue for opera, ballet and international performing artists.QH‑3, Aspazijas bulv. 3, tel. (+371) 67 07 37 77, PALLADIUM RĪGA A former cinema has been converted into a concert hall. QC‑4/5, Marijas 21 (entrance from Pērses), tel. (+371) 67 28 45 16, RIGA CATHEDRAL (DOMA BAZNĪCA) The destination for world-class organ concerts.QH‑1, Doma laukums 1, tel. (+371) 67 21 32 13, RIGA CONGRESS CENTRE (KONGRESU NAMS) A large venue for dance concerts, musicals, plays and of course conferences.QF‑2, Valdemāra 5, tel. (+371) 67 04 36 78, SMALL GUILD (MAZĀ ĢILDE) Popular venue for small concerts and events.QH‑2, Amatu 3/5, tel. (+371) 67 22 37 72, SPĪĶERI The national chamber orchestra Sinfonietta Riga performs at this chic renovated warehouse.QD/E‑4, Maskavas 4, korp. 2/3, tel. (+371) 67 21 50 18, ZIEMEĻBLĀZMA CULTURE PALACE This historic, recently renovated building on the outskirts of Riga hosts all kinds of concerts. The easiest way to get there by public transport is to take a Saulkrasti bound train from the Riga station five stops to the Ziemeļblāzma station.QZiemeļblāzmas 36, tel. (+371) 67 84 88 49,

Get the In Your Pocket City Essentials app October - November 2016


Culture & Events GALLERIES ARSENĀLS EXHIBITION HALL Under the umbrella of the Latvian National Museum of Art, this exhibition hall specialises in local and international contemporary art projects and events.QH‑1, Torņa 1, tel. (+371) 67 35 75 27, Open 11:00 - 18:00, Thu 11:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission: €3.50. KIM? This gallery displays works by contemporary and up-andcoming local and international artists. See its website for information on exhibitions.QB‑4, Sporta 2, tel. (+371) 67 22 33 21, Open 12:00 - 18:00, Tue 12:00 20:00. Closed Mon. PUTTI This art gallery specialises in high-end jewellery and fashion by local and international designers.QI‑2, Peitavas 5 - 31 (entrance from Mārstaļu), tel. (+371) 67 21 42 29, Open 11:00 - 18:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. Upcoming exhibitions: Castle in the Air. Estonian contemporary jewellery will be available from October 28 - November 14.

TICKETS BIĻEŠU PARADĪZE (TICKET PARADISE) Tickets to mostly Latvian events such as theatre productions as well as opera and ballet performances.QG‑1, Kronvalda bulv. 2 (National Theatre), tel. (+371) 90 00 20 00, Open 10:00 - 19:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. Also at the box offices of the Opera (H-3, Aspazijas bulv. 3), Daile Theatre (B-4, Brīvības 75) and Puppet Theatre (C-4, Barona 16/18). A BIĻEŠU SERVISS (TICKET SERVICE) You can buy tickets to major concerts by international stars online or at one of its many outlets around Riga.QI‑3, 13. janvāra 8 (Stockmann - top floor), Open 10:00 - 21:00. Also at Statoil petrol stations. A

VENUES AC - Anglican Church ALA - Folk Club Ala AR - Arena Riga DP - Depo Nightclub DMH - Daile Music House DZH - Dzintari Concert Hall (Jūrmala) EM - Ethnographic Museum FC - Forum Cinemas FSV - Fon Stickas Villa GG - Great Guild HB - Blackheads House KC - Kalnciems Quarter KH - Ķīpsala Hall LNL - National Library MP - Melnā Piektdiena MS - Moonshine OP - Opera OPN - Opera New Hall PR - Paladium Riga RBM - Riga Bourse Museum RC - Riga Cathedral RCC - Riga Congress Center RH - Rockabilly House RRC - Reformation Church SG - Small Guild SK - Spīķeri Concert Hall ZB - Ziemeļblāzma 24 Riga In Your Pocket

UPCOMING FILMS Oct Schedule subject to change From Film at Forum Cinemas Venue Florence Foster Jenkins. Comedy 7 / drama with Meryl Streep and FC Hugh Grant The Girl on the Train. Thriller with 7 FC Emily Blunt Inferno. Thriller / action with Tom 14 FC Hanks War on Everyone. Comedy / 14 action with Alexander Skarsgård FC and Theo James Barbecue. Comedy with Lambert 14 FC Wilson Kubo and the Two Strings. Anima21 tion / family with Charlize Theron FC and Matthew McConaughey Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Ac21 FC tion with Tom Cruise A Monster Calls. Fantasy with Sig21 FC ourney Weaver and Liam Neeson Rings. Horror with Aimee Teer28 FC garden Trolls. Animation by the makers 28 FC of Shrek Nov 11 11 11 28

The Light Between Oceans. Romance with Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander Arrival. Sci-fi with Amy Adams and Forest Whitaker American Honey. Comedy / drama with Sasha Lane and Shia LaBeouf Allied. Thriller / drama with Brad Pitt


Hang Massive (UK/Sweden), the world’s most renowned hang drum duo will perform at the Great Guild on October 11 at 19:00. Photo courtesy of Trade Hub Productions -

Riga’s Unlikeliest Statues You haven’t been to Riga unless you’ve seen the Freedom Monument and if you’re interested in Latvian history we can recommend a dozen other statues and monuments of important Rigans that should be visited. Yet, oddly enough, the Latvian capital, for some reason, has honoured several international luminaries who have little or no connection to the city as well as some unlikely foreigners who have made their mark on the 800-year-old metropolis. You’ll probably be surprised to know that Englishmen, Scots and even ancient Uzbeks have their own statues in the heart of the city. Mirzo Ulugbek (Ulugh Beg) The ruler of vast swathes of Central Asia including parts of present-day Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and grandson of the (in)famous Timur (or Tamerlane), Ulugh Beg (1394 - 1449) was also a famous mathematician and astronomer in his day. He also built the Islamic world’s largest observatory in Samarkand. Today you can take a gander at his fierce, yet learned visage across the street from the (B-3) Ausekļa iela tram stop on Kronvalda bulvāris. The bronze statue on a red granite pedestal was a gift from the Embassy of Uzbekistan.

Mr. & Mrs. George Armitstead (and dog) Although the British are perhaps better known in Riga as the loud lads wearing outrageous costumes who insist on observing their nostalgic custom of getting completely wasted by 23:00 (note: pubs are open quite late in Riga, especially at the weekend), one Brit in particular has left a good and lasting impression on the city’s inhabitants. George Armitstead (1847 - 1912) was born in Riga and after studying abroad in Switzerland and even Oxford, he eventually returned to Riga where his wealthy family owned businesses and properties. He was elected mayor of Riga in 1901 and presided over an unparalleled period of construction, reform and prosperity until shortly before his death in 1912, when he was finally awarded honorary citizenship of the city he transformed. A bronze statue of Armitstead, his wife Cecile and their dog was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II in the (H-3) Latvian National Opera gardens in 2006.

Alexander Pushkin & Anna Kern Although the illustrious romantic poet never once set foot in Riga, a bronze statue of the literary genius graces the southern bank of the Riga canal in the (F-1) Kronvald Park right next to the pedestrian bridge. So why a monument to a Russian writer in Riga? A tenuous and oft disputed story does actually connect Alexander Pushkin to the Latvian capital. While in St. Petersburg, the troubled author met Anna Kern (1800 - 1879) with whom he had an affair. That much has been more or less proven, but it’s also been widely rumoured that he dedicated one of his most famous poems to this Russian socialite who eventually moved to Riga as the wife of General Ye. F. Kern. He wrote several love letters to her over the course of a year and a half, but is said to have later despised her. A small statue of the scandalous Anna Kern, who died in abject poverty in Moscow, is located next to the (F-1) Ave Sol concert hall, which was once the church of the Russian garrison over which her former husband presided.

Prince Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly The man with the poshest and most foreign-sounding of possible names was actually a German-speaking descendant of a Scottish family that settled in the Baltic region of what was then the Russian Empire. Although he was born in present-day Lithuania he was raised farther north in parts of Latvia and Estonia, which were then known as Livonia. He distinguished himself as an officer in the Russian army and fought in battles all over Europe most famously as the Commander-in-Chief of the largest Russian army tasked with defending the homeland from Napoleon. He was later sacked, but then distinguished himself again at the Battle of Borodino and later commanded the forces that occupied Paris in 1814. He was made a field marshal and finally, a prince in 1815. Barclay de Tolly (1757 - 1818) was honoured with a statue in the (G-3) Esplanade Park (just opposite the Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija) in 1913, but the original bronze monument was lost at sea when the city was plundered two years later. A new bronze statue was erected on the original granite pedestal in 2001. October - November 2016


Restaurants A thin-crust pizza, fresh sushi, hearty pork knuckle or an Armenian shashlik are never far from your fingertips in Riga and many cafés now offer cheap lunch specials to lure diners into their establishments. A tip of 10% is expected at most places. The average cost of a main course is listed in parentheses.

ARMENIAN ARAGATS The family who runs this authentic restaurant fled earthquake-racked Armenia and then opened a little piece of their homeland in Riga. But after decades of serving mouth-watering grilled lamb, veal and pork shashliks as well a wide variety of other delicious cuisine from the Caucasus Mountains on Miera iela, they finally moved to the Art Nouveau district of the city centre at the end of 2015. The interior is much more modern and stylish than that of the previous location, but thankfully personalised service from the family is still the hallmark of Aragats. However, in keeping with 21st-century etiquette, women are now given menus that include prices! QC‑3, Jura Alunāna 2a, tel. (+371) 67 37 34 45, Open 12:00 22:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 23:00, Sun 12:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon. (€8 - 14). A­X

ASIAN NEW BALTS Clean, sleek and modern, Balts, or White, chose that name as a symbol of something pure, not unlike the ingredients in its Asian-style meals. Order chicken or salmon teriyaki or prawns in chilli sauce with your choice of rice or udon noodles, a curried soup or one of many sushi platters that are accompanied by a salad and bright green soya beans. Seating is limited in this clay-coloured space sparsely decorated with custom wood stools and copper lighting fixtures, but you can also get everything on the menu as takeaway. Imported tea drinks with dragon fruit or coconut juice are also available as well as Asian snacks. Best of all, the most expensive item on the menu costs a mere €7.QC‑4, Ģertrūdes 27, tel. (+371) 29 02 02 00, www. Open 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 11:00 - 19:00. Closed Sun. (€4 - 7). A­S­W GAN BEI Located on the 7th floor a popular shopping mall, this stylish restaurant is a must see for hungry shoppers. You can order a wide range of Asian cuisine from sushi and sashimi to classic Chinese and Indian dishes that are listed on a menu that’s as long as a novel. The quality of the food is excellent, but in our opinion the serving sizes could be a bit bigger. No matter. You can console yourself with a tasty cocktail or a delicious Valmiermuiža draught. Although the trendy interior is definitely a draw, most people would give their right arm to get a seat out on the wonderful terrace.QC‑4, Dzirnavu 67 (Galleria Riga - 7th floor), tel. (+371) 67 28 84 20, Open 10:00 - 23:00. (€7 - 12). A­V­­S 26 Riga In Your Pocket

SYMBOL KEY A Accepts credit cards P Air conditioning O Casino

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V Home delivery

E Live music

J Old town location B Outside seating X Smoking section

S Takeaway

W Wi-fi

HIMALAJU-ĀZIJAS VIRTUVE After working for the popular Gan Bei chain of Asian restaurants in Riga for seven years Nepalese chef Bam Bhandari decided to open his own restaurant specialising in Chinese, Thai, Indian and Nepalese cuisine and we’re very happy that he did. Unlike the aforementioned restaurant that places a large emphasis on its modern interior, this family-run eatery is a much simpler affair with standard furniture and a few photos of Himalayan vistas. Here it’s all about the delicious food, which is often quite spicy, and the friendly service provided by the chef and his wife. Vegetarian dishes are also on offer as well as a cheap business lunch from 12:00 - 17:00. If you like it hot, try the crispy chilli chicken or the chicken tikka masala.QB‑5, Brīvības 102, tel. (+371) 20 37 29 38, Open 10:00 - 21:00. Closed Sun. Also at C-4, Blaumaņa 14. Open 10:30 - 22:00, Sun 12:00 - 20:00. (€4 - 8). A­S ­W NEW LOTUS A bit sterile with very little decoration apart from some framed Chinese calligraphy on its peach-coloured walls, this Asian restaurant located on the ground floor of a modern office/residential building was a big disappointment. Although some of the best Chinese restaurants we’ve experienced often had humble interiors, this, sadly, is just not the case here. The Kung Pao chicken looked as if it never saw the inside of a wok, it lacked flavour or any semblance of what one would call sauce and, to add insult to injury, arrived on a tiny dish. Did we mention that the ‘chefs’ didn’t even bother peeling off the peanut skins? The poor little goldfish in the fishbowl on our table seemed even less enthusiastic about the food and looked as if he was about to go belly up. Luckily, there’s also a service button on each table, so you can quickly order the bill and be on your way.QB‑4, Dzirnavu 39. Open 11:00 - 22:00. Also at G/H-1, Torņa 4 (Jēkaba kazarmas). (€6 - 12). A

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Latvian cuisine in a traditional farmhouse-style interior Live Latvian music every evening, an amusement park and recreation at the LIDO Leisure Centre

Enjoy tasty Latvian meals made from natural, fresh, high-quality ingredients, served quickly at an affordable price. Spend a day at the LIDO Leisure Centre one of the largest and most beautiful log buildings in Europe. Welcome at the Family Garden, the biggest amusement park in Riga with 30 different attractions, including the biggest inflatable maze in the Baltics.

WELCOME TO LIDO! LIDO Leisure Centre Krasta street 76, Riga +371 67700000

LIDO Spice Spice Shopping Centre, Lielirbes street 29, Riga

For other locations refer to

LIDO Alus sēta Tirgoņu street 6, Riga

LIDO Vērmanītis Elizabetes street 65, Riga

Restaurants BREAKFAST BOULANGERIE BONJOUR This French patisserie serves delicious pastries, cakes, quiche and panini not to mention tea, juice and coffee. QG‑1, Jēkaba 20/22, tel. (+371) 67 32 57 07, www. Open 07:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 18:00. (€2 - 5). A­W OSĪRISS Osiris specialises in omelettes but it also serves bacon and egg sandwiches, pancakes and even oatmeal. QC‑4, Barona 31, tel. (+371) 67 24 30 02, osiris@, Open 08:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 24:00. A­ T73 GASTROBAR T73 offers a huge range of breakfast food from pancakes with maple syrup and eggs Benedict to Spanish omelettes and a full English fry-up 24-hours a day. QB‑5, Tērbatas 73, tel. (+371) 25 49 55 45, Open 24hrs. (€5 - 15). A­L­W

BAGELS BIG BAD BAGELS This charming little bagel bistro, which is already a hit with the city’s American expat population, offers a number of different bagels served with a wide variety of fillings. Although we’re quite partial to the big breakfast sandwich bursting with fried eggs and bacon on a jalapeño and cheese bagel, we also recommend the classic cream cheese and lox and pretty much anything else that’s listed on the menu. Order takeaway bagels and make your own breakfast at home or have a seat with a coffee, freshly squeezed juice or a smoothie. A couple of tables are also available outside on the sidewalk in the summer.QC‑4, Baznīcas 8, tel. (+371) 24 55 65 85, Open 08:00 - 20:00, Fri 08:00 - 22:00, Sat 11:00 - 22:00, Sun 11:00 - 17:00. (€4). A­S­W

BAKERIES CADETS DE GASCOGNE Parlez-vous cholesterol? Expat Bernard 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 fresh-squeezed orange juice also make this boulangerie a favourite retreat.QG‑2, Z.A. Meierovica bulv. 8, tel. (+371) 67 32 01 03, Open 07:00 - 22:00. Also at C-4, Elizabetes 83/85 / Marijas 13 (Berga Bazārs). Open 07:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 21:00; C-5, Barona 52 (entrance from Ģertrūdes); B-4, Brīvības 73. 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; B-4, Valdemāra 37. Open 07:00 - 21:00, Sun 09:00 - 19:00. A­ 28 Riga In Your Pocket

BARBECUE CHARLESTONS We’ve been big fans of this casual, yet elegant restaurant in the city centre for years and if you drop by you’ll see why. The main dining hall offers soft, dark colours and much of the space is divided by stacks of alder firewood, which is used to smoke many of its meat and fish dishes. In fact, the delicious pork ribs and other Charleston delicacies are smoked for 4 - 14 hours in a specially-designed smoke room downstairs. Naturally, seafood and a variety of vegetarian dishes are also available for the non-carnivores among us. So if you like good beer, wine and cocktails and mouth-watering barbecued meals, then look no further than Charlestons, which also has a great weekend brunch (Sat, Sun 11:00 - 15:00) that’s fun for the whole family.QC‑4/5, Blaumaņa 38/40, tel. (+371) 67 77 05 73, Open 12:00 - 23:00, Fri 12:00 - 24:00, Sat 11:00 - 23:00, Sun 11:00 - 20:00. (€10 - 28). T­A­S­W RIBS & ROCK With a name like Ribs & Rock one might expect a southernstyle barbecue joint with wooden picnic tables and paper placemats, but this is an upmarket affair more akin to an elegant blues club than an American roadhouse. In any event, if you like rock music and lots and lots of meat then you’re in luck as burgers, steaks, roast beef sandwiches and steak tartar are all on offer as well as some fish dishes for fair weather vegetarians. A separate menu dedicated to a variety of ribs is, however, its main attraction. Each of the dishes is named after a famous rock song or singer and we had a tough time finishing off the U2 platter for two.QI‑2, Kaļķu 8, tel. (+371) 28 65 04 50, Open 11:00 - 24:00, Mon, Tue, Wed 11:00 - 23:00. (€14 28). A­E­

BURGER JOINTS FONTAINE DELISNACK RIGA This popular local chain of 24-hour fast food joints also has an outlet just across the way from the Āgenskalns Market on the left bank of the River Daugava. A faded tile chessboard floor awaits you as well as walls painted in nearly every colour of the rainbow, which are decorated with posters of an overweight Elvis near the end and a gritty Clint Eastwood in his prime as the Man with No Name. All of the usual burgers, burritos, pizzas, stir fries and other popular grub is cooked to order here all day and night, but unlike other Delisnacks around the country this one has employees lacking the trademark tattoos and attitude so common at these establishments. You can decide for yourself if that’s good, bad or ugly.QE‑1, Mazā Nometņu 34B, tel. (+371) 20 59 55 59, Open 24hrs. Also at A-5, A. Briāna 9a, tel. (+371) 28 44 14 11; I-2, Teātra 2, tel. (+371) 27 04 90 49. (€3 - 6). A­V­S

Restaurants STREET BURGERS Latvia’s largest chain of gourmet burger restaurants is incredibly popular and with good reason. Not only will you find a stylish interior of black walls and vintage industrial lamps, but also some of the best burgers you’ve ever had. Choose your own bun (including gluten-free) and then try to make up your mind whether or not to go with Latvian beef, lamb, turkey or veggie options served with a variety of fries (even sweet potato with cinnamon). But it doesn’t end there. You’re also confronted by dozens of organically brewed soft drinks and a raft of craft brews from around the globe, not to mention smoothies and shakes. QC‑4, Blaumaņa 10, tel. (+371) 26 62 77 22, www. Open 11:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 24:00. Also at D-1, Meža 4a, tel. (+371) 26 61 13 11. Open 11:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 23:00. (€5 - 7). A­V­­S­W

CAFÉS FAZENDA The rooms of this historic building have only partially been restored as the designers decided to simply sand down the existing wood plank walls and ceilings to create a cosy atmosphere that is only enhanced by the tile mosaic tables, the fireplace and the hanging dried flowers. You can sit down for a full meal of international dishes from salads and seafood to steaks or try something from the vegetarian menu or the breakfast meals (served until 12:00, Sat, Sun 14:00). You can also just grab a slice of cake and a latte at the counter.QD‑1, Nometņu 7, tel. (+371) 67 61 61 96, Open 09:00 - 22:00, Sat 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 11:00 - 22:00. (€4 - 11). A­I­W MARTINELLI Difficult to describe, this cosy rustic space is a wine bar, a coffee shop and a café wrapped up in one pretty package. Antique wooden cabinets and display cases stock dozens of wonderful wines including bottles from boutique producers in Italy that the owners visited themselves. The Italian theme spills over to the wonderful coffee and desserts, including the mouth-watering chocolate-lined cannoli, as well as the cuisine. There is no proper menu, so you’ll just have to see what the chef has come up with that day, but believe us when we say you won’t be disappointed.QB‑5, Tērbatas 66, tel. (+371) 27 48 88 66. Open 11:00 - 22:00, Tue, Wed 11:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon, Sun. A MAZĀ KAŅEPE This laid back city centre bistro certainly isn’t a coffeeshop of the Dutch variety despite its name, which translates as the Little Hemp Plant, but you can get a great cup of Java here, not to mention lots of tasty desserts. Half a dozen international soups and main courses are also listed on the blackboard each day and the staff cross them out when they’re no longer available, i.e. eaten. You’ll see suits here as well as bearded men in plaid in this hip space and if you look up you’ll see a large mirror draped in hanging plants. QB‑4, Skolas 28, tel. (+371) 28 68 57 08. Open 11:00 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. (€3 - 5). A­­W

