Riga is the capital of Latvia, the largest city in the Baltic States. Riga is recently experiencing a new Renaissance becoming one of the most attractive cities in Europe. Riga is attracting many tourist due to its interesting old town, its largest concentration of German Art Nouveau architecture in the world, its historical importance and its reputation for having one of the most sparkling nightlife scenes in Europe.
Riga can be reached by plane. There are several lowcost Airlines Flying to Riga airport. From airport to the city take bus 22, which runs every 10 minutes during rush hour, it stops right near the central bus and railway stations and the journey 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. Have small change ready. There are international bus connections to anywhere in Europe.
Riga è la capitale della Lettonia, la città più grande degli Stati baltici. Riga sta recentemente vivendo un nuovo Rinascimento diventando una delle città più affascinanti d’Europa, sta attirando molti turisti grazie al suo interessante centro storico, con la più grande concentrazione di architettura Art Nouveau tedesca in tutto il mondo e la sua reputazione per avere una vita notturna tra le più frizzanti d’Europa.
Riga può essere raggiunta in aereo. Ci sono diverse compagnie aeree a basso costo che volano da/per l’aeroporto di Riga. Dall’aeroporto alla città prendi l’autobus 22, che passa ogni 10 minuti nelle ore di punta, si ferma proprio vicino alla stazione centrale di autobus e treni, il viaggio dura circa 25 minuti. I biglietti possono essere acquistati dal conducente a 0,70 LVL o dal negozio Narvesen in aeroporto per 0,50 LVL. Ci sono collegamenti internazionali in autobus verso ovunque in Europa.
Riga’s Old town is best explored on foot, especially since it is not very large and cars are not allowed anyway. However streets have round rather than flat cobblestones, so comfortable shoes are recommended.
Visit Riga Central market is noticeable for its huge hangars, built from parts of actual zeppelin hangars bought for the market in 1920. The market has also a large open-air area. It deals mostly in fresh food and is a good place especially during summer for fresh local fruit and vegetables. There are also stalls that sell cheap clothing and accessories. The market is actually quite non-touristy but very good for souvenirs. There are lots of small cafes scattered around the markets that serve up cheap local eats.
Riga, is the most vibrant and cosmopolitan city of the Baltics, it offers countless opportunities to sample both local cuisine and international favorites.Latvian food can be hearty, using a lot of potato, cabbage, beef, pork and fish.
Have a tour of former dock warehouses. Interesting architecture combined with the recent decision to establish in this area the most interesting and trendy entertainments such as music clubs, bars, restaurant and modern-art studios.
Drink local! Latvian beers are ok but more important you shouldn’t miss to try the local strong spirit, Melnais balsams.
If you want to skip the tourist traps in the old town and drink something with locals, take a walk down Tērbatas iela. Best places start to show around the crossing with Lāčplēša iela and further down. Then search for Bufete Guaja a place for a drink or two in the post-socialistic interior/exterior. On Lāčplēša Street there is Teātra bārs, a nice place to hang out, preferred by locals-Latvians. Deeper inside the bar is another room with DJ or sometimes also live performances, more action slowly builds up around 10pm New culture center “Kaņepes Kultūras centrs” open on 15 Skolas Street. There is a sort of bar/pub/kitchen place as well. There you can buy a locally produced cider from “Smiltenes sidra darītava” . It’s brut and medium sweet, and tasty if you happen to like cider at all. Try “Chomsky bar”, that is also on Lāčplēša Street. Sometimes there are some lectures on philosophical, historical or cultural subjects and all the time there is good music and friendly and interesting people. Could be rather intimate atmosphere.
Also spend some time at Latgalite (corner of Gogola and Dzirnavu iela). If you are looking for Soviet era hats, medals, pins, or complete uniforms, go to this flea market. Also has a large selection of Soviet-era surplus electronics and miscellaneous items. If it’s your dream to own something from the former Eastern Bloc, this is the place to look. On the way there you will see some interesting buildings
Mežaparks (Forest Park), can be reached by Tram 11. Is a pleasant park-area on the outskirts of Riga. There are large, gorgeous residential houses now being refurbished and repainted.
