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A Day in Riga, Latvia

A Day in Riga, Latvia

My trip to Riga, Latvia was last minute. I realized that I had to take 3 flights to get home and was not ready to tackle on 20 hours of travel in one day. I decided to break my flights into 2 days of travel by spending a night in Riga, one night in Copenhagen, and home from there. One of my hostel-mates in Tallinn, handed me a Riga City Map to guide me on things to see and do.

How To Get From Tallinn to Riga:

There are several ways to travel to Riga from Tallinn but I opted for the 4.5 hour bus ride. There are different bus vendors like Lux Express or Ecolines. I booked my bus the night before on Ecolines for €17, about €8 cheaper if I had booked it earlier in the week.

The buses were clean, comfortable, and filled with amenities. Each seat had an entertainment monitor to watch movies or listen to music. There are also outlets on each seat. The bus also had tea and coffee onboard. The ride was smooth and we made one pit stop to pick up more passengers.

Where to Stay:

I booked my hostel while on the bus to Riga. The Naughty Squirrel Backpackers Hostel had high ratings and is pretty centralized. I paid €25 for the night. The bus station was about a 10 minute walk to the hostel so yet again, I decided to take the walk in the rain. I checked in and I was greeted with shots of Black Balsam, a popular Latvian liqueur that tastes like cough medicine (purple) and black licorice (black). The hostel also has a great happy hour that serves €1 Latvian beer.

I was the first to check into my 4-bed female only dorm room. The workers allowed me to choose my own bed. I walked into the room and it was spacious. The bunks were named after capitol cities. Each bunk had their own outlets and curtains for privacy. This was perhaps my favorite hostel I’ve been to all week. 

What To Do:

As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t have any set plans for Latvia. I opened my city map that was given to me and decided to hit some of those spots. The day was already half gone but I was determined to see a little bit of the city.

  • Self Guided Tour

Freedom Monument: Represents Independence and was entirely funded by donations.
Bastejkalna Park: Stars hung on the trees throughout the park during the holidays.
Riga is festive during the holidays.
Quaint Christmas Market


Where to Eat:

  • Firewood Tirgoņu Iela 9, LV-1050 Riga, Latvia

I was starving when I arrived into Riga. It was around 3pm (getting to Riga and checking in) and I haven’t eaten anything. I came across a row of restaurants and Firewood was the first to catch my eye. The host handed me a menu and after taking a quick scan I decided to come in.

The restaurant was beautifully decorated. It felt like a wine bar. The host allowed me to grab any seat and I chose one by the window.

The Black Balsam Liqueur were on display everywhere!
I ordered a glass of the Latvian white wine (€5.50). For my appetizer (€5), I ordered the peas and smoked pork and bacon topped with sour cream. It was my favorite dish from the restaurant.
For my main course, I ordered the honey pork ribs. The meat was juicy and fell off the bone. The ribs did not taste like honey. The flavor was bland but the fries and salad were delicious. The portions were huge! I would order the pizza during my next visit. €13
  • IL Patio | Kaļķu iela 6, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia

I wasn’t too hungry when I entered IL Patio but I needed dinner before going to bed. I am so happy I went here.

The restaurant was located downstairs. It had a Medieval feel to the building.
I was craving Italian all day and I could not decide between pizza or pasta. I settled for the Spaghetti Alla Bolognese. It was delicious! Perhaps my favorite Italian place outside of Italy! I devoured it quickly and I was completely satisfied! €6.50

After dinner, I headed back to my hostel to pack for my flight to Copenhagen.

→Next Stop: A Day in Copenhagen, Denmark

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