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Riga Flight Guide for Stags & Hens

Guide to Flights landing at Riga Airport for UK Stags & Hens

The following airlines offer flights from/to Riga International Airport:

  • Aeroflot
  • airBaltic 
  • Belavia
  • Czech Airlines
  • Finnair
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle
  • Ryanair (Bristol, Dublin, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Glasgow Prestwick, Liverpool, London Stansted). When you'll get out of Riga with Ryanair, Riga Airport will ask you to pay a security Charge of 7€. It can be purchased also in advance on the Riga International Airport website.
  • Turkish Airlines 
  • Uzbekistan Airways
  • Wizz Air (London - Luton)

It is worth noting that Riga airport has splendid smoking terraces: a large glass shelter in front of the main building (upper level), adjoining the police station and used also as bike parking, and a smaller terrace after security checks, but this one is open, without a roof.

Ways to travel between the airport and the city include:

  • Bus 22. Runs between the airport and the Old Town. The bus runs every 10 minutes during rush hour and the journey to the Old Town takes around 25 minutes. Bus tickets can be purchased from the driver for 0.70 LVL or from the Narvesen shop in the airport for 0.50 LVL. Alternatively, you may want to purchase a 24-hour transport pass or a 5 or 10 journey e-ticket (see below). Have small change ready.
  • Airbaltic Airport Express. Minibuses to the city center cost 3 LVL. These run every 30 minutes but only take 20 minutes to get to the old town. This bus also stops at several hotels near the airport, so it may be more convenient than Bus 22.
  • Baltic Tax. Runs taxi service from the airport to the center for a fixed price of 9 LVL if paid to the driver, or 8 LVL if booked online. Service to the old town takes 15 minutes (Taxis can be expensive if a meter is used and a fixed price is not negotiated. Charges are as follows: 1.50 LVL for embarkation plus 0.50 LVL per kilometre, waiting 6.00 LVL/hour. The ride to the center takes 15 minutes).

Riga Shopping Guide

Shopping Guide In Riga for the Stag & Hen

There are plenty of interesting places in Riga ready to relieve you of your hard-earned cash. It's as well to be wary though as the prices of some imported goods can be pretty high so for a bargain it's best to stick to local crafts, alcohol and food. There are the usual new shopping centres mixed in with independent stores, mostly concentrated around Riga Old Town. 

  • Shopping Centres
  • Markets
  • Beer and other Alcohol
  • Speciality Shops

Shopping Centres

There's a lot of duplication in the shopping centres with same clothing, sports and shoe shops popping up in each, however Galleria Riga has some different ones as well as a rooftop terrace and crucially a whole floor of bars and restaurants. Origo should at least be easy to find - it straddles the main railway station - and has three floors with shops selling just about everything. Other names to note are the ever-expanding Spice with its Lido cafeteria, and the posh courtyards Berga Bazars with high-end shops, restaurants, cafes and fitness centre.

Markets

Without doubt the biggest is the Central Market, a giant bazaar housed in five aircraft hangars, with meat, fish and produce in sale inside and CDs, appliances and clothing on offer outside at suspiciously low prices! Latgales Market is where you might well find come across real bargains in all sorts of things, including quite possibly the stuff that was stolen from you earlier in the week, while the Kalnciema Fair on Saturdays has a changing theme has food, drink and crafts and a great atmosphere in a beautiful setting.

Beer and other Alcohol

Top of the list and a terrific way to get keep topped up during the day must be Alus muiza where you can buy draught beer in a range of bottles all the way up to 3 litres. Eight Latvian microbreweries are featured. Latvijas Balzams have outlets throughout the city where you buy Riga Black Balsam (whatever that is!) as well as many other alcoholic beverages. If you're looking for a firkin or so of something more familiar head for S.Brevia alus salons who stock imported British and Low Country brews or enjoy boutique syle beers and ciders as well as Belgian Lambics too.

Speciality Shops

Definitely some interesting options away from these boring shopping centres. Buteljons brilliantly recycyles abandoned booze bottles into mugs and glasses and you can bring along your own (you'll have some, we have no doubt) for the ultimate stag or hen weekend souvenir! Tigers sells that king of amazing stuff that blokes must have when they see it but really don't need, while for the budget minded among you head for Otra Elpa which sells all sorts of second-hand stuff for charity, including clothes, electronics, LPs, CDs and DVDs. If sex is on your mind, unlikely, we know, then there are two floors of stuff in Sexy Style, a  store that's hard to miss in the middle of town. Ideal if you forgot to pack something important or have something interesting in mind for your stag or hen!

 

 

How to Get to Riga from European Cities

Riga- How to Get Here?

International Travel guide.

Riga Airport is the largest airport in the Baltic region. It is directly connected to over 60 destinations in more than 30 countries.Riga International airport (RIX) handles an increasing number of direct flights to cities all over Europe, handling more than 3 million passengers annually. The growth of the number of passengers travelling from Riga airport, was largely facilitated by the fact that several low-cost airlines launched their operation in Riga.

 

Sightseeing in Riga

Guide to Sight Seeing in Riga on your Stag Or Hen Weekend

After a riotous stag or hen night in Riga don't opt for a duvet day to recover, head out instead and have great day exploring this fascinating medieval city. From the architecture to reminders of the Soviet occupation as well as unique museums and parks there's a plenty to make that sore head seem insignificant!

  • Museums
  • Parks
  • Places of Interest
  • Soviet Era

Museums

There are an amazing number of museums to visit in Riga, covering some strange subjects. From pharmacy and porcelain to firefighting and erotica there are also the usual natural history and military options. Metzendorff's House is a must if you're interested what the medieval rich got up to, or if art's your thing then don't miss the Riga Bourse Art Museum which has masterpieces and mummies on view.

