Riga, Latvia

We may be taking a short few days in Riga in January, because we are laying over in Amsterdam for a week before a flight to Tanzania. We will be staying near the opera house and probably not venturing outside the city becasue of the short time frame. Any comments on getting from the airport to the train station and into the city? Any favorite restaurants or vegan restaurants? Any must see places? Do you know if we need a visa? Any other comments, other than Brrrrrrrrr? Thanks for any info.....

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7819 posts

Riga in January.. really. lol I would go to Paris.. only 3 hrs by train, sorry that may not be helpful.. but Riga is not a tourist hot spot so you may not get a ton of responses here. Suggest you also post on tripadvisor.com Riga forums they are city specific. PS My grandmother was born there and I still haven't made it there..

Posted by ola
cambria, Calif, USA
38 posts

Pat, thanks for the response. We know it'll be cold and off season. But we are laying over a week from our gateway Amsterdam, then flying on to Tanzania for a safari, We thought we could do this short flight from amsterdam, stay a few nights and still have time to spare. We have already been to France/Paris many times, and also all the other places close to Amsterdam , but never to Latvia. My husband's father was born there and we have have his address, next door to the opera house. We learned the house is no longer there ... a cafe is in it's place. We thought it would be interesting to go to the historical museum and see old photos. Maybe you and my husband are related. I'll have to figure out how to do this privately so I can send you our last name. Thanks, Ola

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7819 posts

ola I sent you a private message to retrieve it just click on top right hand screen where it says "profile" "new messages"

Posted by Dee
San Francisco
33 posts

I went to Riga in April 2009. There was a direct bus from the airport to Old Town, which is where the Opera House is located. Never been to the train station, so I can't comment on traveling there. I don't know if you speak Latvian, but in case you don't, make sure to pay for your luggage when you board the bus on top of your own ticket. My friend and I just paid our own tickets, while the driver just looked at us without saying anything, and we got a citation en route and paid 40 US Dollar of fine. Lesson learned.
I don't think there's much to do venturing outside of Old Town. The Old Town is very small but has its charms.

Posted by Sharon
Atlanta
2663 posts

We also stayed near the Opera House in Riga and enjoyed that location. If you get a chance, go to a performance in the Opera House! We saw "The Barber of Seville" and loved the experience. Tickets were inexpensive and we bought them once we arrived. Another fun thing is the Art Nouveau Museum (http://www.art-nouveau.riga.lv/eng/muzejs) - it's a bit hard to find but the neighborhood where it's located is really interesting! We didn't find any memorable restaurants in Riga but liked our meal at Domini Canes - not so far from the Opera House. Near the end of our stay we stumbled on a supermarket - a great place to stock up on snacks or things that you might need for your travels. It's called Rimi - you could ask your hotel staff to point you in the right direction. If you like exploring markets, make sure you go to the Riga Central Market! It's an experience! If the weather is warm enough, you'll find some great walking paths through the parks. Enjoy Riga!

Posted by ola
cambria, Calif, USA
38 posts

Pat in Victoria......Thanks for sending me a private reply...but I can't figure out how to access it. I'll have to get someone to help me. And to the rest, thanks....I've checked out the opera house and the season is over...it looks like they are dark for the month of January. When we get there we will see what cultural things are going on. We can usually find a concert in some venue. Does anyone know if the central market is on in January?

Posted by ola
cambria, Calif, USA
38 posts

Hi Sharon Thanks for this info. I checked it out. I don't know what website I was looking at previously but it was not this website. We will be there only a few days, around the 23rd...not sure of the exact days yet, but this is such good info to have. I may be able to get tickets ahead of time, once I nail down our dates.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2811 posts

ola: to access a private reply, make sure you are logged into your Rick Steves Helpline account. On the right near the top, you will see ola: Sign Out | My Profile. Go to My Profile, and you'll see your Private Messages (often abbreviated PM's).