I did a list with some (hopefully) useful tips for those who want to visit Riga and everyone else interested in this beautiful city!
Booking & arriving:
We booked our flights and the hotel via air baltic. They have really good offers for complete packages. Further it seemed for us the easiest way to book everything at once. Air baltic flies from many European cities straight to Riga, with good prices! I guess there is no easier (& cheaper) way to get to Riga! Air baltic offered many hotels in different price categories we could choose from. In the end we chose “Hotel Irina” which has 3 stars and was definitely the perfect choice! We had a clean and big room, the hotel is located in the middle of the center and breakfast was included as well!
When arriving at the airport we took bus number 22 to the center, a ticket costs 0,70 lats (~1€). The bus goes straight to the city center, close to the central railway station.
In our travel guides were written that you should be careful when taking a taxi, because they don´t have taximeter and the drivers often try to fool customers. So a taxi wasn´t an option in any way and we decided to choose the simplest way, going by public transportation.
Here a list of several places we were going to eat at and I can recommend all of them! The prices (of the dishes we chose) were all between 3 and 6 lats.
vairak saules: Dzirnavu iela 60 www.vairaksaules.lv
cili pica: 13.janvāra iela 8 (restaurants all over the city) www.e-pica.lv
thank god it´s friday: Kaļķu iela 6 http://www.fridays.lv
double coffee: (all over the city & perfect for a small snack) http://www.doublecoffee.lv
coffee-inn: kalku iela 2 (very cozy coffee place) http://www.coffee-inn.lv
YoYo frozen yoghurt: Barona iela 10 (This place was to die for!!)
They offer frozen joghurt in many different flavors and a huge(!!) choice of toppings. The best of all, you put everything together on bye yourself! When you´re ready, you´ve to go to the cashier and after weighing you´ve to pay. Very simple and cheap, 100g cost 0,55 lats.
I didn´t do that much shopping ´cause my boyfriend isn´t the biggest fan of it and many of the shops are the same as in Finland.
This might be interesting for people coming from outside of scandinavia. There are shops like: Lindex, Cubus, BikBok and Seppälä. I haven´t seen any h&m! And close to the railway station is as well department store “Stockmann”, which has its origin in Finland.
On the last day, when were leaving to the airport we stopped at the shopping mall “spice” because it was on the way to the airport. There you can find Bershka, pull & bears, New Yorker, Douglas and the Body shop and so on…
A good place for souvenirs is: www.rigasoap.com there you can choose from many, many different kind of soaps with amazing scents! The shop is in the market hall, which (plus the market around) is definitely worth a visit!
You can buy cosmetics at disco cosmetics (good prices!) and at drugstore “Drospa” (stores all over the city center)
Two interesting museums we visited, both permission free, but donations are appreciated.
Latvian war museum and latvian occupation museum.
Compared to finnish prices movie tickets are much cheaper, about half or even less of the price. Kino Citadele is right in the center close to the railway station and has all the actual blockbusters in english (with latvian & russian subtitles) www.forumcinemas.lv
Have fun in Riga!!