Riga

SEE

The Three Brothers

The Three Brothers

Freedom Monument- A remarkable monument, a symbol of freedom, that is extremely important to the Latvian people. Thankfully, the Soviets did not destroy it.

Architecture of Riga- The Three Brothers, House of the Blackheads, The Cat House, are just a few of the famous structures to check out, but most impressive is walking down Alberta Iela (and surrounding area) and looking at all the marvelous Art Nouveau buildings.  Riga is known as having the highest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture anywhere in the world.

KGB Corner House- A compelling museum about Soviet regime operations in Riga housed in the actual KGB prison location where they imprisoned and murdered political prisoners.

EAT

Riga Central Market- Europe's largest market, which is inside 5 zeppelin hangars to make it extra cool. It's a good idea to just take your time and walk around to see what strikes your fancy.  I bought some crisp, delectable pickles, and some warm, firm Uzbek bread.

Silkites un Dillites

Silkites un Dillites

Silkites un Dillites- (Herring & Dill) Fresh caught fish cooked to perfection.  A small restaurant with many locals and some tourists located inside the Riga Central Market.

Folkklubs Ala- A cheap, crowded place that serves large portions of hearty food.  We miraculously managed to get a seat at the bar and even though they are always busy the bartender was patient and pleasant. They played fun music from the region too.

1221- A traditional gourmet Latvian restaurant that has a gorgeous facade, and the interior is fancy too.  They have many different types of meat that makes it fun to eat here. I tried beaver for the first time, and I don't see how it could have been seasoned any better. I also had the herring, which was fantastic.  It's definitely on the pricier side, but they deliver with the flavors.

Riga Black Magic

Riga Black Magic

Riga Black Magic- The name is what made me stop and take a look at this place, and then to my delight I learned that it serves chocolate and booze!  The atmosphere feels a bit like a Harry Potter amusement park (no, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that in my book), and the chocolates are magical indeed.

 

 

Cafe Leningrad

Cafe Leningrad

DRINK

Cafe Leningrad- A hip bar/cafe meant to look like a Soviet era apartment, which you would think might make it touristy, but there were gangs of locals there, so that was nice.  The bartender was polite and I had some good local beer with a side of Riga Black Balsam. There was also a local band playing in the room next door.

Labietis- I visited a stand they have in the Riga Central Market with some of the best beer I had on this trip, and the staff is passionate, knowledgable, and helpful about all the beers. My favorite was a sour beer called Asara. You can fill up a 1/2 L and take it to-go too!

Vest

Vest

 

 

 

Vest- I actually stumbled upon this cafe/bar in dire need of a latte (hoping they made them), and it ended up being a cool place.  The latte was good, they played favorable music, and the service was extra friendly.  It also has a barbershop attached.

 

 

STAY

Hotel Justus- A comfortable hotel in a historical building in a perfect location for sightseeing.