October - November 2016


Restaurants MILTI This stylish café offers a simple menu of tasty pizzas, homemade ravioli, pancakes and rotisserie chickens served whole or in half. Wine poured by the glass is displayed in fancy glass refrigerators near the door and the interior is a mixture of industrial-style lighting fixtures, wooden tables and an old-school black and white tile floor. A good local brew is also available on draught and you can truly enjoy it as Milti, or Flour, provides what is perhaps the best children’s room in the city – a separate space divided from the dining hall by a huge glass window, so you can see what the littles rascals are up to without leaving your seat.QB‑4, Dzirnavu 34a, tel. (+371) 26 53 87 15. Open 10:00 - 22:00. (€6 - 10). T­A­W MON AMOUR What’s in a name? In this case if you’re expecting a cosy, shabby chic interior which is a combination of ancient medieval walls, rusty industrial lamps and modern art, then you wouldn’t be wrong. Order mouth-watering homemade cakes, pastries and cookies with speciality coffees made from locally roasted beans or just help yourself to some fresh lemonade on the shelf. A soundtrack that Édith Piaf would be proud of only adds to the already soothing ambience and the honey cake was the best we’ve ever had in our long career reviewing cafés. If you’re not in the mood for an espresso or a filtered coffee served in a trendy brewing kit, a good selection of tea, wine and liqueurs is also available.QI‑2, Jāņa 14, tel. (+371) 29 14 70 71. Open 10:00 - 20:00, Sat 11:00 - 20:00, Sun 11:00 - 16:00. J­A­S­W NEW ON CLOUD 9 This funky café in a popular park provides an eclectic interior with a mosaic tile floor, a spiral staircase leading to the upstairs loft, lots of nick-nacks and fantastic views of a restored fountain outside – the park’s main focal point. The small menu offers simple local and international fare for affordable prices, but most people seem to drop by to have a drink with friends or for some ice cream with the kids. A lunch special is available on weekdays, brunch can be enjoyed on Saturdays and Sundays and live musicians occasionally entertain guests.QB/C‑5, Čaka 100, tel. (+371) 25 44 90 09. Open 10:00 - 22:00. (€5 - 7). A­E ­W OSĪRISS The first of former opera director Andrejs Žagars’ many café ventures, and the only one to survive, Osiris found a successful recipe in the mid-1990s and stuck with it. Affordable breakfasts, sandwiches, international cuisine and a romantic ambience make this place a favourite of local big shots, politicians and intelligentsia so make a reservation for dinner. The only drawback is the horrible iron tables that were obviously created as torture devices for long legs.QC‑4, Barona 31, tel. (+371) 67 24 30 02, www. Open 08:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 24:00. (€4 - 10). A­ 30 Riga In Your Pocket

ROCKET BEAN ROASTERY In keeping with the global trends of bearded millennials, this industrial-style café specialises in exceptional coffee, craft brews and a small menu of imaginative international cuisine. The din of spirited conversation and an overburdened espresso machine creates a lively ambience that’s hard to beat, especially at lunch when you can order an affordable two- or three-course meal. Pour yourself a free glass of water at the counter, order a slice of cake or do as the locals do and fire up your laptop under funky lamps made of driftwood and recycled beams. You can also take a peek at the coffee roasting operation in the back.QA/B‑5, Miera 29/31, tel. (+371) 20 21 51 20, Open 08:00 - 22:00, Mon 08:00 - 21:00, Fri 08:00 - 23:00, Sat 09:00 - 23:00, Sun 09:00 - 18:00. (€5 - 10). A­S­W

COFFEE, TEA & CAKE APSARA Lovers of imported dried leaves can enjoy a wide selection of teas from Asia in a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere. Both outlets are located in charming wooden houses in city centre parks where you can sit on huge oriental-style pillows and let the cares of the world slip away. Rumour has it that the second floor has become a love shack of sorts for amorous couples in the evenings, so you might want to avoid them or get there early depending on your mood and the company you’re with.QC‑4, Tērbatas 2 (entrance from Elizabetes), tel. (+371) 67 21 24 36, www. Open 10:00 - 22:00. Also at D-4, Barona 2a, tel. (+371) 67 22 77 10. A­ ART CAFÉ SIENNA If the interior of this elegant café weren’t so cosy, you might think you’ve stumbled into a room at the nearby Art Nouveau Museum. The antique wallpaper, clocks, furniture, chandeliers, bookcases and paintings as well as the attentive, old-fashioned service make one feel as if they’ve stepped back in time. Enjoy the most decadent desserts available in Riga, including the rum-soaked Black Forest torte, which are all made by the award-winning chefs at Vincents - the most exclusive restaurant in Latvia. Order a fancy pot of tea, a cappuccino, a glass of Champagne or a cognac and breathe in the sophisticated fin de siècle ambience or just admire one of the city’s most spectacular art nouveau edifices on the opposite side of the street. QB‑3, Strēlnieku 3, tel. (+371) 26 14 22 86, www.sienna. lv. Open 08:00 - 19:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. T­­S V. ĶUZE If you want to see what café life was like during Latvia’s heyday in the 1930s before the commies ruined everything, then look no further than this elegant coffee and sweets shop decorated with original period furniture. The friendly wait staff will be happy to help you choose from a variety of delicious gourmet chocolates, tortes and cakes, but bear in mind that nostalgia doesn’t come cheap. QH‑1, Jēkaba 20/22, tel. (+371) 67 32 29 43, www.kuze. lv. Open 10:00 - 21:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 22:00. A­




UZBEGIMS This authentic Uzbek restaurant housed in one of the city’s loveliest art nouveau landmarks includes all of the usual Central Asian kitsch including ceramic plates, traditional instruments and figurines of bearded men with watermelons, yet Uzbegims has a much more upmarket feel with gilded dinnerware, expensive Persian rugs and impeccable service by professional staff. The whole gamut of Uzbek cuisine is on offer, but we chose the stuffed aubergines and assorted grilled meat skewers with delicious homemade bread and spicy adjika sauce. QB‑4, Elizabetes 10b, tel. (+371) 66 10 33 34, www. Open 10:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 24:00. (€7 - 12). A­

ZELTA KARPA (GOLDEN CARP) Located on one of Old Riga’s narrowest streets, the Golden Carp has only a half dozen tables, but the ambience is certainly Asian right down to the crooning of Chinese lounge singers in the background. The menu has all of the usual hits from Kung Pao chicken to prawns in garlic sauce, but where this restaurant truly seems to shine is in its selection of affordable handmade dim sum (Chinese dumplings) served in bamboo steaming vessels. A weekday business lunch is also available.QH‑2, Gleznotāju 7, tel. (+371) 26 09 20 04. Open 11:30 - 22:30. Closed Sun. (€10 - 17). A­S

CHEAP & QUICK PELMEŅI XL 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.QI‑2, Kaļķu 7, tel. (+371) 67 22 27 28, Open 09:00 - 04:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 04:00. Also at D-4, Stacijas 2 (train station). Open 10:00 - 22:00. (€3). S

VEGETARIAN MIIT Although its slogan ‘coffee, bikes, food’ is certainly to the point, it neglects to inform you that on weekdays MiiT is also a vegetarian/vegan bistro that’s incredibly popular with local hipsters and affluent arty types. Just under €5 will get you a tasty soup and a main course, but you’ll have to pay extra for the excellent coffee, the mouth-watering brownies or the Valmiermuižas and Bryuvers brews. The interior is simple, yet chic.QB/C‑4, Lāčplēša 10, tel. (+371) 28 71 58 48, Open 07:00-23:00, Mon 07:00-21:00, Thu 07:00-24:00, Fri 07:00-03:00, Sat 09:00-01:00, Sun 10:00-18:00. (€5). A­­S­W October - November 2016


Restaurants CZECH


STARGOROD Housed in an historic 300-year-old building near the river, this colossal brewery and restaurant on two floors is so popular with locals that a reservation is nearly a requirement at the weekend. Order litres and litres of delicious beer brewed on the premises as well as huge portions of Czech and Latvian cuisine including its signature dishes roast duck and crispy pork knuckle. Children are kept busy by an in-house entertainer, while adults can watch live sports on dozens of flat screens that seem to be attached to nearly every surface (even the urinals!).QC‑3, Republikas laukums 1, tel. (+371) 67 87 87 87, www.stargorod. net. Open 12:00 - 24:00. (€8 - 16). A­E­­W

BIERHAUS The aptly named Beer House occupies a wonderfully restored 19th-century wooden building in the city centre and as soon as you walk in your senses are given a wake-up call by the sweet aroma of malt emanating from the small brewery on the premises. Order one of half a dozen house beers from pilsners and ales to IPAs and stouts and peruse the menu of sausages, schnitzels, ribs and other European and Teutonic cuisine while listening to the latest tunes streamed in from German radio stations.QC‑4, Lāčplēša 12, tel. (+371) 67 74 50 30, Open 12:00 23:00. (€10 - 15). A

DOUGHNUTS & MUFFINS MUFFINS AND MORE This tiny white café offers some soups, some stuffed baguettes and dozens of soft, delicious American-style muffins that melt in your mouth. Try traditional blueberry, cranberry, raspberry and chocolate muffins or taste one of their cream-filled concoctions or cupcakes. Although you can sit at one of three small tables, lots of people buy muffins to take away. Naturally, coffee, tea, juice and smoothies are also on offer as well as friendly service.QB‑4, Ģertrūdes 9, tel. (+371) 28 36 76 71, Open 08:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 18:00, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. A­S­W ZE DONATS (THE DONUTS) 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. Chow down on Boston creams, glazed and dozens of other sweet concoctions. Coffee, tea and huge brownies are also on offer.QF‑3, Valdemāra 18, tel. (+371) 67 33 23 31, Open 08:00 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 20:00, Sun 10:00 - 18:00. S­W

OUR FAVOURITES For reviews of the following venues take a look at the index on p.82. Bar Krogs Aptieka or The Armoury Bar Breakfast Osīriss Brunch Charlestons Child-friendly Vairāk Saules Cocktails COD Bar or XIII Coffee Art Café Sienna or Rocket Bean Roastery Ethnic dining Indian Raja or Uzbegims Happy hour Aussie Pub (17:00 - 19:00) Latvian food Folk Club Ala or LIDO Pub Kiwi Bar or Alus muiža Sports bar Paddy Whelan’s Upmarket dining Bilbliotēka No 1 or Kolonāde 32 Riga In Your Pocket

GREEK SPITAKI The lime green walls may not exactly scream Hellas, but the background music, the Retsina wine, the spirits, like Metaxa brandy and ouzo, and of course the food certainly put one in mind of Mediterranean climes. There’s no menu to speak of in this tiny deli/café, but a daily offer is written in chalk on the kitchen door. We, for instance, were more than pleased with a classic Greek salad and a generous slice of pastitsio, which is a Greek lasagne of sorts. Homemade desserts can also be had with a strong cup of coffee. QC‑5, Avotu 30, tel. (+371) 25 56 16 65. Open 09:30 20:00, Fri 09:30 - 22:00. Closed Sat, Sun. (€3 - 6). A­S

INDIAN INDIAN RAJA All of the dishes served here are so veritably Indian, it’s almost overwhelming. This is hardly Baltic-modified cuisine, which is why the bill won’t be small, but it 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 and its incredible views of St.Peter’s Church and its medieval surroundings all to yourself.QI‑2, Skārņu 7, tel. (+371) 67 22 32 40, Open 12:00 - 23:00. (€8 - 15). A­­S SINGH’S This popular Indian restaurant has a flat screen TV showing Indian music videos and a few large antique photos of the subcontinent, but otherwise Singh’s is an elegant affair with tiled walls in the colour of the Indian flag and a posh second floor space meant to impress. Enjoy an aromatic tea while you choose from a number of delicious authentic dishes, but anyone averse to mouth-watering kormas, Masalas and curries can opt for an Asian fusion meal like the sweet and sour pork or the Shanghai chicken. Naturally fragrant rice and fresh naan are also available as well as Indian brews and an affordable lunch special can be had on weekdays.QC‑5, Ģertrūdes 32, tel. (+371) 66 22 00 00, Open 11:00 - 23:00, Fri 11:00 - 24:00, Sat 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. (€8 - 12). A­S

Restaurants INTERNATIONAL AUSTRA This industrial-style space on two floors offers a minimalist grey interior that includes unusual, yet impressive concrete lamps hanging from the ceiling and lots of greenery. During the day you can order simple fare such as pancakes and toasted sandwiches as well as a lunch special, but in the evening the chefs let their creative side shine with imaginative seasonal dishes prepared in the open-plan kitchen upstairs. QC‑5, Barona 41/43, tel. (+371) 27 44 00 07. Open 11:00 - 22:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. (€4 - 10). T­A BESTSELLERS 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. QB‑4, Dzirnavu 33 (Albert Hotel), tel. (+371) 67 33 17 17, Open 06:30 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 07:00 23:00. (€7 - 12). A­ BURGA Part bar and part café, the oddly named Burga is located in a modern glass building and has a dark grey interior punctuated with hot pink couches along the walls and light hardwood floors with matching tables. Reasonably priced Valmiermuiža and Tērvetes brews are available on draught or you can take your pick of excellent, affordable cocktails.QB‑4, Dzirnavu 36, tel. (+371) 20 51 60 47, www. Open 10:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. (€5 - 10). A­­W

JAPANESE COD ROBATA GRILL BAR Having a meal at COD is not unlike dining in a wooden box – an ultra-stylish box that you might expect to see in L.A. or London. In fact, the atmosphere is so exclusive that you half expect to see Hollywood celebs, if not local oligarchs, sipping authentic Japanese craft brews and signature cocktails with a spicy tuna roll and a side of salted soy beans. Fresh sushi and sashimi can also be had, but the genuine wood-fired robata grill in the open-plan kitchen seems to be the biggest attraction. Order grilled scallops, wagyu beef and other delicacies or walk past the living wall of moss and take the stairs to the basement lounge for Japanese sake, whisky and cocktails under a huge manga painting. QC‑4/5, Tērbatas 45, tel. (+371) 25 72 56 70, www. Open 12:00 - 23:00, Thu 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 02:00, Sun 13:00 - 22:00. (€18 - 22). A­W 34 Riga In Your Pocket

FRENCH PER SÉ Located in one of Old Riga’s most striking Art Nouveau masterpieces adorned with mythical creatures and a giant peacock, this elegant upmarket restaurant specialises in French, Italian and international cuisine. Take a photo of the façade and then enter this thoroughly modern restaurant, whose only hint at the past is a centuries-old brick wall. Start with oysters, mussels or a healthy salad and then move on to wonderfully prepared Chilean sea bass, Black Angus beef entrecote and other delicious main courses. A good selection of wine is also available and you can enjoy it by the glass or bottle in one of its niches, by the huge picture windows or, in the summer, out on the terrace.QH‑1, Smilšu 2, tel. (+371) 22 04 99 99, Open 10:00 - 23:00. (€12 - 20). A­ GUTENBERGS In keeping with the Johannes Gutenberg theme of this four-star hotel, its cellar restaurant offers old world elegance with dark wood panelling, brass chandeliers and velvet upholstered furniture, not to mention an impressive menu of refined European cuisine. However, you’d be mad not to take the lift up to its year-round rooftop terrace, which was just recently refurbished. Not only does it offer excellent views of the square, it also has a great barbecue menu.QH‑1, Doma laukums 1, tel. (+371) 67 81 40 90, Open 12:00 - 23:00. (€12 - 20). A­E­ KID* Its bright white walls, stylish interior design, fresh flowers and modern paintings make one feel as if they’re dining in a trendy art gallery. The impressive menu of European cuisine is the brainchild of KID*’s head chef Kristaps Sīlis who perfected his craft at Copenhagen’s Noma, a restaurant that boasts two Michelin stars and countless accolades including ‘best restaurant in the world’ three years running. Try anything from vegetarian dishes and pastas to meat courses and seafood.QC‑4, Tērbatas 41/43, tel. (+371) 20 26 86 86, Open 08:00 23:00, Thu, Fri 08:00 - 24:00, Sat 10:00 - 24:00, Sun 10:00 - 23:00. (€6 - 13). T­A­­W KOYA What was once a derelict storage shed is now one of Riga’s hottest places to have a meal or a late night cocktail on the water. Inside you’ll find concrete floors, timber ceilings and an open-plan kitchen hidden above the bar. The international cuisine is quite good, albeit pricey, but most people just come to enjoy the ambience of one of the city’s best outdoor terraces.QB‑2, Andrejostas 4, tel. (+371) 27 75 72 55, Open 12:00 - 23:00, Fri 12:00 - 01:00, Sat 11:00 - 01:00, Sun 11:00 - 19:00. (€9 - 16). A­


Contemporary Japanese Cuisine & Cocktail Bar Terbatas 45, Riga +371 25725670

SOKRATS (SOCRATES) Just look for the peach-coloured neo-Gothic building that looks like a castle to find this hotel restaurant serving a variety of international cuisine from upmarket versions of simple dishes like fish and chips to mussels in curry coconut milk sauce. You can peruse the quotes of famous philosophers on the walls while you sip a pinot noir from its extensive wine list or in the summer you can relax on the terrace overlooking the park and take in the atmosphere of this posh neighbourhood often referred to as the Quiet Centre. Breakfast is served 07:00 - 11:00, Sat, Sun 08:00 11:00.QB‑3, Elizabetes 21 (Monika Centrum Hotel), tel. (+371) 67 03 19 17, Open 12:00 - 22:00. (€7 - 14). A­W VAIRĀK SAULES The sleek, yet warm and cosy interior of this restaurant chain is cutting edge, the service is genuinely friendly and the food is fantastic. You can choose from two separate menus, one that specialises in Italian and international cuisine like pizzas, homemade pastas, seafood and even vegetarian dishes, and another that lists a variety of Asian specialities from sushi and sashimi to tasty stir fries and noodle dishes. The restaurant has two different entrances, but the space on the left also provides a kids’ play area for the little ones. A children’s menu is available as well as a great daily special that includes a drink and a main course with either a soup or a dessert.QC‑4, Dzirnavu 60, tel. (+371) 67 28 28 78/(+371) 80 00 90 80, www. Open 09:00 - 23:00, Sun 10:00 - 23:00. (€6 - 12). T­A­S

ITALIAN NAPLES The name of this Italian restaurant is appropriate given its location right on the water in the trendy Andrejsala district of Riga. Naples specialises in all manner of Italian cuisine including antipasti, salads, pastas, pizzas and a few main courses. In the winter you can sit inside this cosy space decked out in designer wooden furniture and enjoy a delicious meal and a fantastic view, but when the mercury rises in summer this is one of the hottest venues to enjoy a cocktail in the sun. The vista of the picturesque yacht marina is certainly a draw and an affordable lunch special is available on weekdays.QB‑2/3, Andrejostas 2k-2, tel. (+371) 25 77 55 40. Open 12:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 02:00. (€5 - 12). A­L­­S­W NEW PICCOLO UNO As soon as you walk into this charming pizzeria, you’re confronted by a nearly impossible decision. Which of the delicious pizza al taglio, or Roman-style pizzas, on display should you order? If the task is too daunting then you’ll be comforted to know that a number of homemade pastas are also available as well as soups and tasty cannoli. A selection of Italian wine, liqueurs and soft drinks can also be had as well as professionally brewed coffee from a fancy machine. Italian pop music is played in the background of this informal bistro and travel videos of Italy are shown on a flat screen TV while you dine at tables covered in red and white checked tablecloths.QB‑4, Ģertrūdes 4, tel. (+371) 25 65 73 22. Open 11:30 - 20:00. Closed Sun. (€4 - 7). A­S­W

October - November 2016


Restaurants HOME DELIVERY DRAGON BOX Dragon Box delivers a variety of affordable Asian-style stir fries. See website for menu and prices. Delivery charge: €1.50; free for larger orders.Qtel. (+371) 24 55 68 68, Open 11:00 - 22:00. LIDO Delivery: €5 (free for orders over €30). The country’s largest chain of Latvian restaurants also delivers.Qtel. (+371) 80 00 54 36, Open 10:00 - 19:00. PICA RĪGA Delivers delicious, if expensive, gourmet pizzas throughout the city. Delivery charge: 3 - 5; free for larger orders. Qtel. (+371) 27 22 99 22, Open 11:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. A PIZZA LULŪ Big New York-style pizzas and salads. Delivery within 49 minutes: free of charge for orders over €14, otherwise you pay a €3 charge.Qtel. (+371) 80 00 58 58, Open 24hrs. A VAIRĀK SAULES Charge: free within the centre and Pārdaugava for orders over €14. Order soups, salads, sushi, international dishes, Asian cuisine or thin crust pizzas to your door.Qtel. (+371) 88 33, Open 10:00 - 22:00.

