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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in riga
Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in riga, Bed and Breakfast!
Riga is the capital of Latvia.
It is helpful to know that from 1940 to 1991 Latvia was a republic of USSR and though official language is Latvian, over 30% of Riga's population are Russian, so Russian language is widely spoken and understood in Riga, though ethnic Letts do not like this fact too much.
Riga has several districts. The most popular among travellers is the Old Town (Vecriga), German influenced architecture and magnificent Doma Cathedral with the world famous organ inside, along with vivid nightlife, makes Vecriga the most interesting spot. You will need approximately half a day to walk Vecriga around.
The area around Vecriga is mostly bult in 18-19 centuries are has lots of European-style buildings that recembles the ones in Paris or Rome. Many movies about "foreign life" were filmed here during the soviets, as it was a lot easier to film here than going overseas.
But Riga has the surrounding area that are build in typical "Soviet" style with ugly apartment blocks. Those areas were built using the same model project as in the other Russian cities and there is nothing really to be proud about. But at least you can imagine yourself in a typical Russian city, if you haven't been to Russia itself yet.
Sit outside in the summer months and enjoy the day. Go to the river and take a walk during summer days to see the sunset, just perfect.
The markets next to International Bus Terminal are full of people selling their wares at stalls, both inside the large halls and around the outside. The market is actually quite non-touristy with more emphasis on selling things like second-hand clothing, food, furniture or kitchen supplies.
Latvian food tends to be rather heavy, using a lot of potato, cabbage, beef, pork and fish. Riga as the most vibrant and cosmopolitan city of the Baltics offers countless opportunities to sample both local cuisine and international favorites. There's even a sushi restaurant!
Latvia produces a number of excellent and award-winning beers (alus), which are widely available. Aldaris (http://www.aldaris.lv) is a major brewery with several kinds of beer.
Latvia is also Europe's northernmost winegrowing region, and local wines and even sparkling wines can be bought in supermarkets and restaurants. Expect neither the grandeur nor the pricetag of a Bordeaux.
Pulkvedis is a trendy place, 3 Lats on popular days, free on others. The basement offers technoish and/or alternative sounds. Beware of extremely high prices for taking care of bags (2.5 Lats per bag), thiefs who steal bags, and last but not least, entrance personnel not giving back sufficient money, calling very aggressive security on complaints, with possible blood nose as a consequence.
From here you might wander north to Tartu or Tallinn in Estonia, or south to Vilnius or Klaipeda in Lithuania. Or drive the 40 kilometers to the National Park at Sigulda. You can even take a ferry to Sweden.
If you have more than just a couple of days in Riga, take a local train from the main Railway station to Jurmala. It is a famous seaside resort. It only takes 25 minutes to get there from Riga. Get out of the train in Dzintari and walk down the main street to the Concert Hall. Jurmala once was a popular resort amongst Russians and people went there from the whole USSR for a holiday. Great crowds wandered the streets in the summertime. Now it is a bit different, as Russia and other former USSR citizens need a visa to go to Latvia, so they switched their preferencies towards easier destinations. The Concert Hall stages international singing competions once a year and if you come at the right time it is the one not to be missed.
In Jurmala, there's also a big aquapark Livu Akvaparks http://akvaparks.lv. Viestura iela 24.
Walk down the beach and try to find a piece of amber that is often washed by the waves from the Baltic sea, thus the name Dzintari - The Amber.
Riga Public Transport:
http://www.ttp.lv/ (Trolleybus and Tramway)
http://www.rigassatiksme.lv/maps.php (Interactive Route map)