Unless you’ve got a spare 48 hours to spend driving to and from Riga, it’s a good idea to fly. Luckily, as one of the most popular stag do destinations around, flights are plentiful and reasonably priced. Ryanair do flights from Dublin, London Stansted, and Glasgow, as well as smaller cities like Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool and the East Midlands. Other airlines also do flights from Luton and Gatwick, so you’re well covered. Getting to the city centre from the airport is easy enough – there’s a bus that runs up to every ten minutes that will take you the half hour drive in to the city, or an airport express minibus if you’d prefer.
Many of the streets in Riga are cobblestone, so we’d watch the heels when walking around. In flats, though, the city is easy enough to get around. We’ve covered taxis on the nightlife page, but other public transport is available if you’d prefer. The city runs trams, buses and trolleybuses across the city, all of which are typically reliable. Trams and trolleybuses are identified on stops with a ‘t’ (which stands for ‘tramvaju’ and ‘trolejbusu’), and buses are labelled with an ‘a’ (‘autobuss).
The prettiest, most historic bit of Riga…and also where most of the bars are. Some of Riga’s top tourist areas, like Dome Square with its cathedral, and Livu Square (where all the cafes, clubs and restaurants are), are here too, giving you a selection of all the most important bits of Riga without having to travel too far.
A towering symbol of Latvian independence, it stands tall and proud as Riga’s major landmark.
The Riga Central Market is both one of the oldest and the largest in Europe. You’ll find all manner of things, with clothes, jewellery and handmade crafts to be found, but it’s really all about the food – sniff out local delicacies like syrups, lampreys, and sauerkraut.
With the river Daugava and a complex ring of canals all around the city, a relaxing ride at the hands of a tourist boat can be a lovely way to see the city. Alternatively, you can hire a boat and show yourselves around, if you’re feeling a little braver.
Riga is a beautiful, historic city, but amongst all the nights out and the planned activities, you might not get a chance to properly see all of it. Take a quicker look by heading upwards for a birds eye view of Riga.
The exterior of the church is impressive enough, but the real draw is the lift inside that takes you to up to the viewing platform – the panoramic views allow you too look out across the entirety of Old Town and across the river.
There’s not only one hell of a view from 26 floors up, but there’s also cocktails.
We don’t expect you to be heading off to Riga fully fluent in Latvian – and luckily, neither do the Latvians. English isn’t as widely spread there though as you might find in slightly bigger tourist cities though, so it’s worth learning a few key phrases. Or, you know, just investing in a good phrase book.
Esmu šeit ar grupu – I am here with a group
Esmu pirmo reizi – This is my first visit
Es esmu pazaudejis savus draugus – I’ve lost my friends
Vai jums ir veģetāriešu ēdieni? – have you any vegetarian dishes?
Gribu nopirkt džinu un toniku, lūdzu – I want to buy a gin and tonic, please
DegvīnuAr ledu – vodka with ice
Vai jums ir vīna karti, lūdzu? – do you have the wine list, please?
Glāzi baltvīna – a glass of white wine
Pudeli mājas sarkanvīna – a bottle of house red
Tagad ir jūsu kārta – it’s your round
Paturiet atlikumu – keep the change