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Roaming Riga

Riga Travel Blog

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Travbuddy - Riga

I heard different stories about Riga as being a tough place but I never really considered that I could get in any trouble. A fellow Australian travbuddy I met last year in Budapest told me he was mugged in Riga’s city centre at night while goin back to his accommodation and woke up the following day at the hospital with bruises and everything missing.

 

I took a bit of caution even thou I never believed that actually something will happen to me. As a friend of mine used to joke about it: “Hey, I’m from Eastern Europe, from Romania, they should be the ones to worry!”

 

So I arrived in the bus station around half-past-eleven in the morning and the whole place was buzzing with people.

The House of Blackheads in Riga's Town Square
The bus station basically neighbours the train one and there’s a lot of activity about the place. Just across the station it’s the city centre and the two of them are separate by a boulevard and there’s an underground passage underneath. I took the underground passage along with hundreds of other people that were pouring from the station

 

While going up the stairs to get back to the surface and trying to hurl my trolley up the stairs I felt there something goin with my shoulder bag, so I pulled it just a bit forward and felt something was stopping it. I turned my head and there was this woman, around 30 years old, who was unzipping my bag and behind her there was another man probably waitin to snatch anything that she could steal and fled away. Naturally I just bursted into a cavalcade of curses towards her, which I cannot reproduce, and strangely enough it were all in English in case anyone was in doubt about what was I shouting about. I don’t really think she was expecting such a vocal reaction, nor I believe she knew what I was saying, even thou it was graphic enough, but the goal was accomplished. She was exposed; dozens of people around us stopped in their paths and looked at her; I was still yelling at her and cursing while checking if there is anything missing from my bag.

the other way to get to Narnia
Eventually both of them vanished back into the underground passage. They didn’t manage to steal anything, only mange to half-unzip the bag in which there was my travelling pillow, a book, a sandwich and a bottle of water. All my valuables, like my wallet, mobile and passport were in my front zipped pockets.

 

It was an interesting experience in the end, bound to happen someday in my travels and made me a bit cautious from now on. And don’t worry it’s not about the location, if it bound to happen it will happen. Later in Warsaw I met and English guy with a black eye and told me he was mugged and beaten up in Barcelona.

 

Funny rumour I heard: A Latvian tourist board invested around 500,000 pounds into a campaign to promote the Latvian capital to English speaking travellers. It went horribly bad as instead of “Riga City: Easy to get, hard to leave” they printed hundreds of leaflets and posters with “Riga City: Easy to get, hard to live”.

The Dome Cathedral
Eventually everything was corrected.

 

I checked in Friendly Fun Franks Hostel, which by far was the hostel with the best atmosphere I’ve ever been to. On arrival you get a free drink at their bar while the girl at the reception does all the paper work for you. I met a lot of people and every night we would go out on pub crawls which the hostel organizes. Also they organize many events including shooting Kalashikov rifles at a shooting range which is quite popular. There a jukebox in the bar, there’re karaoke nights and a lots of things that would keep you busy. The kitchen is big and fully equipped so you can cook without any time. The beds are comfy and the dorms are away from the bar and kitchen area so you wont be troubled with noise.

 

Safety tip: Don’t wonder alone the streets at night especially if you had a few drinks as you risk being mugged.

Daugava river

 

Tip: There’s a law passed in Riga, mainly because of many stag parties that are happening around, called pee-and-pay. So don’t pee on any public places, not even small dark streets coz if you are caught you can get a fine up to 50-60 euros. And there are police who just love to “hunt” pissers.

 

Riga it’s a very beautiful city and if you like Art Nouveau this is the place to be. No wonder the Latvian capital is on UNESCO’s Heritage List.

 

Tip: Latvian currency is stronger than the dollar or the euro so 1 Lat is the equivalent of about 2 Dollars or 1,5 Euros

 

In Riga I met a fellow local travbuddy Eva , and one afternoon we took a walk around the city and she showed me around some very beautiful places.

family portrait
We also stopped for a bite and a coffee and had a chat about our travels. So Eve if you read this thank you!

 

ilvagul says:
Never use the underground passage. Even locals hate that place. Everything that's around the central station is bad ;)

Glad u enjoyed some parts of it though ;)
P.S. Kiwi is a good place.

Posted on: Jun 11, 2010
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Travbuddy - Riga
Travbuddy - Riga
The House of Blackheads in Rigas …
The House of Blackheads in Riga's…
the other way to get to Narnia
the other way to get to Narnia
The Dome Cathedral
The Dome Cathedral
Daugava  river
Daugava river
family portrait
family portrait
:)
:)
Riga TV Tower
Riga TV Tower
around
around
The House of Blackheads
The House of Blackheads
The House of Blackheads
The House of Blackheads
tea with dried sea food
tea with dried sea food
currencies
currencies
Fun Franks
Fun Franks
Fun Franks
Fun Franks
Fun Franks
Fun Franks
Fun Franks
Fun Franks
pub crawling
pub crawling
pub crawling
pub crawling
pub crawling
pub crawling
life explained
life explained
pub
pub
with a mate from NZ
with a mate from NZ
pub crawling
pub crawling
celtic anc kiwis
celtic anc kiwis
spotting familiar colors
spotting familiar colors
pub crawling
pub crawling
st pauli :) (not HSV)
st pauli :) (not HSV)
pub crawling
pub crawling
pub crawling
pub crawling
Riga
Riga
Riga
Riga
posing
posing
street
street
cathedral
cathedral
detail
detail
around riga
around riga
around riga
around riga
cobbled street
cobbled street
cannoning
cannoning
horsing around
horsing around
around riga
around riga
freedom monument
freedom monument
guards
guards
eyes shut
eyes shut
guard
guard
ducks
ducks
and pigeons
and pigeons
around Riga
around Riga
posing
posing
im a villain, a criminal and i do…
i'm a villain, a criminal and i d…
bridge where the newlyweds put loc…
bridge where the newlyweds put lo…
bridge
bridge
with Eva
with Eva
havin a quick bite and a coffee
havin a quick bite and a coffee
Eva
Eva
me
me
riga
riga
Riga Hostels review
Friendly Fun Franks
If you are in Riga and you plan staying at a hostel you definitely have to go to this place. It’s just the best atmosphere you could get. You get a … read entire review
Riga
photo by: sarahthevegasbride