36 Riga In Your Pocket

KEBABS DONERA KEBABS The Turkish staff seemed a little surly, or perhaps they’re just shy, but immediately brightened when a few of their countrymen came through the door with warm Muslim greetings of ‘peace be upon you’, a good sign of authenticity in our book. The interior is simple with a black and white colour scheme, some photos of Istanbul and a number of barstools at window counters facing the park. Hearty döner, dürüm, adana and iskender kebabs can be had as well as falafel, lentil soup and tantuni sandwiches. The set meals with fries and a drink are good value for money.QC‑4, Merķeļa 2, tel. (+371) 20 13 92 52. Open 09:00 - 23:00, Fri 09:00 - 02:00, Sat 10:00 - 02:00, Sun 10:00 - 23:00. (€3 - 5). A­S FOOD BOX After years of searching for a great kebab in Riga, we’ve finally 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 only drawback seems to be the crowds at lunchtime. The hot sauce here is also refreshingly spicy, and not toned down for local palates like at other kebab joints, and free tea is available from a community samovar.QF‑2, Antonijas 6a (entrance from Pumpura), tel. (+371) 28 20 59 98. Open 11:30 - 19:00, Sat 13:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. (€3 - 6). ­S


STAMBULA KEBABI This brightly coloured kebab shop decorated with photos of Istanbul serves tasty dürüm and döner kebabs with halal chicken or beef as well as falafel, pide and other Anatolian cuisine and you can be sure that you’re getting the real McCoy as it’s run by the same people who own the Turkish delicatessen next door. Complete your Near Eastern feast with an imported can of juice and a piece of baklava. It’s also open quite late at the weekend, which is a shrewd manoeuver given its location across the street from Riga’s largest nightclub.QB‑5, Brīvības 93, tel. (+371) 20 48 87 06, Open 10:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 06:00. S

KOREAN SORAKSANS Nealrly 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.QH‑1, Miesnieku 12, tel. (+371) 67 22 90 68, Open 12:00 - 23:00. (€6 - 12). A­

BELGIAN BON VIVANT Solid wood furniture, a cosy atmosphere and assorted Benelux decorations aren’t the only 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 food and drink isn’t cheap, but Europeans have come to expect that anything from Brussels will cost them dearly.QI‑2, Mārstaļu 8, tel. (+371) 67 22 65 85, Open 11:00 - 24:00, Fri 11:00 - 01:00, Sat 12:00 - 01:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. (€12 - 21). A­X KWAKINN The yellow walls covered in beer memorabilia, the high ceilings and the dark wood furnishings certainly put one in mind of a Belgian grand café and the selection of over 100 brews is impressive, but bear in mind that all of this Low Countries ambience comes at a price. Mussels, sausages, sandwiches, frites and even Flammkeuche (Belgian pizza) can also be had and sports are shown on a huge projection screen in the back.QI‑2, Gleznotāju 2, tel. (+371) 27 18 16 09, Open 12:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 02:00. (€6 - 12). A­W October - November 2016


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 sauerkraut served with a generous sprinkling of dill. ALUS ARSENĀLS This classic brick cellar just off of Castle Square offers a unique interior of low vaulted ceilings adorned with painted fall foliage, stained glass lamps and wooden tables, benches and chairs. The Beer Arsenal specialises in huge servings of Latvian fare like metre-long sausages, beef tongue salad, pig’s ears stuffed with caraway cheese and its signature oven baked pork knuckle for two served on a wooden platter with a flaming torch. Naturally, a good selection of beer is also on offer including its own light and dark microbrews. Cheap daily specials under €5 are a bargain.QH‑1, Pils laukums 4 (entrance from Arsenāla), tel. (+371) 67 32 26 75, www.alus-arsenals. lv. Open 12:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 13:00 - 23:00. (€6 - 12). A­X FOLKKLUBS ALA PAGRABS One of Riga’s largest Latvian beer bars and restaurants, Folk Club Ala is more of a cavern than a cellar. Descend into the depths of this huge space to find a great selection of affordable local brews and spirits as well as traditional cuisine from kotletes (a type of meatball) and grey peas with bacon to hard-to-find country dishes like pork and pearl barley stew. Although it’s a favourite among frugal students, it’s also popular with anyone who appreciates good food, drink and music under medieval brick vaulted ceilings. Reservations are essential if you’d like a table on a Friday or Saturday evening.QI‑2, Peldu 19, tel. (+371) 27 79 69 14, Open 12:00 - 01:00, Wed 12:00 - 03:00, Thu 12:00 - 04:00, Fri 12:00 - 06:00, Sat 14:00 - 05:00, Sun 14:00 - 01:00. (€3 - 7). A­E­ KEY TO RIGA Located on Cathedral Square, this large restaurant has a huge menu of Latvian classics with cheeky names that are often references to the legendary comedic Latvian film Vella kalpi (The Devil’s Servants) about the fictional guardians of Riga who are part Three Musketeers and part Three Stooges. You’ll find everything here from grey peas, potato pancakes and schnitzels to more exotic dishes like blood sausage and even bulls’ testicles! You can also take part in a pork knuckle eating contest and win a free beer and a souvenir to remind you of your achievement. The interior is a mix of the rustic and the medieval, but we liked the wooden chandeliers with blown glass and the cowhide benches, not to mention the expansive summer terrace.QH‑1, Doma laukums 8A, tel. (+371) 28 37 07 47, Open 10:00 - 23:00. (€7 - 14). J­A ­E­ 38 Riga In Your Pocket

LIDO DZIRNAVAS (THE MILL) Alus sēta’s sister restaurant is similar, but bigger, better and even fuller of happy Latvians satisfying their hunger pangs. 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!QC‑4, Dzirnavu 76, tel. (+371) 67 28 62 04, Open 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 21:00. (€4 - 7). A­S LIDO LEISURE CENTER (LIDO ATPŪTAS CENTRS) If Paul Bunyon built a log cabin in Latvia it would look like this! Mr. Ķirsons of the LIDO Empire has outdone himself with 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 family 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 directly 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.QKrasta 76, tel. (+371) 67 50 44 20, Open 11:00 - 24:00. (€4 - 7). T­A­I­L­E­­S LIDO VĒRMANĪTIS 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 Baltic cuisine as well as salad and fruit bars. If you’re lucky enough to get a seat near a window on the ground floor you’ll be rewarded with a great view of the park. QC‑4, Elizabetes 65, tel. (+371) 67 28 62 89, www. Open 09:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 09:00 - 23:00, Sun 10:00 - 22:00. (€4 - 7). A­S VALMIERMUIŽAS ALUS Although one of Latvia’s best brews is produced just outside the northern town of Valmiera, the brewery also has its own so-called embassy in Riga’s trendy Briāna iela neighbourhood. Taste a variety of quality brews on draught or in bottles and order tasty nouvelle Latvian cuisine from slowly-cooked pork belly with seasonal greens to oven baked organic lamb. Locally made fruit and berry wines are also on the menu, but bear in mind that it might be hard to get a table on weekend evenings. The Latvian meat platter goes perfectly with the beers and affordable daily lunch specials are also on offer.QA‑5, A. Briāna 9a, tel. (+371) 25 47 34 73, Open 11:00 - 24:00, Wed, Thu, Fri 11:00 - 02:00, Sun 11:00 22:00. (€6 - 10). A­

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Restaurants MEXICAN & TEX-MEX


EL SANTO X Riga’s only proper Mexican restaurant and taqueria is simply decorated with what you might expect, namely sombreros, ponchos and even some photos of Barack Obama tucking into Mexican cuisine. The tacos are simply fantastic, but you can also try its flautas, enchiladas and quesadillas, its spicy soups and salads or perhaps a churro for dessert. Add special homemade sauces to your dish from salsa verde and chipotle to pico de gallo, kick back and relax with a Corona or go loco and order one of a dozen tequilas available at the bar. A small kids’ menu is also available.QH‑1, Pils 7, tel. (+371) 26 32 01 28. Open 11:00 - 23:00, Mon, Tue 11:00 - 21:00. Closed Sun. (€4 - 7). A

NEW MEET POINT PIZZA BAR This surprisingly bright half basement only slightly lower than street level offers excellent views of passers-by and a stylish interior that boasts interesting geometric shapes, warm autumnal colours and unusual glass lamps that double as pots for live plants. A huge selection of affordable thin-crust pizzas and calzones are available as well as a small selection of pasta, risotto and Italian main courses. Plenty of wine and spirits can also be had and if you’d like a refill simply press the button located on every table and your server will be by your side in no time. QB‑4, Stabu 15, tel. (+371) 20 20 04 04. Open 10:00 23:00. (€5 - 10). A­

KLONDAIKA TEX-MEX 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 complete with a huge HD screen dor sports, head down to the slot machine hall optimistically labelled the zelta raktuves (gold mines) or try the saloon-style restaurant and bar that serves food 24 hours a day. The Tex-Mex cuisine is just a couple of degrees shy of authentic, but its tasty, filling and relatively cheap.QC‑4, Dzirnavu 59, tel. (+371) 67 24 03 66, Open 24hrs. (€5 - 12). A­­X­W


40 Riga In Your Pocket

TRAKTIERIS On the political stage, Russo - Latvian relations may not be what one would call warm, but this authentic restaurant is popular with Slavs and Balts 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.QB‑4, Antonijas 8, tel. (+371) 67 33 24 55, Open 12:00 - 23:00. (€6 - 12). A­E


a place where daily life becomes a celebration!



ZIVJU LETE Drop by the trendy Fish Counter for an industrial interior of old school glass tiles and vintage hanging metal lamps illuminated by retro light bulbs that would almost put one in mind of an old fish packing plant were it not for the heavenly aroma of sizzling seafood and the soothing sound of jazz. Take a look at the day’s menu on the wall by the counter that includes fresh fish from dorado and salmon to scallops, mussels and prawns just to name a few dishes. A decent wine list is also available, not to mention one of Latvia’s best beers, Valmiermuižas.QC‑4, Dzirnavu 72, tel. (+371) 27 18 96 85. Open 11:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. (€7 - 14). A

THAI STATION This sleek orange restaurant is illuminated by industrial lamps hanging from the ceiling as well as natural light from large windows on two sides. The extensive menu of Thai cuisine is accompanied by a photo of each dish so you know exactly what to expect. Everything looks tasty, but we recommend the crispy duck with green curry or one of its large soups.QH‑2, Vaļņu 19, tel. (+371) 67 88 01 52, www. Open 11:30 - 23:00, Thu 11:30 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 11:30 - 02:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. J­A­­S­W

STEAKHOUSES STEIKU HAOSS (STEAK CHAOS) Europeans often make fun of Americans but for some reason they just can’t get enough of their ‘culture.’ If you like thick, juicy steaks with giant Idaho baked potatoes, wait staff in what look like line dancing outfits, then walk through the swinging saloon doors and get ready for a feast. The servings are impressive, but bear in mind that the prices are also Texas-sized.QI‑2, Audēju 2, tel. (+371) 67 22 56 99, Open 11:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 01:00. Also on H-2, Meistaru 25, tel. (+371) 67 22 24 19; C-4, Tērbatas 41/43, tel. (+371) 67 27 27 07. (€14 - 28). A­E­

MEALS WITH A VIEW GUTENBERGS ROOFTOP TERRACE This is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. While others are enjoying food and drink at street level below, you could be ordering Champagne, a cold beer or a glass of chardonnay on the greenhouse-style rooftop terrace at Hotel Gutenbergs. This lovely, recently refurbished space not only offers a delicious barbecue menu that includes local fish, beef entrecote, leg of lamb and even more exotic fair like ostrich steaks, but also spectacular views of Riga Cathedral whose golden clock is nearly at eye level.QH‑1, Doma laukums 1, tel. (+371) 67 81 40 90, Open 12:00 - 23:00. (€12 - 20). October - November 2016


Restaurants UPMARKET 3 PAVĀRU RESTORĀNS (TAM LABAM BŪS AUGT) Unlike most restaurants in the historic Jacob’s Barracks in Old Riga, this one is located above ground and provides a bright, trendy interior with views and plenty of sunlight. Owned and operated by three local celebrity chefs, hence the name, it’s frequented by the moneyed class as well as the occasional stargazer and serves fresh international cuisine prepared in an open-plan kitchen in the centre of the room. Light lunches of soups and salads are served during the day and more substantial (and expensive) dinners are offered after 18:00. We especially liked the lamps made of common drinking glasses, but were a bit surprised to discover that a Latvian draught beer is cheaper than water or soft drinks. Twist our arm a little more, why don’t you?QH‑2, Torņa 4 (Jēkaba kazarmas), tel. (+371) 20 37 05 37, Open 12:00 - 23:00. (€10 - 28). A­W BIBLIOTĒKA NO1 RESTORĀNS If you’re looking for refined European cuisine in an elegant, yet modern setting on two floors with fantastic views of Vērmanes Park, there is no better option than Library No.1. The interior is decorated with shelves full of books, an entire wall of wine, funky booths framed by lots of miniature pillows, wooden columns and huge overhead lamps. The menu is seasonal and often includes anything from scallops and oysters to nouvelle Latvian cuisine like slow-cooked pork belly with spiced barley. Home-baked bread is another bonus as is the local Valmiermuiža brew on draught and the fresh-cut flowers on each table.QG‑3, Tērbatas 2, tel. (+371) 20 22 50 00, www. Open 12:00 - 24:00, Sun 11:00 24:00. (€15 - 26). A­ NEW FERMA The aptly named Farm not only offers refined international cuisine made with local ingredients, including Latvian farm-raised prawns, but even its appearance puts one in mind of modern barn architecture. Two large black and white dining halls are separated by floor-to-ceiling wine racks, but if you’d like to sit at the round chef’s table next to the open-plan kitchen you’ll have to make a right. An oasis for Riga’s well-heeled, this trendy restaurant, which overlooks the Viestura dārzs park, is far from Old Riga’s cobblestones, hence the lack of foreign-language chatter so common to the city’s most prestigious eating establishments. That said, it’s not snobby. In fact, the staff had no problem wheeling our bicycle to a safe place in the back, so this might actually be the only place in Riga with free valet parking for bikes!QB‑3, Valkas 7, tel. (+371) 22 00 90 00, Open 12:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. (€15 - 22). A­W 42 Riga In Your Pocket

KOLONĀDE. OUR STORIES You couldn’t ask for a more perfect location. Housed in an historic building surrounded by Ionic columns, Kolonāde offers postcard quality views of the Freedom Monument and the Laima Clock as well as the National Opera and its gardens. The menu specialises in gourmet Latvian and international dishes, which are prepared in the open plan kitchen by the entrance. An early breakfast is also available not to mention Latvian beer and cider and an extensive drinks list that places an emphasis on Italian wines. Delicious desserts are also available and best enjoyed in its glass conservatory. QH‑3, Brīvības bulvāris 26, tel. (+371) 26 60 88 82, www. Open 07:30 - 24:00, Fri 07:30 - 02:00, Sat 09:00 - 02:00, Sun 10:00 - 24:00. (€10 - 18). J­A­­W MUUSU Just look for the historic 18th-century townhouse on one of Old Riga’s most picturesque cobblestone streets to find this warm and inviting, yet modern restaurant specialising in upmarket international cuisine. Muusu offers a number of different settings including a cosy bar area up front, a spacious bright winter garden in the back and a more intimate second floor that leads out to a stunning courtyard terrace. The service is almost too attentive, but most people won’t mind being fawned over by attractive, smiling wait staff.QI‑2, Skārņu 6, tel. (+371) 25 77 25 52, www. Open 12:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00. (€12 - 24). A­­W NEIBURGS One of Riga’s finest art nouveau buildings is home to a stylish, upmarket restaurant offering both international and Latvian-style cuisine. 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 affordable lunch specials in a refined setting on a bustling cobblestone street flanked by bars and cafés.QI‑1, Jauniela 25/27, tel. (+371) 67 11 55 44, Open 11:00 - 23:00. (€10 - 22). A­ RESTAURANT BELLEVUE Located on the 11th floor of the Bellevue Park Hotel Riga, this elegant restaurant wasn’t exaggerating when it called itself Bellevue. Floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides afford diners spectacular views of the adjacent park as well as Old Riga and the city centre across the river. Patrons can expect sophisticated surroundings and service, not to mention gourmet cuisine with a pronounced emphasis on seafood. Wild game is also available in season, but if you’d like a little bit of everything, then try one of the chef’s set menus.QE‑1, Slokas 1 (Bellevue Park Hotel Riga), tel. (+371) 67 06 90 40, Open 17:00 - 23:00. (€20 - 27). A­W


RESTORĀNS 3 Riga’s most renowned chefs have created yet another cooperative effort that has been given a rather simple name - Restaurant 3. The number three supposedly symbolises the foundation of a proper restaurant: the trinity of the chef, the wait staff and the sommelier. Even if that does sound a bit haughty, the impressive team manning the ovens and frying pans have the goods to back up their claims. Dine on delicious modern takes on international cuisine in a grey, minimalist interior whose floor-to-ceiling windows allow passers-by to see inside and wish they were you.QH/I‑2, Kalēju 3, tel. (+371) 26 66 00 60, www. Open 11:00 - 23:00. (€14 - 20). A

VINCENTS 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, Elton John and Angela Merkel. Renowned chef Mārtiņš Rītiņš creates an ever-changing menu of haute cuisine cooked slowly with only the best imported and locally grown eco-friendly produce. Naturally, the interior design is also cutting-edge.QB‑3, Elizabetes 19, tel. (+371) 67 33 26 34, Open 18:00 - 22:00. Closed Sun. (€28 - 36). A­

RIGA SUNSET LOUNGE Trendy Andrejsala has yet another fancy restaurant and unlike many of its neighbours that you’ll pass to reach Riga Sunset Lounge, this one has a very appropriate name. Located at the end of the waterfront, this thoroughly modern restaurant serves up refined European cuisine and some of the best views of the harbour and yacht marina possible, especially from the rooftop terrace. With a bar full of topshelf spirits and Champagne it’s no wonder that it’s also a great place for a casual drink or some late-night partying to local DJs at the weekend. When Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, its stylish interior is also a good option for a meal.QB‑2, Andrejostas 2-k9, tel. (+371) 25 72 70 21, Open 12:00 - 24:00, Thu 12:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 05:00, Sun 12:00 - 23:00. (€10 - 20). A­E­W

TAVS BANH MI Riga’s first and only banh mi shop serves Vietnam’s national sandwich with a variety of meat, pickled veggies and other fillings stuffed in a fresh baguette also known as banh mi. A number of noodle dishes are available as well as classic pho soup and exotic teas, coffees and imported fruit juice drinks can also be had. Every dish is accompanied by a bottle of sriracha chili sauce. The small grey space boasts a funky Vietnamese mural as well as a map of the country complete with colour photos of the nation’s most tourist-worthy destinations. Wonderful views of St. Gertrude’s Church might just inspire you to stay for another round of spring rolls.QB‑4, Ģertrūdes 9, tel. (+371) 24 50 47 84. Open 10:00 - 20:00. Closed Sat, Sun. (€4 - 5). A­S


October - November 2016


Nightlife Riga’s nightlife scene has had its ups and downs, but, thankfully, neighbourhood pubs are still thriving. Sadly some strip clubs and late-night bars are still out to scam tourists, so take those beer goggles off and be vigilant.



O Casino

T Child-friendly

V Home delivery

E Live music

CHOMSKY Is this the Delta house? Walk inside Chomsky and you half expect a toga-wearing John Belushi to greet you with a beer and a belch. This old wooden building with its forlorn interior of crumbling walls and furniture on their last legs happens to be a favourite of local hipsters, artists and intellectuals, but if sagging couches and peeling paint doesn’t sound too appealing, you can always choose the private courtyard in the summer. An eclectic selection of local underdog brews is available, but bear in mind that smoking is apparently back in fashion.QC‑5, Lāčplēša 68. Open 16:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 16:00 - 03:00. A­ FUNNY FOX (JAUTRĀ LAPSA) If you’re in the mood for some affordable food and drink and a laid back atmosphere in Old Riga then the Funny Fox might just be a good option for you. A huge blackboard which lists all of the available drinks from coffee to big cocktails runs the length of the long bar and you can sit at a number of tables or chat with a bartender from the comfort of a stool. It’s also a good place to watch sports on a number of flat screens.QI‑2, Grēcinieku 1, tel. (+371) 28 48 24 26, Open 10:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 02:00. A­

A Accepts credit cards P Air conditioning

J Old town location B Outside seating X Smoking section

S Takeaway

W Wi-fi GAUJA Although the interior isn’t as rough around the edges as the original location, Gauja’s new home in a dilapidated wooden building on Stabu iela still offers plenty of old school ambience, especially the vintage 1970s Soviet furniture. Cheap Latvian beer is the main attraction here and you can even order food and proper coffee from a fancy machine, which will no doubt be considered a major upgrade by its hipster clientele. Much larger than its previous incarnation, the new Gauja appears to be ready to take on some serious crowds. Perhaps the mint green walls will have a soothing effect on the neighbourhood’s frugal, yet hard-drinking locals.QC‑5, Stabu 32, tel. (+371) 67 27 56 62, Open 11:00 - 24:00, Fri 11:00 02:00, Sat 12:00 - 02:00, Sun 13:00 - 23:00. A­­W KIWI BAR 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. Friendly staff 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, breakfasts and meat pies to sandwiches and ribs or even Indian cuisine from neighbouring Indian Raja.QI‑2, Skārņu 7, tel. (+371) 67 21 19 17, Open 09:00 - 05:00. J­A­­W KROGS APTIEKA (PHARMACY BAR) After presiding over a staple of the Washington DC nightlife scene for several years, American-Latvian Kristaps Krēsliņš 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. That said, this hip hangout isn’t just about imbibing. A small menu of burgers, grill cheese sandwiches and chicken wings have also been added to the pharmacy’s inventory, so you can grab a great meal here every day until 22:00. The bar also provides a free CD jukebox that offers anything from the Doors to Fugazi.QH‑1, Mazā Miesnieku 1, Open 16:00 - 01:00, Thu 16:00 03:00, Fri, Sat 16:00 - 05:00. J­A­E­X

44 Riga In Your Pocket

Nightlife A GUIDE FOR BEER SNOBS When in a foreign land we always try to wet our whistle with a local brew, but since we’re card carrying beer snobs this isn’t always an easy task. After all, we don’t want to waste our time on mass-produced pilsners and boring lagers. If you’re of a similar mind then here are a few tips on where to get a good Latvian brew that won’t make you hurl (at least not after just one). If you’re in the old town then head over to Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs, which may be hard to pronounce, but serves roughly 20 Latvian beers including delicious offerings by the Malduguns brewery like Sānslīde – a kind of dark IPA that has quickly become our favourite local brew. On the other end of town you’ll find the Aussie Backpackers Pub, which has a special 14-beer sampler that will give you a crash course in Latvian beer. Try the Kaņepju alus (cannabis beer) by Iļģuciems. It also has great brews by Coopers as well as some lesser offerings from Down Under like VB. In between the two in a medieval warehouse you’ll find the Armoury Bar that specialises in craft brews from around the globe. Try the hoppy Cilpa pale ale on draught. Outside of the old town, at the tiny neighbourhood pub Alus Muiža you’ll find one of the biggest selections of Latvian craft beers in the city on draught and in bottles. However, the main destination for all beer snobs in Riga has to be the Valdemāra Pasāža, which is home to both the Labietis craft brewery and the so-called embassy of the Valmiermuiža brewery. Labietis is constantly experimenting with new recipes that use unusual ingredients such as local herbs and spices. Although we usually order the Three Indians IPA or the Virsaitis IPA, other brews like the Tapeworm Killer have also piqued our curiosity. The Valmiermuiža brewery in northern Latvia has been producing quality beer for years now and can hardly be called a craft brewer these days, but they do pour their latest creations at this ‘embassy’. It also magnanimously sells beer by smaller boutique brewers like Malduguns here. Try whatevever’s on draught including its summer wheat beer. If you’d like to buy some interesting brews for the road then we recommend Alus Celle on Baznīcas, where you can also enjoy a brew on the premises, or Beerfox/Callous Alus on Stabu that also specialises in quality craft brews from around the globe.

