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Maps Events Restaurants Cafs Nightlife Sightseeing Shopping Hotels

Riga
October - November 2016

Street Art

Urban beauty hiding in


plain sight

Unusual Statues

Explore Rigas
unlikeliest monuments

inyourpocket.com
N123- FREE COPY

Contents
Sports & Leisure

68

Bowling alleys, gun ranges and swimming pools

E S S E N TI A L
C I TY G U I D E S

Useful Addresses

70

Spas, doctors, business contacts and more

Foreword

Gossip and rants from the editor

Hotels

72

Beds for backpackers and business executives

Arrival & Getting Around

10

How to get to your hotel

Riga Basics

16

Getting to grips with Riga

Street Art 17
Urban beauty hidden in plain sight

Culture & Events 18


Concerts, festivals and events

Rigas Unlikeliest Statues 25


Unusual monuments in the Latvian capital

Restaurants

26

From pork knuckle and sauerkraut to sushi

Nightlife

44

Bars, pubs and clubs

Sightseeing

58

Museums, churches and the like

Shopping

66

Boutiques, souvenir shops and shopping centres

List of small features


Our favourites
A guide for beer snobs
Canal boats
Janis Rozentls
Staro Rga Light Festival
90 years in the making
Ancient Chinese art
Dont 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

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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 citys cultural life is
reinvigorated giving Riga a much needed shot of adrenaline when its 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 Rigas 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 theres 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 cevei
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@inyourpocket.lv,
www.inyourpocket.com
Riga In Your Pocket is printed by SIA DuGa six times per year
Editorial
Editor Mrti Zaprauskis
Layout & Design Mrti Zaprauskis
Photography Mrti Zaprauskis, unless otherwise noted.
Events and culture photos courtesy of various media groups
and concert organisers.
Cover Mrti Zaprauskis

COVER STORY

Sales & Circulation


irts Upenieks, tel. (+371) 67 22 05 80, girts@inyourpocket.lv
Jana Gorkuenko, jana.gorkusenko@inyourpocket.com

This issues cover features one of


Rigas most recognisable landmarks St. Peters 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 cevei. Maps copyright
SIA Karu izdevniecba Ja sta. 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
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ABOUT IYP
ESTONIA
RUSSIA

LATVIA
LITHUANIA

NORTHERN
IRELAND
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NETHERLANDS
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8 Riga In Your Pocket

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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 youll 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 youll find a ticket machine where you can buy
public transport tickets. Getting to town: trams N7 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 Vecrga-Vau iela into
Old Riga. The cabs outside are notoriously dodgy, so if
youd like to travel farther afield then either order a taxi by
phone (see p.13) or use public transport. QJ-3, Prgas 1,
www.autoosta.lv.
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 caf (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

M.Zaprauskis

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, Rtslaukums 6, tel. (+371) 67
03 79 00, info@rigatic.lv, www.liveriga.com. Open
10:00 - 18:00. Also at H-2, Kau 16, tel. (+371) 67
22 74 44; J-3, Prgas 1 (Bus station), (+371) 67 22
05 55. A
BY PLANE
The airport (lidosta) is some 10km southwest of the Riga
city centre. Once youve got your bags and youve 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 youve 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
N22 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 N222 costs the same, but doesnt 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.
riga-airport.com.
BY TRAIN
The train station (centrl 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 (Centrl zle) where youll 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 (valtas maias) 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. Peters Church,
then walk through the underpass and follow the signs 13.
janvra iela and turn right onto Aspazijas bulvris. QD-4,
Stacijas laukums.
riga.inyourpocket.com

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 N22
leaving from Grcinieku iela will take you there for 1.15
(2 if you buy a ticket from the driver). For departure times
visit www.rigassatiksme.lv.
The airport has undergone major improvements over
the years including a new terminal for low cost airlines. A
TGIFridays 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 cant stand airplane food. A sushi restaurant, a pizzeria and some local cafs are available on the other side of
the security checkpoint as well as a variety of duty free and
paid shops, including Victorias Secret and Furla. For more
information visit its comprehensive website.Qtel. (+371)
1817 (toll call)/(+371) 29 31 18 17 (toll call from abroad),
www.riga-airport.com.

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), www.airbaltic.lv. Open 05:00 - 23:00.
FINNAIR
Direct flights to Helsinki.QAirport, tel. (+371) 67 20 70 10,
www.finnair.com.
LOT (POLISH AIRLINES)
Direct flights to Warsaw.QAirport, tel. (+371) 67 20 71 13,
www.lot.com.
LUFTHANSA
Direct flights to Frankfurt.QAirport, tel. (+371) 67 50 77
11, www.lufthansa.com.
NORWEGIAN
Norways low cost airline offers cheap direct flights to Oslo
and Trondheim as well as Stockholm and Copenhagen.
Qwww.norwegian.no.
RYANAIR
Europes 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).Qwww.ryanair.com.
SAS SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES
Direct flights to Stockholm (Arlanda).Qtel. (+371) 67 20 55
77, www.flysas.com.

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

AIRPORT INQUIRIES SERVICE


12 Riga In Your Pocket

riga.inyourpocket.com

Arriving & Getting Around


SWISS
Direct flights to Zrich.Qtel. (+371) 66 16 36 81, www.
swiss.com.
TURKISH AIRLINES
Direct flights to Istanbul and Antalya.QAirport, tel. (+371)
67 21 00 94, www.turkishairlines.com. Open 09:00 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
UZBEKISTAN AIRWAYS
Direct flights to New York (JFK) and Tashkent.QB3, Elizabetes 11, tel. (+371) 67 32 45 63, www.uzairways.com.
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 Stavanger.Qwww.wizzair.com.

CAR RENTAL
AUTO
Only 30 - 50/day and an English-speaking driver can also
be hired if you dont 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.
carsrent.lv. 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, www.avis.lv.
Open 08:30 - 20:30, Sat 09:30 - 19:30, Sun 09:30 - 20:30.
Also at J-3, 13. janvra 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. janvra 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, www.egi.lv. Open
24hrs. A

FERRIES
RIGA PASSENGER TERMINAL
If youre travelling to Riga with Tallink from Stockholm then
youll arrive here.QB3, Eksporta 3a, tel. (+371) 67 32 62
00, www.portofriga.lv.
TALLINK
Tallink provides regular ferry service between Riga and
Stockholm every other day.QB2, Eksporta 3a, tel. (+371)
67 09 97 00, www.tallink.com. Open 09:00 - 19:00. Also
at D-4, Stacijas laukums 2 (Train station - Tunnel A).
Open 09:00 - 21:00. A
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October - November 2016

13

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

CITY
KALININGRAD**
KAUNAS**
KAUNAS**
MINSK**
MOSCOW**
PRNU*
PRNU*
PRNU**
PRNU**
ST. PETERSBURG*
ST. PETERSBURG*
ST. PETERSBURG**
ST. PETERSBURG**
ST. PETERSBURG**
ST. PETERSBURG**
TALLINN*
TALLINN*
TALLINN*
TALLINN*
TALLINN**
TALLINN**
TALLINN**
TALLINN**
TALLINN**
TALLINN**
TALLINN**
TARTU*
TARTU**
TARTU**
VILNIUS*
VILNIUS*
VILNIUS*
VILNIUS**
VILNIUS**
VILNIUS**
VILNIUS**
VILNIUS**
VILNIUS**

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 (www.autoosta.lv). 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.QJ3, Prgas 1, tel. (+371) 90
00 00 09, www.autoosta.lv.
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
www.ecolines.net. Most buses offer free coffee or tea onboard as well as electrical sockets for recharging devices
and free wi-fi.QJ3, Prgas 1 (Bus station), tel. (+371) 67
21 45 12, www.ecolines.net. 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.QJ3, Prgas 1 (Bus station),
tel. (+371) 67 78 13 50, www.luxexpress.eu/lv. 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 (Rgas 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 mikri, passenger vans that list their destinations and route numbers on
their windscreens. They are a scourge to urban transit as
theyll 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 Authoritys website www.
rigassatiksme.lv.
riga.inyourpocket.com

Arriving & Getting Around

TAXIS

TRAINS

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 (CENTRL STACIJA)


Tickets for immediate departures have to be bought in
the main ticket hall on the right side of the main entrance,
counters N1 to 13. Tickets for international trains are sold at
counters N1 to 6. Do not confuse perons (the platform) and
ce (the track). They are numbered separately in Latvia and
can be quite confusing. Pietur means stops and nepietur
means doesnt 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.QD4, Stacijas laukums, tel.
(+371) 1181, www.pv.lv. Open 05:00 - 24:00.

BALTIC TAXI
The bright green Baltic Taxis are among the most reliable
cabs in Riga.Qaka 148-7, tel. (+371) 20 00 85 00, www.
baltictaxi.lv. Open 24hrs. A
RED CAB (RGAS 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, redcab.lv. 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, www.carsrent.lv.
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.QI2, Tirgou 10, tel. (+371) 22 08 46 13, www.
travel2riga.com. A
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LATVIAN RAILWAYS (LATVIJAS DZELZCE)


QD4, Gogoa 3, tel. (+371) 1181/(+371) 67 23 11 81
(from abroad), www.pv.lv.

A tram buzzes by Bastion Hill

M.Zaprauskis

October - November 2016

15

Riga Basics
ALCOHOL

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

For a while Latvia had the dubious honour of holding


the record for the worlds 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 dont suggest you attempt to break any records, we
do hope you enjoy a local drink in moderation while in
Riga. Uavas and Valmiermuias are among the nations
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 havent given Latvians


much cause to celebrate, hence an acute lack of days off for
the working man. Pagan Midsummer celebrations are the
nations most popular holidays when locals head out to the
countryside for bonfires, beer and assorted fertility rites.
January 1
New Years Day (Jaungads)
April 14, 2017
Good Friday (Liel piektdiena)
April 16, 2017
Easter Sunday (Lieldienas)
April 17, 2017
Easter Monday (Otrs Lieldienas)
May 1
Labour Day (Strdnieku diena)
May 4
Independence day in 1990
June 23 - 24
Midsummer celebrations

(Lgo & Ji)
November 18
Independence day in 1918
Dec 24 - 26
Christmas (Ziemassvtki)
Dec 31
New Years 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 Strlnieku 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, Brvbas bulv. 32, tel. (+371) 67
50 28 15/(+371) 67 00 80 01, www.pasts.lv. 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

ROADS

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 weve marked the establishments that accept them.

Latvia has some of the worlds worst drivers. Its not that
they cant steer or press the break pedal, although for
some reason Latvians cant master the art of parallel parking, its 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.

SCAMS

University of Latvia overlooking the canal

16 Riga In Your Pocket

M.Zaprauskis

Some strip clubs, nightclubs and late night bars take advantage of inebriated patrons. Be wary of attractive girls on
Lvu Square asking you to join them for a drink in a nearby
bar. Youll 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.
riga.inyourpocket.com

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 Rigas
urban landscape are ill-conceived tags by pubescent hooligans whove yet to discover similarly vain pursuits on social media pages. Theyre the scourge of the city and even
medieval churches havent 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 its hard to make a convenient and comprehensive walking tour of them all in one day.
With this in mind weve added the closest, if not entirely
related sights underneath each location, so you dont have
to travel to the ends of the earth just to see one mural.
ANDREJSALA
Andrejsala is home to the citys
best waterfront restaurants, but
if you do a little exploring youll
also discover some great street
art on the back side of an old garage just opposite the KOYA restaurant. Youll see unusual green
creatures that appear to be celebrating Midsummers Eve
with gusto. QB2, Andejsalas 2 k-8. Nearby cafs & shops:
KOYA, Riga Sunset Lounge and Spirits & Wine.
BARONA 114
Although this doesnt 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. QB6, Barona
114. Nearby sights: Spareu iela street art, Grzikalns
Neighbourhood, Wooden Riga and Ziedodrzs Park.
GRCINIEKU TUNNEL
Although its 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 Grcinieku
iela with the Daugava river promenade.QI1, Grcinieku
iela. Nearby sights: House of Blackheads, Town Hall
Square, Roland Statue and Mentzendorffs House.
facebook.com/rigainyourpocket

MIIT COURTYARD
The owners of the popular MiiT
vegetarian caf and bike shop
have commissioned a piece of
street art thats out of this world.
Orange aliens straight out of a
Simpsons episode seem to be
shooting at four-eyed foxes on
bikes. On weekdays its often partially obscured by cars,
but its usually fully visible at night and on weekends.QB/
C4, Lpla 10. Nearby sights & cafs: 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 Lpla steets meet. Its
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 theres lots of car and tram traffic here, so
stick to the sidewalks to be safe.QE5, Elijas, Maskavas &
Lpla streets. Nearby sights: Central Market, Warehouse District and Riga Ghetto Museum.
SPAREU IELA
Although theres plenty of lowend graffiti in the 19th-century
working-class neighbourhood
of Grzikalns, an outstanding
example of street art can be
found by one of the entrances
to the Ziedodrzs Park. The
top half of the wooden buildings wall is now home to a
big hairy rat. Its odd, to say the least, but definitely intriguing.QC6, Spareu 5. Nearby sights: Barona 114 street
art, Grzikalns Neighbourhood, Wooden Riga and
Ziedodrzs Park.
TORAKALNS 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. Thompsons Raoul Duke in
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Take tram No.10 from
Grcinieku to the Torakalna stacija stop. Bear in mind that
youre 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 Torakalns station on a Jrmala bound train.
Itll be on your right side.QF. Brvzemnieka iela. Nearby
sights: Riga Luther Church, Arcadia Park and the Soviet
Victory Monument.
October - November 2016

17

Culture & Events


Perhaps the best aspect of Rigas 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 inyourpocket.com/riga/events.

