#Ninja Review Riga, Lativa
Daily flights direct from Dublin Airport to Riga (only one flight per day and at night time – via Ryanair).
A wide variety of accommodation available from hostels to 5-star hotels.
Accommodation tends to be cheaper the further away from “Old Town” Riga you go.
For a mix of convenience and reasonable prices look for accommodation near the Central Station (its only a 5-10 min walk to the Old Town where the majority of sights are).
Very similar to the good old NI weather so would suggest packing your raincoat along with your sunglasses and sun cream!
Things to do
Riga is a place that has something for everyone. With great nightlife, bars and restaurants, fantastic museums, cathedrals and picturesque art nouveau buildings, you will not be stuck.
Some #Ninja recommendations, however:
Walking Tour of Old Town – Most people spend about 80% of their time in Riga in the Old Town. Start your trip with a free guided walking tour around Old Town (starting at 11am every morning at the front of St Peter’s Cathedral), it lasts 2.5 hours (at a slow pace, with photo opportunities) and covers all the main sights, providing fun facts and info about the area (not to mention a great way to get your bearings).
Visit the Art Nouveau/Quiet District – Whether you are an art buff or not, these buildings need to be seen! Decorative walls, with screaming masks, animals, flowers and gods and goddesses, apparently the building is better decorated than some cakes! Again you can take a guided walk, or hop off the sightseeing bus and have a dander around yourself.
Take a Sightseeing Canal Cruise – With all the walking, this one hour journey on a beautiful canal boat just feels like a luxury. You get to see the sights from an angle that most will never experience, plus it is so relaxing. The tour costs 18 euro or 27 euro if you book it along with a sightseeing bus tour.
Visit the Markets/Bazaar – Food, food and more food, along with some other goodies and bargains to ogle at! Set in 5 ex-army Zepplin hangers, near Central Station, its a treat for the senses (and the stomach!)!
Food and Drink
You won’t go hungry or thirsty in Riga. A wide variety of restaurants, cafes, coffee-shops, street bakeries and bars/breweries to cater for anyone’s taste. There is also plenty of opportunities to try Latvian food and drink, which should be done in any country you visit.
Top recommendations for food:
Rozengrals – A Medieval themed restaurant, with a brilliant atmosphere. The menu is nothing like you will have seen before, but the food was delicious. The pistachio ice cream on ice especially – YUM!!
Folkklubs ALA pagrabs – Latvian Cusine, locally brewed Alus (or beer) and Latvian folk music, what more could you want! Food and beer were amazing although extremely busy so try to get earlier in the evening if you can.
Drink – Two musts, the local “Alus” or beer and the famous local “Black Balsam”. Riga/Latvia is famed for both it’s locally brewed beer and it’s unique 90 proof Latvian shot!!!. Both have to be tried!
Drink with a view – A visit to the Sky Bar in the Raddison Blu for a cocktail has to be done. The view and cocktails is worth the slightly extra cost for your drinks (typical Belfast price compared to Latvian)!
Couples, Groups, Stags and Hens, City Break Lovers
#NInja Tip – Such a cheap city to holiday in, watch out for menu prices as generally (unless touristy) a dinner and drink should not cost you more than 10 euro each.
#NInja Tip – Transport to/from the airport in Riga. Get a number 22 or 222 mini bus for only 2 euro (one way) straight to/from airport to Central Station in 20 mins.