46 Riga In Your Pocket

LENINGRAD Workers of the world, get loaded! An Old Riga favourite has moved to a larger space in the city centre, but have no fear. Leningrad has brought all of its Soviet era paintings, books, vintage wallpaper, antique radios and a bust or two of the infamous bearded commie with the bald head. The bar, which is stocked with bottles of Scottish beers by Brew Dog, Latvian cider and plenty of hard liquor, can be found to the left, while the concert hall is just to the right. When live bands aren’t playing in the evening you can expect a steady diet of eccentric as well as classic alternative rock. A small food menu is also available.QI‑3, Valdemāra 4, tel. (+371) 29 91 50 49, Open 12:00 - 03:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 07:00. A­E­W NEMIERS We enjoy simple watering holes that don’t put on airs and Nemiers (or Unrest), which refers to itself as dive bar, certainly fits the bill. This dark industrial style space also sports a small mezzanine above the bar that stocks plenty of top shelf booze behind a cage of sorts. The pretty barmaid assured us, as she cast a disapproving glance at the neighbouring club, that the bar usually plays rock music and judging by the Motörhead and Rage Against the Machine that emanated from the speakers, she wasn’t kidding. Order affordable cocktails or beer and cider on draught and see why this fun space and its large summer terrace have fast become one of our favourite hangouts.QA‑5, Briāna 9a, tel. (+371) 29 78 58 30. Open 17:00 - 05:00. A­ OMAS BRILJANTA ISTABA The interior is chic and retro with lots of private niches, old couches, multi-coloured lamps and even a ceramic chandelier above the bar that looks like it was stolen from your granny’s living room. The beats emanating from the wallpapered DJ stand are as funky and bohemian as the staff and clientele and you can get a wide variety of cocktails as well as Czech and Latvian brews on draught. Large windows on two sides of this corner building afford patrons great views of passers-by outside, but if you can’t get a seat down here then head upstairs for yet another bar, a small dance floor and plenty more places to take a load off. QI‑2, Audēju 7. Open 11:00 - 24:00, Thu 11:00 - 04:00, Fri, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 06:00. J­A­E­ RĪGAS BALZAMS Frequented by day by diplomats and embassy staff who work in the Jacob’s Barracks, this bar/restaurant provides a warm, intimate setting a few steep steps from the old city wall. Named after the national drink of Latvia, Balzams offers far more than just potent elixirs. The atmosphere is convivial in the evenings, with well-heeled locals having a good time with cocktails made from the bitter black herbal liquor which is actually better than it sounds when mixed with something else. The black gold known as Guinness is also available.QH‑2, Torņa 4 (Jēkaba kazarmas), tel. (+371) 67 21 44 94. Open 10:00 - 24:00, Fri 10:00 - 01:00, Sat 11:00 - 01:00, Sun 11:00 - 24:00. A­

Nightlife TAKA Popular with Bohemians of all stripes, this cosy bar is surprisingly dark given that it’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 alternative and the downright obscure, the draught Valmiermuiža is cheap 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.QB‑5, Miera 10, tel. (+371) 25 62 56 77, Open 12:00 - 01:00. W THE ARMOURY BAR Many people have a fascination with firearms and given the numerous displays of authentic pistols, machine guns, semi-automatic weapons at this fun bar, its owners clearly belong to this group. However, the original medieval walls, the roughly hewn wooden bar and the generally stylish ambience make this cosy venue look more like a place where captains of industry might enjoy an aged single malt, rather than a hole in the wall where tobacco-chewing rednecks would chug cheap beer and long for Dixie. In short, if you like craft brews from around the globe, only the finest spirits, especially whisky, and, of course, lots and lots of guns, then this is the place for you to embrace your inner warrior with both locals and expats. Table football is available downstairs and a flat screen displays the latest sports action.QI‑2, Vecpilsētas 11, tel. (+371) 29 73 89 02. Open 14:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 14:00 - 04:00. A­

48 Riga In Your Pocket

BEER BARS ALUS MUIŽA The Beer Manor is perhaps the city centre’s cosiest watering hole and this isn’t just owing to its demure size. Raised wooden tables, colourful lighting and reed mats used as wallpaper all contribute to a comfy, almost beach bar atmosphere that’s only trumped by its selection of Latvian craft brews on draught, all of which are poured by its bearded owner. Some small snacks such as salted peanuts and crisps are also available as well as a popular kerbside terrace in the summer. Try the Odzienas IPA, one of our favourites, and don’t forget that they’ll also pour you takeaway beers in plastic bottles.QC‑5, Ģertrūdes 45, tel. (+371) 25 12 71 72. Open 10:00 - 22:00. A­S BROOKLYN PUB & WHISKEY ROOM For a small taste of Brooklyn, but without the women, walk down to the corner of Barona and Lāčplēša. This definitely isn’t Williamsburg, but you can order a Brooklyn lager and a dozen or so other delicious craft brews from the States and Europe at this cosy bar, which also happens to have quite a few flat screens showing all the day’s sports, hence all of the men. Large servings of Latvian and international pub food can also be had, not to mention an excellent selection of whiskey.QC‑5, Lāčplēša 35, tel. (+371) 28 84 68 90. Open 11:00 - 23:00, Fri 11:00 - 01:00, Sat 13:00 01:00, Sun 13:00 - 23:00. A­


WALTERS & GRAPA This dimly lit room has a hospital-like quality, but people don’t generally come here to admire the décor. It’s the unusual selection of Baltic craft brews, especially those from Lithuania, that have people talking. Taste a number of beers by the Dundulis and Širvėnos breweries south of the border especially the tasty Humulupu IPA on draught. Bring cash as cards aren’t accepted and ATMs are scarce in this part of Riga.QB‑5, Miera 19, tel. (+371) 29 39 00 86. Open 17:00 24:00, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 03:00. Closed Mon. W

BREW PUBS LABIETIS Although difficult to find as it’s hidden in a small courtyard behind the popular club Piens, once you reach Labietis you’re faced with the difficult task of tasting 12 delicious craft brews made on the premises from American-style IPAs and English bitters to special beers made with Latvian herbs. The brewery is clearly visible behind a glass partition and you can enjoy a tasty beer at the bar, by the windows or at an incredibly large wooden table in the middle of the room. You can also order food from the nearby Fontaine Delisnack or just have them fill a plastic bottle or two for you to take home.QA‑5, Aristīda Briāna 9A-2, tel. (+371) 25 65 59 58, Open 15:00 - 03:00, Mon 16:00 - 22:00, Tue 15:00 - 23:00, Thu 15:00 - 01:00, Sat 13:00 - 03:00, Sun 13:00 - 01:00. Also at J-3, Centrāltirgus 3 (Central Market). A­­S

ADULT ENTERTAINMENT JOCKEY CLUB The Scandinavian-owned Jockey Club has provided adult 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.QF-3, Elizabetes 49, tel. (+371) 67 22 88 44, Open 20:00 - 06:00. Admission: €15. A LABI For nearly 20 years this chain of sex shops has offered private 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 some live interactive erotic entertainment for around €50 or spend much less on a peep show.QC-5, Lāčplēša 47, tel. (+371) 67 28 61 15, Open 24hrs. Also at C-4, A. Kalniņa 8. Open 24hrs; B-5, Brīvības 98. Open 10:00 - 22:00. A October - November 2016


Nightlife CASINOS & GAMING HALLS Latvian law compels all gamblers to register at each casino they visit, so bring a passport or valid ID. OLYMPIC CASINO - OLYBET Located on the ground floor of the Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija, this is supposedly the biggest casino in the Baltics. A sports bar with live betting opportunities and a 24-hour sushi bar are also available. It’s other locations specialise in slot machines, but also have 24-hour sports bars where you can bet on your favourite teams.QC‑4, Brīvības 31 (entrance from Dzirnavu), tel. (+371) 67 82 87 77, Also at H-2, Meistaru 10; C-4, Barona 3, tel. (+371) 26 52 23 20; C-4, Marijas 12, tel. (+371) 26 32 89 49; D-4, Marijas 2; B-5, Brīvības 90. Open 24hrs. A­K­W

CLUBS COYOTE FLY Housed in the exclusive Vernisāža complex in the Vērmanes Park, you pretty much have to be well-heeled, well-dressed and local to gain entrance to this pleasure palace for Riga’s elite, which essentially consists of celebrities, TV personalities and the über-rich. Foreign DJs are often imported from around Europe and its stage is also graced by local musicians, rappers and the like. You can expect a trendy atmosphere, expensive cocktails and Champagne and, of course, incredibly beautiful wait staff, but as a tourist in the Latvian capital, you might not pass its strict face control.QC‑4, Tērbatas 2, tel. (+371) 20 22 60 00, Open Thu, Fri, Sat 23:00 06:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Sun. A­­W DEPO (DEPOT) Underground music lovers, hip youth and over the hill travel writers, this is the stop where you get off. Indie groups and DJ’s from abroad, garage bands and an alternative crowd all co-exist happily in this club, one of the few 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.QI‑2, Vaļņu 32, tel. (+371) 67 22 01 14, Open 17:00 - 05:00. Admission: concerts €5 - 7. A­E­­X FRIENDS This nightclub is located in the basement of Latvia’s biggest hotel and conference centre. If you’re 25 (the age requirement) or over, take the stairs to the cosy cellar decorated with little niches and comfortable couches. Order wine, champagne or cocktails to give you the liquid courage you might need to engage in this club’s speciality: karaoke. Yes, you don’t have to go to Tokyo or Seoul to make a fool of yourself in front of strangers or to show off what an incredible voice you have. Choose from over 45,000 songs in English, Swedish, Norwegian, Spanish French, Latvian and Russian and let the crooning begin!QC‑4, Elizabetes 55 (Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija), tel. (+371) 29 29 94 44, Open 21:00 - 06:00. A­E 50 Riga In Your Pocket

LA ROCCA REVOLUTION An admission fee buys you a pass to a variety of different clubs within the confines of a converted theatre that still bears the tell-tale signs of its original incarnation such as gilded decorations and ceilings as well as red velvet walls. However, the theatre-goers of yore would doubtless be shocked by the flashing lasers, smoke machines and gogo dancers with glitter-paint shining from their naked thighs. Drinks are reasonably priced and if you’re not into techno or Russian pop you can try one of the other miniclubs inside.QB‑5, Brīvības 96, tel. (+371) 67 50 60 30, Open Fri, Sat 22:00 - 06:00. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sun. Admission: €5 - 7. A­X NABAKLAB This hip music club located in a half basement is Riga’s best alternative hotspot. You can watch a live band in one hall, dance to DJs in another, relax with a beer at the long bar or join the crowds outside the door for a smoke and a chat. Definitely not the place for pop music fans, this is a bohemian student favourite. Live acts are a mixed bag so one night you might see a local punk rock group and the next night a Polish ska band or an electronic music evening. Did we mention that its own Nabaklab brew costs less than €2? Lots of special drinks offers are also available.QH‑2, Z.A. Meierovica bulv. 12, Open 12:00 - 24:00, Thu 12:00 - 02:00, Fri 12:00 - 06:00, Sat 17:00 - 06:00. Closed Sun. Admission: concerts €1.50 - 5. A­E­­X PIENS (MILK) 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 cocktail bars 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 expect to see in your doctor’s waiting room. With two large terraces and a funky, eclectic interior, colourful, hip and laid-back Milk is hard to beat. That said, if it’s busy at the weekend only Latvians are usually allowed entrance.QA‑5, Aristida Briāna 9, tel. (+371) 66 01 63 00, Open 12:00 24:00, Thu 12:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 05:00. A­ PŪCE (THE OWL) If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck common sense would lead you to believe that it actually is a duck, but in this case you’d be wrong. Although visually difficult to differentiate from its legendary predecessor, The Colonel, which was a staple of Riga’s alternative club scene for nearly two decades, the Owl is basically a big bar that inherited huge shoes that it just can’t fill. On the bright side, if you’ve never been here before you’ll no doubt appreciate the cosy atmosphere, unique interior, free foosball table and the affordable beers and cocktails smack in the middle of one of the city’s busiest nightlife streets.QI‑2, Peldu 26/28, tel. (+371) 22 43 23 53. Open Wed 20:00 - 02:00, Thu 20:00 - 04:00, Fri 18:00 - 06:00, Sat 12:00 - 06:00, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. Closed Mon, Tue. A


COCKTAILS NEW COD BAR Tired of the same old drinks? Looking for a secluded, yet stylish place to enjoy a cocktail without the noise and the tourists of Old Riga? This exclusive Japanese-style bar complete with a giant manga painting on the wall serves expertly poured classic drinks with a Japanese twist and specialises in shochu (a distilled spirit) and sake (brewed rice wine) as well as Japanese whiskies and craft brews. Just walk past the living wall of moss on the ground floor restaurant and take the stairs to the basement lounge. Naturally, a complete menu of authentic Japanese cuisine is also available.QC‑4/5, Tērbatas 45, tel. (+371) 25 72 56 70, Open 12:00 - 23:00, Thu 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 02:00, Sun 13:00 - 22:00. A­K­W

SPOT KAFÉ This tiny shot café and cocktail lounge offers an interior of stylish couches, hardwood floors, an exposed brick wall and even disco balls. Order expertly poured mixed drinks for affordable prices not to mention incredibly cheap shots around the €2 mark with hilarious, often profane names that will get you giggling before the alcohol even touches your tonsils. If things get too crowded inside on DJ nights you can always take your drinks out on the lovely terrace that offers views of Riga Cathedral’s ancient grave markers across the street. Although not a sports bar by any twist of the imagination, Spot Kafé often shows big games on a flat screen.QH‑1, Jauniela 19, tel. (+371) 20 44 88 11, Open 15:00 - 03:00, Fri 10:00 - 05:00, Sat 12:00 - 05:00, Sun 12:00 - 03:00. A­­W

CUBA CAFÉ The global fascination with 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 starters are on offer, Cuba Café is essentially a cocktail bar serving island drinks in an intimate setting and also out on its excellent summer terrace overlooking Doma laukums. A two for one happy hour can be enjoyed from 17:00 19:00 on weekdays.QH‑1, Jauniela 15, tel. (+371) 67 22 43 62, Open 12:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 05:00, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. A­­X

STAR LOUNGE The name is certainly in keeping with the Einstein theme of the hotel, but perhaps it’s also due to the fact that everyone’s much closer to heavenly bodies on the 11th floor. In any event, you’re guaranteed fantastic views from several stylish couches and a wide selection of cocktails for typically high prices given the establishment’s elevated position. An outdoor terrace is also available for fearless drinkers in the summer months.QB‑4, Dzirnavu 33 (Albert Hotel - 11th floor), tel. (+371) 67 14 27 49, Open 15:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 15:00 - 02:00. A­

October - November 2016


Nightlife THE LEFT DOOR BAR If the number of cocktail bars a city has is an accurate barometer of the local economy, then Riga must be doing fairly well as yet another one has opened its doors (or at least the left one) on posh Antonijas iela. You can expect top shelf liquor and homemade syrups in your drinks here, which will cost you roughly €9. We enjoyed the old fashioned with bacon-infused bourbon served in a tiki mug, but you might might prefer a blackberry toddy on a cold day. Sip your cocktail in one of the candlelit window niches or take a seat on one of the couches in the lounge hidden behind the bar. QB‑4, Antonijas 12, tel. (+371) 67 80 64 09. Open 12:00 - 24:00, Fri 12:00 - 01:00, Sat 15:00 - 01:00. Closed Sun. A­W XIII If people can afford to pay between €10 - 13 for cocktails, then maybe the financial crisis truly has ended in Riga. This exclusive little lounge serves signature cocktails by experienced staff and if you’re lucky you might even spot the owner, international footballer Kaspars Gorkšs who has named the bar after his number 13 national team jersey. We tried the Lavender Collins with gin, lavender syrup and Earl Grey soda and were not disappointed. A small menu of refined food is also available by one of Riga’s top chefs, but olives and gourmet veggie crisps are complimentary. Despite the posh atmosphere the staff were surprisingly friendly.QB‑3, Strēlnieku 1a, tel. (+371) 26 76 13 13, Open 16:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 16:00 - 01:00. Closed Mon, Sun. A

GAY RIGA GOLDEN 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 expect, where patrons can sit at the bar in the atrium or relax in the smoker’s lounge. Thankfully, it doesn’t have that sleazy vibe that some gay clubs tend to exude.QC‑5, Ģertrūdes 33/35, tel. (+371) 25 50 50 50, Open 16:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 23:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Sun. A

MIDNIGHT MUNCHIES FONTAINE DELISNACK RIGA This cheap ‘slow fast food’ joint serves up tasty burgers, burritos and pizzas, all cooked to order, plenty of space and friendly service. Order huge burgers served in wax paper with a side of fries and a local Tērvetes brew in a laid-back Bohemian atmosphere in Old Riga.QI‑2, Teātra 2, tel. (+371) 27 04 90 49, www. Open 24hrs. Also at A-5, A. Briāna 9a, tel. (+371) 28 44 14 11; E-1, Mazā Nometņu 34B, tel. (+371) 20 59 55 59. (€3 - 6). JA­V­S­W 52 Riga In Your Pocket

LIVE MUSIC BLUES 54 JAZZ This popular live music bar and restaurant owned by a member of a local MC is decorated with dark wood furnishings, exposed brick walls, murals of jazz musicians, hip industrialstyle lamps and large windows offering great views of busy Tērbatas iela outside. Valmiermuižas and Tērvetes brews are reason enough to drop by, but tasty local food including wild game dishes and picnic tables on the pavement in summer also attract a steady clientele of locals, tourists and music enthusiasts.QB/C‑5, Tērbatas 54, tel. (+371) 26 82 69 99. Open 12:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. A­I­ FOLKKLUBS ALA PAGRABS One of Riga’s largest Latvian beer bars and restaurants, Folk Club Ala is more of a cavern than a cellar. Descend into the depths of this huge space to find a great selection of affordable local brews and spirits as well as traditional cuisine and an ever-changing line-up of folk bands guaranteed to get you moving. Although it’s a favourite among frugal students, it’s also popular with anyone who appreciates good food, drink and music under medieval brick vaulted ceilings. Reservations are essential if you’d like a table on a Friday or Saturday night.QI‑2, Peldu 19, tel. (+371) 27 79 69 14, Open 12:00 - 01:00, Wed 12:00 - 03:00, Thu 12:00 - 04:00, Fri 12:00 06:00, Sat 14:00 - 05:00, Sun 14:00 - 01:00. A­E­ MOONSHINE If B.B.King were still alive and riffing, he would no doubt feel at home at this two-storey shrine to American music. Pass the cherry red hot rod at the door and have a drink and a meal at the ground floor Garage, which looks like a combination of a roadhouse and a diner. Upstairs you’ll find a more refined restaurant and club where musicians from near and far entertain in the evenings. Take a seat near the windows in a converted Cadillac overlooking the square and order a big burger, a USDA prime steak or plenty of other comfort food that’s available along Route 66. See website for upcoming concerts.QH/I‑2, Kaļķu 12, tel. (+371) 67 22 22 03/ (+371) 26 65 63 68, Open 11:00 - 05:00. (€7 - 20). J­A­E­W TROMPETE (THE TRUMPET) Although many people head over to Old Riga’s Peldu iela for cheap beer and no-holds-barred nightlife, one of the city’s wildest streets has finally been given a touch of class with the opening of this casual, yet refined jazz club and restaurant. Its centuries-old brick walls are covered in brass instruments, its rustic floors and tables still smell faintly of fresh-cut wood and a working fireplace makes the already intimate ambience even cosier. Order a glass of wine or a cocktail at the bar and then head into the main room where live jazz music is performed on a small stage at least four nights a week. A small menu of sophisticated food is also available.QI‑2, Peldu 24, tel. (+371) 25 74 52 99, Open 12:00 - 24:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 02:00. J­A­E­

Nightlife NIGHTLIFE TOURS TRAVEL2RIGA This experienced company has been arranging special events, tours and excursions for Riga’s guests since 2005. Travel2Riga offers low-key or VIP nightlife tours as well as activities like AK47 shooting, go-karting, sailing, paintball, zorb football, bungee jumping and even bobsleighing just to name a few.QI‑2, Tirgoņu 10, tel. (+371) 22 08 46 13, A

PUBS AUSSIE PUB Riga’s first Aussie pub provides plenty of authentic down under atmosphere but thankfully without any of the usual trappings of stuffed koalas or, God forbid, any portraits of Paul Hogan. Spread out across three floors, the pub offers plenty of tasty and cheap local beers on draught as well as Australia’s best craft brew, Coopers, in bottles and all are served from a bar that’s actually an old VW combi van. If you’re feeling really nostalgic you can even order a VB. Fun raffles and lotteries are held often and you can also participate in beer pong and sumo nights. If the cheap happy hour prices (17:00 - 19:00 every day!) are too much for you to handle you can always crash at its hostel upstairs. You can bring in food from one of a dozen nearby cafés and fast food joints.QI‑3, Vaļņu 43, tel. (+371) 67 22 34 06, Open 10:00 - 02:00. A­E ­­W

POOL HALLS NB Unlike the gritty pool halls you see in action movies, this one is often full of groups of twenty-something boys and girls having a good time as well as the occasional pool shark. You’ll find dozens of billiard tables for €3.60/hour right in the centre of Old Riga, not to mention inexpensive draught beers and cocktails. You can also order a variety of snacks throughout the night as it’s open 24hrs.QH‑2, Šķūņu 9, tel. (+371) 67 22 63 51. Open 24hrs. JA BĀNŪZIS This isn’t the place to go with your girlfriend, wife or mistress for that matter. They wouldn’t be impressed by the plain grey interior, the shabby furniture, the men who hang out here or its location behind the Soviet Academy of Sciences building. But if you like incredibly cheap British ales, bitters and IPAs in bottles, tasty local brews like Rēzeknes Brūveris for cheap and lots of rock music, it might be worth the five-minute walk from the Central Market. We ate a greasy sausage here with potatoes and sour kraut for roughly €2!QD‑4, Gogoļa 15, tel. (+371) 28 34 87 16, Open 11:00 - 23:00, Sat 12:00 - 23:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. BRĀLIS Tucked away in a cellar at the far end of Tērbatas is Brālis, or Brother. Named after the amazingly cheap microbrew that’s served here, its leopard pattern booths and fake brick bar won’t win any awards, nor will its standard menu, but its simplicity and lack of pretension are also it strengths. Order a sour krout soup and a cheap beer and watch a local hockey game on TV or yesterday’s matches on Eurosport.QB‑5, Tērbatas 101, tel. (+371) 27 88 22 22, Open 10:00 - 23:00, Sat 11:00 - 22:00. Closed Sun. A DONEGAN’S PUB This shamrock covered pub seems to have sprung up out of thin air, but we’re not complaining, especially since it’s just around the corner from RIYP headquarters. Watch sports, listen to live music, knock back a pint of Guinness, or a dozen or so other local and imported beers, or just order some classic pub food like Buffalo wings, burgers, fish ‘n’ chips and, of course, a big breakfast. You can also take a seat at one of its comfy booths and use its free wi-fi or try the samogon - grain alcohol from eastern Latvia, guaranteed to make you see Leprechauns.QH‑2, Laipu 2/4, Open 10:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 03:00, Sun 12:00 - 02:00. A­E ­­W 54 Riga In Your Pocket


