As Latvia’s capital city, this was such a vibrant place to visit. After the quaint feel of Tallinn, Riga was so cool and exciting, with loads of bars, restaurants, cafes, museums, gothic architecture and so much more.
Naughty Squirrel Hostel
Honestly, if you are planning to stay in Riga and want something fun and lively, definitely choose the Naughty Squirrel. One of the coolest hostels we have ever stayed in- drink on arrival, organised pub-crawls, plus all of the staff were fantastic. If you get the chance, try the Riga Black Balsam (a local shot) which tasted a little like Jaiger Meister, although they do a better tasting version too.
Located along the edge of the river is the Central Market. This awesome market is housed inside and around four large hangers that were originally used for zeppelins. It really was the best market I have ever seen, selling everything you would ever need- fish, meat, bakery goods, clothing, electrical items, fruit, vegetables etc.
KGb Building File No. 1914/2014
Riga has a lot of recent history, which we wanted to learn more about. We walked out of the old town and to the KGB museum, a former secret police headquarters. Latvians called it “the house on the corner,” avoiding the building itself during the Soviet occupation of the country between 1940 and 1991. The museum exhibition itself was free to get into and you can purchase tickets for a tour if you want to. It was interesting to find out what awful things went on in the building through various displays of text, diary entries, photos, prisoner’s personal effects and videos.
Museum of Illusions
To lighten the mood, we then went to the Museum of Illusions. This was brilliant fun and definitely worth checking out. Inside were all sorts of weird illusions, including a maze of mirrors, an upside room and a room of perspective. It was hilarious.
Viewpoint of Riga
One of the best views of Riga from above was from the top of the Science Museum. It was only a short walk, just beyond the Central Market and a reasonable price of 5 Euros. The 360-degree view was very impressive, looking across Riga and the surrounding forests.
Best places for food and drink
Riga is a very lively city, with loads of places for food. Whilst staying there, we went to a number of awesome places.
Street Burgers: For some of the best homemade burgers in Riga, you have to go to Street Burger. There are a few of them across the city. They really know how to make tasty burgers, delicious sweet potato fries and the nicest chocolate milkshake too.
Central Market: This was a great place to pick up snacks, cakes and fruit, and there are a couple of cafes inside too, which serve some nice Danish pastries and cakes.
Lido: A random self-service restaurant that serves local and traditional food, but all of it was very tasty.
The Armoury Bar: This was a cool bar with some awesome music, serving some local beers. The bar displayed a variety of weapons on the walls to add to the theme and was a great place to chill at the end of the evening.