Parks

Vermanes Park is a pleasant place and popular with the locals who like to play chess or read a book there. A river runs through the centre of Arcadia Park where you feed the ducks or take in the view from the top. Forest Park is positioned in the most prosperous part of the city before the war and is also close to the city's zoo, if you want to keep monkeying around all day.

Places of Interest

Easiest to find (it's 368m tall) is the needle-like radio and tv tower. You can take a lift to the observation deck for a a small charge but you'll only be 97m up - still a great view though! Only a small part of the Old City walls remain and as that was restored during the Soviet era it looks a bit too too new, however the Swedish Gate, built in 1698 to commemorate the occupation of the city by the Swedes, is the only such structure left. the apartment above was the residence of the city executioner or bende, who would place a red rose beside his window on days when someone was due to lose their head. Riga National Zoo has wildlife from all around the world, but of flora not fauna fascinates you head for the University of Latvia's Botanic Garden where as well as a stunning array of plants there's a butterfly house too. 

Soviet Era

Imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery. Perhaps that's why the Academy of Sciences bears more than a passing resemblance to the Empire State Building, though this Soviet erection is locally known as Stalin's Birthday Cake or The Kremlin. Alternatively the red granite monument in the centre of the Old Town was built to commemorate the Latvian Red Riflemen. As some of them became Lenin's personal bodyguards many would like it removed but it now actually honours all Latvian Riflemen. For a real flight of fancy take a look at the Spilve Airport Museum, the drab exterior of the outside hides an incredible over-the-top interior but if wings and things are what you seek then beside Riga Airport you'll find a great musuem that has everything on view from Migs to the mighty Mi-6 helicopter.

 

 

Bastejkalns

Bridges over Daugava

Daugavmala

Latvian Academy of Sciences

Museums- Link

Architecture- Link

What to Do in Riga

What To Do In Riga in between partying

Away from all the stag and hen activities you'll find plenty to do in Riga. It's hardly surprising that historical stuff is in abundance, the city was founded as far back as 1201. Swedes, Russians and Germans have all had a hand in shaping this fascinating city so there's a pretty varied range of museums and the like to look around.

The tourist information office is actually is housed in the oddly named historic House of the Blackheads and there's plenty to pore over here in a fascinating museum as well as taking a look at the grand ballrooms upstairs. The grim-looking Museum of the Occupation of Latvia covers the era where the country was controlled by the Nazis and then the Russians. If that's all a bit sombre then something that's certainly in the running for the weirdest must be the Sun Museum, which civers the history of sun mythology and its role in Latvian culture. If that doesn't crack you up then perhaps the Porcelain Museum will.

There is a multitude of museums to discover dotted around with everything covered from motors to medicine but don't be put off visiting the Riga Ethnographic Open Air Museum, which is actually an atmospheric  array of traditional Latvian houses with exhibitions housed inside with many staff in traditional costumes too situated in a park.

In fact, speaking of parks, there are plenty in the centre to stroll around. The Esplanade features the cathedral, Kronvalda in the so called quiet central district, plus the National Opera Garden and the Bastion Hill Park. Bear in mind though that it is prohibited to sit on the greenery on the banks of the canals or to drink alcohol (including beer) in open bottles in public places (fines can be up to £120).

Mind you if you can't be bothered meandering through museums or talking a walk in the park you can take the easy way to see around Riga by hopping on an open top tourist bus or electrobus. 

Souvenir shopping is best done away from the tourist shops. Head for the Central Market instead where besides the fresh produce there are also plenty of small inexpensive cafes to grab something to eat. You may think Taste Latvia in the Galerija Centrs shopping centre only sells edible items but in fact it's a fashion concept store that as well as clothes sells items for your home all from Latvian designers.

There's lot more you can get up to in Riga than the few things highlighted here so we'd recommend getting getting under the skin of the city by visiting the aforementioned House of the Blackheads!

 

Riga Transport Guide for Stag & Hens

Guide to Riga Taxis, Buses, Trains & Planes for the Riga Stag & Hen

There are a number of ways to get to Riga: by Air by Sea by Train by Bus Riga’s public transport system consists of buses, trams, trolley-buses, mini buses and a couple of suburban electric commuter train lines (from Riga to Jurmala, Saulkrasti, Aizkraukle, Salaspils, Tukums and Jelgava). The train schedule and ticket prices, click here. Public transport runs daily from 05.30 until about midnight. Some tram and trolley-bus routes have a night service every hour. Tram, bus and trolley-bus tickets can be bought in two ways: a) from the driver (for LVL 0,7 = EUR 1,0),or b) E-ticket (E-talons in Latvian) in the press kiosks (more information on E-ticket here). Useful links: Bus routes in Riga Trolley-Bus routes in Riga Tram routes in Riga Night bus in Riga Train lines in Latvia

Riga Hotel Guide for Stags & Hens

Riga Accommodation Guide for Stag & Hens

If you are looking for accommodation in Riga, there are three main options: hotels, hostels and apartment rental. Almost all hotels in Riga are comparatively new – renovated or built during the last 10-20 years. Before 1991 when Latvia was part of the USSR, foreign tourists rarely came to Riga. Most of them stayed in the Hotel “Riga” and “Latvija” – rooms in both hotels were bugged by the KGB.
Today the situation is different. Latvia is a free country. The tourism industry is booming and the number of places to stay in Riga has skyrocketed.
It must be noted that since the beginning of the economic Crisis in Europe, the prices of hotel rooms in Riga have dropped considerably.
Many foreigners are surprised at the high quality of accommodation in Riga. Some of Riga hotels are in the World’s top ten in their class.