KLONDAIKA 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 optimistically labelled the zelta raktuves (gold mines) or try the saloon-style restaurant and bar that serves food 24 hours a day. The TexMex cuisine is just a couple of degrees shy of authentic, but its tasty, filling and relatively cheap.QC‑4, Dzirnavu 59, tel. (+371) 67 24 03 66, Open 24hrs. A­­X­W WARNING KRUŠOVICE SPORTA BĀRS The city’s most infamous rip-off joint has yet again changed its name, this time to Krušovice Sporta bārs. Do not be lured in by its beer selection, flat screen TVs showing sports or young girls in its employ who inexplicably find you attractive. To quote Dante: ‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here’. Avoid this place like the plague.QH‑2, Kaļķu 22. LIDOJOŠĀ VARDE (THE FLYING FROG) A long-time staple in the city, this three-roomed cellar hangout is filled with more than just frogs. Embassy workers and other expats in the area come in droves for lunch, dinner and cocktails or pints of Guinness with their colleagues after quitting time.QB‑3, Elizabetes 31a, tel. (+371) 67 32 11 84, Open 10:00 24:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 24:00. A­E­X

MOLONEY’S PUB Moloney’s Pub always seems to be full of locals and tourists knocking back beers and watching English football on big flat screen TVs. You can expect plenty of space, hardwood floors, Irish decorations and lots of foreign and domestic brews on draught, not to mention its own in-house beers which are brewed in the basement. A full menu of pub food from tasty burgers to a big Irish breakfast can be enjoyed and a digital jukebox hangs from a wall should you crave your favourite tunes in between matches. Live music, a happy hour and loads of cheap drink specials are also available.QH‑2, Vāgnera 3, tel. (+371) 67 22 87 06, Open 15:00 - 01:30, Thu, Sun 11:00 - 01:30, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 03:00. A­E­­X­W

CIGAR LOUNGES THE OAK LOUNGE This classy cigar lounge and shop offers a walk-in humidor full of Cuban Havanas, a relaxed, yet refined interior that includes leather furniture and plenty of single malt scotch, cognac and Champagne. Members can also store their tobacco purchases in their own lockers in the humidor.QB‑4, Jeruzalemes 10 (entrance from Dzirnavu), tel. (+371) 67 33 87 87, Open 11:00 - 01:00, Sun 12:00 22:00. A­X October - November 2016


Nightlife QUEENS PUBLIC HOUSE This so-called public house has all of the trappings of an English pub, or at least what locals think one might look like, with wooden furniture and old-fashioned wallpaper, not to mention a fake fireplace and a few TVs showing sports. It offers loads of breakfast food from oatmeal and shrimp omelettes to the Queens special, which is an attempt at a classic fry-up. An extensive menu of expensive steaks is also available, but fish and chips and local sausage dishes are quite reasonable. Plenty of tasty, if a bit pricey, foreign and domestic beers are poured at the central bar and female patrons will no doubt be interested to know that friends can sit next to one another in the ‘Ladies’ without the intrusion of a partition.QI‑2, Kaļķu 2, tel. (+371) 67 80 00 01, Open 10:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 02:00. A­ RUNCIS (TOMCAT) The kind of place where you wish everybody knew your name. It’s totally Latvian in its beer, food, and frequenters, who are usually 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.QI‑2, Jāņa sēta 1, tel. (+371) 67 22 41 98. Open 12:00 - 02:00, Sat 14:00 - 02:00. Closed Sun. A­ VICTORY PUB As our faces registered the sight of dark red walls and matching curtains the friendly waitress confided in us that she also thought the interior was reminiscent of a tart’s boudoir, but she assured us that the food and drink were just fine. A menu of standard cuisine including steaks and a cheap lunch special are available as well as a digital jukebox and a smoking room with a pool table and dart board. A dozen or so different beers can be had here for affordable prices and it also has a large summer terrace, which is perfect for Old Riga people-watching. QI‑2, Tirgoņu 10, tel. (+371) 29 22 83 10, www. Open 11:00 - 24:00, Thu, Sun 11:00 02:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 06:00. A­­X­W

SPORTS BARS ARENA 29 Although this area of Riga is famous for its affordable neighbourhood pubs as well as a few posh cafés, it’s good to know that the sports angle has also been covered by Arena 29, which is spread out across three rooms of a semi-basement. A number of good local beers are available on draught and you can also watch all of the football, hockey, etc. on a bunch of flat screens while putting away a burger, a BLT or some Buffalo wings. The grey walls are decorated with black and white photos of athletes as well as some golf memorabilia and the top of the bar was built to look like a running track.QC‑5, Stabu 29, tel. (+371) 22 31 92 99. Open 11:00 - 23:00. A­W 56 Riga In Your Pocket

OLYBET SPORTS BAR For those of you whom a drink and a football match on TV wouldn’t be complete without a friendly wager to make 22 men running around on a grass field more palatable, this is the place. OlyBet not only offers a wide variety of brews and cocktails as well as flat screens showing live sports, but it also has a legal betting counter where you drop some cash on your favourite event and hope for a windfall. Slot machines are also available if the match takes a turn for the worse.QC‑4, Barona 3, www. Open 24hrs. Also at H-2, Meistaru 10; F-3, Elizabetes 55/ Brīvības 31; B-5, Brīvības 90; C-4, Marijas 12; D-4, Marijas 2. A­W OPTIBET SPORTS BAR This huge sports bar on three floors not only offers a modern interior with loads of space for you and your friends, but you can also legally bet on all of the live action shown on countless TVs including massive projector screens on the first and second floors. An affordable menu of omelettes, burgers, chicken wings, ribs and pastas is an added bonus and although the beer selection could be a bit more imaginative, we’re certainly not going to complain about a €3 half liter of Hoegaarden or a local Mītava brew for only €1.90! An outdoor terrace is also available upstairs.QB‑5, Barona 108, tel. (+371) 67 27 38 66, Open 10:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 01:00. A­ PADDY WHELAN’S IRISH PUB & SPORTS BAR Although it’s considered 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 signed football shirts. 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 and a good weekday lunch special for only €5.QI‑2, Grēcinieku 4, tel. (+371) 67 21 01 50, Open 11:30 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 11:30 03:00. J­A­E­X­S

STUDENT BARS LA BELLE ÉPOQUE (FRANČU BĀRS) An unusual mix of teenage boys and girls and curious foreigners congregate in this cellar bar to take advantage of the incredibly cheap beer on draught. Although it often looks like a mix between a high school dance and an allnight rave with scant lighting and lots of bodily contact, the barmen/chaperones encourage mingling with shots of Absinthe and other hard alcohol.QI‑2, Mazā Jaunavu 8 (entrance from Mazā Monētu), tel. (+371) 67 22 03 53, Open 17:00 - 06:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 07:00. A


Food is our passion Beer is our obsession Music is our true love Sports is our madness

Irish joie de vivre in Riga since 1994! GRĒCINIEKU IELA 4, OLD RIGA. OPEN DAILY 11-01, FRI, SAT 11-04. WWW.PUB.LV

ZAPTE (JAM) Tucked away on a small, winding Old Riga street, Zapte is a place for people who like to drink cheaply and who like to drink a lot. In fact, its promotional poster states that ‘size does matter’ and that patrons should not be wimps. You and your friends can show off your imbibing prowess by ordering the 3 litre cocktail, but most people seem to drink cheap beer and shots like the Occupation Museum (Riga Balzams, Jägermeister and vodka). The simple interior doesn’t offer much decoration apart from some photos, paintings and a bicycle on the wall, but most people don’t come here for the décor.QI‑2, Mazā Monētu 5, tel. (+371) 27 49 77 95, Open 17:00 - 02:00, Wed, Thu 17:00 04:00, Fri, Sat 17:00 - 06:00. Closed Sun. A­W

WINE BARS TINTO Although this stylish wine bar and café with merlot coloured couches and a large outdoor terrace offers great views of passers-by on busy Elizabetes iela as well as the twisted bronze statues of the Splendid Palace cinema next door, it’s tucked away off of the street so you could pass by and never know it’s there. An early breakfast and refined meat and seafood main courses are certainly tempting as are over 300 specially selected wines and spirits from around the globe.QC‑4, Elizabetes 61, tel. (+371) 67 28 90 85, Open 08:00 - 24:00, Sat 10:00 24:00, Sun 10:00 - 23:00. A­

VĪNA STUDIJA Enjoy a reasonably priced glass, carafe or bottle of wine in this refined, yet relaxed establishment in Riga’s art nouveau district. If you can’t make up your mind, choose one of the specials on the board, ask one of the knowledgeable staff or trust in the judgement of leading wine critics, whose ratings are published in the menu. Local and world press is also available as well as Mediterranean tapas and for a surcharge you can buy a bottle at its adjoining shop and drink it in the bar.QB‑3, Elizabetes 10, tel. (+371) 67 28 32 05, Open 12:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 01:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. Also at I-3, Audēju 16 (Galerija Centrs), tel. (+371) 67 10 44 30. Open 10:00 22:00; C-5, Stabu 30, tel. (+371) 67 27 60 10. Open 11:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 01:00, Sun 11:00 - 22:00; all shops open 10:00 - 22:00. A­S VĪNS AR ODZIŅU This tiny wine bar is located right next to the Swedish Gate in what used to be part of Old Riga’s medieval fortifications. Oddly enough, it specialises in a small selection of French, Romanian and Moldovan boutique wines and you can enjoy them here with homemade pâtés and generous servings of European cheeses. The atmosphere is certainly cosy with only three small tables on offer and an entire wall covered in wine bottles.QH‑1/2, Torņa 7/9 (entrance from Trokšņu), tel. (+371) 29 13 68 53, Open 14:00 - 21:00. Closed Sun. A October - November 2016


Sightseeing Whether its medieval architecture and cobble stone streets you’re after or extravagant Art Nouveau buildings and manicured 19th-century parks, Riga has plenty of visual stimulation for all tastes. Explore what’s left of the city’s Soviet legacy or take a tour of Riga Cathedral (Rīgas Doms), the largest house of worship in the Baltics.

ESSENTIAL RIGA ALBERTA IELA Visit the biggest 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 Economics. Don’t miss the Riga Art Nouveau Museum at the end of Alberta iela.QB‑3, Alberta 2, 2a, 4, 6, 8, 13; Elizabetes 10a & 10b; Strēlnieku 4a. LATVIAN ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM (LATVIJAS ETNOGRĀFISKAIS BRĪVDABAS MUZEJS) Take the trip to the north shore of Lake Jugla and you’ll be rewarded with nearly 90 hectares of life as it used to be. Farmsteads, windmills, fishing villages, churches and other historic structures have been moved here from their original locations throughout the Latvian countryside and preserved for posterity. Watch craftsmen perform various tasks or try some Latvian food and drink in the tavern. Take bus N°1 from the corner of Merķeļa and Tērbatas to the Brīvdabas muzejs stop. It’s also an easy 30-minute bike ride from the centre or you can take tram N°6 to the last stop and follow the bike path the rest of the way to the museum.QBrīvības gatve 440, tel. (+371) 67 99 41 06, www. Open 10:00 - 17:00. Admission: €2 (October - April). K

CANAL BOATS Canal boats will continue ferrying passengers about the city until October 16. Riga by Canal You can climb aboard a unique 100-year-old wooden launch (or a replica) and take a onehour tour of the city from an unusual perspective - the Riga Canal. You can start your journey at Bastion Hill and 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 10:00 - 20:00. Price: adults €18, children (5 - 14) €9, children under 5 free. More info at 58 Riga In Your Pocket

RIGA CATHEDRAL (DOMA BAZNĪCA) The largest place of worship in the Baltics, measuring 187 x 43m, with walls two metres thick, Riga Cathedral also has one of the biggest 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. Although currently undergoing renovations, it’s still open to the public. Opening hours for the upcoming week are listed next to the entrance. The price of the ticket also includes access to its Romanesque cloister.QH‑1, Doma laukums, tel. (+371) 67 21 32 13, Open 09:00 17:00. Admission: €3. A

Take the lift to the top of St. Peter’s Church


ST. PETER’S CHURCH (PĒTERBAZNĪCA) 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 rebuilt 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 finally rebuilt and the glass ritual was repeated, this time with smashing results. Take the lift to the observation platform for spectacular views of the city. QI‑2, Skārņu 19, tel. (+371) 67 18 14 30, peterbaznica. Open 10:00 - 18:00, Sun 12:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission: church, exhibitions & tower €9. THE MUSEUM OF THE OCCUPATION OF LATVIA (1940 - 1991) (LATVIJAS OKUPĀCIJAS MUZEJS) This museum dedicated to the Nazi and Soviet occupations of Latvia is now located in the former US embassy on Raiņa bulvāris.The various exhibits display the atrocities committed against the people of Latvia and the systematic destruction of their nation’s sovereignty. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the intolerable living conditions of Siberian labour camps and see firsthand how Latvians managed to keep their spirits up in this frozen wasteland. QG‑2, Raiņa bulvāris 7, tel. (+371) 67 21 27 15, Open 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission: donations.

Sightseeing CHURCHES ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL (PAREIZTICĪGO KATEDRĀLE) Built between 1876 and 1884, this yellow-brick church capped with five gilded cupolas was turned into a planetarium during the occupation but was finally returned to its congregation in 1990. The Soviets destroyed many of the church’s ornate works of art including wall and ceiling frescoes by the famous Russian painter Vereshchagin. Much of the cathedral has now been restored to its former glory.QG‑3, Brīvības 23, tel. (+371) 67 21 12 16. REFORMATION CHURCH (REFORMĀTU BAZNĪCA) Built from 1727 - 1733, this is one of the few Calvinist churches in Latvia. After renovations in 1805, its basement was turned into a warehouse, while the Soviets turned the whole building into a recording studio. Now the upstairs is used for occasional concerts and the downstairs is waiting for yet another entrepreneur to open a club there.QI‑2, Mārstaļu 10, tel. (+371) 67 21 20 36, ST. ALEXANDER NEVSKY ORTHODOX CHURCH (SV. ALEKSANDRA ŅEVSKA PAREIZTICĪGO BAZNĪCA) 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.QC‑4, Brīvības 56, tel. (+371) 67 28 32 01. ST. JAMES CATHEDRAL (JĒKABA KATEDRĀLE) This church beside the parliament was first mentioned in historical sources in 1225. In 1522, it became the first church in Latvia to hold a Lutheran service, but 60 years later during a brief spell under Polish rule it was returned to its Catholic flock, who have held it ever since. It’s also interesting to note that St. James was one of the first three churches built in Riga and unlike Riga Cathedral and St. Peter’s where mass was held in German, it held services in Latvian until the Reformation.QH‑1, Jēkaba 9, tel. (+371) 67 32 64 19, Open 07:00 - 19:00. The cathedral is closed 13:00 - 14:30, except Sundays. ST. JOHN’S CHURCH (JĀŅA BAZNĪCA) 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.QI‑2, Skārņu 24, tel. (+371) 67 22 40 28, www. Open 11:00 - 20:00 (closed during private ceremonies such as weddings, etc.).

October - November 2016


Sightseeing JEWISH RIGA JEWS IN LATVIA MUSEUM (MUZEJS ‘EBREJI LATVJIĀ’) Located on the third floor of the Riga Jewish Community centre, this small, yet informative museum documents, in Latvian and English, the history of Jewish life in Latvia beginning with the 16th 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 testimony to the suffering Jews experienced at the hands of the Nazis and Soviets. The museum hosts a number of events including lectures, seminars and exhibitions. Audio guides are available in English, Latvian and Russian.QC‑4, Skolas 6, tel. (+371) 67 28 34 84, www. Open 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Fri, Sat. Admission: donations. RIGA SYNAGOGUE (PEITAV SHUL) Built in 1905, this is the only 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.QI‑2, Peitavas 6/8, tel. (+371) 67 21 45 07, Open 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sat. Admission: donations.

JANIS ROZENTĀLS If Latvia had to choose one person who had the most lasting effect on the nation’s art, the smart money would be on Janis Rozentāls (1866 - 1916) who influenced generations of Latvian artists. He brought a professionalism to Latvian painting that, although common to Western artists, hadn’t yet been seen on this stretch of the Baltic Sea. A committed patriot in an era when Latvia was still a part of the Russian Empire, he made a conscious effort to paint scenes of daily Latvian life and local landscapes, but also contributed to the graphic art and design of Latvia at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The prolific artist also published articles about art and became one of the first Latvian art critics. His works span all of the popular genres of his time from realism and impressionism to art nouveau and national romanticism. You can celebrate the 150th anniversary of the artist’s birth at this unprecedented exhibition of his work entitled Janis Rozentāls (1866 - 1916). Art and Technique at the Latvian National Art Museum (F-3, Valdemāra 10, until October 30. Tickets: €3.50. Image: After Church by Janis Rozentāls courtesy of the LNMM 60 Riga In Your Pocket

STARO RĪGA LIGHT FEST Every year around Latvia’s independence day festivities in November, Riga puts on an amazing light festival for a few nights which is seen by tens of thousands of people. Dozens of buildings and landmarks throughout the city are illuminated with photographs, games, films and other artistic creations and the old town is usually 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 to catch a glimpse of something unique. This year’s celebration will begin on November 17 and will be visible every night through November 20. For more information about light installations and specific routes around the city visit

MUSEUMS ALDARIS BEER MUSEUM (ALDARA ALUS DARBNĪCA) Latvia’s most iconic beer brand began its storied existence in the middle of the 19th-century and this modern museum housed in one of its original brick buildings traces the history of Aldaris from its founding to the current day. Put on a white lab coat and take a stroll amongst antique photographs, copper beer vats from the 1930s and informative displays of the hallowed brewing process. Finish your experience with a brew in the lovely tasting room. Register for the museum at the entrance on Tvaiku. Take tram No.5 to the Gaujienas iela stop and walk down Gaujienas to Tvaika iela.QTvaika 44, tel. (+371) 67 21 84 44, www. Open 09:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun. Admission: €7 (includes one beer). LAIMA CHOCOLATE MUSEUM (LAIMAS ŠOKOLĀDES MUZEJS) Latvia’s largest chocolate producer has opened up a fun and fascinating interactive museum in its historic premises on Miera Street. After registering and receiving your QR-coded admission ticket you can proceed into a number of different exhibits that trace the long history of the company whose traditions date back to 1870. Watch videos about the history of chocolate making or see how Laima produces some of its most delicious treats. YAn adjoining Laima shop and café is also available and if you book well in advance you can also join a creative workshop and make your own chocolates!QB‑5, Miera 22, tel. (+371) 66 15 47 77, Open 10:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon. Admission: adults €7, children €3 - 5.

Sightseeing LATVIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ART (LATVIJAS NACIONĀLAIS MĀKSLAS MUZEJS) After a three-year, €31 million expansion and renovation, the Latvian National Museum of Art has finally opened its doors again. View classic paintings, drawings, watercolours and sculptures by the Latvian masters Purvītis, Rozentāls, Annuss, Valters, Padegs, Liberts and many more. The 100-year-old interior has been completely restored and upgraded with new underground art space, not to mention a charming restaurant.QF‑3, Valdemāra 10, tel. (+371) 67 32 44 61, Open 10:00 - 18:00, Fri 10:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission: museum €3, exhibitions €3.50, combined tikcet €6; smart phone or tablet audio guide app free. A LATVIAN RAILWAY MUSEUM (LATVIJAS DZELZCEĻA MUZEJS) Retrace the tracks of rail history in Latvia in this museum run by Latvian Railways (Latvijas dzelzceļš). Inside the brick hangar you’ll find old photographs, antiquated machines and a few specimens of old wagons. Outside you view the largest collection of rolling stock in the Baltics which includes a restored Soviet diesel and electric locomotives built in Ukraine and Russia as well as a German locomotive built in 1942 that no doubt became a spoil of war. Don’t miss the Tsarist era prison car.QE‑2, Uzvaras 2/4, tel. (+371) 67 23 28 49, Open 10:00 - 17:00, Thu 10:00 - 20:00. Closed Mon, Sun. Admission: adults €2.50, children free. A­L­W

90 YEARS IN THE MAKING RAINIS AND ASPAZIJA’S HOUSE (RAIŅA UN ASPAZIJAS MĀJA) Two of Latvia’s most celebrated and significant poets, authors and playwrights once lived in this building (1926 - 1933), which the couple hoped would eventually become a museum after their passing. It took nearly a century, but Rainis and Aspazija finally have their own museum in Riga, which also includes the couple’s personal library of over 6,000 books in 14 languages and another 2,900 periodicals. Upstairs you’ll find their apartment that looks much as it did back in the 1920s and you can also listen to music and the scraping of fountain pens on paper in the background as if the mighty duo were still hard at work. Another building in the courtyard has been renovated as an events hall and the basement is available for workshops. Academics and layfolk alike can study any book in the library, under supervision of course, and a 17-minute-long film in a number of languages is also available.QB‑4, Baznīcas 30, tel. (+371) 67 27 26 43, Open 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Sun. Admission: adults €2, children €1; audio guide €3. NEW

MENTZENDORFF’S HOUSE (MENCENDORFA NAMS) For fans of antiquity this fascinating historical house that once belonged to a wealthy Riga merchant is a must. Restored furniture, 18th century frescoes and a true medieval atmosphere are all here for your perusal. Not only can you see how the medieval rich lived in their fine apartments, but also how the servants toiled in the massive kitchen area. Guided tours in English, German and Russian are available for €10.QI‑2, Grēcinieku 18, tel. (+371) 67 21 29 51, Open 10:00 - 17:00. Admission: €1.42; photos €2.85.

MUSEUM OF RIGA’S HISTORY AND NAVIGATION (RĪGAS VĒSTURES UN KUĢNIECĪBAS MUZEJS) 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.QH/I‑1, Palasta 4, tel. (+371) 67 35 66 76, Open 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon, Tue. Admission: €4.27.