CINEMAS
FORUM CINEMAS
Forum Cinemas is the second largest cinema complex in
Northern Europe.QI3, 13. janvra 8, forumcinemas.lv.
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.QC4, Elizabetes 83/85, tel. (+371) 67 28 54
11, www.kinogalerija.lv. (5).

CLUBS & OTHER VENUES


ANGLICAN CHURCH (ST. SAVIOURS)
Church services are still held in English here every Sunday
and it also hosts the occasional concert.QH1, Angliku
2a, tel. (+371) 67 22 22 59, www.anglicanriga.lv.
DEPO
Underground club thats a venue for indie, industrial and
experimental groups.QI2, Vau 32, tel. (+371) 67 22 01
14, www.klubsdepo.lv.
FOLK CLUB ALA
Local folk music concerts most days of the week.QI2,
Peldu 19, tel. (+371) 27 79 69 14, www.folkklubs.lv.
K.K. VON STRICKS VILLA
This former mansion and its shabby chic rooms are occasionally used for fashion shows, seminars, concerts, special events
and weddings.QA5, A. Brina 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
N1 to the Brvdabas muzejs stop.QBrvbas gatve 440,
tel. (+371) 67 99 45 15, www.brivdabasmuzejs.lv. 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.QE3, Mkusalas 3, www.lnb.lv.

English singer-songwriter Passenger will perform at Palladium Riga on


October 9 at 20:00. Photo courtesy of FBI - www.fbi.lv

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 (Skau Mes)
adventurous music. R.
13 18:00 Andrew Lee plays Dennis
Johnsons November (USA);
www.skanumezs.lv
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; www.skanumezs.lv.
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

Venue
MP
DP
RCC
SG
AR
PR
MP

GG
RCC
DP

RBM

PR
RH

DMH

DP
AR
ALA

riga.inyourpocket.com

Culture & Events

15

20:00

19

22:00

20 22

19:00

20

22:00

21

19:00

22

20:00

22

19:30

22

20:00

22

23:00

23

16:00
20:00

23

18:00

23

19:00

26 28

19:00

Sound Forest (Skau Mes)


festival featuring Tropic
of Cancer (USA), Zebra
Katz (USA), M.E.S.H. (USA), DMH
Black Spirituals (USA), Killing Sound (UK) and more;
skanumezs.lv. 10 - 20
Nervosa (Brazil). Trash
DP
metal. 10
Frank Sinatra 100 with
Daumants Kalni 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
lafestivals.lv. 25
Korpiklaani (Finland) and
Skalmld (Iceland). FolkMP
metal concert. 8
Frank Sinatra 100 with
Daumants Kalni and the DMH
Jelgava Bigband. 12 - 28

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

facebook.com/rigainyourpocket

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 - FB.com/ltipsagency

27

29

29

Black Tongue (UK). Doomcore metal. 8


Porta Music Festival.
Banda Magda (USA), Arto
18:00 Tunboyaciyan (USA) and
Elza Rozentle (LV); www.
festivalporta.lv. 18 - 28
22:00 Autopilot (Hungary). Rock
20:00

MP

DMH

DP

Nov

19:30

18:00

19:00

12:00
16:00

19:00

18:30

19:00

Kings on Ice. Ice-skating


stars like Stphane Lambiel, Evgeni Plushenko,
AR
Adelina Sotnikova and
others. 5 - 55
Porta Music Festival. Dom
La Nena (Brazil), Cheikh L
(Senegal), Bri un msas
DMH
(LV) and Ralfs Eilands (LV);
www.festivalporta.lv.
18 - 28
KOK World GP 2016 Riga
AR
Final. 15 - 300
Martins 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.
Helose Ph. Palmer (piano)
RRC
performs In Love With
Liberty. 7
Luca Stricagnoli (Italy).
The guitar virtuoso live.
GG
15 - 35
October - November 2016

19

Culture & Events

20:00

22:00

10

19:00

11
12

19:00

12

19:00

12

19:00

12

20:00

12

22:00

15

19:30

17

20:00

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
Lplsis 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.
skanumezs.lv. 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 L (Senegal), Dom La
Nena (Brazil) and others. Photo courtesy of www.festivalporta.lv

20 Riga In Your Pocket

MELN PIEKTDIENA (BLACK FRIDAY)


The only club in Riga dedicated to heavy metal music. Take
tram N6 from Barona to the VEF stop.QBrvbas 193c, tel.
(+371) 29 87 94 75, www.melnapiektdiena.lv.
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/I2, Kau 12, tel. (+371) 67 22 22 03/(+371) 26 65 63
68, www.moonshineriga.lv. Open 11:00 - 05:00.

CONCERT HALLS
ARENA RIGA
A venue for both sporting events like the Kontinental
Hockey League and large concerts.QA4, Skanstes 21,
tel. (+371) 67 38 82 00, www.arenariga.com.
DAILE MUSIC HOUSE (MZIKAS NAMS DAILE)
A former cinema is now a venue for Latvian concerts.
QC4, Barona 31, tel. (+371) 67 96 98 54, dailesnams.lv.
DZINTARI CONCERT HALL
Jrmalas largest events venue.QTuraidas 1, Jrmala, tel.
(+371) 67 76 20 92, www.dzintarukoncertzale.lv.
GREAT GUILD (LIEL ILDE)
Home of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra.QH2,
Amatu 6, tel. (+371) 67 22 48 50, www.lnso.lv.
PSALA HALL
A large venue for trade fairs and concerts on the left bank
of the river.QC2, psalas 8, tel. (+371) 67 06 50 00,
www.bt1.lv.

18

18

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18

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26

20:00

26

23:00

27

20:00

30

19:30

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 Aui.
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 Taurtji. Ainars
Mielavs & friends perform
classic Jauns Mness and
Mielavs songs with wind
instruments. 21
Ani Lorak (Ukraine). Pop
singer . 20 - 80

AR

KH

PR
MS

FSV

RCC

riga.inyourpocket.com

Culture & Events


OPERA & BALLET
Oct
Tickets: 8 - 60; opera.lv
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
Zoltn Kodly
The Immured, Latvian op13 19:00
OP
era, Eenvalds & Zandere
14 19:00 Copplia, 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
Lsns
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

Get the In Your Pocket


City Essentials app
Nov
2
3
4
5
6

9
10
11
12
13

13
16

17

19
20
23
24
25

26

Watch the Latvian National Opera & Ballet perform Tchaikovskys


Sleeping Beauty on October 9. Photo courtesy of www.opera.lv

facebook.com/rigainyourpocket

27

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 Bayadre, 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
Eenvalds & Zandere
Scheherezade and Her
Tales. Ballet. Music by
19:00
Rimsky-Korsakov and
Zoltn Kodly
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

OP
OP
OP
OP
OPN

OP
OP
OP
OP
OPN

OP
OP

OP

OP
OP
OP
OP
OP

OP

OP

October - November 2016

21

Culture & Events


CLASSICAL MUSIC
Oct
Date Time Event
Venue
Kristne Opolais (soprano).
Programme: F.Cilea,
4
19:00
OP
G.Puccini, C.Saint-Sans
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 Rga. Programme:
Mozart, Mendelssohn and
Bellini. 7 - 25
R.Zari and the Latvian
National Symphony Orches7
19:00
GG
tra. Programme: R.Strauss &
V.Drzi. 25 - 35
Aija Zite (organ) and
7
19:00 Ivars Bezprozvanovs
RC
(cello). 10 - 20
Autumn Chamber Music
Festival. Inga Kalna (soprano) and Dina Ketlere
DZH
8
19:00
(piano). Programme:
R.Strauss, A.Kalni and
J.Medi. 7 - 25
Autumn Chamber Music
Festival. An Evening of
12 19:00
SG
Sonatas by Beethoven,
Debussy and Franck. 10
Jurjnu Andrejs International Competition
14 19:00 final. Felix Renggli (flute /
GG
Switzerland). Programme:
I.Bree'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 - www.arenafest.lv

22 Riga In Your Pocket

14

19:00

15

20:00

19

19:00

19

19:00

21
&
22

19:00

21

19:00

22

17:00

25

19:00

28
&
29

19:00

28

19:00

Organ concert. Edte


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.
Matss udars and the Latvi- RBM
an Radio Choir. Programme:
Karlheinz Stockhausen &
M.udars. 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. Elna
HB
Buka, 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
Rga. 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 Arnicne performs
Water Moods. Programme:
ZB
F. Chopin, C. Debussy, F.
Liszt and J. Vtols. 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.Berliozs
La Damnation de Faust
Tlivaldis Deksnis jubilee
concert. Programme:
RC
J.Vtols, M.Einfelde, P.Vasks
and Z.Liepi. 10 - 20

riga.inyourpocket.com

Culture & Events

26

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

Nov
4

16

19

24

25

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.Liepi (piano) and
19:00
Madara Liepia (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
Rga. Programme: Qigang
Chen, Tchaikovsky and
L.v.Beethoven. 7 - 25

facebook.com/rigainyourpocket

RCC

SG

GG

SG

SG

AC

SG

GG

30

LNSO - 90. Gunrs 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
Elna imkus, the Ave
Sol chamber choir and
the Riga Orchestra. Pro19:00
gramme: Bach, Schubert,
Mozart, Haydn, Dvok
and popular Christmas
carols. 10 - 20
Bach Chamber Music Festival. Musica Antiqua Roma
19:00 (Italy) with Ricardo Minasi (viloin). Programme:
chamber music

GG

RC

SG

LATVIAN NATIONAL OPERA & BALLET


A magnificent venue for opera, ballet and international
performing artists.QH3, Aspazijas bulv. 3, tel. (+371) 67
07 37 77, www.opera.lv.
PALLADIUM RGA
A former cinema has been converted into a concert hall.
QC4/5, Marijas 21 (entrance from Prses), tel. (+371)
67 28 45 16, www.palladium.lv.
RIGA CATHEDRAL (DOMA BAZNCA)
The destination for world-class organ concerts.QH1,
Doma laukums 1, tel. (+371) 67 21 32 13, www.doms.lv.
RIGA CONGRESS CENTRE (KONGRESU NAMS)
A large venue for dance concerts, musicals, plays and of
course conferences.QF2, Valdemra 5, tel. (+371) 67 04
36 78, www.kongresunams.lv.
SMALL GUILD (MAZ ILDE)
Popular venue for small concerts and events.QH2, Amatu 3/5, tel. (+371) 67 22 37 72, www.gilde.lv/maza.
SPERI
The national chamber orchestra Sinfonietta Riga performs
at this chic renovated warehouse.QD/E4, Maskavas 4,
korp. 2/3, tel. (+371) 67 21 50 18, sinfoniettariga.lv.
ZIEMEBLZMA 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 Ziemeblzma
station.QZiemeblzmas 36, tel. (+371) 67 84 88 49,
ziemelblazma.riga.lv.

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23

Culture & Events


GALLERIES
ARSENLS 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.QH1, Tora 1, tel.
(+371) 67 35 75 27, www.lnmm.lv. 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.QB4, Sporta 2, tel. (+371) 67
22 33 21, www.kim.lv. 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.QI2, Peitavas 5
- 31 (entrance from Mrstau), tel. (+371) 67 21 42 29,
www.putti.lv. 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
BIEU PARADZE (TICKET PARADISE)
Tickets to mostly Latvian events such as theatre productions as well as opera and ballet performances.QG1, Kronvalda bulv. 2 (National Theatre), tel. (+371) 90 00 20
00, www.bilesuparadize.lv. 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, Brvbas 75) and
Puppet Theatre (C-4, Barona 16/18). A
BIEU SERVISS (TICKET SERVICE)
You can buy tickets to major concerts by international stars
online or at one of its many outlets around Riga.QI3, 13.
janvra 8 (Stockmann - top floor), www.bilesuserviss.lv.
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 (Jrmala)

EM - Ethnographic Museum FC - Forum Cinemas
FSV - Fon Stickas Villa
GG - Great Guild
HB - Blackheads House
KC - Kalnciems Quarter
KH - psala Hall

LNL - National Library
MP - Meln 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 - Speri Concert Hall ZB - Ziemeblzma
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 Skarsgrd
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

FC
FC
FC
FC

Hang Massive (UK/Sweden), the worlds most renowned hang drum


duo will perform at the Great Guild on October 11 at 19:00. Photo
courtesy of Trade Hub Productions - FB.com/tradehubproductions

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Rigas Unlikeliest Statues


You havent been to Riga unless youve seen the Freedom
Monument and if youre 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. Youll 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 worlds largest observatory in Samarkand.
Today you can take a gander at his fierce, yet learned visage across the street from the (B-3) Auseka iela tram stop
on Kronvalda bulvris. 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 citys 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.

