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Riga Nightlife

Riga Nightlife (2022): The Complete Weekend Guide + Bonus

Home » Latest Content » Riga Nightlife (2022): The Complete Weekend Guide + Bonus

If I were to answer the following question: Which city has the best nightlife in the world?

Riga would be my answer without any doubt. And I know it’s a bold statement. But there are two specific reasons why.

Reason 1:

I’ve lived in Riga for 3 years in my early 20’s. At that time weekends meant parties. And sometimes being the host of party weekends for my friends within a group of 3 to +10 people. All different times of the year, on different occasions.

That resulted in a fair amount of hours and money (and health) invested in researching this particular field.

Reason 2:

I’ve had the pleasure of partying in the majority of western countries for comparison.

USA (Miami, LA, and New York), and in 22 out of the 27 countries within the EU.

That’s a lot of beer! And shots in many not-so-natural colors!

Riga Nightlife

On top of that. In Riga, you can do everything from visiting the beautiful and peaceful churches in Old Riga.

Or low-key shooting grenade launchers and MINIGUNS. And oh, throw a couple of hand grenades too. With the company of an army of midgets or strippers. 

If you’re into those kinds of things of course. I’ll show you how later in the article.

Why You Should Visit Riga Regardless of the Nightlife

The plan is to show you how you’ll have the most action-packed weekend in Riga possible.

But before we go full-throttle on the partying topic. I want to emphasize:

Riga and Latvia, in general, have so much more to offer

Riga

If you like good-hearted people. Great food at cheap prices. Beautiful architecture. Old towns. Skiing. Hiking. Outdoor activities. Sovjet history. Eastern Europe, etc.

Then a visit is already set for success.

TIP: Did you know that Latvian women are the tallest on the planet, with an average height of  5' 6" (170 cm)?

1. Accommodation and Sweet Dreams

What’s best depends on your budget, and how many people you’re traveling with. 

No matter what, I recommend you to stay in the center.

The best option is Old Riga. No matter what reason you’re visiting Riga.

Hostels

If you’d like to add a more social aspect to your trip, consider a hostel. Especially if you’re solo traveling or with a few friends only.

Since I had my apartment when I was living there, I haven’t had the pleasure of staying at a hostel in Riga yet.

So I have no particular tips on this one, unfortunately. But for that Hostelworld among others is your friend.

Apartments

Notice that renting a cool apartment doesn’t have to be expensive if you’re a larger group. 

If you’re on a budget and still want to stay in an apartment, I can recommend these apartments at Ģertrūdes iela in the center.

Creepy apartment building in Riga, Latvia
What we don’t do for cheap accommodation… (somewhere in the center of Riga)

Hotels

If you feel like something more luxurious for a reasonable price. Like summoning yourself to an underground spa. Or a viewpoint of the whole city on the 27th floor Skybar (the building is 312 feet/95 m tall). Both only by the click of an elevator button.

Then the Radisson Blu at Elizabetes iela 73 in the center might be for you.

TIP: Read my guide on how to earn up to 7% free crypto cashback when buying flights, accommodation, etc.

2. Transportation Hacks

This is most likely what you’ll be spending your first money on when arriving in Latvia. 

But not the majority of your money.

My sister on an old bicycle in Riga, Latvia
So my sister found this bike… (Old Riga)

It’s so cheap, that when I was living there, my business partners and I took a taxi to the office every day. The cost of a car + parking in the center wasn’t worth it.

But it’s necessary to know which taxis to take, and which you should avoid.

Which Taxis to Take (The Good Guys)

1. The Bolt app is what you want

Also formerly known as Taxify.

It’s like Uber. But it was founded in the neighboring country Estonia.

Today it runs globally with a €150 Mio. revenue in 2019 ($180 Mio. USD).

Bolt

2. You can also take a taxi on the street – though usually, it will cost you a little bit more.

In that case only go for the green “AirBaltic” taxies, or the red “Red Cab” taxies. They are somewhat similar in prices.

Warning

One time I picked up a group of friends at the airport, and we took a large taxi from AirBaltic.

I did notice that the taximeter wasn’t on after driving for 20 min. or so. Aka the driver tried to scam us. 

When I showed him my local AirBaltic membership card he started sweating. Little did he know, that I was living there.