MUSEUM OF DECORATIVE ARTS & DESIGN (DEKORATĪVĀS MĀKSLAS UN DIZAINA MUZEJS) Latvian textiles, ceramics as well as glass, wood, leather and metal work are all housed in this gallery/museum. Formerly St. George’s church, it’s the oldest surviving stone building in Riga and dates back to the 13th century. You can also purchase Latvian National Art Museum souvenirs and books at its shop. Exhibitions usually cost extra.QI‑2, Skārņu 10/20, tel. (+371) 67 22 22 35, Open 11:00 - 17:00, Wed 11:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon. Admission: museum €2.50, exhibitions €3.50, combined ticket €5.

Smiling faces on Bastion Hill


October - November 2016


Sightseeing NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM OF LATVIA (LATVIJAS NACIONĀLAIS VĒSTURES MUZEJS) This monumental building is the temporary home of the Latvian History Museum. Three floors of artefacts from the Stone Age to the present day await your perusal as well as temporary and permanent exhibitions such as Money in Latvia, which is an absolute must for numismatists. View ancient weapons, jewellery and other treasures discovered at archaeological sites, as well 19th-century farming implements, historic folk costumes and an entire hall dedicated to wooden religious sculptures that have been preserved for posterity. Four rooms with period furniture also recreate typical apartments during the Biedermeier, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Soviet eras of design in Riga. QG‑3, Brīvības bulvāris 32, tel. (+371) 67 22 13 57, Open 10:00 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission: €3; photos €1.42. RIGA ART NOUVEAU MUSEUM (RĪGAS JŪGENDSTILA MUZEJS) This museum is housed in an apartment where one of Latvia’s best art nouveau architects 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.QB‑3, Alberta 12, tel. (+371) 67 18 14 65, www.jugendstils.riga. lv. Open 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission: €6.

ANCIENT CHINESE ART The ancient Silk Road was not only a system of roads and paths for goods and commodities, but also a means of transport for new technologies, ideas and spiritual beliefs. Silk Road. Ancient Chinese Art, which was created with the support of Art Exhibitions China, offers roughly 100 different artefacts spanning a period beginning with the Western Zhou dynasty (1046 - 771 BC) up until the Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644). Visitors will be able to see precious examples of art in various materials including clay, gold, bronze, jade, lacquer and textiles including, of course, silk. An exhibition of Chinese antiquities of this scale and scope has never before been organised in Latvia and it was created to mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Latvia. It will be available at the Riga Bourse Art Museum (H-1, Doma laukums 6, from October 22 - January 8. Tickets: €3.50. Image: Bronze animal. Spring and Autumn period (770 - 476 BC) courtesy of the Henan Museum. 62 Riga In Your Pocket

Sombre faces at the Brothers’ Cemetery


RIGA BOURSE ART MUSEUM (MĀKSLAS MUZEJS RĪGAS BIRŽA) The former Riga Stock Exchange has been successfully renovated and transformed into this wonderful museum. Inside you’ll find an excellent collection of 17th-century Chinese, Japanese and Delft Blue porcelain from the Netherlands, three centuries of silverware as well as some lesser-known, but no less impressive paintings by Dutch masters. Although the lighting could be better in the main hall, you can find some real gems in the exhibit of paintings including a winter landscape by Monet and a bronze of lovers by Rodin. The Eastern gallery includes everything from Egyptian mummies to priceless Southeast Asian artefacts.QH‑1, Doma laukums 6, tel. (+371) 67 22 64 67, Open 10:00 - 18:00, Wed 12:00 - 18:00, Fri 10:00 - 20:00. Closed Mon. Admission: museum €3, exhibitions €3.50. A­W RIGA MOTOR MUSEUM (RĪGAS MOTORMUZEJS) If you’re an automobile aficionado, then it’s definitely worth the trip to see this museum which recently underwent a massive three-year renovation. An eclectic collection of classic cars from vintage Rolls Royces, BMWs and Mercedes’ to Soviet wonders can all be seen here, but don’t miss the Benz Patent Motorwagen – the oldest automobile in the world. Interactive driving games are also available and even the entrance looks like the grill of a vintage car! Take bus N°5 from Čaka to the Motormuzejs stop in Mežciems.QEizenšteina 6, tel. (+371) 67 02 58 88, Open 10:00 - 18:00. Admission: adults €10, children 7 and over and seniors over 60 €5. L SUN MUSEUM (SAULES MUZEJS) Iveta Gražule, the museum’s owner and curator, began collecting images of the sun with the purchase of a silver necklace ornament in Portugal in 1999. Over the years her collection grew so large that she finally decided to open a museum to house it. View over 350 porcelain, metal, iron, wood, papier-mâché, coconut and glass wall decorations of the sun from 43 countries and six continents at Europe’s only sun museum. You can also paint your own plaster sun in the workshop, which is included in the price of admission. The collection keeps growing as visitors donate their own sun memorabilia.QI‑3, Vaļņu 30, tel. (+371) 67 22 55 87/(+371) 29 69 04 16, Open 10:00 - 19:00. Admission: adults €4, children €3, children under 6 free (€2 for classes). T­J

Sightseeing PARKS & CEMETERIES BASTION HILL (BASTEJKALNS) This hill was created from 1857 to 1859 to replace the old defensive sand bulwark. Within 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.QG‑2, Separating Old Riga from the new centre. BROTHERS’ CEMETERY (BRĀĻU KAPI) The Cemetery of Heroes is the last resting place for the Latvian soldiers who died defending Latvia from 1915 - 1920. Built by Kārlis Zāle in the constructivist style of the 1920s with white tufa, you can’t miss the impressive statue of ‘Mother Latvia’ that dominates an army of little graves and grieving stone warriors. Take tram N°11 from Barona to the Brāļu kapi stop.QAizsaules 1b. FOREST PARK (MEŽAPARKS) This was the most prosperous part of the city before the war, as many of the beautiful, yet decaying, old houses testify. Check out the Mežaparka estrāde, the open-air auditorium where the mass concerts of the song festivals are held, or hit the zoo. Take tram N°11 from Barona to the Mežaparks stop.QMeža prospekts.

PLACES OF INTEREST CASTLE OF LIGHT - NATIONAL LIBRARY (GAISMAS PILS - NACIONĀLĀ BIBLIOTĒKA) The Latvian National Library is the brainchild of AmericanLatvian architect Gunnar Birkerts. Its shape is a symbolic expression of the Hill of Glass and the Castle of Light found in Latvian folklore. The building is open to the public and it hosts a variety of exhibitions, concerts and events. You can take a guided tour of the building, which allows you access to the top floor, or just get a visitor’s pass and wander around for spectacular views of Old Riga across the river. QE‑3, Mūkusalas 3, tel. (+371) 67 80 61 10, Open 09:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 17:00. For tours call tel. (+371) 22 02 29 20. K­W CENTRAL MARKET (CENTRĀLTIRGUS) When construction was completed in 1930, Riga’s Central Market was one of the largest and most modern marketplaces on the European continent. Eighty years later, four of the five pavilions, which were used as zeppelin hangars during WWI, still serve their original function as meat, fish, produce and dairy markets. The bustling atmosphere also hasn’t changed much, although 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. Each pavilion has slightly different opening hours, so if in doubt check its website.QJ‑3, Centrāltirgus iela, Open 08:00 - 17:00, Mon, Sun 08:00 - 16:00.

DON’T TREAD ON ME Riga’s medieval architecture and art nouveau edifices often have people craning their necks to get a better look at a golden rooster atop an ancient spire or a playful nymph smiling from a plaster façade, but visitors should also try to keep an eye to the ground and not just to prevent an unfortunate ankle twisting on the city’s uneven cobblestones. A number of interesting historical markers may go unnoticed or may even cause you to lose your footing if you don’t pay attention to what’s underfoot in Old Riga. The Baltic Way was an unprecedented event in world history when roughly 2 million Latvians, Estonians and Lithuanians joined hands to form a 600km-long human chain from Tallinn to Vilnius via Riga. The mass demonstration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact took place on August 23, 1989, while the Baltic nations were still occupied by the Soviet Union. A small red granite ‘footprint’ at the crossroads of Kaļķu and Vaļņu (near McDonald’s) serves as a reminder of that amazing event. An historical account of the Blackhead’s Guild recorded in 1510 sheds some interesting light on Riga’s claim to Yuletide fame. According to the medieval document, the guildsmen placed a decorated tree on the town square on Christmas day and then set it on fire at the end of the holiday season. This is supposedly one of the earliest accounts of a Christmas tree in Europe and certainly the first in Riga. Today a commemorative monument marks the approximate spot on Rātslaukums (Town Hall Square), just outside the Blackheads’ House, where this interesting piece of history took place. Riga’s medieval old town and its surrounding city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. Although its 13th-century churches helped the city achieve this status, it’s Riga’s art nouveau architecture that really sets the city apart from other European capitals. To quote UNESCO’s World Heritage website: ‘The Historic Centre of Riga has the finest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture in the world.’ A bronze circular marker in the middle of Cathedral Square (Doma laukums) celebrates this accomplishment. October - November 2016


Sightseeing HOUSE OF BLACKHEADS (MELNGALVJU NAMS) One of Riga’s architectural treasures, the House of Blackheads was erected in 1344, but was embellished and expanded in the 16th, 17th and 19th centuries. It was destroyed in 1941 and its ruins were completely demolished by the Soviets in 1948, but it finally rose from the ashes in the late 1990s. A striking Gothic building with a Dutch Renaissance facade, it was used to house single members of the merchants’ guild who were also notorious revellers of their day. Unfortunately, the building is currently closed to the public.QI‑2, Rātslaukums 7, tel. (+371) 67 04 43 00, OLD CITY WALLS & SWEDISH GATE (VECPILSĒTAS MŪRIS & ZVIEDRU VĀRTI) This is the oldest remaining portion of the Old Town fortifications, the rest having been progressively 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 Brothers of the Sword. At the end of Aldaru, is the Swedish Gate (Zviedru vārti), built in 1698 to celebrate the Scandinavians’ occupation of the city, and the only 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.QH‑2, At the corner of Torņa and Aldaru.

TAMED NATURE If you appreciate haute couture, especially vintage clothing, then drop by the Museum of Decorative Arts & Design (I-1, Skārņu 10/20, to view a unique exhibition entitled Tamed Nature that features fashion and accessories from the 18th century to the present day. The gowns, shoes, hats, dresses and other apparel are all a part of renowned fashion historian Alexandre Vassiliev’s unparalleled collection. The exhibits are arranged thematically, instead of chronologically, as many of the garments are inspired by the natural world. The exhibition, which is on display until October 16, features 100 never before displayed costumes and over 300 accessories. Mr. Vassiliev was born in Moscow in 1958, but later immigrated to France where he began designing sets for theatre, ballet and opera performances. He has since collaborated with some of the world’s best operas and theatres and has also written books and published articles in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Photo courtesy of the Alexandre Vassiliev Foundation 64 Riga In Your Pocket

Riga’s old city walls on Trokšņu iela


RIGA CASTLE (RĪGAS PILS) Built in 1330 as a base for the Livonian Order, the castle was destroyed several times during battles with the local townspeople. 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 housed the National History Museum of Latvia, but tragically, a fire broke out during renovations on June 21, 2013 and parts of the interior were gutted. Priceless historical objects from the museum that were stored in the basement were also damaged or destroyed.QH‑1, Pils laukums 3. RIGA NATIONAL ZOO (RĪGAS ZOOLOĢISKAIS DĀRZS) 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, giraffes and hippopotami, 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.QMeža prospekts 1, tel. (+371) 67 51 84 09, www. Open 10:00 - 19:00. Admission: adults €6, children 4 - 18 years €4, free for children under four.

SOVIET RIGA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (ZINĀTŅU AKADĒMIJA) This Soviet edifice is a cousin to similar statements of ugliness all over Eastern Europe and local nicknames for the Empire State building copy include ‘Stalin’s birthday cake’ or ‘the Kremlin’. Most Latvians just consider themselves lucky that the portrait of Uncle Joe that was supposed to be a part of the facade never came to fruition. If you look closely you can spot several hammers and sickles up top. At a height of 65m, the 17th-floor balcony is open to the public for a fee but only from April - September.QD‑4, Akadēmijas laukums 1, tel. (+371) 20 08 80 97/(+371) 67 22 53 61, Open 08:00 - 20:00. Observation deck: €3.56.

Sightseeing KGB BUILDING (STŪRA MĀJA) A chilling local joke makes light of the infamous building on the corner of Brīvības and Stabu streets by claiming that its balconies were the only ones in Latvia that offered a view of Siberia. Indeed, thousands of Latvians met their end in the notorious Corner House or Stūra māja and a memorial outside to its victims states: ‘During the Soviet occupation the state security agency /KGB/ imprisoned, tortured, killed and morally humiliated its victims in this building.’ The building is now occupied by the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia 1940 - 1991 and you can take a guided tour of its dreaded cellars where Latvians were tortured by the KGB. You can buy tickets online at or on the premises, but tours fill up quickly so try to book in advance. An exhibition curated by the Occupation Museum about the building is free of charge.QB‑4, Brīvības 61, tel. (+371) 27 87 56 92, www. Open 10:00 - 17:30, Wed 12:00 - 19:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 16:00. Admission: €5. Tours in English three times daily. SOVIET VICTORY MONUMENT (UZVARAS PIEMINEKLIS) The Soviet war memorial which commemorates the supposed communist ‘liberation’ of Riga was built in 1985 to lionise the Red Army and to 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.QE‑2, Over the Akmens Bridge in Pārdaugava.

STATUES & MONUMENTS FREEDOM MONUMENT (BRĪVĪBAS PIEMINEKLIS) ‘Milda,’ as she is affectionately 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. When the weather is favourable an honour guard changes every hour on the hour from 09:00 - 18:00. QH‑3, Where Brīvības and Raiņa meet. ROLAND STATUE Not unlike other Hanseatic cities across the Baltic Sea region, Riga has had a representation of Roland, the semifictional paladin of Charlemagne’s court, since medieval times. However, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that a permanent statue of this protector figure was erected on Town Hall Square. The current statue is a replica of the original, which is now housed a short walk away in St. Peter’s Church.QI‑2, Rātslaukums.

EXPLORE LATVIA Latvia boasts dozens of ancient Crusader castles, nearly 500km of untouched beaches, scores of manor houses that have been converted into hotels and spas, charming medieval towns and pristine nature reserves that are just begging to be explored. Although many of these attractions can be reached by public transport, if you’d like to see more than one in a day, we recommend you contact our English-speaking friend Jānis ( or (+371) 29 58 04 48) who will drive you anywhere you want to go in Latvia (or the Baltics) for an affordable fee. Sigulda & Turaida: only an hour train ride from Riga’s central station you’ll find this historic gem perched atop a valley overlooking the meandering River Gauja. Explore two castle ruins, one renovated castle, a 19thcentury manor house and the largest sandstone cave in the Baltics. Adrenalin junkies can also bungee jump from a cable car or take a run on the legendary bobsleigh track. More at Cēsis: located a little farther down the same railway line, the charming town of Cēsis is considered to be the most Latvian city in the whole country and it’s also the birthplace of the Latvian flag, one of Europe’s oldest. Its main attraction is its enormous Crusader castle, but the town itself and its 12th-century church are also picturesque and worth a visit. Rundāle Palace & Bauska: only an hour bus ride south of Riga you’ll find the town of Bauska whose main claim to fame is its giant castle situated at the confluence of the Mūsa and Mēmele rivers. It’s also a good place from which to explore nearby Rundāle Palace, the most impressive 18th-century baroque treasure in the Baltics. More at www.inyourpocket. com/riga/Road-trip-to-Rundale-and-Bauska_71789f Kuldīga: a former Hanseatic city and one-time capital of the Grand Duchy of Courland, this picturesque town is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Latvia. Although its imposing castle was completely destroyed, its 17th-century wooden buildings with terracotta tile roofs are its main attraction as well as its historic churches, cobblestone streets and the widest waterfall in Europe, which can be viewed from one of the longest brick bridges on the continent. October - November 2016


Shopping Prices of imported goods in Latvia tend to be inexplicably high, but local crafts, food and alcohol are still relatively cheap.

ALCOHOL & BEER BEERFOX/CALLOUS ALUS Run by an American beer enthusiast, this shops specialises in craft brews from around the globe.QC‑5, Stabu 59, tel. (+371) 28 30 95 25. Open 11:00 - 21:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 22:00. Closed Sun.

ANTIQUES RARITĀTE Icons, Riga porcelain, paintings, coins, stamps, silverware and furniture.QC‑5, Čaka 45, tel. (+371) 67 27 51 57. Open 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. VOLMAR Paintings, religious icons, porcelain, memorabilia and much more.QI‑1, Krāmu 4, tel. (+371) 67 21 42 78. Open 10:00 - 20:00, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. A

BOOKS JĀŅA SĒTA Latvia’s largest selection of maps and travel books.QC‑4, Elizabetes 83/85, tel. (+371) 67 24 08 94, www.mapshop. lv. Open 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. A LIRA This funky little shop sells new and used books, vinyl, CDs and DVDs. You can also enjoy a glass of wine while you browse through the stacks.QC‑4, Baznīcas 8, tel. (+371) 25 43 41 23, Open 11:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. VALTERS UN RAPA This book shop on three floors is probably the biggest in the Baltics. Mostly Latvian and Russian books, as well as local maps and guides like this one and some literature in English and German.QH‑3, Aspazijas 24, tel. (+371) 67 22 74 82, Open 09:00 - 21:00, Sat 10:00 - 21:00, Sun 11:00 - 17:00. A

CASTLE IN THE AIR If you’re tired of looking at amber and traditional silver and you appreciate contemporary designer jewellery, then there’s no better place to see what’s new in the world of wearable art than Gallery Putti (I-2, Peitavas 5 - 31; entrance from Mārstaļu, in Old Riga. A new exhibition of works by Estonian jewellers entitled Castle in the Air will be available from October 28 - November 14. If you’re not in Riga at this time, it’s still worth a visit for its in-house collection of Latvian jewellery. 66 Riga In Your Pocket

Picking the right pickled vegetable takes skill at the Central Market

COSMETICS MÁDARA This renowned Latvian cosmetics brand offers all-natural, organic beauty aids made from organic flower and herb extracts collected in Northern Europe. Try anything from moisturisers and anti-aging creams to shampoos and conditioners as well as special skin care products for babies, all of which have scientifically proven benefits.QI‑3, Audēju 16, tel. (+371) 67 22 40 49, Open 10:00 - 21:00. Also at Lielirbes 29 (Spice shopping centre), tel. (+371) 67 45 19 77. Open 10:00 - 22:00; Brīvības gatve 372 (Alfa shopping centre), tel. (+371) 67 07 64 90. Open 10:00 - 22:00. A

FASHION KLASE This stylish boutique sells clothing, shoes, handbags and other accessories created by Latvia’s hottest designers. It also hosts fashion shows from time to time.QC‑4, Elizabetes 85A (Berga Bazārs), tel. (+371) 27 79 16 35, www. Open 10:00 - 19:00. Closed Sun. A

GIFTS & SOUVENIRS ART NOUVEAU RIGA The only shop in Riga to exclusively 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. Naturally, it’s located opposite the Riga Art Nouveau Museum.QB‑3, Strēlnieku 9, tel. (+371) 67 33 30 30, Open 11:00 - 18:00. A BALTU ROTAS (TORNIS) Ancient Baltic designs as well as modern pieces can all be found here.QI‑2, Grēcinieku 11-2 (entrance from Pēterbaznīcas), tel. (+371) 67 22 02 70, www.balturotas. lv. Open 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. A BLACK CAT SOUVENIR SHOP This souvenir shop located right next to the giant Egle beer garden sells a huge selection of Latvian gifts from handmade linens, ceramics and wool mittens and socks to glassware and amber as well as local arts and crafts. Just look for the enormous cat outside.QI‑2, Mazā Jaunavu 8, tel. (+371) 67 22 55 87. Open 10:00 - 22:00. A

Shopping RIIJA All of the linen clothing, felt slippers, ceramics and other nick-nacks sold at this upmarket design shop were created by Latvian artists and artisans and nearly all of the items come in varying shades of grey, beige and white. QC‑4, Tērbatas 6/8, tel. (+371) 29 20 96 64, Open 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. A

JEWELLERY GALLERY PUTTI Specialises in high-end jewellery and wearable art by local and international designers.QI‑2, Peitavas 5 - 31 (entrance from Mārstaļu), tel. (+371) 67 21 42 29, Open 11:00 - 18:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. A

MARKETS CENTRAL MARKET This giant bazaar with its five huge aircraft hangars is a truly fascinating place to visit. Buy meat, fish and produce inside or CDs, appliances and clothing outside of the hangars for suspiciously low prices. Opening hours differ slightly for each pavilion.QJ‑3, Centrāltirgus 1, tel. (+371) 67 22 99 85, Open 08:00 - 17:00. KALNCIEMS FAIR The beautiful woden buildings at the corner of Melnsila and Kalnciema iela have been lovingly restored and now host a bustling fair every Saturday from 10:00 - 16:00 that attracts visitors from around Riga. Although the theme changes from fair to fair, you can expect plenty of food and drink, Latvian crafts, fashion by local designers and a lively atmosphere. Take bus No.53 from the National Theatre to the Melnsila iela stop or tram No.4 from Grēcinieku iela to the Kalnciema iela stop.QD‑1, Kalnciema 35, tel. (+371) 29 40 20 27, Open Sat 10:00 - 16:00.