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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 its 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

25

Restaurants
A thin-crust pizza, fresh sushi, hearty pork knuckle or an Armenian shashlik are never far from your fingertips in Riga
and many cafs 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! QC3, Jura Alunna 2a,
tel. (+371) 67 37 34 45, www.aragats.lv. 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.QC4, ertrdes 27, tel. (+371) 29 02 02 00, www.
balts.lv. 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
thats 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 Valmiermuia 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.QC4, Dzirnavu 67 (Galleria Riga - 7th floor), tel. (+371) 67 28 84 20,
www.ganbei.lv. Open 10:00 - 23:00. (7 - 12). AVS
26 Riga In Your Pocket

SYMBOL KEY
A Accepts credit cards P Air conditioning
O Casino

T Child-friendly

V Home delivery

E Live music

J Old town location B Outside seating


X Smoking section

S Takeaway

W Wi-fi

HIMALAJU-ZIJAS 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
were 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 its 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.QB5, Brvbas 102, tel. (+371) 20 37 29 38,
www.npasiankitchen.com. Open 10:00 - 21:00. Closed
Sun. Also at C-4, Blaumaa 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 weve 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
didnt 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, theres also a service button
on each table, so you can quickly order the bill and be on
your way.QB4, Dzirnavu 39. Open 11:00 - 22:00. Also at
G/H-1, Tora 4 (Jkaba kazarmas). (6 - 12). A

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ENJOY THE REAL TASTE


OF LATVIA AT LIDO!

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 www.lido.lv

LIDO Alus sta


Tirgou street 6,
Riga

LIDO Vrmantis
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.
QG1, Jkaba 20/22, tel. (+371) 67 32 57 07, www.
boulangeriebonjour.lv. Open 07:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun
10:00 - 18:00. (2 - 5). AW
OSRISS
Osiris specialises in omelettes but it also serves bacon
and egg sandwiches, pancakes and even oatmeal.
QC4, Barona 31, tel. (+371) 67 24 30 02, osiris@
ticino.lv, www.cafeosiris.lv. 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.
QB5, Trbatas 73, tel. (+371) 25 49 55 45, t73.lv.
Open 24hrs. (5 - 15). ALW

BAGELS
BIG BAD BAGELS
This charming little bagel bistro, which is already a hit with
the citys American expat population, offers a number
of different bagels served with a wide variety of fillings.
Although were quite partial to the big breakfast sandwich bursting with fried eggs and bacon on a jalapeo
and cheese bagel, we also recommend the classic cream
cheese and lox and pretty much anything else thats 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.QC4,
Bazncas 8, tel. (+371) 24 55 65 85, bigbadbagels.com.
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 Laranes 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 pt, quiches, strong coffee,
and fresh-squeezed orange juice also make this boulangerie a favourite retreat.QG2, Z.A. Meierovica bulv. 8, tel.
(+371) 67 32 01 03, www.cadets.lv. Open 07:00 - 22:00.
Also at C-4, Elizabetes 83/85 / Marijas 13 (Berga Bazrs).
Open 07:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 09:00 - 21:00; C-5, Barona 52
(entrance from ertrdes); B-4, Brvbas 73. Open 07:00 22:00, Sun 09:00 - 20:00; C-5, ertrdes 30, tel. (+371) 67
87 62 65. Open 08:00 - 20:00. Closed Sun; B-4, Valdemra
37. Open 07:00 - 21:00, Sun 09:00 - 19:00. A
28 Riga In Your Pocket

BARBECUE
CHARLESTONS
Weve been big fans of this casual, yet elegant restaurant in
the city centre for years and if you drop by youll 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) thats fun for the whole family.QC4/5, Blaumaa
38/40, tel. (+371) 67 77 05 73, www.charlestons.lv. 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
youre 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.QI2,
Kau 8, tel. (+371) 28 65 04 50, www.ribsrestaurant.lv.
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 genskalns 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 thats good, bad or ugly.QE1, Maz Nometu
34B, tel. (+371) 20 59 55 59, www.fontaineriga.lv. Open
24hrs. Also at A-5, A. Brina 9a, tel. (+371) 28 44 14 11;
I-2, Tetra 2, tel. (+371) 27 04 90 49. (3 - 6). AVS

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Restaurants
STREET BURGERS
Latvias 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 youve 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
doesnt end there. Youre 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.
QC4, Blaumaa 10, tel. (+371) 26 62 77 22, www.
streetburgers.lv. Open 11:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 24:00. Also at D-1, Mea 4a, tel. (+371) 26 61 13 11. Open
11:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 23:00. (5 - 7). AVSW

CAFS
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.QD1, Nometu 7, tel. (+371) 67 61 61 96,
www.fazenda.lv. 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 caf 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 youll just
have to see what the chef has come up with that day, but
believe us when we say you wont be disappointed.QB5,
Trbatas 66, tel. (+371) 27 48 88 66. Open 11:00 - 22:00,
Tue, Wed 11:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon, Sun. A
MAZ KAEPE
This laid back city centre bistro certainly isnt 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
theyre no longer available, i.e. eaten. Youll see suits here
as well as bearded men in plaid in this hip space and if you
look up youll see a large mirror draped in hanging plants.
QB4, Skolas 28, tel. (+371) 28 68 57 08. Open 11:00 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. (3 - 5). AW
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October - November 2016

29

Restaurants
MILTI
This stylish caf 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 childrens 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.QB4, Dzirnavu 34a, tel. (+371) 26
53 87 15. Open 10:00 - 22:00. (6 - 10). TAW
MON AMOUR
Whats in a name? In this case if youre expecting a cosy,
shabby chic interior which is a combination of ancient medieval walls, rusty industrial lamps and modern art, then
you wouldnt 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 dith
Piaf would be proud of only adds to the already soothing
ambience and the honey cake was the best weve ever
had in our long career reviewing cafs. If youre 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.QI2, Ja 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 caf 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 parks 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/C5, aka 100, tel. (+371) 25 44 90 09.
Open 10:00 - 22:00. (5 - 7). AE W
OSRISS
The first of former opera director Andrejs agars many
caf 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.QC4, Barona 31, tel. (+371) 67 24 30 02, www.
cafeosiris.lv. 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 caf 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 thats
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/B5,
Miera 29/31, tel. (+371) 20 21 51 20, www.rocketbean.lv.
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 youre with.QC4, Trbatas 2
(entrance from Elizabetes), tel. (+371) 67 21 24 36, www.
apsara.lv. Open 10:00 - 22:00. Also at D-4, Barona 2a,
tel. (+371) 67 22 77 10. A
ART CAF SIENNA
If the interior of this elegant caf werent so cosy, you
might think youve 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 theyve
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 sicle
ambience or just admire one of the citys most spectacular art nouveau edifices on the opposite side of the street.
QB3, Strlnieku 3, tel. (+371) 26 14 22 86, www.sienna.
lv. Open 08:00 - 19:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. TS
V. UZE
If you want to see what caf life was like during Latvias
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 doesnt come cheap.
QH1, Jkaba 20/22, tel. (+371) 67 32 29 43, www.kuze.
lv. Open 10:00 - 21:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 22:00. A
riga.inyourpocket.com

Restaurants

CENTRAL ASIAN

CHINESE

UZBEGIMS
This authentic Uzbek restaurant housed in one of the
citys 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.
QB4, Elizabetes 10b, tel. (+371) 66 10 33 34, www.
uzbegims.lv. Open 10:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 24:00.
(7 - 12). A

ZELTA KARPA (GOLDEN CARP)


Located on one of Old Rigas 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.QH2, Gleznotju 7, tel. (+371) 26 09 20 04.
Open 11:30 - 22:30. Closed Sun. (10 - 17). AS

CHEAP & QUICK


PELMEI XL
As the name suggests, it offers extra large portions
of chicken, vegetarian, pork, lamb or cheese pelmei
(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 havent had enough booze at 03:00, an XL shot of
Moskovskaya vodka.QI2, Kau 7, tel. (+371) 67 22 27
28, www.xlpelmeni.lv. 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
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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 thats incredibly popular
with local hipsters and affluent arty types. Just under 5
will get you a tasty soup and a main course, but youll have
to pay extra for the excellent coffee, the mouth-watering
brownies or the Valmiermuias and Bryuvers brews.
The interior is simple, yet chic.QB/C4, Lpla 10, tel.
(+371) 28 71 58 48, www.miit.lv. 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

31

Restaurants
CZECH

GERMAN

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!).QC3, 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.QC4, Lpla
12, tel. (+371) 67 74 50 30, www.bierhaus.lv. Open 12:00 23:00. (10 - 15). A

DOUGHNUTS & MUFFINS


MUFFINS AND MORE
This tiny white caf 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.QB4, ertrdes 9, tel.
(+371) 28 36 76 71, www.muffinsandmore.lv. 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.QF3, Valdemra 18,
tel. (+371) 67 33 23 31, www.zedonats.lv. 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
Osriss
Brunch
Charlestons
Child-friendly
Vairk Saules
Cocktails
COD Bar or XIII
Coffee
Art Caf 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 muia
Sports bar
Paddy Whelans
Upmarket dining
Bilbliotka No 1 or Kolonde
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. Theres no menu
to speak of in this tiny deli/caf, 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.
QC5, 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, its
almost overwhelming. This is hardly Baltic-modified cuisine, which is why the bill wont 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.Peters
Church and its medieval surroundings all to yourself.QI2,
Skru 7, tel. (+371) 67 22 32 40, www.indianraja.lv.
Open 12:00 - 23:00. (8 - 15). AS
SINGHS
This popular Indian restaurant has a flat screen TV showing Indian music videos and a few large antique photos of
the subcontinent, but otherwise Singhs 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.QC5, ertrdes 32, tel. (+371) 66 22 00 00,
www.singhs.lv. Open 11:00 - 23:00, Fri 11:00 - 24:00, Sat
12:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. (8 - 12). AS
riga.inyourpocket.com

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. QC5, 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.
QB4, Dzirnavu 33 (Albert Hotel), tel. (+371) 67 33 17 17,
www.alberthotel.lv. Open 06:30 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 07:00 23:00. (7 - 12). A
BURGA
Part bar and part caf, 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
Valmiermuia and Trvetes brews are available on draught
or you can take your pick of excellent, affordable cocktails.QB4, Dzirnavu 36, tel. (+371) 20 51 60 47, www.
burgabar.lv. 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.
QC4/5, Trbatas 45, tel. (+371) 25 72 56 70, www.
cod.lv. 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 S
Located in one of Old Rigas 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 faade 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.QH1,
Smilu 2, tel. (+371) 22 04 99 99, www.perse.lv.
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, youd
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.QH1, Doma laukums 1, tel.
(+371) 67 81 40 90, www.hotelgutenbergs.lv. 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 theyre dining
in a trendy art gallery. The impressive menu of European
cuisine is the brainchild of KID*s head chef Kristaps Slis
who perfected his craft at Copenhagens 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.QC4, Trbatas 41/43, tel.
(+371) 20 26 86 86, www.restaurantkid.lv. 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
Rigas hottest places to have a meal or a late night cocktail on the water. Inside youll 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 citys best outdoor terraces.QB2, Andrejostas
4, tel. (+371) 27 75 72 55, www.koyarestaurant.com.
Open 12:00 - 23:00, Fri 12:00 - 01:00, Sat 11:00 - 01:00,
Sun 11:00 - 19:00. (9 - 16). A
riga.inyourpocket.com

Restaurants

Contemporary Japanese
Cuisine & Cocktail Bar
Terbatas 45, Riga
+371 25725670
www.cod.lv

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.QB3, Elizabetes 21 (Monika Centrum Hotel), tel.
(+371) 67 03 19 17, www.centrumhotels.com. Open
12:00 - 22:00. (7 - 14). AW
VAIRK 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 childrens 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.QC4, Dzirnavu
60, tel. (+371) 67 28 28 78/(+371) 80 00 90 80, www.
vairaksaules.lv. Open 09:00 - 23:00, Sun 10:00 - 23:00.
(6 - 12). TAS

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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.QB2/3, 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, youre
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 youll 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.QB4, ertrdes 4, tel. (+371) 25 65
73 22. Open 11:30 - 20:00. Closed Sun. (4 - 7). ASW

October - November 2016

35

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, dragonbox.lv. Open 11:00 - 22:00.
LIDO
Delivery: 5 (free for orders over 30). The countrys
largest chain of Latvian restaurants also delivers.Qtel.
(+371) 80 00 54 36, www.lidopiegade.lv. Open
10:00 - 19:00.
PICA RGA
Delivers delicious, if expensive, gourmet pizzas throughout the city. Delivery charge: 3 - 5; free for larger orders.
Qtel. (+371) 27 22 99 22, www.picariga.lv. Open 11:00
- 22:00, Fri, Sat 11:00 - 24:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. A
PIZZA LUL
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,
www.lulu.lv. Open 24hrs. A
VAIRK SAULES
Charge: free within the centre and Prdaugava for
orders over 14. Order soups, salads, sushi, international dishes, Asian cuisine or thin crust pizzas to your
door.Qtel. (+371) 88 33, www.vairaksaules.lv. Open
10:00 - 22:00.