Warning

He tried to justify it by saying his taxi was full, even though that does not influence the price.

So still make sure the taximeter is on.

Which Taxis to Avoid (The Bad Guys)

In general any other except the ones from above. 

In desperate times, due to low availability and high demand during night hours. I’ve had the experience of paying €20-25 for a ride ($30-36 USD). Which should have cost €5-10 ($6-12 USD). 

In other words, you’re getting ripped off. Especially if you’re a foreigner, drunk, or both.


3. Food n’ Drinks

Try not to arrive too late on your first day. This will give you a better opportunity to spoil yourself with a nice dinner.

Rozengrāls – The Medieval Experience

It’s located on Rozena 1 in Old Riga. In a cellar from 1293. 

That’s a lot of years.

Posted by Rozengrāls on Thursday, March 12, 2020

Not far from the entrance you’ll find a horse caravan. Parked right outside.

The staff is dressing up like the middle-aged. There are almost no electronic lights, and swords and armor are hanging on the walls. 

Posted by Rozengrāls on Thursday, December 25, 2014

And you won’t even find Coca-cola on the menu card. For the reason being it wouldn’t be immersive in contrast to everything else.

Sometimes there’s even live music. But not of the annoying too-loud kind. We’re talking smooth sounds made by flutes and other historic instruments.

Spontanious Skyrim cosplay at Rozengrāls in Riga, Latvia
I used to be an adventurer like you. Then I took an arrow in the knee… (Rozengrāls)

I recommend trying their complimentary bread, grilled pumpkin, and honey beer. 

To be honest, the food is pretty average, but the experience is high quality.

If you’re visiting during the high season (June-August), booking a table is a good idea.

You can check out their website here.

Gan Bei – Offering the Tastiest Asian Dish I’ve Ever Tried

I’ve been traveling in Asia for around 1 year at the time of writing.

So it’s a little ironic, that the best single Asian dish I’ve ever had I found in Riga. 

Brīvdienās sola +35с? 🙂 Mūsu terase Galleria Riga 7.stāvā ir atvērta katru dienu no plkst.11.00 līdz plkst.21.00….

Posted by Gan Bei on Friday, May 22, 2020

The dish I’m referring to is their Homemade cheese with Masala sauce + Spicy Thai-style rice with basil and egg.

That combination is out of this world. All the people I’ve introduced to it have agreed with me so far.

The other food they serve is also pretty tasty.

Posted by Gan Bei on Thursday, June 9, 2022

Also, my favorite beer in the whole wide world is on their menu card. 

The name of the beer is Valmiermuiža (light). It’s so good.

My second favorite Mežpils (light) is also to be found.

Those are local beers that you can buy in most restaurants, shops, supermarkets, etc. 

Beer

Though there are several restaurants around the city. The best location is on top of Galleria Riga on Dzirnavu iela 67 in the center

The reason being it’s in the center, and on a roof terrace with a nice view.

You can check out their website here.

Lido – The Local Food Experience

Posted by LIDO on Thursday, September 25, 2014

Imagine missing out on the local food of a country you’re visiting.

Only to realize it when you’re on your return flight or back home. When it’s too late. 

Let’s make sure that won’t happen.

Posted by LIDO on Thursday, September 25, 2014

And if “Gopnik” or “Life of Boris” rings a bell to you. Then you can’t miss out on trying their Kvass on tap either. 

Kvass is a traditional fermented Slavic and Baltic beverage made from rye bread. I would lie if I said I like it, but it’s an experience. Think dark break meets Sangria.

Posted by LIDO on Thursday, September 25, 2014

Don’t discriminate – have a piece of each

You’ll find Lido’s all over Latvia as well. But my favorite one is found on Dzirnavu iela 74/76 in the center. For this reason being less crowded, more spacey, and with an authentic environment.  

You can check out their website here.

Junk Food – Early AM Food

Imagine you’re on your way back home from a good old night out-out.

How does some greasy and salty junk food at a very low cost sounds to you?

It’s less than 50% of the prices compared to Denmark.

McDonalds in Riga looks different

Posted by Lidija Skolnija on Sunday, July 2, 2017

If this sounds like the trade of your life, this is for you.

The only place offering food up until 6 am. in Old Riga is the McDonalds on Zigfrīda Annas Meierovica bulvāris 18 at the “main” entrance of Old Riga.