SHOES LA BUCCIA FINE SHOES La Buccia specialises in both women’s and men’s imported Italian shoes in modern and classic styles by such brands as Caccin, Fabi, Dibrera, Giovanni Giusti, Loretta Pettinari and Roberto Rossi. Parking and tax-free shopping available.QB‑4, Brīvības 71, tel. (+371) 67 80 95 75/(+371) 27 70 95 75, Open 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. A

SHOPPING CENTRES GALLERIA RIGA This new downtown shopping centre on several floors offers dozens of shops never before seen in Latvia as well as a Rimi supermarket (08:00 - 23:00), a rooftop terrace right in the centre of Riga and a whole floor of restaurants and bars (10:00 - 01:00).QC‑4, Dzirnavu 67, tel. (+371) 67 30 70 00, Open 10:00 21:00. A­L ­B ­K ­W

We ship worldwide StrElnieku iela 9

(opposite the Riga Art Nouveau Museum)

SUPERMARKETS RIMI This large chain of Western supermarkets sells nearly everything a supermarket should.QD‑4, Stacijas laukums 2 (Origo), tel. (+371) 67 07 30 90, Open 07:00 - 24:00. Also at I-3, Audēju 16, tel. (+371) 67 01 80 23. Open 08:00 - 22:00; C-4, Dzirnavu 67 (Galleria Riga), tel. (+371) 67 28 01 76. Open 08:00 - 23:00. A

SWEETS LAIMA Latvia’s largest chocolate maker has outlets all over the city, but you can also buy its products pretty much anywhere including local supermarkets.QH‑2, Kaļķu 28, tel. (+371) 67 22 08 08, Open 08:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 23:00. Also at I-3, Audēju 16 (Galerija Centrs), tel. (+371) 67 10 44 31. Open 08:00 - 21:00; D-4, Stacijas laukums 2 (Origo). Open 08:00 - 22:00. A

VINTAGE SHOPS OTRĀ ELPA (SECOND WIND) This shop sells second hand clothes, electronics, toys, board games, LPs, DVDs, books (some even in English) and lots of other stuff that people have donated. Proceeds go to local charities.QC‑4, Marijas 13 (Berga Bazārs), tel. (+371) 67 28 71 72, Open 10:00 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. A October - November 2016


Sports & Leisure BEACH VOLLEYBALL BRAZĪLIJA This indoor beach sports centre offers beach volleyball and football courts as well as a café/bar and a children’s area. Take bus No.22 toward the airport to the Rūdas stop. QJūrkalnes 100, tel. (+371) 25 40 00 00, Open 07:00 - 24:00, Sat, Sun 08:00 - 24:00. A

BOWLING BOWLERO This ultramodern entertainment centre offers 24 bowling lanes (€10 - 18 depending on time), pool tables, a bar and a children’s room. Take bus No.53 from the Esplanāde stop on Brīvības to the RMR stop.QLielirbes 27, tel. (+371) 67 80 46 00, Open 14:00 - 23:00, Fri 12:00 - 01:00, Sat 11:00 - 01:00, Sun 11:00 - 22:00. T­A ZELTA BOULINGA CENTRS 22 lanes, four squash courts, one tennis court, 11 pool tables, indoor mini-football, arcade games and a bar/restaurant.QE‑2, Uzvaras 2/4, tel. (+371) 29 18 18 18, www. Open 12:00 - 24:00, Mon 15:00 - 24:00, Fri 12:00 - 02:00, Sat 11:00 - 02:00, Sun 11:00 - 23:00.

HOCKEY: DYNAMO RIGA Spread out over a dozen time zones, the Russian Kontinental (sic) Hockey League or KHL also includes teams from beyond the borders of the Russian Federation like Dynamo Riga (Latvia), Jokerit Helsinki (Finland) and Kunlun Red Star (China), to name a few. All told, 29 teams from eight nations will compete in the 2016/2017 season. Many of the KHL teams have adopted Soviet-era names, hence all of the dynamos, locomotives and metallurgists. Home games take place at Arena Riga, A-4, Skanstes 21, Tickets can be bought at the arena or online at www. Tickets cost €5 - 86. Visit for more information. Photo by Nienke Bos

FITNESS CLUBS & GYMS JOKER KLUBS Although the gym is available from the early morning hours, the pool is usually only open from 10:00 and the bowling alley even later. See website for exact times. QA‑3, Katrīnas 12, tel. (+371) 67 09 98 00, www. Open 07:00 - 22:00, Sat 07:30 - 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 22:00. A­C

FOOTBALL MATCHES Latvia’s greatest football achievement occurred in the 2004 European Championship in Portugal when the Latvian side had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Germany. Since then, major ‘victories’ haven’t been forthcoming. More recently, Latvia held Turkey, who later trounced the Netherlands, to a 1-1 draw in its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. You can watch local professional football matches and World Cup qualifiers at Skonto Stadium (B-4, Melngaiļa 1a). Tickets can be bought at the stadium and matches are rarely sold out. Photo by Roberts Lismanis Upcoming matches 01.10 16:00 FC Riga vs. Metta/LU 07.10 21:45 Latvia vs. Faroe Islands (WC qualifier) 10.10 21:45 Latvia vs. Hungary (WC qualifier) 19.10 18:00 FC Riga vs. FK Jelgava 23.10 15:00 FC Riga vs. BFK Daugavpils 68 Riga In Your Pocket

Upcoming fixtures at Arena Riga October Date Time Game 03 19:30 Dynamo Rīga vs. Dynamo Moscow 06 19:30 Dynamo Rīga vs. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 09 17:00 Dynamo Rīga vs. Vitjaz Podolsk 17 19:30 Dynamo Rīga vs. Spartak Moscow 19 19:30 Dynamo Rīga vs. Torpedo N.Novgorod 21 19:30 Dynamo Rīga vs. HK Sochi November 01 19:30 Dynamo Rīga vs. Dynamo Minsk 08 19:30 Dynamo Rīga vs. Kunlun Red Star 10 19:30 Dynamo Rīga vs. Amur Khabarovsk 12 17:00 Dynamo Rīga vs. Admiral Vladivostok 14 19:30 Dynamo Rīga vs. AK Bars Kazan 24 19:30 Dynamo Rīga vs. Dynamo Minsk 26 17:00 Dynamo Rīga vs. Jokerit 30 19:30 Dynamo Rīga vs. Salavat Julajev

GUN RANGES ŠAUTUVE DDUPLEKS This gun range offers the whole gamut of weapons from shotguns and machine guns to old school revolvers and Makarov and Glock 17 pistols. Prices differ according to the type of weapon, the target and the number of participants, but you should expect to pay from €15 - 30/person. A cab ride is probably the easiest and quickest way of getting here.QSmaragdi, Eimuru ciems, Ādažu novads, tel. (+371) 67 27 17 97,

Sports & Leisure



PRESES NAMS Located in a former printing house, this course is fun for a stag party or a family outing.QD‑2, Balasta dambis 2, tel. (+371) 27 54 55 55, Open 14:00 22:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. €11 - 12 for 10 minutes; children €7 - 8.

RTU ĶĪPSALA SWIMMING POOL (RTU ĶĪPSALAS PELDBASEINS) This huge 50m-long swimming pool is perfect for serious swimmers as well as intermediates and novices. In fact, if you don’t know how to swim, you, or you’re your children, can take lessons here. A fitness club with the latest exercise machines is also available complete with private trainers and boxing, yoga, water aerobics, Zumba and other classes are regularly held here. Afterwards relax in a sauna or get something to eat at the café, but if you still have energy try the indoor rock climbing wall.QC‑2, Ķīpsalas 5, tel. (+371) 67 61 69 89, Open 06:45 - 22:30, Sat, Sun 07:45 - 21:45.

PAINTBALL ANDREJSALA PAINTBALL PARK This company organises paintball games on the premises of an abandoned power plant beside the River Daugava. It offers quality equipment including smoke grenades and a heated changing room. Book a time on its website. QA‑2, Andrejostas 8, tel. (+371) 22 06 76 21, www. L

SAUNAS BALTĀ PIRTS 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 swimming pools, baths, a café and English-speaking staff.QB‑6, Tallinas 71, tel. (+371) 67 27 17 33, Open 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.

WATER PARKS LĪVU AKVAPARKS Latvia’s largest indoor water park charges roughly €20 25/adult for two hours of fun, children under six €5 - 7. A wave pool, children’s pool, outdoor pool, water slides and other attractions are all at your disposal as well as a poolside bar, a cafeteria, saunas and hot tubs. Take a Jūrmala bound train to the Bulduri station and then walk 10 minutes down Muižas iela to the park.QLielupe (Jūrmala), Viestura 24, tel. (+371) 67 75 56 36, Open 11:00 - 22:00, Sun 11:00 - 21:00. The park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays from September - May. T­A­L­B­D­C October - November 2016


Useful Addresses Need to buy aspirin, visit a doctor or dentist or get help starting a business in Latvia? Read on.



For a complete list of foreign embassies and consulates in Riga including opening hours visit en/diplomatic-missions#.

BALTIC SALES AGENCY If you’re an entrepreneur with a unique product or represent an established company looking to sell its products in the Baltic market the professionals at Baltic Sales Agency can help. Its sales specialists have extensive knowledge of the IT, high-tech, environment, construction, energy and agriculture industries in the Baltic region and beyond. Why bother hiring a completely new staff when you can outsource your sales to local professionals?QBiķernieku 22, tel. (+371) 29 20 74 07, Open 08:00 - 20:00. Closed Sat, Sun. MINI OFFICE Starting a business in a foreign country is never easy, but the people at Mini Office can help. They provide a wide range of services from business consulting and accounting to company registration. You can also buy a ready-made company off the shelf, rent a legal address or use their virtual office services.QB‑6, Čaka 118B, tel. (+371) 67 61 26 31/(+371) 27 00 67 67, Open 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun.


CANADA QB-4, Baznīcas 20/22, tel. (+371) 67 81 39 45, riga@, DENMARK QH-1, Pils 11, tel. (+371) 67 22 62 10, www.ambriga. FINLAND QB-3, Kalpaka bulv. 1, tel. (+371) 67 07 88 00, www. NORWAY QH‑2, Kaļķu 15, tel. (+371) 67 81 41 00, www. SWEDEN QF-2, A.Pumpura 8, tel. (+371) 67 68 66 00, www. UNITED KINGDOM QF-2, J.Alunāna 5, tel. (+371) 67 77 47 00. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA QSamnera Velsa 1, tel. (+371) 67 10 70 00, riga.

CITY CLEAN Dry cleaners and laundromat.QC‑5, Barona 52 (entrance from Ģertrūdes), tel. (+371) 67 27 24 71. Open 08:00 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun. A NIVĀLA Wash your own clothes or just drop them off and have the staff do it for you. Also offer dry cleaning services.QC‑4, Lāčplēša 21 (entrance from Akas), tel. (+371) 67 28 13 46. Open 08:00 - 20:00.

ELLADENT All kinds of dentistry including cosmetic dentistry.QB‑3, Vīlandes 18, tel. (+371) 67 33 30 04, Open 09:00 - 21:00, Sat 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. A SANDENT QB‑4, Hanzas 6, tel. (+371) 67 33 44 26, www.sandent. lv. Open 09:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. A



TAVEX QB‑3, Elizabetes 21A, tel. (+371) 67 20 55 33, www. Open 09:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. Also at D-4, Stacijas laukums 2 (Origo shopping centre). Open 09:00 - 22:00. A

BALTICGEN If you’re interested in connecting with your Baltic roots but you don’t know where to begin, then contact Dr. Aleksandrs Feigmanis, a researcher, historian and Doctor of Theology who will research your family tree and drive you to locations within Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia that hold significance for your family such as ancestral homes in the countryside. Qtel. (+371) 26 41 69 72, www.



Art Nouveau is hard to miss in Riga

70 Riga In Your Pocket


BRILJANTA ROKA If you have jewellery that needs cleaning or you’d just like to check if a certain stone is the genuine article, then pay a visit to Jānis Blumbergs, a jeweller with an impeccable reputation who knows everything about bling. He also creates custom jewellery.QI‑3, Rīdzenes 2, tel. (+371) 29 41 15 62. Open 10:00 - 17:30. Closed Sat, Sun.

Useful Addresses

You’ll find great views at the Latvian National Library M.Zaprauskis

SPA BALTIC BEACH This impressive spa centre only a half hour ride away from Riga offers a combination of old world Jūrmala spa traditions and the latest technology. Take a swim in the 25mlong heated sea water pool, relax in one of the hot tubs in the Garden complex or sweat it out in one of the saunas or steam rooms in the Banja area. Naturally, all kinds of massages and spa treatments are available - roughly 400 in total - and afterward you can relax with a vitamin drink or herbal tea in the Spa Cafe.QJūras 23/25 (Majori, Jūrmala), tel. (+371) 67 77 14 43, Open 13:00 - 23:00. A­L­K­D­C­W



ARS English-speaking doctors. Listed opening hours are for the trauma centre.QF‑3, Skolas 5, tel. (+371) 67 20 10 07, Open 08:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 20:00. 24-hour consultaion: tel. (+371) 67 20 10 03. HEALTH CENTER 4 (VESELĪBAS CENTRS 4) This large chain of Latvian health clinics has been providing a wide array of professional medical services for over 20 years. The clinics serve roughly 3,500 patients every day, but you can also take advantage of their ‘house call’ services (call tel. +371 26 14 66 54 from 09:00 - 20:00) and have a medical professional (general practitioners/ therapists, emergency physicians, medical assistants and nurses) visit you at your home or hotel in Riga. You can also arrange health check-ups, diagnostics, vein surgery and dermatology treatments that use the latest technologies.QA/B‑6, Barona 117, tel. (+371) 20 26 75 78/(+371) 25 95 55 77, Open 08:00 - 20:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Also at Duntes 15a (3rd & 4th floors). A

DAYA YOGA This yoga studio offers syoga for beginners, for professionals, for pregnant women and for children, a wide variety of massage options and meditation classes.QC‑5, Stabu 51/2, tel. (+371) 26 55 50 60, Open 09:00 - 19:00, Sat 09:00 - 13:00. Closed Sun. A

PHARMACIES BENU APTIEKA QB‑6, Tallinas 57b, tel. (+371) 67 31 42 11, www.benu. lv. Open 24hrs. Also at I-3, Audēju 16 (Galerija Centrs), tel. (+371) 67 01 80 59. Open 08:00 - 21:00; C-4, Brīvības 38, tel. (+371) 67 28 97 61. Open 08:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. A

PHOTOCOPYING COPY PRO QC‑4, Raiņa 17, tel. (+371) 67 21 15 60, www.copypro. lv. Open 24hrs. A

SPAS ESPA RIGA ESPA Riga is the largest five-star spa in the Baltic and Scandinavian region. Hidden behind the facade of an historic art nouveau building, you’ll find six floors of swimming pools, saunas, treatment rooms, gyms and relaxation areas.QF‑3, Baznīcas 4a, tel. (+371) 67 71 52 22, www. Open 07:00 - 22:30. A­F­K­D­C

VETS & PETS DR. BEINERT’S CLINIC Dr. Beinerts runs a number of veterinary clinics in Riga including this 24-hour establishment. A pharmacy and pet supply shop are also on the premises.QC‑5, Ģertrūdes 101, tel. (+371) 67 28 85 39, Open 24hrs. A

INDEPENDENCE DAY 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, Latvians finally had their own state. Unfortunately, rogue German military units and the new Bolshevik government in Russia didn’t take the declaration seriously and fighting continued until, with the help of Polish and Estonian armies, all of Latvia’s foes were expelled from the country in 1920. Independence Day is celebrated with various events and concerts in Riga, the laying of flowers and speeches at the Freedom Monument, a military parade on 11.novembra krastmala in the afternoon, fireworks at night and, of course, the Staro Rīga Light Festival. This year’s festivities will take place on a Friday ensuring a three-day weekend. Public transport is also free of charge on the 18th as an added incentive to participate in all the events. October - November 2016


Hotels Riga really has it all when it comes to hotels. You can stay in an ultra modern design hotel in the old town or a beautiful suite with private terrace and Jacuzzi if you don’t mind spending your hard-earned cash. Those travelling on a budget can choose from plenty of B&Bs, hostels and even a few low-cost hotels. Unless otherwise noted, breakfast and VAT are included in the prices listed here.

SYMBOL KEY A Accepts credit cards P Air conditioning Z Anti-allergy

O Casino

T Child-friendly

H Conference facilities


U Disabled facilities

I Fireplace

HOTEL NEIBURGS This stylish design hotel is housed in one of Old Riga’s most beautiful art nouveau buildings. All 55 of its apartments include 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. iHome dual charging stereo FM clock radios with lightning dock and USB charge/play for iOS devices are also included in the price. Two-storey suites, accommodation with balconies and an excellent restaurant are also available.QI‑1, Jauniela 25/27, tel. (+371) 67 11 55 22, www.neiburgs. com. 55 rooms (36 studio apartments €143 - 158, 4 studio deluxe €188, 8 senior suites €208, 7 two-storey suites €238 - 308). P­J­H­A­R­6­U­F­K­D­X­W

F Fitness centre

L Guarded parking

R LAN connection

J Old town location

6 Pet-friendly

K Restaurant

D Sauna

X Smoking section

C Swimming pool

W Wi-fi

PULLMAN RIGA OLD TOWN HOTEL Completely renovated by Italian designers in 2016, this stunning hotel with 155 rooms is a combination of a medieval building that served as horse stables and a completely new structure connected by a glass atrium that offers every modern convenience available. The horse theme is evident throughout the hotel with perhaps the exception of the top-floor spa with its long, narrow swimming pool and views of Old Riga. Rooms are stylishly decorated with subtle grey and white tones and include 21st-century amenities as well as a painting of a horse and Bose speakers that can be connected to your phone via Bluetooth. A wine bar and an upmarket restaurant can be found on the ground floor under vaulted brick ceilings.QG‑1, Jēkaba 24, tel. (+371) 67 81 54 44, 155 rooms (superior and deluxe rooms from €170). P­J­H­A­U­I­F­G­B­K­D­C­­W RADISSON BLU RIDZENE HOTEL A 1980s edifice that once served as accommodation for the cream of Soviet society now houses one of Riga’s most deluxe hotels. Expect comfy rooms with cherry wood decorations and an excellent top-floor sauna and fitness complex with 180° views. Naturally, all of its rooms include every modern convenience including flat screen TVs and highspeed wireless internet access. Its ground floor restaurant is located below a glass pyramid that affords great views of the park across the street.QG‑3, Reimersa 1, tel. (+371) 67 09 33 33, 95 rooms (70 standard class €95, 13 business class €165, 8 superior class €135, 3 suites €395, 1 presidential suite €937). P­Z­H­A­U­F­L­G­B­K­D­W 72 Riga In Your Pocket

APARTHOTELS RIGAAPARTMENT GERTRUDA Although Riga has lots of hotels and many more apartments, it doesn’t offer many aparthotels. RigaApartment Gertruda offers 28 affordable apartments in one building that are all available for short-term rental, so you can stay for as little as one night or spend a whole week here. The apartments are incredibly spacious with high ceilings and hardwood floors and offer a wide variety of amenities including comfortable furniture, full kitchens, washing machines, flat screen TVs and at least one bathroom and bedroom (depending on the apartment). Some of the flats also have fireplaces, but we preferred the cosy attic apartments. A lift is also at your disposal and a Latvian restaurant is available on the ground floor of the building.QC‑5, Ģertrūdes 54, tel. (+371) 20 06 00 09/(+371) 22 00 39 84, www.rigaapartment. com. 28 apartments (one, two- and three-bedroom apartments €30 - 105). Z­T­A­L­G­W RIGAAPARTMENT SONADA This charming five-storey building was completely renovated in 2014 and is located in its own quiet private courtyard, which includes plenty of secure parking and a children’s playground. The majority of its rooms are 40m2 one-bedroom apartments equipped with IKEA furniture, flat screen TVs with satellite channels, fold-out couches, full kitchens, free wi-fi, washing machines and bathrooms with ionic hairdryers. Two of its 16 rooms offer yet another bedroom, but are similar in style. A 24-hour reception area is available and you can have breakfast and lunch in the cellar café for an extra fee. Great for families and guests who have cars. Airport transfers available.QD‑6, Ģertrūdes 129 (entrance from Valmieras 7), tel. (+371) 25 46 15 46, 16 rooms (16 apartments €30 - 75). T­A­L­G­B­W


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ALBERT HOTEL Nearly everything in this huge 11-storey hotel revolves around a common theme - Albert Einstein and his theories. Each of the 246 rooms includes a quote from the father of modern science, the ‘do not disturb’ signs simply say ‘I’m thinking’ and even the carpets include a pattern of working atoms. All rooms are tastefully decorated and have the standard amenities you would expect from a great hotel. A restaurant and 11th-floor cocktail lounge are also at your disposal.QB‑4, Dzirnavu 33, tel. (+371) 67 33 17 17, www. 246 rooms (7 singles €74, 163 doubles €79, 12 suites €129, 62 superior €89 - 94, 2 disabled-friendly €74). P­Z­H­A­6­U­G­B­K­W

HOTEL GUTENBERGS The only 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, rustically 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. Don’t miss its summer rooftop restaurant.QH‑1, Doma laukums 1, tel. (+371) 67 81 40 90, 38 rooms (14  singles €100, 17  doubles €114, 1  suite €170, 6  junior suites €140). P­J­H­A­6­U­L­K­W

BELLEVUE PARK HOTEL RIGA This enormous hotel on the other side of the river offers over 200 rooms, an upmarket 11th-floor restaurant and a massive conference centre. All accommodation includes cable TV, climate control, mini-bar, trouser press and bathrooms with hairdryer and shower or tub. Higher end rooms also include bathrobes, slippers, balconies and floor to ceiling windows with views. The reception desk, which is essentially a large aquarium, sets the tone for a comfortable stay beside one of the city’s largest parks.QE‑1, Slokas 1, tel. (+371) 67 06 90 00, 231 rooms (9 singles €50, 170  doubles €60, 3  suites €180, 14  apartments €120, 30 superior €80 - 90, 1 executive suite €250). P­Z­H­ A­6­U­F­L­K­D­X­W

MONIKA CENTRUM HOTEL This four-star hotel housed in a completely renovated neo-Gothic building built in 1883, offers spacious rooms with satellite TV, climate control, mini-bar, phone, internet 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. Monika also offers incredible suites with original decorative artwork and four-poster beds.QB‑3, Elizabetes 21, tel. (+371) 67 03 19 00, www. 80 rooms (12  singles €67, 50 doubles €77, 3 suites €115, 1 apartment €150, 14 junior suites €89). P­H­A­R­6­U­F­K­D­X­W