36 Riga In Your Pocket

KEBABS
DONERA KEBABS
The Turkish staff seemed a little surly, or perhaps theyre
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 dner, drm, 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.QC4, Merea 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, weve
finally found one at Food Box. This small, casual eatery
offers delicious yet inexpensive dner 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.QF2, 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

riga.inyourpocket.com

Restaurants

STAMBULA KEBABI
This brightly coloured kebab shop decorated with
photos of Istanbul serves tasty drm and dner kebabs with halal chicken or beef as well as falafel, pide
and other Anatolian cuisine and you can be sure that
youre getting the real McCoy as its 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. Its also open quite
late at the weekend, which is a shrewd manoeuver
given its location across the street from Rigas largest
nightclub.QB5, Brvbas 93, tel. (+371) 20 48 87 06,
stambulakebabi.lv. 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.QH1, Miesnieku 12,
tel. (+371) 67 22 90 68, www.soraksans.lv. Open 12:00
- 23:00. (6 - 12). A
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BELGIAN
BON VIVANT
Solid wood furniture, a cosy atmosphere and assorted
Benelux decorations arent 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 isnt cheap, but Europeans have come to expect that anything from Brussels
will cost them dearly.QI2, Mrstau 8, tel. (+371) 67
22 65 85, www.bon-vivant.lv. 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 caf 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.QI2, Gleznotju 2, tel. (+371) 27 18 16 09,
www.kwakinn.ru. Open 12:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 02:00. (6 - 12). AW
October - November 2016

37

Restaurants
LATVIAN
With nearly 800 years of domination by a variety of foreign
powers youd 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, its no surprise that most local cuisine consists
of pork, potatoes and sauerkraut served with a generous
sprinkling of dill.
ALUS ARSENLS
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, pigs 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.QH1, Pils laukums 4 (entrance from
Arsenla), 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 Rigas 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 its a favourite among frugal
students, its also popular with anyone who appreciates
good food, drink and music under medieval brick vaulted
ceilings. Reservations are essential if youd like a table on
a Friday or Saturday evening.QI2, Peldu 19, tel. (+371)
27 79 69 14, www.folkklubs.lv. 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 Devils Servants) about the fictional
guardians of Riga who are part Three Musketeers and
part Three Stooges. Youll 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.QH1, Doma laukums
8A, tel. (+371) 28 37 07 47, www.keytoriga.lv. Open
10:00 - 23:00. (7 - 14). JA E
38 Riga In Your Pocket

LIDO DZIRNAVAS (THE MILL)


Alus stas 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!QC4, Dzirnavu 76, tel.
(+371) 67 28 62 04, www.lido.lv. Open 10:00 - 22:00, Sun
10:00 - 21:00. (4 - 7). AS
LIDO LEISURE CENTER (LIDO ATPTAS CENTRS)
If Paul Bunyon built a log cabin in Latvia it would look like
this! Mr. irsons 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 theres
live singing and dancing every night from 19:00. Take bus
N12 from the train station directly or tram N3, 7 or 9 to
the Atptas centrs LIDO stop and walk about 5 - 10 minutes in the direction of the huge windmill.QKrasta 76, tel.
(+371) 67 50 44 20, www.lido.lv. Open 11:00 - 24:00. (4
- 7). TAILES
LIDO VRMANTIS
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 youre lucky
enough to get a seat near a window on the ground
floor youll be rewarded with a great view of the park.
QC4, Elizabetes 65, tel. (+371) 67 28 62 89, www.
lido.lv. Open 09:00 - 22:00, Fri, Sat 09:00 - 23:00, Sun
10:00 - 22:00. (4 - 7). AS
VALMIERMUIAS ALUS
Although one of Latvias best brews is produced just
outside the northern town of Valmiera, the brewery also
has its own so-called embassy in Rigas trendy Brina
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.QA5, A. Brina 9a,
tel. (+371) 25 47 34 73, www.valmiermuiza.lv. Open
11:00 - 24:00, Wed, Thu, Fri 11:00 - 02:00, Sun 11:00 22:00. (6 - 10). A

Get the In Your Pocket


City Essentials app
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Restaurants
MEXICAN & TEX-MEX

PIZZA

EL SANTO X
Rigas 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.QH1, 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
youd like a refill simply press the button located on every table and your server will be by your side in no time.
QB4, 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.QC4, Dzirnavu 59, tel. (+371) 67 24 03 66, www.texmex.lv. Open
24hrs. (5 - 12). AXW

RUSSIAN

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.QB4, Antonijas 8, tel. (+371)
67 33 24 55, www.traktir.lv. Open 12:00 - 23:00. (6
- 12). AE

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Restaurants

a place where daily life


becomes a celebration!

SEAFOOD

THAI

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 days 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 Latvias best beers, Valmiermuias.QC4, 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.QH2, Vau 19, tel. (+371) 67 88 01 52, www.
thaistation.eu. 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 cant 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.QI2, Audju 2, tel. (+371)
67 22 56 99, www.steikuhaoss.lv. 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, Trbatas 41/43, tel. (+371) 67 27 27 07.
(14 - 28). AE
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MEALS WITH A VIEW


GUTENBERGS ROOFTOP TERRACE
This is one of the citys 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.QH1, Doma laukums
1, tel. (+371) 67 81 40 90, www.hotelgutenbergs.lv.
Open 12:00 - 23:00. (12 - 20).
October - November 2016

41

Restaurants
UPMARKET
3 PAVRU RESTORNS (TAM LABAM BS AUGT)
Unlike most restaurants in the historic Jacobs 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, its 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 dont
you?QH2, Tora 4 (Jkaba kazarmas), tel. (+371) 20 37
05 37, www.tamlabambusaugt.lv. Open 12:00 - 23:00.
(10 - 28). AW
BIBLIOTKA NO1 RESTORNS
If youre looking for refined European cuisine in an elegant,
yet modern setting on two floors with fantastic views
of Vrmanes 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 Valmiermuia
brew on draught and the fresh-cut flowers on each
table.QG3, Trbatas 2, tel. (+371) 20 22 50 00, www.
restoransbiblioteka.lv. 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 youd like to sit at the round chefs table next
to the open-plan kitchen youll have to make a right. An
oasis for Rigas well-heeled, this trendy restaurant, which
overlooks the Viestura drzs park, is far from Old Rigas
cobblestones, hence the lack of foreign-language chatter
so common to the citys most prestigious eating establishments. That said, its 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!QB3, Valkas 7, tel. (+371) 22 00 90
00, fermarestorans.lv. Open 12:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun.
(15 - 22). AW

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42 Riga In Your Pocket

KOLONDE. OUR STORIES


You couldnt ask for a more perfect location. Housed in an
historic building surrounded by Ionic columns, Kolonde 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.
QH3, Brvbas bulvris 26, tel. (+371) 26 60 88 82, www.
kolonade.lv. 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 Rigas 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 wont mind being fawned over by attractive, smiling
wait staff.QI2, Skru 6, tel. (+371) 25 77 25 52, www.
muusu.lv. Open 12:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 24:00. (12
- 24). AW
NEIBURGS
One of Rigas finest art nouveau buildings is home to a
stylish, upmarket restaurant offering both international
and Latvian-style cuisine. Inside youll 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 cafs.QI1, Jauniela 25/27, tel. (+371)
67 11 55 44, www.neiburgs.com. Open 11:00 - 23:00.
(10 - 22). A
RESTAURANT BELLEVUE
Located on the 11th floor of the Bellevue Park Hotel Riga,
this elegant restaurant wasnt 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 youd
like a little bit of everything, then try one of the chefs set
menus.QE1, Slokas 1 (Bellevue Park Hotel Riga), tel.
(+371) 67 06 90 40, www.restaurantbellevue.lv. Open
17:00 - 23:00. (20 - 27). AW

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Restaurants

RESTORNS 3
Rigas 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/I2, Kalju 3, tel. (+371) 26 66 00 60, www.
restaurant3.lv. 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 Mrti Rti
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.QB3, Elizabetes 19, tel. (+371) 67 33 26
34, www.restorans.lv. 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 youll 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 its no wonder that its also a
great place for a casual drink or some late-night partying
to local DJs at the weekend. When Mother Nature doesnt
cooperate, its stylish interior is also a good option for a
meal.QB2, Andrejostas 2-k9, tel. (+371) 25 72 70 21,
sunset.lv. 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
Rigas first and only banh mi shop serves Vietnams 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
nations most tourist-worthy destinations. Wonderful
views of St. Gertrudes Church might just inspire you to
stay for another round of spring rolls.QB4, ertrdes 9,
tel. (+371) 24 50 47 84. Open 10:00 - 20:00. Closed Sat,
Sun. (4 - 5). AS

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VIETNAMESE

October - November 2016

43

Nightlife
Rigas 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.

SYMBOL KEY

BARS

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 doesnt
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.QC5, Lpla 68. Open
16:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 16:00 - 03:00. A
FUNNY FOX (JAUTR LAPSA)
If youre 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. Its also a good place to watch sports on
a number of flat screens.QI2, Grcinieku 1, tel. (+371) 28
48 24 26, funnyfoxbar.com. 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 isnt as rough around the edges as
the original location, Gaujas 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 neighbourhoods frugal, yet
hard-drinking locals.QC5, Stabu 32, tel. (+371) 67 27 56
62, www.bufetegauja.lv. 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.QI2, Skru 7, tel. (+371) 67 21 19 17,
www.kiwibar.lv. 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
Krsli 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 isnt just about imbibing. A small
menu of burgers, grill cheese sandwiches and chicken
wings have also been added to the pharmacys 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.QH1, Maz Miesnieku 1,
www.krogsaptieka.lv. Open 16:00 - 01:00, Thu 16:00 03:00, Fri, Sat 16:00 - 05:00. JAEX

44 Riga In Your Pocket

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Nightlife
A GUIDE FOR BEER SNOBS
When in a foreign land we always try to wet our whistle with a local brew, but since were card carrying beer
snobs this isnt always an easy task. After all, we dont
want to waste our time on mass-produced pilsners and
boring lagers. If youre of a similar mind then here are
a few tips on where to get a good Latvian brew that
wont make you hurl (at least not after just one).
If youre 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 Snslde a
kind of dark IPA that has quickly become our favourite local brew. On the other end of town youll find the
Aussie Backpackers Pub, which has a special 14-beer
sampler that will give you a crash course in Latvian beer.
Try the Kaepju alus (cannabis beer) by Iuciems. 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 youll 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 Muia
youll 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 Valdemra Pasa, which is home
to both the Labietis craft brewery and the so-called
embassy of the Valmiermuia 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 Valmiermuia 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 whatevevers on
draught including its summer wheat beer.
If youd like to buy some interesting brews for the
road then we recommend Alus Celle on Bazncas,
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 arent 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.QI3, Valdemra
4, tel. (+371) 29 91 50 49, www.leningrad.lv. Open 12:00
- 03:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 07:00. AEW
NEMIERS
We enjoy simple watering holes that dont 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 Motrhead and Rage Against
the Machine that emanated from the speakers, she
wasnt 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.QA5, Brina 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
grannys 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 cant 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.
QI2, Audju 7. Open 11:00 - 24:00, Thu 11:00 - 04:00,
Fri, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 06:00. JAE
RGAS BALZAMS
Frequented by day by diplomats and embassy staff who
work in the Jacobs 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.QH2, Tora 4 (Jkaba 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
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Nightlife
TAKA
Popular with Bohemians of all stripes, this cosy bar is surprisingly dark given that its walls are painted every colour
of the rainbow and are covered in artwork including a giant golden bulls head made of insulation foam. The music
leans toward the alternative and the downright obscure,
the draught Valmiermuia 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.QB5, Miera 10, tel. (+371) 25 62
56 77, pataku.wordpress.com. 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.QI2, Vecpilstas 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 MUIA
The Beer Manor is perhaps the city centres cosiest watering hole and this isnt 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 thats 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 dont forget that theyll also pour you takeaway beers in plastic
bottles.QC5, ertrdes 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 Lpla. This definitely
isnt 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 days 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.QC5, Lpla 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

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WALTERS & GRAPA


This dimly lit room has a hospital-like quality, but people
dont generally come here to admire the dcor. Its the unusual selection of Baltic craft brews, especially those from
Lithuania, that have people talking. Taste a number of beers
by the Dundulis and irvnos breweries south of the border
especially the tasty Humulupu IPA on draught. Bring cash
as cards arent accepted and ATMs are scarce in this part of
Riga.QB5, 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 its hidden in a small courtyard
behind the popular club Piens, once you reach Labietis
youre 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.QA5, Aristda Brina 9A-2, tel. (+371)
25 65 59 58, www.labietis.lv. 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, Centrltirgus
3 (Central Market). AS
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ADULT ENTERTAINMENT
JOCKEY CLUB
The Scandinavian-owned Jockey Club has provided
adult entertainment for Rigas 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, www.jockey.lv.
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
ones 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 planets 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, Lpla 47,
tel. (+371) 67 28 61 15, www.labi.tev.lv. Open 24hrs.
Also at C-4, A. Kalnia 8. Open 24hrs; B-5, Brvbas
98. Open 10:00 - 22:00. A
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49

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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. Its other locations specialise in slot
machines, but also have 24-hour sports bars where you can
bet on your favourite teams.QC4, Brvbas 31 (entrance
from Dzirnavu), tel. (+371) 67 82 87 77, www.olympiccasino.com. 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, Brvbas 90. Open 24hrs. AKW