Do notice that it’s closed for 1 hour between 6-7 am.

Ronald McDonald
I think Ronald needs some fries and a large water
TIP: Avoid the food from Narvesen. It's so bad. Even if you're drunk, you want to spare your tastebuds. It's the shops that seem like a Baltic answer to 7-eleven. Though they aren't open 24/7. You won't miss them. 

Krejums Chips – The Local King of Chips

These bad boys could take the #1 spot in the “Sour cream and onion” chips league.

You can buy them in most supermarkets or Narvesen shops.

They’re especially tasty if you’re hungover. 

Marijana Coca-Cola from Riga, Latvia
Consider a complimentary “Marijana” coke with your Krejums chips

Or could be the perfect souvenir for friends and family at home.

Though it takes up a little space in your luggage of choice. The taste could likely be worth it though, and better than other souvenirs like magnets, etc.


4. Top 11 Best Bars and Clubs in Riga (2022) + Bonus and Secrets

Drink in a bar

Now that you know what to tell your family when they ask you about your plans. 

And you’ve treated yourself to some tasty food and initial drinks. Then you’re ready for real adventures. 

Let’s finally get into all the juicy stuff!

Including:

  • The must-experience bars and clubs (unique stuff)
  • The epic DIY pub crawl in Old Riga (7 stops + map route)
  • Techno clubs (like in real Techno – not EDM)
  • Riga’s #1 high-end club (and the secret on how to gain entrance as a VIP)
  • And more…

5. Top 9 Things to Do in Riga Sorted by Adrenaline (2022) + Bonus

Things to do in Riga

Since you can’t be partying all day.

Or you could. But…

You might want to experience more amazing things that Riga has to offer during daylight. 

Including:

  • Shooting grenade launchers, miniguns, or throwing hand-grenades (but Desert Eagles are fun too)
  • Experiencing the Saw simulator escape room. If getting a bag over your head, and handcuffed is your thing (like in the movie “Saw”)
  • Visiting waterparks with intense waterslides (with names such as “Kamikaze”)
  • The best casino with (with free entrance and free bar while playing)
  • And more…

6. Most Important Thing; Have Fun and Collect Those Priceless Memories! But…

Remember to be respectful.

Of course, I assume that you’re a sensible adult. If you’ve read this far already, I mean, then you’re able to focus is above average.

And I only include this chapter because it’s a nightlife guide.

That means I know chances are you’re gonna be intoxicated by more than good experiences. Hint: Alcohol.

Pik 100 FM radio in Riga, Latvia
In Danish “Pik” means dic*. And don’t make a good reason for people to call you that (Brīvības iela)

This especially applies to larger groups traveling together. The group mentally can unfortunately creep up on the best of us. And we forget that it’s not always a private party. I’m guilty of that as well!

But before annoying anyone, remember that you’re not only embarrassing yourself. You’re also representing the country you’re from.

I 100% believe that an individual’s actions can’t reflect a whole country, religion, etc. Or the other way around. But people tend to judge this way.


Bonus: Consider Learning These 5 Simple Latvian Words and Phrases

Getting to know a few words in the country you visit is always a good idea. 

It is a great way to connect more with the locals, show interest in their country, and make friends.

Latvian flag

And if you’re a single dude or dudette. Then you won’t appear less charming to the locals if you know yourself around a few Latvian words.

Click the links to hear the pronunciation:

  • Hi: Sveiki
  • Yes:
  • No:
  • Thank you: Paldies
  • Have a nice day: Jauku dienu
  • (Extra) You have nice hair – can I have one?: Jums ir jauki mati, vai man var būt? If you’re out to flirt and creepy is your style. This one is for you. Though do notice this isn’t confirmed by Google, so the safe bet would be to keep it in English (or skip it)…
Global Dane

I'm the guy behind Global Dane. Everything I create is purely motivated by a passion for traveling (preferably on a lower-end budget). If using hitchhiking as the main type of transportation. Choosing the unbeaten path. Turning strangers into friends. And so on, is something that puts a smile on your face, then you’ve come to the right place. Join me on my unfiltered travels on YouTube or here on the website. And if you have something on your mind, don’t hesitate to send me a so-called electronic mail. I’m always up for a chat.

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