Don’t go to the expensive souvenir shops, instead buy items like amber and wool mittens and socks in the central market or in little stands around Old Riga
Consigli di budgeteurotrip
-Il centro storico di Riga è da esplorare a piedi, soprattutto perché non è molto grande e le auto non sono ammesse in ogni caso. Tuttavia le strade hanno molti ciottoli tondeggianti, quindi scarpe comode sono raccomandate.
-Visita gratuita della città a piedi, il Free walking city tour parte tutti i giorni da St Peter’s Church alle 12:00. Cerca una valigia gialla. Per i progetti simili visita www.rigabiketours.com e www.eatriga.lv
-Visita il Mercato Centrale è notevole per la sua enorme struttura ad hangar. Il mercato ha anche una grande zona all’aperto, dove si vende per lo più cibo fresco ed è un buon posto soprattutto in estate per la frutta fresca e ortaggi locali. Ci sono anche bancarelle che vendono abbigliamento a buon mercato e accessori. Il mercato è in realtà poco turistico ma molto buono per souvenir. Ci sono un sacco di piccoli caffè sparsi per i mercati che servono buon cibo locale.
-Riga, è la città più ricca e cosmopolita del Baltico, offre innumerevoli opportunità per gustare piatti della cucina locale e internazionale. La cucina tipica può essere abbondante, con un sacco di patate, cavolo, manzo, maiale e pesce.
-Fai un tour dei vecchi magazzini portuali. Un interessante architettura è combinata con la recente decisione di destinare questa zona a divertimenti interessanti ed alla moda, come club di musica, bar, ristoranti e gallerie d’arte moderna.
-Bevi locale! Birre lettoni sono ok, ma più importante si deve provare il liquore lettone per eccellenza: Melnais balsam.
-Se si desidera evitare le ‘trappole per turisti’ del centro storico e bere e divertirsi qualcosa con gente del posto, inizia a camminare giù la via Tērbatas iela. I migliori posti iniziano ad esserci all’incrocio con Lāčplēša iela a scendere. Poi cerca il Bufete Guaja, un posto per un paio di drink con interni ed esterni d’era post-socialista. A Lāčplēša c’è il Teātra bārs, un posto frequentato da giovani lettoni, in fondo al bar c’è un’altra stanza con DJ e talvolta musica dal vivo. Di solito inizia verso le 22. Il nuovo centro culturale “Kaņepes Kultūras centrs” aperto al numero 15 di via Skolas ha una specie di bar/pub/cucina e dove puoi comprare del sidro fatto artigianalmente chiamato “Smiltenes sidra darītava” . Prova anche il “Chomsky bar” anche questo a Lāčplēša Street. Qualche volta ci sono letture e discussioni aperte su temi di filosofia, storia e cultura generale. C’è sempre bella musica e gente simpatica ed amichevole.
-Trascorri qualche tempo presso il Latgalite (angolo di Gogola e Dzirnavu iela). Se siete alla ricerca di cappelli dell’era sovietica, medaglie, spille, o uniformi complete, vai a questo mercato delle pulci. Inoltre dispone di una vasta selezione di elettronica d’epoca sovietica. Se è il tuo sogno di possedere un oscilloscopio dal blocco orientale, questo è il posto dove guardare. Lungo la strada vedrete vecchi edifici che non sono esattamente ben conservati, ma alcuni sono molto interessanti
-Mežaparks, da raggiungere con il tram 11. E’ un parco piacevole alla periferia di Riga. Ci sono grandi, bellissime case residenziali ora in fase di ristrutturazione.
-Non andare ai negozi di souvenir, invece acquista oggetti come ambra e guanti di lana e calze nel mercato centrale o dalle bancarelle nel centro storico
RIGA BEERFEST 2013 (Festival, Beerfest) Vērmanes Garden Riga 24/5/013 – 26/5/2013
SUMMER SOUND LIEPAJA 2013 (Festival, Electro, Rock) Liepaja 05/7/2013 – 06/7/2013
Riga old town
Somewhere around the city…
On the road…from Riga to Warsaw (14 hrs)
Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, its historical and medieval old part, protected by the remnants of a city wall, is filled with medieval houses, alleyways and cobbled streets. The city’s old town has been astonishingly well preserved and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Especially in summer, the Old Town is packed with tourists and day trippers from Helsinki.