CLUBS
COYOTE FLY
Housed in the exclusive Vernisa complex in the
Vrmanes Park, you pretty much have to be well-heeled,
well-dressed and local to gain entrance to this pleasure
palace for Rigas elite, which essentially consists of celebrities, TV personalities and the ber-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.QC4, Trbatas 2, tel. (+371) 20
22 60 00, www.coyotefly.lv. 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
DJs 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.QI2, Vau 32, tel. (+371)
67 22 01 14, www.klubsdepo.lv. Open 17:00 - 05:00. Admission: concerts 5 - 7. AEX
FRIENDS
This nightclub is located in the basement of Latvias biggest hotel and conference centre. If youre 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 clubs speciality: karaoke. Yes, you dont 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!QC4, Elizabetes
55 (Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija), tel. (+371) 29 29 94 44,
www.clubfriends.lv. 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 youre not into
techno or Russian pop you can try one of the other miniclubs inside.QB5, Brvbas 96, tel. (+371) 67 50 60 30,
www.larocca.lv. 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 Rigas 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.QH2, Z.A. Meierovica bulv. 12, www.nabaklab.lv. 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 thats the way the owners like it. Those in the
know know that this is one of Rigas hottest cocktail bars
and many dont mind queuing up at the weekend to sit on
one of many couches that are each completely different in
style from your grandmas sofa to one youd expect to see
in your doctors waiting room. With two large terraces and
a funky, eclectic interior, colourful, hip and laid-back Milk is
hard to beat. That said, if its busy at the weekend only Latvians are usually allowed entrance.QA5, Aristida Brina
9, tel. (+371) 66 01 63 00, www.piens.nu. Open 12:00 24:00, Thu 12:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 12:00 - 05:00. A
PCE (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 youd be wrong. Although visually
difficult to differentiate from its legendary predecessor, The
Colonel, which was a staple of Rigas alternative club scene
for nearly two decades, the Owl is basically a big bar that
inherited huge shoes that it just cant fill. On the bright side,
if youve never been here before youll 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 citys busiest nightlife streets.QI2, 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
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Nightlife

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.QC4/5, Trbatas 45, tel. (+371) 25 72 56
70, www.cod.lv. Open 12:00 - 23:00, Thu 12:00 - 24:00,
Fri, Sat 12:00 - 02:00, Sun 13:00 - 22:00. AKW

SPOT KAF
This tiny shot caf 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
Cathedrals ancient grave markers across the street. Although not a sports bar by any twist of the imagination,
Spot Kaf often shows big games on a flat screen.QH1,
Jauniela 19, tel. (+371) 20 44 88 11, spotkafe.lv. Open
15:00 - 03:00, Fri 10:00 - 05:00, Sat 12:00 - 05:00, Sun
12:00 - 03:00. AW

CUBA CAF
The global fascination with Fidel and Guevera is still
alive and well in Riga in this dimly-lit caf 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 Caf 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.QH1, Jauniela 15, tel. (+371) 67 22
43 62, www.cubacafe.lv. 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 its also due to the fact that
everyones much closer to heavenly bodies on the 11th
floor. In any event, youre guaranteed fantastic views
from several stylish couches and a wide selection of
cocktails for typically high prices given the establishments elevated position. An outdoor terrace is also available for fearless drinkers in the summer months.QB4,
Dzirnavu 33 (Albert Hotel - 11th floor), tel. (+371) 67 14
27 49, www.alberthotel.lv. Open 15:00 - 01:00, Fri, Sat
15:00 - 02:00. A

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October - November 2016

51

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. QB4, 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 youre lucky you might even spot the
owner, international footballer Kaspars Gorks 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 Rigas top chefs,
but olives and gourmet veggie crisps are complimentary.
Despite the posh atmosphere the staff were surprisingly
friendly.QB3, Strlnieku 1a, tel. (+371) 26 76 13 13,
www.bar13.lv. Open 16:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 16:00 - 01:00.
Closed Mon, Sun. A

GAY RIGA
GOLDEN
Golden doesnt 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 didnt get the hint
coming in. After navigating corridors and staircases for
a time, youll find a stylish interior, as one might expect,
where patrons can sit at the bar in the atrium or relax in the
smokers lounge. Thankfully, it doesnt have that sleazy vibe
that some gay clubs tend to exude.QC5, ertrdes 33/35,
tel. (+371) 25 50 50 50, www.mygoldenclub.com. 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 Trvetes
brew in a laid-back Bohemian atmosphere in Old
Riga.QI2, Tetra 2, tel. (+371) 27 04 90 49, www.
fontaineriga.lv. Open 24hrs. Also at A-5, A. Brina
9a, tel. (+371) 28 44 14 11; E-1, Maz Nometu 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
Trbatas iela outside. Valmiermuias and Trvetes 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/C5, Trbatas 54, tel. (+371) 26 82 69
99. Open 12:00 - 24:00. Closed Sun. AI
FOLKKLUBS ALA PAGRABS
One of Rigas 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 its a favourite
among frugal students, its also popular with anyone who
appreciates good food, drink and music under medieval
brick vaulted ceilings. Reservations are essential if youd
like a table on a Friday or Saturday night.QI2, Peldu 19,
tel. (+371) 27 79 69 14, www.folkklubs.lv. 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 youll 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 thats available along Route 66. See website for upcoming concerts.QH/I2, Kau 12, tel. (+371) 67 22 22 03/
(+371) 26 65 63 68, www.moonshineriga.lv. Open 11:00
- 05:00. (7 - 20). JAEW
TROMPETE (THE TRUMPET)
Although many people head over to Old Rigas Peldu iela
for cheap beer and no-holds-barred nightlife, one of the
citys 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.QI2, Peldu 24, tel. (+371) 25 74 52
99, www.trompete.lv. Open 12:00 - 24:00, Thu, Fri, Sat
12:00 - 02:00. JAE
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Nightlife
NIGHTLIFE TOURS
TRAVEL2RIGA
This experienced company has been arranging special
events, tours and excursions for Rigas 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.QI2, Tirgou 10, tel. (+371) 22 08 46 13,
www.travel2riga.com. A

PUBS
AUSSIE PUB
Rigas 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 Australias best craft brew, Coopers, in bottles
and all are served from a bar thats actually an old VW
combi van. If youre 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 cafs and fast food joints.QI3, Vau
43, tel. (+371) 67 22 34 06, www.aussiepubriga.com.
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. Youll 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 its open 24hrs.QH2, u 9, tel. (+371) 67 22 63
51. Open 24hrs. JA
BNZIS
This isnt the place to go with your girlfriend, wife or mistress for that matter. They wouldnt 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 Rzeknes Brveris 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!QD4, Gogoa 15, tel. (+371) 28
34 87 16, banuzis.wordpress.com. Open 11:00 - 23:00,
Sat 12:00 - 23:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00.
BRLIS
Tucked away in a cellar at the far end of Trbatas is Brlis,
or Brother. Named after the amazingly cheap microbrew thats served here, its leopard pattern booths and
fake brick bar wont 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 yesterdays matches
on Eurosport.QB5, Trbatas 101, tel. (+371) 27 88 22 22,
www.bralis.lv. Open 10:00 - 23:00, Sat 11:00 - 22:00.
Closed Sun. A
DONEGANS PUB
This shamrock covered pub seems to have sprung up
out of thin air, but were not complaining, especially
since its 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.QH2, Laipu 2/4, www.donegans.lv. Open
10:00 - 02:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 03:00, Sun 12:00 - 02:00.
AE W

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54 Riga In Your Pocket

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Nightlife

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.QC4, Dzirnavu
59, tel. (+371) 67 24 03 66, www.klondaika.com. Open
24hrs. AXW
WARNING
KRUOVICE SPORTA BRS
The citys most infamous rip-off joint has yet again changed
its name, this time to Kruovice Sporta brs. 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.QH2, Kau 22.
LIDOJO 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.QB3, Elizabetes 31a, tel.
(+371) 67 32 11 84, www.flying-frog.lv. Open 10:00 24:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 24:00. AEX
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MOLONEYS PUB
Moloneys 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.QH2, Vgnera 3, tel. (+371) 67 22 87 06,
www.moloneyspub.com. 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.QB4, Jeruzalemes 10
(entrance from Dzirnavu), tel. (+371) 67 33 87 87,
theoaklounge.lv. Open 11:00 - 01:00, Sun 12:00 22:00. AX
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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.QI2, Kau 2, tel. (+371)
67 80 00 01, www.queens.lv. 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. Its 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 Rigas cheapest beer. In short, its a place that most
women find boring and most men intriguing.QI2, Ja
sta 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
tarts 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.
QI2, Tirgou 10, tel. (+371) 29 22 83 10, www.
victorypub.lv. 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 cafs, its
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.QC5, 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 wouldnt 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.QC4, Barona 3, www.
olybetsportsbar.lv. Open 24hrs. Also at H-2, Meistaru
10; F-3, Elizabetes 55/ Brvbas 31; B-5, Brvbas 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, were certainly not going to complain about a 3 half
liter of Hoegaarden or a local Mtava brew for only 1.90! An
outdoor terrace is also available upstairs.QB5, Barona 108,
tel. (+371) 67 27 38 66, www.optibetsportabars.lv. Open
10:00 - 23:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 01:00. A
PADDY WHELANS IRISH PUB & SPORTS BAR
Although its considered a traditional Irish pub its 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 youll 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, Paddys also offers a menu of authentic Indian cuisine cooked in a real tandoor and a good weekday
lunch special for only 5.QI2, Grcinieku 4, tel. (+371) 67
21 01 50, www.pub.lv. Open 11:30 - 01:00, Fri, Sat 11:30 03:00. JAEXS

STUDENT BARS
LA BELLE POQUE (FRANU BRS)
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.QI2, Maz Jaunavu
8 (entrance from Maz Montu), tel. (+371) 67 22 03 53,
thefrenchbar.lv. Open 17:00 - 06:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 17:00
- 07:00. A

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Nightlife

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!


GRCINIEKU 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,
Jgermeister and vodka). The simple interior doesnt offer
much decoration apart from some photos, paintings and a
bicycle on the wall, but most people dont come here for
the dcor.QI2, Maz Montu 5, tel. (+371) 27 49 77 95,
www.krogszapte.lv. 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 caf 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, its tucked away off of the street so you could pass by
and never know its 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.QC4, Elizabetes 61, tel. (+371) 67 28
90 85, www.tinto.lv. Open 08:00 - 24:00, Sat 10:00 24:00, Sun 10:00 - 23:00. A
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VNA STUDIJA
Enjoy a reasonably priced glass, carafe or bottle of wine
in this refined, yet relaxed establishment in Rigas art nouveau district. If you cant 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.QB3, Elizabetes 10, tel. (+371) 67
28 32 05, www.vinastudija.lv. Open 12:00 - 24:00, Fri,
Sat 12:00 - 01:00, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. Also at I-3, Audju
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
VNS AR ODZIU
This tiny wine bar is located right next to the Swedish
Gate in what used to be part of Old Rigas 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
pts 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.QH1/2, Tora 7/9 (entrance from Troku), tel.
(+371) 29 13 68 53, www.vinsarodzinu.lv. Open 14:00
- 21:00. Closed Sun. A
October - November 2016

57

Sightseeing
Whether its medieval architecture and cobble stone streets
youre after or extravagant Art Nouveau buildings and manicured 19th-century parks, Riga has plenty of visual stimulation for all tastes. Explore whats left of the citys Soviet
legacy or take a tour of Riga Cathedral (Rgas 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 Strlnieku 4a. Built in 1905 it has
since undergone a complete facelift and is now home to
the Stockholm School of Economics. Dont miss the Riga Art
Nouveau Museum at the end of Alberta iela.QB3, Alberta
2, 2a, 4, 6, 8, 13; Elizabetes 10a & 10b; Strlnieku 4a.
LATVIAN ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM (LATVIJAS
ETNOGRFISKAIS BRVDABAS MUZEJS)
Take the trip to the north shore of Lake Jugla and youll
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 N1 from the corner of Merea and Trbatas to the
Brvdabas muzejs stop. Its also an easy 30-minute bike ride
from the centre or you can take tram N6 to the last stop
and follow the bike path the rest of the way to the museum.QBrvbas gatve 440, tel. (+371) 67 99 41 06, www.
brivdabasmuzejs.lv. 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 www.rigabycanal.lv.
58 Riga In Your Pocket

RIGA CATHEDRAL (DOMA BAZNCA)


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 churchs 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, its 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.QH1, Doma laukums,
tel. (+371) 67 21 32 13, www.doms.lv. Open 09:00 17:00. Admission: 3. A

Take the lift to the top of St. Peters Church

M.Zaprauskis

ST. PETERS CHURCH (PTERBAZNCA)


First mentioned in ancient chronicles in 1209, St. Peters
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 towers 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.
QI2, Skru 19, tel. (+371) 67 18 14 30, peterbaznica.
riga.lv. 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 OKUPCIJAS MUZEJS)
This museum dedicated to the Nazi and Soviet occupations
of Latvia is now located in the former US embassy on Raia
bulvris.The various exhibits display the atrocities committed against the people of Latvia and the systematic destruction of their nations 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. QG2, Raia bulvris 7,
tel. (+371) 67 21 27 15, www.okupacijasmuzejs.lv. Open
11:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission: donations.
riga.inyourpocket.com

Sightseeing
CHURCHES
ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL (PAREIZTICGO
KATEDRLE)
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 churchs 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.QG3, Brvbas 23, tel. (+371) 67 21 12 16.
REFORMATION CHURCH (REFORMTU
BAZNCA)
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.QI2,
Mrstau 10, tel. (+371) 67 21 20 36, www.rrbd.lv.
ST. ALEXANDER NEVSKY ORTHODOX CHURCH
(SV. ALEKSANDRA EVSKA PAREIZTICGO
BAZNCA)
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, its hard to miss it on the corner of Brvbas
and Blaumaa. Inside youll find three porticoes, beautiful
icons and, unusually, a central altar in the middle of the
room.QC4, Brvbas 56, tel. (+371) 67 28 32 01.
ST. JAMES CATHEDRAL (JKABA KATEDRLE)
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. Its also
interesting to note that St. James was one of the first three
churches built in Riga and unlike Riga Cathedral and St.
Peters where mass was held in German, it held services in
Latvian until the Reformation.QH1, Jkaba 9, tel. (+371)
67 32 64 19, www.catholic.lv/katedrale. Open 07:00
- 19:00. The cathedral is closed 13:00 - 14:30, except
Sundays.
ST. JOHNS CHURCH (JA BAZNCA)
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 citys armoury, until it was taken over by
a Lutheran congregation in 1582. During the buildings
construction two monks were bricked into the southern
wall and lived out their lives there, fed through the window grate.QI2, Skru 24, tel. (+371) 67 22 40 28, www.
janabaznica.lv. Open 11:00 - 20:00 (closed during private ceremonies such as weddings, etc.).
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October - November 2016

59

Sightseeing
JEWISH RIGA
JEWS IN LATVIA MUSEUM (MUZEJS EBREJI LATVJI)
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.QC4, Skolas 6, tel. (+371) 67 28 34 84, www.
jewishmuseum.lv. 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.QI2, Peitavas 6/8, tel.
(+371) 67 21 45 07, www.jews.lv. Open 10:00 - 16:00.
Closed Sat. Admission: donations.

