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Riga

Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in riga

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Riga is the capital of Latvia.

riga Travel Guide :

Riga

Understand

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

Get in

Riga

By Plane

  • Riga International Airport, 1 (http://www.riga-airport.com/). Arrivals from and departures to various European (London, Munich, Oslo, etc) and Middle Eastern (Tel Aviv) cities as well as New York City. Bus 22 links the airport (Lidosta) with downtown. Tickets can be purchased from the driver. Have small change ready.
    • Aer Lingus, 2 (http://www.aerlingus.com/) to Dublin
    • Aeroflot, 3 (http://www.aeroflot.org/)
    • Aerosvit Airlines, 4 (http://www.aerosvit.com/)
    • Air Baltic, 5 (http://www.airbaltic.lv/). The Latvian national airline. Offers flights to various European cities as well as a recently annouced domestic flight to LiepajaLiepaja, the first in 20 years.
    • Austrian Airlines, 6 (http://www.aua.com/)
    • British Airways, 7 (http://www.british-airways.com/)
    • Concors
    • Czech Airlines, 8 (http://www.csa.cz/). Offering 2 flights daily to Prague.
    • EasyJet, 9 (http://www.easyjet.com/).
    • Estonian Air, 10 (http://www.estonian-air.ee/)
    • Finnair, 11 (http://www.finnair.fl/). Has convenient flights from most European cities via Helsinki.
    • Israir, 12 (http://www.israir.co.il/)
    • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, 13 (http://www.klm.lv/)
    • LatCharter
    • Latpass Airlines
    • LOT, 14 (http://www.lot.com.pl/). Flies to Riga from its hub in Warsaw.
    • Lufthansa, 15 (http://www.lufthansa.com/). Has flights to Riga from Munich.
    • Raf Avia Airlines, 16 (http://www.rafavia.com/)
    • Ryanair, 17 (http://www.ryanair.com/). Offers cheap deals from Dublin, Frankfurt-Hahn (Germany), London's Stansted and Liverpool (England), Stockholm's Skavsta (Sweden) and Tampere (Finland).
    • SAS, 18 (http://www.scandinavian.net/)
    • Uzbekistan Airways, 19 (http://www.uzairways.com/)
Riga

Get around

  • Taxis can be cheap but you must be careful, sometimes the try to get more money than they should and they don't care about giving a long tour through the city to arrive where you want. Some drivers speak a few words in English. One good company is Taxi.lv, white cars.
  • There are trams, buses and trolley buses which are pretty easy to use. At each stop, the conductor goes to each person who alighted and sells them a ticket for that ride. Each ride costs 20 Latvian cents (25 for some buses, e.g. the express service bus from the city to the airport, and some buses are totally free!). You cannot buy tickets in advance. It's also possible to buy the Riga Card, which you can use in all kind of public transports and includes disccounts for museums and some touristic atractions.
Riga

See

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.

  • Wander round the old town - lots of beautiful buildings.
  • At Christmas there is a small market which offers lots of festive fare.
  • The three brothers, the oldest houses in Riga.
  • The Occupation Museum is an absolute must.
  • The Jugendstil architecture in Alberta and Elizabetes streets are one of the better places to see the creations of Art Noveu artists like Einsestein
  • Mezaparks is a nice large park in the outskirts of Riga. A nice place for quiet walks in the summertime.
  • The TV Tower, a 368 metre high tower built of concrete standing on three legs. It has an observation deck in a height of 97 metres.
Riga

Do

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.

Riga

Buy

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.

Riga

Eat

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!

Riga

Drink

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.

Riga

Sleep

Riga

Budget

  • Riga City Camping, 20 (http://www.bt1.lv/bt1/camping/). A nice place in the center of town.
  • Elizabeth's Youth Hostel, 21 (http://www.youthhostel.lv/). An affordable hostel in the center of town with free internet access.
  • Riga Hostel, Marstalu iela 12, tel 00371 7224520, 22 (http://www.riga-hostel.com). Friendly, multi-lingual staff with a location in the old town center. 62 beds in various hostel configurations.
  • The Riga Old Town Hostel, 23 (http://www.rigaoldtownhostel.lv/), also has a nice pub which is open quite a lot, and is somehow also a hospitality exchange hang-out.
Riga

Mid-range

Apartment rental is a fairly popular option. Some dealers include Riga Old Town apartments (http://www.oldtownapartments.lv) and Riga Accommodation (http://www.rigaaccommodation.com).

Riga

Splurge

  • Hotel Bergs, 83 Elizabetes Street, 371 777 09 00, fax 371 777 09 40, 24 (http://www.hotelbergs.lv). An internationally regarded hotel that opened in 2003 located in the heart of Riga. Rooms from €164.
Riga

Get out

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

External links

http://www.riga.lv/EN/Channels/About_Riga/default.htm

http://www.riga-airport.com/

Riga Public Transport:

http://www.ttp.lv/ (Trolleybus and Tramway)

http://www.rigassatiksme.lv/maps.php (Interactive Route map)



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