October - November 2016


Hotels RADISSON BLU DAUGAVA HOTEL Located on the left bank of the River Daugava, many of its rooms offer incredible views of Old Riga across the water. Singles and doubles are spacious and include cable TV, mini-bar and private bathrooms. Business travellers can choose business class rooms or suites, which are more spacious and include a few extra perks. An excellent fitness centre with a pool is available as well as conference rooms and a restaurant.QD‑2, Kuģu 24, tel. (+371) 67 06 11 11, 356 rooms (276 doubles from €62, 47 junior suites from €115, 20 suites from €210, 13 apartments from €210). P­H­A­ 6­U­F­K­D­X­C­­W RADISSON BLU HOTEL LATVIJA This one-time In-Tourist skyscraper has been transformed into one of Latvia’s premier hotels. All rooms include phone, mini-bar, hair dryer, 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 dozens of shops including a gourmet food delicatessen. If you’re in the mood to be pampered, a five-star spa is connected to the hotel. QC‑4, Elizabetes 55, tel. (+371) 67 77 22 22, 571 rooms (212 standard class €95, 317 superior class €135, 38 business class €175, 3 suites €345, 1 presidential suite €540). P­Z­O­T­H­A­U­F­G­K­D­C­W RIXWELL OLD RIGA PALACE HOTEL This elegant Old Riga hotel offers old world atmosphere with wood panelling, crystal chandeliers and the occasional piece of antique furniture. Rooms are similar in style with light walls and red carpeting and include such amenities as satellite TV, air conditioning, safe, mini-bar, coffee/ tea sets and private bathrooms. Superior rooms are more spacious and some even include balconies. A bar, fitness centre and a lobby area with both free wireless internet access as well as three computer workstations are also available.QJ‑2, Minsterejas 8/10, tel. (+371) 67 55 97 90, 100 rooms (12 singles €60, 71 doubles €70, 5  triples €100, 1  suite €110, 11  junior suites €95). P­J­H­A­6­F­G­K­D­W

JŪRMALA HOTELS BALTIC BEACH HOTEL A wide variety of luxury accommodation is available at this huge hotel that also happens to be located right on the beach. You can expect comfortable, tastefully decorated doubles, suites and apartments that include satellite TV, mini-bar, climate control, phone, safe, wi-fi and bathrobes. The spa centre is state of the art and its restaurants are among the best in Jūrmala, especially its View Restaurant & Lounge overlooking the sea. QMajori, Jūras 23/25, tel. (+371) 67 77 14 00, www. 165 rooms (singles, doubles, suites and apartments). P­H­A­U­F­L­G­K­D­C­W TALLINK HOTEL RIGA This stylish hotel located a short walk from Old Riga was built from the ground up in 2010. You can expect modern décor in all of its 256 rooms, which include brown, white and silver 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.QD‑4, Elizabetes 24, tel. (+371) 67 09 97 60, 256 rooms (21 singles €70, 227 doubles €77, 3 suites €170, 5 junior suites €114). P­Z­H­A­U­F­K­D­X­W WELLTON CENTRUM HOTEL & SPA When one walks into the grand lobby of this design hotel they’re immediately drawn to the huge aquariums that separate the reception area from the stylish, yet affordable restaurant. All rooms are decorated in a similar fashion with beige and grey tones and light wooden furnishings and amenities include flat screen TVs, mini-bar, safe, coffee/tea sets, free wi-fi, ironing boards, spacious bathrooms and climate control, not to mention bathrobes on each bed. Aspa centre including a swimming pool is available in the basement.QI‑3, Kalēju 33, tel. (+371) 67 13 06 70, 144 rooms (5 singles €75, 114 doubles €110, 2 triples €130, 3 suites €200, 2 junior suites €150, 18 superior €115). P­J­A­G­K­D­C­W


Autumn day on Līvu laukums in Old Riga

74 Riga In Your Pocket


ART HOTEL LAINE 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.QB‑4, Skolas 11, tel. (+371) 67 28 88 16, www. 30 rooms (12  singles €34, 12  doubles €44, 1 suite €90, 5 apartments €90). H­A­6

Hotels HOTEL FELICIA What Felicia lacks in location, it more than compensates for in service and quality. Situated in a quiet neighbourhood in the Purvciems district of Riga, the rooms of this modern complex look like they were taken straight out of a furniture show room. Phone, flat screen TVs with satellite channels, private bathrooms, mini-bar and climate control are all at your disposal as well as a bar and restaurant. If you’d like to relax you can also take advantage of the downstairs sauna and the small, yet ample swimming pool. A good option for families and guests who have their own car. You can also take trolleybus N°11 or 18 from the Central Station to the Ūnijas iela stop.QStirnu iela 32b, tel. (+371) 67 59 99 42, 19 rooms (5 singles €20 - 30, 11 doubles €40 - 80, 1 suite €80, 2 junior suites €65 - 70). P­H­A­6­L­K­D­X­C­W TIA HOTEL 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.QB‑4, Valdemāra 63, tel. (+371) 67 33 39 18, 49  rooms (6  singles €37, 38  doubles €42, 3  triples €67, 2 suites €75). H­A­L­G­K­W

BED & BREAKFAST HOMESTAY The friendly owners of this B&B rent four of the rooms of their beautiful home in Mežaparks, which resembles a Swiss chalet. After you’ve had a beer with the man of the house you can settle into your room decorated with paintings, photos and lovely Eastern carpets and kilims covering the hardwood floors. A breakfast room with a large fireplace and a TV/DVD player is available as well as a laundry room. Take tram N°11 to Visbijas prospekts or call them to arrange transportation.QStokholmas 1, tel. (+371) 67 55 30 16/(+371) 26 46 41 13, 4 rooms (1 single €35, 2 doubles €50, 1 triple €65). L­G­W JAKOB LENZ GUESTHOUSE This B&B located in a quiet residential neighbourhood is only a stone’s throw from the city’s most impressive Art Nouveau buildings and offers bright and spacious rooms, many with private bathrooms, within renovated apartments on three floors. A full kitchen is available to all guests as well as a communal computer with internet access or free wireless in rooms. You can also take advantage of its laundry service and private parking.QB‑3, Lenču 2, tel. (+371) 67 33 33 43, www.guesthouselenz. lv. 28 rooms (2 singles from €17, 20 doubles from €20, 2 triples from €25, 4 family rooms from €40). A­6­W

October - November 2016


Hotels APARTMENT RENTAL AGENCY LILIJA PLUS Great choice 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 Englishspeaking staff.QI‑3, Rīdzenes 25, tel. (+371) 67 21 60 40/(+371) 29 23 81 06, fax (+371) 67 21 60 54, www.

BUDGET DODO HOTEL Although budget airlines have been flying to Riga for years now, local hoteliers had completely ignored the budget accommodation niche until this place opened back in 2008. This Western, French-owned low-cost hotel offers 109 rooms with flat screen TVs, free wireless internet, private bathrooms with showers and hairdryer for incredibly low prices. A continental breakfast is also available and the cafés and bars of Old Riga are only a short tram ride away. Great value for money.QE‑6, Jersikas 1, tel. (+371) 67 24 02 20, 109 rooms (2 singles €32, 103 doubles €32, 4 family rooms €54) Breakfast €6. A­6­U­L­W GOOD STAY JŪRNIEKS HOTEL Surrounded by neglected housing estates on the outskirts of Riga, the Sailor Hotel 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 accommodation, then look no further. Completely renovated in 2004, its simple rooms offer cable TV and private bathrooms and extras such as phone and free wi-fi. A sauna is also available as well as free parking. Take trams N°5 or 9 from Aspazijas to the Allažu iela stop.QSofijas 8, tel. (+371) 67 39 23 50, 81 rooms (74 doubles €35, 2 suites €95, 5 junior suites €55) Breakfast not included. H­A­R­6­L­G­K­D­X

Bastion Hill and the Freedom Monument

76 Riga In Your Pocket


SKANSTE Not being right in the city 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 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 comfort in a family environment. QA‑4, Skanstes 9, tel. (+371) 67 51 99 23, www.hotelskanste. lv. 34 rooms (8 singles €27, 18 doubles €41, 6 triples €56, 2 junior suites €64). H­A­6­U­L­G­K­W TWO WHEELS HOTEL Owned and run by members of a local motorcycle club, Two Wheels offers casual, yet stylish accommodation in a beautiful 19th-century wooden building in a quiet neighbourhood. Each of its 10 rooms is named after a different city from around the globe and the interiors reflect this. If, however, you need to save some money, then you can book a bed in one of its dorm rooms. You can also park your own motorcycle in the garage, but if you left your hog back home you can even rent a Harley or enduro bike here. A restaurant and a lush garden are also at your disposal.QD‑1, Baložu 12, tel. (+371) 67 46 88 84, 10 rooms (doubles €59, triples €59, apartment €79, dorm beds €17/person). A­6­L­G­B­K­W

HOSTELS CENTRAL HOSTEL Just look for the only orange wooden house on the corner (perhaps the only one in Riga). Rooms are somewhat spacious and include bright coloured interiors. Modern shared toilets and showers are located in the hallway 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. A women’s dorm is also available.QD‑5, E. Birznieka-Upīša 20, tel. (+371) 22 32 26 63, 22 rooms (2 singles €20 - 24, 13 doubles €22 - 28, 1 triple €30 - 36, 1 apartment €33 - 39, 5 dorms €6 - 11/person. A­6­L­D­W DOMA HOSTEL Spread out across four floors of an historic Old Riga building, this cosy hostel offers dorms with incredibly high ceilings on the second floor or more intimate rooms on the third and fourth floors that include original oak beams and even the remnants of an antique pulley system once used to lift goods to the attic in medieval times. Each floor has its own bathrooms and toilets as well as a small kitchenette with a refrigerator, sink and a microwave. Many of its rooms also include excellent views of Town Hall Square and the River Daugava. Free wi-fi is included and there’s no curfew.QI‑2, Mazā Jaunavu 8, tel. (+371) 67 21 31 01, www. 14 rooms (1 single €22 - 29, 2 doubles €32 - 51, 4 triples €45, 3 apartments €65 - 90, 3 10-bed dorms €8 - 10/person). Breakfast: €5. P­A­6­G­W

Hotels RIGA HOSTEL Located above a McDonald’s, you’ll never be far from a quick meal or coffee even at midnight at this modern, comfortable hostel. Prices for beds are affordable and the location near the train station, bus terminal and Old Riga couldn’t be more convenient. A kitchen is available if you’d like to do your own cooking and a relaxation room is also at your disposal where you can watch TV or a DVD, surf the net for free or smoke a hookah. A women’s dorm is also available. No curfew.QD‑4, Merķeļa 1 (4th floor), tel. (+371) 22 33 78 84, 13 rooms (1 single €22 - 26, 6 doubles €26 - 34, 6 dorms rooms €7 12/person). A­6­W RIGA OLD TOWN HOSTEL The Aussie owners of this hip hostel made it clear to us that the place is meant to be a fun, safe place to stay in Old Riga for anyone who can appreciate comfortable beds, great atmosphere and one of the best pubs in the city. In fact, three floors of the building are occupied by drinking space and the top three floors house dorm rooms with light blue walls and red bunk beds with individual lighting and storage lockers. The hostel lacks a kitchen, but all guests can get a free breakfast beer at the bar if they wake up before 12:00. The whole building was completely renovated in 2013 and it’s obvious that it was a labour of love.QI‑3, Vaļņu 43, tel. (+371) 67 22 34 06, Breakfast not included. J­A­G­W THE NAUGHTY SQUIRREL The walls are cluttered with posters, a dozen litre mugs hang temptingly above a bar and youth of all nationalities are in constant motion... and that’s just the reception area. Walk down hallways covered in graffiti to find singles, family rooms and dorms each of which includes private lockers and even iPod speakers. 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 rated the 9th best hostel in the world! It also offers a wide range of tours and activities like bungee jumping and shooting AK-47s.QI‑3, Kalēju 50, tel. (+371) 67 22 00 73, www.thenaughtysquirrel. com. 20 rooms (4 doubles €46, 3 triples €50, 2 four-bed dorms 10 - €17/person, 4 six-bed dorms €12 - 14/person, 4 eight-bed dorms €11 - 13/person, 2 ensuite €43 - 50). Breakfast not included. J­A­W

COUNTRYSIDE VACATIONS LAUKU CEĻOTĀJS (COUNTRY TRAVELLER) The Country Traveller offers B&Bs and holiday homes 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. You can search by region, type of accommodation, amenities offered and other parameters.QD‑1, Kalnciema 40, tel. (+371) 67 61 76 00, Open 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun.

RIGA FOR KIDS 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 actually add to their bottom line. Vairāk Saules (C-4, Dzirnavu 60, 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 71) offers colouring books and a kids’ menu. Milti (B-4, Dzirnavu 34a, (+371) 26 53 87 15) offers a sepaprate kids room with a dollhouse, a play kitchen set, drawing table and TV separated from the dining hall by a large glass window. Charlestons (C-4/5, Blaumaņa 38/40, www. has a children’s corner and supervised activities during weekend brunch, while Street Fries Kitchen (I-3, Vāgnera 18, (+371) 67 22 42 79) has a small kids’ area as well as plenty of pancakes and fries. Educational trips The Open-Air Ethnographic Museum (Brīvības gatve 440, 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 ( - take tram No.11 from K.Barona to the Mežaparks stop) in Mežaparks is also always a good option and kids can paint their own plaster suns at the Sun Museum (I-3, Vaļņu 30, You can also combine a shopping outing with some kids’ fun at Zinoo Rīga (C-4, Dzirnavu 67 - 5th floor, This fascinating children’s science centre offers a number of interactive exhibits that teach kids about the natural world. Open 12:00 - 20:00. Just for fun Līvu Akvaparks (Jūrmala, Lielupe, Viestura 24, offers a wave pool, a children’s pool, six water slides and a tubing river guaranteed to keep the kids happy all day long. Parents can have a drink at the swim-up cocktail bar. The giant Lido Leisure Centre (Krasta 76, also has plenty to offer including all kinds of kids’ attractions. Playgrounds In the city centre you’ll find a good playground at Vērmanes Park (corner of K.Barona and Elizabetes) and a smaller one at Esplanāde Park behind the Latvian National Museum of Art (F-3, Valdemāra and Elizabetes). Mežaparks offers two huge playgrounds. One is for toddlers, while the other is more appropriate for older children. Take tram No.11 from K.Barona to the Mežaparks stop and then follow the crowds.

October - November 2016


Old Riga Walking Tour & Map

OLD RIGA WALKING TOUR Begin at H-3, the Freedom Monument on the edge of Old Riga and the famous Laima Clock, a Riga meeting place for decades. Walk up to the top of G-2, Bastion Hill for views of the canal and the park and to get the lay of the land. Then walk across ZA Meierovica bulvāris until you reach H-2, the ivy-covered Powder Tower and the Museum of War next door. Next walk down Torņa. The James’ Barracks on the right side of the street are 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 will soon become the Latvian president’s office.

Get the In Your Pocket City Essentials app 78 Riga In Your Pocket

Next walk up Pils to Cathedral Square (Doma laukums). Take a tour of H-1, Riga Cathedral, its Romanesque cloister and the Riga Bourse Art Museum on the opposite side of the square. Then walk down Tirgoņu and take a break at one of its many pubs, restaurants and cafés or at one of the beer gardens by the cathedral and then proceed to Kaļķu iela. Make another right there and walk to I-2, the House of Blackheads, the new town hall, I-1 and the Latvian Riflemen Monument. Next walk to where Grēcinieku and Kungu streets meet to explore the I-2, Mentzendorff House. After a short tour of the house continue down Grēcinieku (away from the river) 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 the church for excellent views. On Skārņu you’ll also 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 Chekov Russian Drama Theatre and the Cat House as well as some beautiful medieval buildings. This concludes your walking tour of Old Riga. You can relax with a karstais balzams (heated black currant juice with a shot of Riga black balzams) at one of the restaurants here or just do some shopping. If you’d like to see a video of this tour visit:

Index 3 pavāru restorāns 42 Academy of Sciences 64 Alberta iela 58 Albert Hotel 73 Aldaris Beer Museum 60 Alus arsenāls 38 Alus muiža 48 Andrejsala 17 Apsara 30 Aragats 26 Area Tours 15 Arena 29 56 Art Hotel Laine 74 Art Nouveau Riga 66 Aussie Pub 54 Austra 34 Avis 13 Baltic Beach Hotel 74 Balts 26 Baltu Rotas 66 Barona 114 17 Bastion Hill 63 Beerfox/Callous Alus 66 Bellevue Park Hotel Riga 73 Bestsellers 34 BIBLIOTĒKA No1 Restorāns 42 Bierhaus 32 Big Bad Bagels 28 Black Cat Souvenir Shop 66 Blues 54 Jazz 52 Bon Vivant 37 Boulangerie Bonjour 28 Brooklyn Pub & Whiskey Room 48 Brothers’ Cemetery 63 Budget 13 Burga 34 Bus Station 14 Cadets de Gascogne 28 Castle of Light - National Library 63 Central Hostel 76 Central Market 63, 67 Central Station 15 Charlestons 28 Chomsky 44 COD Bar 51 COD Robata Grill Bar 34 Coyote Fly 50 Cuba Café 51 Depo 50 Dodo Hotel 76 Doma Hostel 76 Donegan’s Pub 54

Donera Kebabs 36 Dragon Box 36 ECOLINES 14 EgiCarRent 13 El Santo X 40 Fazenda 29 FERMA 42 Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs 38, 52 Fontaine Delisnack Riga 28, 52 Food Box 36 Forest Park 63 Freedom Monument 65 Friends 50 Funny Fox 44 Gallery Putti 67 Gan Bei 26 Gauja 44 Golden 52 Good Stay Jūrnieks Hotel 76 Grēcinieku iela tunnel 17 Gutenbergs 34 Gutenbergs Rooftop Terrace 41 HHC 44 Himalaju-Āzijas virtuve 26 Homestay 75 Hotel Felicia 75 Hotel Gutenbergs 73 Hotel Neiburgs 72 House of Blackheads 64 Indian Raja 32 Jakob Lenz Guesthouse 75 Jāņa Sēta 66 Jews in Latvia Museum 60 Jockey Club 49 Kalnciems Fair 67 Key to Riga 38 KGB Building 65 KID* 34 Kiwi Bar 44 Klondaika 55 Klondaika Tex-Mex 40 Kolonāde. Our Stories 42 KOYA 34 Krogs Aptieka 44 Krušovice Sporta bārs 55 KwakInn 37 La Belle Époque 56 Labi 49 Labietis 49 La Buccia Fine Shoes 67 Laima 67

Laima Chocolate Museum 60 La Rocca Revolution 50 Latvian Ethnographic Museum 58 Latvian National Museum of Art 61 Latvian Railway Museum 61 Latvian Railways 15 Lauku Ceļotājs 77 Leningrad 46 LIDO 36 LIDO DZIRNAVAS 38 Lidojošā Varde 55 LIDO LEISURE CENTER 38 LIDO VĒRMANĪTIS 38 Lira 66 Live Riga Tourist Information Centres 10 Lotus 26 Lux Express 14 MÁDARA 66 Martinelli 29 Mazā Kaņepe 29 Meet Point Pizza Bar 40 Mentzendorff’s House 61 MiiT 31 MiiT courtyard 17 Milti 30 Moloney’s Pub 55 Mon Amour 30 Monika Centrum Hotel 73 Moonshine 52 Moscow District bridge 17 Muffins and More 32 Museum of Decorative Arts & Design 61 Museum of Riga’s History and Navigation 61 MUUSU 42 Nabaklab 50 Naples 35 National History Museum of Latvia 62 NB 54 Neiburgs 42 Nemiers 46 Old City Walls & Swedish Gate 64 OlyBet Sports Bar 56 Olympic Casino - OlyBet 50 Omas briljanta istaba 46 On Cloud 9 30 Optibet Sports Bar 56

OLD RIGA STREET REGISTER 11. novembra krastmala I-1/J-2 13. janvāra I/J-3 Aklā H-1 Akmens tilts 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 bulv. 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

82 Riga In Your Pocket

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

Orthodox Cathedral 59 Osīriss 28, 30 Otrā Elpa 67 Paddy Whelan’s Irish Pub & Sports Bar 56 Pelmeņi XL 31 Per Se 34 Pica Rīga 36 Piccolo Uno 35 Piens 50 Pizza Lulū 36 Pūce 50 Pullman Riga Old Town Hotel 72 Queens Public House 56 Radisson Blu Daugava Hotel 74 Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija 74 Radisson Blu Ridzene Hotel 72 Rainis and Aspazija’s House 61 Reformation Church 59 Restaurant Bellevue 42 Restorāns 3 43 Ribs & Rock 28 RigaApartment Gertruda 72 RigaApartment Sonada 72 Riga Art Nouveau Museum 62 Riga Bourse Art Museum 62 Riga Castle 64 Riga Cathedral 58 Riga Hostel 77 Riga International Airport 12 Riga Motor Museum 62 Riga National Zoo 64 Riga Old Town Hostel 77 Riga Passenger Terminal 13 Rīgas Balzams 46 Riga Sunset Lounge 43 Riga Synagogue 60 Riija 67 Rixwell Old Riga Palace Hotel 74 Rocket Bean Roastery 30 Roland statue 65 Runcis 56 Singh’s 32 Skanste 76 Sokrats 35 Soraksans 37

Soviet Victory Monument 65 Sparģeļu iela 17 Spitaki 32 Spot Kafé 51 St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Church 59 Stambula Kebabi 37 Stargorod 32 Star Lounge 51 Steiku Haoss 41 St. James Cathedral 59 St. John’s Church 59 St. Peter’s Church 58 Street Burgers 29 Sun Museum 62 T73 Gastrobar 28 Taka 48 Tallink Hotel Riga 74 Tavs Banh Mi 43 Thai Station 41 The Armoury Bar 48 The Left Door Bar 52 The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia (1940 - 1991) 58 The Naughty Squirrel 77 The Oak Lounge 55 TIA Hotel 75 Tinto 57 Torņakalns bridge 17 Traktieris 40 Travel2Riga 15, 54 Trompete 52 Two Wheels Hotel 76 Uzbegims 31 Vairāk Saules 35, 36 Valmiermuižas alus 38 Valters un Rapa 66 Victory Pub 56 Vīna Studija 57 Vincents 43 Vīns ar odziņu 57 V. Ķuze 30 Volmar 66 Walters & Grapa 49 Wellton Centrum Hotel & SPA 74 XIII 52 Zapte 57 Ze Donats 32 Zelta karpa 31 Zivju lete 41

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 bulvāris 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 bulvāris) G/H-2 Zirgu H-2 Bus Station J-3 Riga Info Centre I-2 Freedom Monument H-3

Riga In Your Pocket  

Essential city guide to RIga the capital of Latvia

Riga In Your Pocket  

Essential city guide to RIga the capital of Latvia