JANIS ROZENTLS
If Latvia had to choose one
person who had the most
lasting effect on the nations
art, the smart money would
be on Janis Rozentls (1866
- 1916) who influenced generations of Latvian artists. He
brought a professionalism
to Latvian painting that, although common to Western
artists, hadnt 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 artists birth at this unprecedented exhibition of
his work entitled Janis Rozentls (1866 - 1916). Art
and Technique at the Latvian National Art Museum
(F-3, Valdemra 10, www.lnmm.lv) until October 30.
Tickets: 3.50. Image: After Church by Janis Rozentls
courtesy of the LNMM
60 Riga In Your Pocket

STARO RGA LIGHT FEST


Every year around Latvias
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 its a great night out for families, groups
of friends or individuals whod like to catch a glimpse
of something unique. This years 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 www.staroriga.lv.

MUSEUMS
ALDARIS BEER MUSEUM (ALDARA ALUS
DARBNCA)
Latvias 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.
beermuseum.lv. Open 09:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 15:00.
Closed Sun. Admission: 7 (includes one beer).
LAIMA CHOCOLATE MUSEUM (LAIMAS
OKOLDES MUZEJS)
Latvias 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 caf is also available and if you
book well in advance you can also join a creative workshop and make your own chocolates!QB5, Miera 22,
tel. (+371) 66 15 47 77, www.laimasokoladesmuzejs.lv.
Open 10:00 - 19:00. Closed Mon. Admission: adults 7,
children 3 - 5.
riga.inyourpocket.com

Sightseeing
LATVIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ART (LATVIJAS NACIONLAIS MKSLAS 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 Purvtis, Rozentls, 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.QF3, Valdemra 10, tel.
(+371) 67 32 44 61, www.lnmm.lv. 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
DZELZCEA MUZEJS)
Retrace the tracks of rail history in Latvia in this museum
run by Latvian Railways (Latvijas dzelzce). Inside the brick
hangar youll 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.
Dont miss the Tsarist era prison car.QE2, Uzvaras 2/4,
tel. (+371) 67 23 28 49, www.railwaymuseum.lv. 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 ASPAZIJAS HOUSE (RAIA UN
ASPAZIJAS MJA)
Two of Latvias 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 couples personal library of over 6,000 books in
14 languages and another 2,900 periodicals. Upstairs
youll 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.QB4, Bazncas 30, tel. (+371) 67 27 26 43,
memorialiemuzeji.lv. Open 10:00 - 17:00. Closed
Mon, Sun. Admission: adults 2, children 1; audio
guide 3. NEW

MENTZENDORFFS 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.QI2, Grcinieku 18, tel. (+371) 67 21 29
51, www.mencendorfanams.com. Open 10:00 - 17:00.
Admission: 1.42; photos 2.85.

MUSEUM OF RIGAS HISTORY AND NAVIGATION


(RGAS VSTURES UN KUNIECBAS 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 Rigas executioner in the 16th century and
the mummified hand of an unlucky criminal. You can also
take a peek at Riga Cathedrals courtyard, which is also
open to the public, from upstairs.QH/I1, Palasta 4, tel.
(+371) 67 35 66 76, www.rigamuz.lv. Open 11:00 - 17:00.
Closed Mon, Tue. Admission: 4.27.

MUSEUM OF DECORATIVE ARTS & DESIGN


(DEKORATVS MKSLAS UN DIZAINA MUZEJS)
Latvian textiles, ceramics as well as glass, wood, leather
and metal work are all housed in this gallery/museum. Formerly St. Georges church, its 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.QI2,
Skru 10/20, tel. (+371) 67 22 22 35, www.lnmm.lv.
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

facebook.com/rigainyourpocket

M.Zaprauskis

October - November 2016

61

Sightseeing
NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM OF LATVIA (LATVIJAS NACIONLAIS VSTURES 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. QG3, Brvbas
bulvris 32, tel. (+371) 67 22 13 57, lnvm.lv. Open 10:00 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission: 3; photos 1.42.
RIGA ART NOUVEAU MUSEUM (RGAS
JGENDSTILA MUZEJS)
This museum is housed in an apartment where one of Latvias best art nouveau architects once lived Konstantns
Pkns. 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 Rozentls and the
writer Rdolfs Blaumanis to whom another museum is dedicated on the top floor. View period furniture and artwork
from one of the Latvian capitals most creative eras.QB3,
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, lnmm.lv)
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

M.Zaprauskis

RIGA BOURSE ART MUSEUM (MKSLAS


MUZEJS RGAS BIRA)
The former Riga Stock Exchange has been successfully renovated and transformed into this wonderful museum. Inside
youll 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.QH1, Doma laukums
6, tel. (+371) 67 22 64 67, www.rigasbirza.lv. 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 (RGAS MOTORMUZEJS)
If youre an automobile aficionado, then its 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 dont 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 N5 from
aka to the Motormuzejs stop in Meciems.QEizenteina
6, tel. (+371) 67 02 58 88, www.motormuzejs.lv. Open
10:00 - 18:00. Admission: adults 10, children 7 and over
and seniors over 60 5. L
SUN MUSEUM (SAULES MUZEJS)
Iveta Graule, the museums 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-mch, coconut and glass wall decorations
of the sun from 43 countries and six continents at Europes
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.QI3, Vau 30, tel. (+371) 67 22
55 87/(+371) 29 69 04 16, www.saulesmuzejs.lv. Open
10:00 - 19:00. Admission: adults 4, children 3, children under 6 free (2 for classes). TJ
riga.inyourpocket.com

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.QG2, Separating Old Riga from the new centre.
BROTHERS CEMETERY (BRU KAPI)
The Cemetery of Heroes is the last resting place for the Latvian soldiers who died defending Latvia from 1915 - 1920.
Built by Krlis Zle in the constructivist style of the 1920s
with white tufa, you cant miss the impressive statue of
Mother Latvia that dominates an army of little graves and
grieving stone warriors. Take tram N11 from Barona to the
Bru kapi stop.QAizsaules 1b.
FOREST PARK (MEAPARKS)
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 Meaparka estrde, the open-air
auditorium where the mass concerts of the song festivals
are held, or hit the zoo. Take tram N11 from Barona to the
Meaparks stop.QMea prospekts.

PLACES OF INTEREST
CASTLE OF LIGHT - NATIONAL LIBRARY (GAISMAS PILS - NACIONL BIBLIOTKA)
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 visitors pass and wander
around for spectacular views of Old Riga across the river.
QE3, Mkusalas 3, tel. (+371) 67 80 61 10, www.lnb.lv.
Open 09:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 17:00. For tours call
tel. (+371) 22 02 29 20. KW
CENTRAL MARKET (CENTRLTIRGUS)
When construction was completed in 1930, Rigas 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
hasnt 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.QJ3, Centrltirgus iela, www.centraltirgus.lv.
Open 08:00 - 17:00, Mon, Sun 08:00 - 16:00.
facebook.com/rigainyourpocket

DONT TREAD ON ME
Rigas 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 faade, but visitors should also try to keep an eye to the ground and
not just to prevent an unfortunate ankle twisting on
the citys uneven cobblestones. A number of interesting historical markers may go unnoticed or may even
cause you to lose your footing if you dont pay attention
to whats 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 Kau
and Vau (near McDonalds) serves as a reminder of
that amazing event.
An historical account of the
Blackheads Guild recorded in
1510 sheds some interesting
light on Rigas 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 Rtslaukums (Town
Hall Square), just outside the Blackheads House, where
this interesting piece of history took place.
Rigas 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, its
Rigas art nouveau architecture
that really sets the city apart from
other European capitals. To quote
UNESCOs 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

63

Sightseeing
HOUSE OF BLACKHEADS (MELNGALVJU NAMS)
One of Rigas 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.QI2, Rtslaukums 7, tel. (+371) 67 04 43 00,
www.melngalvjunams.lv.
OLD CITY WALLS & SWEDISH GATE
(VECPILSTAS MRIS & ZVIEDRU VRTI)
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 vrti), 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.QH2, At the corner of
Tora and Aldaru.

TAMED NATURE
If you appreciate haute
couture, especially vintage
clothing, then drop by the
Museum of Decorative Arts
& Design (I-1, Skru 10/20,
www.lnmm.lv) 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 Vassilievs
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 worlds best operas
and theatres and has also written books and published
articles in Vogue and Harpers Bazaar. Photo courtesy of
the Alexandre Vassiliev Foundation
64 Riga In Your Pocket

Rigas old city walls on Troku iela

M.Zaprauskis

RIGA CASTLE (RGAS 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 Orders destruction, the various occupiers of the city housed their governors inside. Latvias
first post-Cold War president Guntis Ulmanis made it his
official office to continue the tradition begun by Latvias
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.QH1, Pils laukums 3.
RIGA NATIONAL ZOO (RGAS ZOOLOISKAIS
DRZS)
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 N11 from Barona to the Meaparks
stop.QMea prospekts 1, tel. (+371) 67 51 84 09, www.
rigazoo.lv. Open 10:00 - 19:00. Admission: adults 6,
children 4 - 18 years 4, free for children under four.

SOVIET RIGA
ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (ZINTU
AKADMIJA)
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 Stalins 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.QD4,
Akadmijas laukums 1, tel. (+371) 20 08 80 97/(+371)
67 22 53 61, www.panoramariga.lv. Open 08:00 - 20:00.
Observation deck: 3.56.
riga.inyourpocket.com

Sightseeing
KGB BUILDING (STRA MJA)
A chilling local joke makes light of the infamous building
on the corner of Brvbas 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 Stra mja 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
www.bilesuserviss.lv 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.QB4, Brvbas 61, tel. (+371) 27 87 56 92, www.
occupationmuseum.lv. 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 N5 from 11. Novembra krastmala to the
second stop over the Akmens Bridge.QE2, Over the Akmens Bridge in Prdaugava.

STATUES & MONUMENTS


FREEDOM MONUMENT (BRVBAS PIEMINEKLIS)
Milda, as she is affectionately known, was unveiled in 1935
and is a national shrine for Latvians. Designed by Krlis
Zle, the friezes around the base of the sculpture depict
Latvians singing, working and fighting for their freedom,
while the three stars in the maidens 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. QH3, Where Brvbas and Raia meet.
ROLAND STATUE
Not unlike other Hanseatic cities across the Baltic Sea region, Riga has had a representation of Roland, the semifictional paladin of Charlemagnes court, since medieval
times. However, it wasnt 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. Peters Church.QI2, Rtslaukums.
facebook.com/rigainyourpocket

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 youd like to see more than one in a day, we
recommend you contact our English-speaking friend
Jnis (janisosis@inbox.lv 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 Rigas central station youll 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 www.inyourpocket.com/sigulda
Csis: located a little farther
down the same railway line, the
charming town of Csis is considered to be the most Latvian
city in the whole country and its
also the birthplace of the Latvian
flag, one of Europes 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.
Rundle Palace & Bauska:
only an hour bus ride south
of Riga youll find the town of
Bauska whose main claim to
fame is its giant castle situated
at the confluence of the Msa
and Mmele rivers. Its also a
good place from which to explore nearby Rundle
Palace, the most impressive 18th-century baroque
treasure in the Baltics. More at www.inyourpocket.
com/riga/Road-trip-to-Rundale-and-Bauska_71789f
Kuldga: 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

65

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.QC5, Stabu 59, tel.
(+371) 28 30 95 25. Open 11:00 - 21:00, Thu, Fri, Sat 11:00
- 22:00. Closed Sun.

ANTIQUES
RARITTE
Icons, Riga porcelain, paintings, coins, stamps, silverware
and furniture.QC5, aka 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.QI1, Krmu 4, tel. (+371) 67 21 42 78. Open
10:00 - 20:00, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. A

BOOKS
JA STA
Latvias largest selection of maps and travel books.QC4,
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.QC4, Bazncas 8, tel. (+371) 25
43 41 23, www.lira.lv. 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.QH3, Aspazijas 24, tel. (+371) 67 22
74 82, www.valtersunrapa.lv. Open 09:00 - 21:00, Sat
10:00 - 21:00, Sun 11:00 - 17:00. A

CASTLE IN THE AIR


If youre tired of looking at
amber and traditional silver
and you appreciate contemporary designer jewellery,
then theres no better place
to see whats new in the
world of wearable art than
Gallery Putti (I-2, Peitavas 5
- 31; entrance from Mrstau,
www.putti.lv) 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 youre not in
Riga at this time, its 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
MDARA
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.QI3, Audju
16, tel. (+371) 67 22 40 49, www.madaracosmetics.com.
Open 10:00 - 21:00. Also at Lielirbes 29 (Spice shopping centre), tel. (+371) 67 45 19 77. Open 10:00 - 22:00;
Brvbas 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 Latvias hottest designers. It
also hosts fashion shows from time to time.QC4, Elizabetes 85A (Berga Bazrs), tel. (+371) 27 79 16 35, www.
modesklase.lv. 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 Rigas most famous
facades, silk scarves with art nouveau designs, mugs,
greeting cards, books and linens. Naturally, its located opposite the Riga Art Nouveau Museum.QB3, Strlnieku 9,
tel. (+371) 67 33 30 30, www.artnouveauriga.lv. Open
11:00 - 18:00. A
BALTU ROTAS (TORNIS)
Ancient Baltic designs as well as modern pieces can all
be found here.QI2, Grcinieku 11-2 (entrance from
Pterbazncas), 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.QI2, Maz Jaunavu 8,
tel. (+371) 67 22 55 87. Open 10:00 - 22:00. A
riga.inyourpocket.com

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. QC4,
Trbatas 6/8, tel. (+371) 29 20 96 64, www.riija.lv. 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.QI2, Peitavas 5 - 31 (entrance
from Mrstau), tel. (+371) 67 21 42 29, www.putti.lv.
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.QJ3, Centrltirgus 1, tel. (+371)
67 22 99 85, www.centraltirgus.lv. 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 Grcinieku
iela to the Kalnciema iela stop.QD1, Kalnciema 35, tel.
(+371) 29 40 20 27, www.kalnciemaiela.lv. Open Sat
10:00 - 16:00.

SHOES
LA BUCCIA FINE SHOES
La Buccia specialises in both womens and mens 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.QB4, Brvbas 71, tel. (+371) 67 80 95 75/(+371) 27
70 95 75, www.labuccia.lv. 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).QC4, Dzirnavu 67, tel.
(+371) 67 30 70 00, www.galleriariga.lv. Open 10:00 21:00. AL B K W
facebook.com/rigainyourpocket

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.QD4, Stacijas laukums 2
(Origo), tel. (+371) 67 07 30 90, www.rimi.lv. Open 07:00
- 24:00. Also at I-3, Audju 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
Latvias largest chocolate maker has outlets all over the
city, but you can also buy its products pretty much anywhere including local supermarkets.QH2, Kau 28, tel.
(+371) 67 22 08 08, www.laima.lv. Open 08:00 - 23:00,
Sat, Sun 09:00 - 23:00. Also at I-3, Audju 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
OTR 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.QC4, Marijas 13 (Berga Bazrs),
tel. (+371) 67 28 71 72, www.otraelpa.lv. Open 10:00 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun. A
October - November 2016

67

Sports & Leisure


BEACH VOLLEYBALL
BRAZLIJA
This indoor beach sports centre offers beach volleyball
and football courts as well as a caf/bar and a childrens
area. Take bus No.22 toward the airport to the Rdas stop.
QJrkalnes 100, tel. (+371) 25 40 00 00, www.brazil.lv.
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 childrens room. Take bus No.53 from the Esplande stop
on Brvbas to the RMR stop.QLielirbes 27, tel. (+371) 67
80 46 00, www.bowlero.lv. 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.QE2, Uzvaras 2/4, tel. (+371) 29 18 18 18, www.
zelta.lv. 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, www.arenariga.com.
Tickets can be bought at the arena or online at www.
bilesuserviss.lv. Tickets cost 5 - 86. Visit www.dinamoriga.eu 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.
QA3, Katrnas 12, tel. (+371) 67 09 98 00, www.
jokerklubs.lv. Open 07:00 - 22:00, Sat 07:30 - 22:00,
Sun 09:00 - 22:00. AC

FOOTBALL MATCHES
Latvias 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
havent 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, Melngaia 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 Rga vs. Dynamo Moscow
06 19:30 Dynamo Rga vs. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl
09 17:00 Dynamo Rga vs. Vitjaz Podolsk
17 19:30 Dynamo Rga vs. Spartak Moscow
19 19:30 Dynamo Rga vs. Torpedo N.Novgorod
21 19:30 Dynamo Rga vs. HK Sochi
November
01 19:30 Dynamo Rga vs. Dynamo Minsk
08 19:30 Dynamo Rga vs. Kunlun Red Star
10 19:30 Dynamo Rga vs. Amur Khabarovsk
12 17:00 Dynamo Rga vs. Admiral Vladivostok
14 19:30 Dynamo Rga vs. AK Bars Kazan
24 19:30 Dynamo Rga vs. Dynamo Minsk
26 17:00 Dynamo Rga vs. Jokerit
30 19:30 Dynamo Rga vs. Salavat Julajev

GUN RANGES
AUTUVE 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, dau novads, tel.
(+371) 67 27 17 97, www.sautuve.lv.
riga.inyourpocket.com

Sports & Leisure

KART RACING

SWIMMING POOLS

PRESES NAMS
Located in a former printing house, this course is fun for
a stag party or a family outing.QD2, Balasta dambis 2,
tel. (+371) 27 54 55 55, kartinganams.lv. Open 14:00 22:00, Sat, Sun 12:00 - 22:00. 11 - 12 for 10 minutes;
children 7 - 8.

RTU PSALA SWIMMING POOL (RTU PSALAS


PELDBASEINS)
This huge 50m-long swimming pool is perfect for serious
swimmers as well as intermediates and novices. In fact, if
you dont know how to swim, you, or youre 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 caf, but if you still have
energy try the indoor rock climbing wall.QC2, psalas 5,
tel. (+371) 67 61 69 89, www.baseins.rtu.lv. 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.
QA2, Andrejostas 8, tel. (+371) 22 06 76 21, www.
powerpaintball.lv. L

SAUNAS
BALT 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 caf and English-speaking staff.QB6, Tallinas 71,
tel. (+371) 67 27 17 33, www.baltapirts.lv. 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.
facebook.com/rigainyourpocket

WATER PARKS
LVU AKVAPARKS
Latvias largest indoor water park charges roughly 20 25/adult for two hours of fun, children under six 5 - 7. A
wave pool, childrens 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 Jrmala
bound train to the Bulduri station and then walk 10 minutes down Muias iela to the park.QLielupe (Jrmala),
Viestura 24, tel. (+371) 67 75 56 36, www.akvaparks.lv.
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

69

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

FOREIGN EMBASSIES

BUSINESS CONSULTANTS

For a complete list of foreign embassies and consulates


in Riga including opening hours visit www.mfa.gov.lv/
en/diplomatic-missions#.

BALTIC SALES AGENCY


If youre 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?QBiernieku
22, tel. (+371) 29 20 74 07, www.balticsalesagency.com.
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.QB6, aka 118B, tel. (+371) 67 61 26
31/(+371) 27 00 67 67, www.minioffice.lv. Open 09:00
- 17:00. Closed Sat, Sun.

CLEANERS & LAUNDRETTES

CANADA
QB-4, Bazncas 20/22, tel. (+371) 67 81 39 45, riga@
international.gc.ca, www.latvia.gc.ca.
DENMARK
QH-1, Pils 11, tel. (+371) 67 22 62 10, www.ambriga.
um.dk.
FINLAND
QB-3, Kalpaka bulv. 1, tel. (+371) 67 07 88 00, www.
finland.lv.
NORWAY
QH2, Kau 15, tel. (+371) 67 81 41 00, www.
norvegija.lv.
SWEDEN
QF-2, A.Pumpura 8, tel. (+371) 67 68 66 00, www.
swedenabroad.com/riga.
UNITED KINGDOM
QF-2, J.Alunna 5, tel. (+371) 67 77 47 00.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
QSamnera Velsa 1, tel. (+371) 67 10 70 00, riga.
usembassy.gov.

CITY CLEAN
Dry cleaners and laundromat.QC5, Barona 52 (entrance
from ertrdes), tel. (+371) 67 27 24 71. Open 08:00 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun. A
NIVLA
Wash your own clothes or just drop them off and have the
staff do it for you. Also offer dry cleaning services.QC4,
Lpla 21 (entrance from Akas), tel. (+371) 67 28 13
46. Open 08:00 - 20:00.

ELLADENT
All kinds of dentistry including cosmetic dentistry.QB3,
Vlandes 18, tel. (+371) 67 33 30 04, www.elladent.lv.
Open 09:00 - 21:00, Sat 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. A
SANDENT
QB4, Hanzas 6, tel. (+371) 67 33 44 26, www.sandent.
lv. Open 09:00 - 19:00. Closed Sat, Sun. A

CURRENCY EXCHANGE

GENEALOGY

TAVEX
QB3, Elizabetes 21A, tel. (+371) 67 20 55 33, www.
tavex.lv. 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 youre interested in connecting with your Baltic roots
but you dont 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.
balticgen.com.

DENTISTS

JEWELLERY CLEANERS

Art Nouveau is hard to miss in Riga

70 Riga In Your Pocket

M.Zaprauskis

BRILJANTA ROKA
If you have jewellery that needs cleaning or youd just like
to check if a certain stone is the genuine article, then pay
a visit to Jnis Blumbergs, a jeweller with an impeccable
reputation who knows everything about bling. He also
creates custom jewellery.QI3, Rdzenes 2, tel. (+371) 29
41 15 62. Open 10:00 - 17:30. Closed Sat, Sun.
riga.inyourpocket.com

Useful Addresses

Youll 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 Jrmala 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.QJras 23/25 (Majori,
Jrmala), tel. (+371) 67 77 14 43, www.balticbeach.lv.
Open 13:00 - 23:00. ALKDCW

MEDICAL

YOGA

ARS
English-speaking doctors. Listed opening hours are for
the trauma centre.QF3, Skolas 5, tel. (+371) 67 20 10 07,
www.ars-med.lv. Open 08:00 - 20:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 20:00. 24-hour consultaion: tel. (+371) 67 20 10 03.
HEALTH CENTER 4 (VESELBAS 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/B6, Barona 117, tel. (+371) 20 26 75 78/(+371)
25 95 55 77, vc4.lv/en. 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.QC5, Stabu
51/2, tel. (+371) 26 55 50 60, www.dayajoga.lv. Open
09:00 - 19:00, Sat 09:00 - 13:00. Closed Sun. A

PHARMACIES
BENU APTIEKA
QB6, Tallinas 57b, tel. (+371) 67 31 42 11, www.benu.
lv. Open 24hrs. Also at I-3, Audju 16 (Galerija Centrs),
tel. (+371) 67 01 80 59. Open 08:00 - 21:00; C-4, Brvbas
38, tel. (+371) 67 28 97 61. Open 08:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00
- 18:00. Closed Sun. A

PHOTOCOPYING
COPY PRO
QC4, Raia 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, youll find six floors of swimming
pools, saunas, treatment rooms, gyms and relaxation
areas.QF3, Bazncas 4a, tel. (+371) 67 71 52 22, www.
espariga.com. Open 07:00 - 22:30. AFKDC
facebook.com/rigainyourpocket

VETS & PETS


DR. BEINERTS 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.QC5, ertrdes
101, tel. (+371) 67 28 85 39, www.vet.lv. Open 24hrs. A

INDEPENDENCE DAY
On November 18, 1918, a
group of Latvian intelligentsia declared their nations
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 didnt take
the declaration seriously and fighting continued until, with the help of Polish and Estonian armies, all
of Latvias 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 Rga Light
Festival. This years 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

71

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 dont 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

CREAM OF THE CROP

U Disabled facilities

I Fireplace

HOTEL NEIBURGS
This stylish design hotel is housed in one of Old Rigas
most beautiful art nouveau buildings. All 55 of its apartments include a combination of modern minimalist dcor
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.QI1,
Jauniela 25/27, tel. (+371) 67 11 55 22, www.neiburgs.
com. 55rooms (36studio apartments 143- 158, 4studio deluxe 188, 8senior suites 208, 7two-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.QG1, Jkaba
24, tel. (+371) 67 81 54 44, www.pullmanhotels.com.
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 Rigas 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.QG3, Reimersa 1, tel. (+371) 67
09 33 33, www.radissonblu.com/ridzenehotel-riga. 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 doesnt 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.QC5, ertrdes 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 childrens 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 caf for
an extra fee. Great for families and guests who have
cars. Airport transfers available.QD6, ertrdes 129
(entrance from Valmieras 7), tel. (+371) 25 46 15
46, www.RigaApartment.com. 16rooms (16apartments 30- 75). TALGBW
riga.inyourpocket.com

Hotels

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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 Im
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.QB4, Dzirnavu 33, tel. (+371) 67 33 17 17, www.
alberthotel.lv. 246rooms (7singles 74, 163doubles 79,
12suites 129, 62superior 89- 94, 2disabled-friendly
74). PZHA6UGBKW

HOTEL GUTENBERGS
The only way that this luxury hotel could have a better
location would be if it were located inside Latvias 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. Dont miss its summer rooftop restaurant.QH1, Doma laukums 1, tel. (+371) 67 81 40 90,
www.hotelgutenbergs.lv. 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 citys largest parks.QE1, Slokas 1, tel. (+371) 67 06
90 00, www.hotelbellevue.lv. 231rooms (9singles 50,
170 doubles 60, 3 suites 180, 14 apartments 120,
30superior 80- 90, 1executive 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.QB3, Elizabetes 21, tel. (+371) 67 03 19 00, www.
monika.centrumhotels.com. 80 rooms (12 singles 67,
50doubles 77, 3suites 115, 1apartment 150, 14junior suites 89). PHAR6UFKDXW

facebook.com/rigainyourpocket

October - November 2016

73

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.QD2, Kuu 24, tel. (+371) 67 06
11 11, www.radissonblu.com/hotel-riga. 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 Latvias 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
youre in the mood to be pampered, a five-star spa is connected to the hotel. QC4, Elizabetes 55, tel. (+371) 67
77 22 22, www.radissonblu.com/latvijahotel-riga. 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.QJ2, Minsterejas 8/10, tel. (+371) 67 55 97 90,
www.rixwell.com. 100rooms (12singles 60, 71doubles 70, 5 triples 100, 1 suite 110, 11 junior suites
95). PJHA6FGKDW

JRMALA 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 Jrmala, especially its View Restaurant & Lounge overlooking the sea.
QMajori, Jras 23/25, tel. (+371) 67 77 14 00, www.
balticbeach.lv. 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
dcor 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, caf, cigar room and beauty salon are
also available and kids are given colouring books and crayons while their parents check in.QD4, Elizabetes 24, tel.
(+371) 67 09 97 60, www.hotels.tallink.com. 256rooms
(21singles 70, 227doubles 77, 3suites 170, 5junior
suites 114). PZHAUFKDXW
WELLTON CENTRUM HOTEL & SPA
When one walks into the grand lobby of this design hotel
theyre 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.QI3, Kalju 33, tel. (+371) 67 13 06 70,
www.wellton.com. 144rooms (5singles 75, 114doubles 110, 2triples 130, 3suites 200, 2junior suites
150, 18superior 115). PJAGKDCW

MID-RANGE

Autumn day on Lvu laukums in Old Riga

74 Riga In Your Pocket

M.Zaprauskis

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 dcor 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.QB4, Skolas 11, tel. (+371) 67 28 88 16, www.
laine.lv. 30 rooms (12 singles 34, 12 doubles 44,
1suite 90, 5apartments 90). HA6
riga.inyourpocket.com

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 youd 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 N11 or 18 from the
Central Station to the nijas iela stop.QStirnu iela 32b,
tel. (+371) 67 59 99 42, www.hotelfelicia.com. 19rooms
(5singles 20- 30, 11doubles 40- 80, 1suite 80, 2junior 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
dont 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, caf/bar and free wi-fi are also available.QB4,
Valdemra 63, tel. (+371) 67 33 39 18, www.hoteltia.lv.
49 rooms (6 singles 37, 38 doubles 42, 3 triples 67,
2suites 75). HALGKW

BED & BREAKFAST


HOMESTAY
The friendly owners of this B&B rent four of the rooms of
their beautiful home in Meaparks, which resembles a
Swiss chalet. After youve 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 N11 to Visbijas prospekts or call them
to arrange transportation.QStokholmas 1, tel. (+371) 67
55 30 16/(+371) 26 46 41 13, www.homestay.lv. 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 stones throw from the citys 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.QB3,
Lenu 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
facebook.com/rigainyourpocket

October - November 2016

75

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.QI3, Rdzenes 25, tel. (+371) 67 21 60
40/(+371) 29 23 81 06, fax (+371) 67 21 60 54, www.
lilarealty.lv.

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 cafs and bars of Old Riga are only a short tram ride
away. Great value for money.QE6, Jersikas 1, tel. (+371)
67 24 02 20, www.dodohotel.com. 109rooms (2singles
32, 103doubles 32, 4family rooms 54) Breakfast 6.
A6ULW
GOOD STAY JRNIEKS 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 dont 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 N5 or 9 from Aspazijas
to the Allau iela stop.QSofijas 8, tel. (+371) 67 39 23 50,
www.goodstayhotels.com. 81rooms (74doubles 35,
2suites 95, 5junior suites 55) Breakfast not included.
HAR6LGKDX

Bastion Hill and the Freedom Monument

76 Riga In Your Pocket

M.Zaprauskis

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 isnt at the height of fashion, but doesnt try to be.
The recipe here is genuine country-style friendliness and
straightforward comfort in a family environment. QA4,
Skanstes 9, tel. (+371) 67 51 99 23, www.hotelskanste.
lv. 34rooms (8singles 27, 18doubles 41, 6triples 56,
2junior 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.QD1,
Balou 12, tel. (+371) 67 46 88 84, www.twowheels.lv. 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 womens dorm is
also available.QD5, E. Birznieka-Upa 20, tel. (+371) 22
32 26 63, www.centralhostel.lv. 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 theres no curfew.QI2, Maz Jaunavu 8, tel. (+371) 67 21 31 01, www.
domahostel.lv. 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
riga.inyourpocket.com

Hotels
RIGA HOSTEL
Located above a McDonalds, youll 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
couldnt be more convenient. A kitchen is available if youd
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 womens dorm is
also available. No curfew.QD4, Merea 1 (4th floor), tel.
(+371) 22 33 78 84, www.rigahostel.com.lv. 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
its obvious that it was a labour of love.QI3, Vau 43, tel.
(+371) 67 22 34 06, www.rigaoldtownhostel.lv. 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 thats 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 Hostelworld.com 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.QI3, Kalju
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 CEOTJS (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.QD1, Kalnciema 40, tel. (+371) 67 61 76 00,
www.celotajs.lv. Open 09:00 - 18:00. Closed Sat, Sun.
facebook.com/rigainyourpocket

RIGA FOR KIDS


Eating out Finding child-friendly restaurants and
cafs 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. Vairk Saules
(C-4, Dzirnavu 60, www.vairaksaules.lv) offers a kids
menu and all the legos a child could ever want and
T.G.I.Fridays (I-2, Kau 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, Blaumaa 38/40, www.
charlestons.lv) has a childrens corner and supervised
activities during weekend brunch, while Street Fries
Kitchen (I-3, Vgnera 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 (Brvbas gatve 440, www.brivdabasmuzejs.lv) 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 blacksmiths. The Riga National Zoo
(www.rigazoo.lv - take tram No.11 from K.Barona to the
Meaparks stop) in Meaparks is also always a good option and kids can paint their own plaster suns at the
Sun Museum (I-3, Vau 30, www.saulesmuzejs.lv). You
can also combine a shopping outing with some kids
fun at Zinoo Rga (C-4, Dzirnavu 67 - 5th floor, www.zinoo.lv). This fascinating childrens science centre offers
a number of interactive exhibits that teach kids about
the natural world. Open 12:00 - 20:00.
Just for fun Lvu Akvaparks (Jrmala, Lielupe, Viestura 24, www.akvaparks.lv) offers a wave pool, a childrens
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, www.lido.lv) also has plenty to
offer including all kinds of kids attractions.
Playgrounds In the city centre youll find a good playground at Vrmanes Park (corner of K.Barona and Elizabetes) and a smaller one at Esplande Park behind the
Latvian National Museum of Art (F-3, Valdemra and
Elizabetes). Meaparks 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
Meaparks stop and then follow the crowds.

October - November 2016

77

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 bulvris
until you reach H-2, the ivy-covered Powder Tower and
the Museum of War next door. Next walk down Tora.
The James Barracks on the right side of the street are
home to many trendy shops and cafs 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 Troku, one of Rigas 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 Maz Pils to Pils laukums where
youll find H-1, Riga Castle, which will soon become the
Latvian presidents 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 Tirgou
and take a break at one of its many pubs, restaurants and
cafs or at one of the beer gardens by the cathedral and
then proceed to Kau 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 Grcinieku and Kungu streets meet
to explore the I-2, Mentzendorff House. After a short
tour of the house continue down Grcinieku (away from
the river) and make a left on Skru. You can take a look
at I-2, St. Johns Church on the right or walk to the
entrance of St. Peters on the left and take the lift up
to the top of the church for excellent views. On Skru
youll also find dozens of souvenir vendors. Walk into I-2,
Johns Courtyard (Ja sta) and emerge on Kalju.
Go left until you reach H-2, Livs Square (Lvu 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 youd like to see a video of this
tour visit: www.inyourpocket.com/latvia/riga.
riga.inyourpocket.com

Index
3 pavru restorns
42
Academy of Sciences 64
Alberta iela
58
Albert Hotel
73
Aldaris Beer Museum 60
Alus arsenls
38
Alus muia
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
BIBLIOTKA No1 Restorns
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 Caf
51
Depo 50
Dodo Hotel
76
Doma Hostel
76
Donegans 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 Jrnieks Hotel
76
Grcinieku iela tunnel 17
Gutenbergs 34
Gutenbergs Rooftop
Terrace 41
HHC 44
Himalaju-zijas virtuve 26
Homestay 75
Hotel Felicia
75
Hotel Gutenbergs
73
Hotel Neiburgs
72
House of Blackheads 64
Indian Raja
32
Jakob Lenz Guesthouse 75
Ja Sta
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
Kolonde. Our Stories 42
KOYA 34
Krogs Aptieka
44
Kruovice Sporta brs 55
KwakInn 37
La Belle poque
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 Ceotjs
77
Leningrad 46
LIDO 36
LIDO DZIRNAVAS
38
Lidojo Varde
55
LIDO LEISURE CENTER 38
LIDO VRMANTIS
38
Lira 66
Live Riga Tourist
Information Centres
10
Lotus 26
Lux Express
14
MDARA 66
Martinelli 29
Maz Kaepe
29
Meet Point Pizza Bar
40
Mentzendorffs House 61
MiiT 31
MiiT courtyard
17
Milti 30
Moloneys 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 Rigas 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. janvra
I/J-3
Akl H-1
Akmens tilts
J-1
Alberta laukums I-3
Aldaru H-2
Alksnja I-2
Alunna F-2
Amatu H-2
Angliku H-1
Arsenla H-1
Aspazijas bulv. H/I-3
Atgrieu H-1
Audju I-2/3
Barona H-3
Basteja bv. (Z.A.
Meierovica) G/H-2
Bskapa gte
I-1

82 Riga In Your Pocket

Brvbas G/H-3
Citadeles F/G-1
Doma laukums H-1
Elizabetes F-3
Freedom Mon. H-3
Gleznotju H/I-2
Grcinieku 1/2
Herdera lauk.
H-1
Inenieru H-3
Ja I-2
Ja sta
I-2
Jaunavu H/I-2
Jauniela H/I-1
Jkaba G/H-1
Jkaba lauk.
G-1
Jeruzalemes F-3
Kalju I-2/3
Kau H/I-2
Kalpaka bv.
G-2/3

niu H-2
Klostera H-1
Konventa Sta
I-2
Krmu I-1/2
Kronvalda bv. F/G-1
Kungu I-2
Laima clock
H-2
Laipu H-2
Lvu laukums
H-2
Mrstau I/J-2
Maz Miesnieku H-1
Maz Montu H/I-2
Maz Muzeja
H-1
Maz Pils
H-1
Maz Smilu
H-2
Maz Troku
H-1
Meistaru H-2
Merea G/H-3
Miesnieku H-1

Orthodox Cathedral
59
Osriss
28, 30
Otr Elpa
67
Paddy Whelans Irish Pub &
Sports Bar
56
Pelmei XL
31
Per Se
34
Pica Rga
36
Piccolo Uno
35
Piens 50
Pizza Lul
36
Pce 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 Aspazijas House
61
Reformation Church
59
Restaurant Bellevue
42
Restorns 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
Rgas 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
Singhs 32
Skanste 76
Sokrats 35
Soraksans 37

Soviet Victory Monument


65
Spareu iela
17
Spitaki 32
Spot Kaf
51
St. Alexander Nevsky
Orthodox Church
59
Stambula Kebabi
37
Stargorod 32
Star Lounge
51
Steiku Haoss
41
St. James Cathedral
59
St. Johns Church
59
St. Peters 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
Torakalns bridge
17
Traktieris 40
Travel2Riga
15, 54
Trompete 52
Two Wheels Hotel
76
Uzbegims 31
Vairk Saules
35, 36
Valmiermuias alus
38
Valters un Rapa
66
Victory Pub
56
Vna Studija
57
Vincents 43
Vns ar odziu
57
V. uze
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
Mku H-1
Palasta I-1
Pasta J-2
Peitavas I-2
Peldu I-2
Pterbazncas I-2
Pils H-1
Pils laukums
H-1
Prgas J-3
Pumpura F-2
Radio I-3
Raia bulvris G-2/H-3
Rtslaukums I-1/2
Reimersa G-2
Rdzenes I-3
Rozena H-1
Skru I-2
u H-2

Smilu H-1/2
Strlnieku laukums I-1
Tetra I-2/3
Tirgou H/I-2
Tora G-1/H-2
Troku H-2
densvada I-2
Vgnera H/I-2
Valdemra G-1/F-2/3
Vau H-2/I-3
Vecpilstas I-3
Vingrotju F-2
Z.A. Meierovica
(Basteja bulvris)
G/H-2
Zirgu H-2
Bus Station
J-3
Riga Info Centre I-2
Freedom
Monument H-3

riga.inyourpocket.com