Today, Tallinn is a bustling and lively city that considers itself to belong to Northern Europe/Scandinavia, with very close ties to Finland (ethnic, linguistic, and cultural). Visiting Tallinn you will find a mix of at least three architectures: the recent Soviet style (concrete apartment blocks), old Europe (the city walls with rustic buildings and charming living areas with well-preserved and colourful wooden houses) and modern Europe.
The most common ferry route is from Helsinki. Prices average €16-30 one way, depending on operator, season (summer costs more), day of week (Fri and Sat cost more) and time of day (to Tallinn in the morning and back in the evening is popular and hence more expensive).
Tallinn Airport (“Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport” or “Ülemiste Airport”) is served by many companies (included low cost ones) that connect the city to mostly all European countries. Cheapest transfer is Bus #2 (15 minutes to city centre). There is also an Airport bus (#90K) that runs between the airport and various stops in city centre from 8am to 6pm every 30 minutes (Tickets can be purchased on the bus or in the terminal building and cost 2€). Taxis should cost €7-10.
Frequent buses operate between Tallinn and Riga, Latvia with continuing service to Vilnius, Lithuania and the rest of Europe. Buses also run between Tallinn and St. Petersburg, Russia (€30, 8 hours). Free wi-fi is usually available on board.
The Old City is best navigated on foot.
Tallinn has many different taxi companies and independent taxis. As long as prices are displayed on a sticker in the window and on the dashboard, they are completely legal. Locals never take illegal taxis. Do as the locals do and order a taxi by phone. Do not accept offers from taxi drivers waiting at the harbour or train station.
Medieval Old Town. Excellently preserved, built in the 15-17th centuries. This compact area is best explored on foot.
Viru Gate, (Entrance to Viru Street). This section of town is known as All-Linn or “Lower Town”, as it’s where the merchants and artisans of old Tallinn lived. Today, Viru is still Tallinn’s trendiest shopping street packed with tourists.
Raekoja Plats. The square in the heart of the Old City, ringed with cafes and restaurants.
Toompea Hill. According to myth, the hill was built on top of the grave of legendary Estonian king Kalev. Toompea was the home of the Danish aristocracy that ‘kept the distance’ with lower classes by building thick walls and a gate tower guarding the entrance.
Ex-KGB Headquarters, Pikk 61. Now the Interior Ministry and not generally open to the public, this is where the KGB detained and tortured suspected dissidents. A Soviet-era joke says that this was the tallest building in Estonia: even from the basement, you could see Siberia. Interrogations were indeed conducted in the basement and you can see even today how the windows were crudely bricked up with concrete to mute the sound.
Kadriorg. A beautiful and rich seaside resort district with mostly wooden buildings from the 18th to 20th centuries, as well as 20th century Art Deco and Functionalist structures. It also includes the baroque pearl of Estonia, the Kadriorg Palace and Garden.
Tallinn Free walking tour. This walking tour, guided by local young students, is an alternative to normal sightseeing trips, and is made especially for true travellers. In addition to the legends and true stories from medieval times to nowadays, fun facts and stories you can get brief overview on what to do and where to party at night. It’s free, tips are welcome!
The Old City is packed with restaurants claiming to offer authentic Estonian food, particularly on and around Raekoja plats. Prices at restaurants near the Raekoja Plats are generally more expensive, yet offer the same quality of food, as restaurants off this main square. Try Cafe EAT is probably the most reasonably priced cafe in the Old Town. It is very popular among local students and backpackers.
When enjoying Tallinn’s nightlife bear in mind that in local places, beers cost around 3 € while in tourist traps much more…
City beaches: Pirita Marina and Beach features a large sandy beach and in the summer it’s full of locals and tourists; Stroomi Beach, (North Tallinn) with clean and warm water( it’s gay friendly); Harku Lake, (West Tallinn). small lake that draws a lot of people. Kakumäe beach (Bus 21 from Balti jam, bus 21A from Väike-Õismäe – Stop Sooranna tee). The water is one of the purest in all of Tallinn beaches.
Go to Valli baar pub and try ‘millimallikas’ (meaning ‘jellyfish’) shot…it’s recommended
For boutiques and souvenirs, your best choice is Viru street in the Old City and its side streets. There are many stalls selling traditional items like woolen pullovers, crystal and amber.
Tallinn Music Week, Tallinn. In spring
Tallinn International Festival Jazzkaar, in April.
Tallinn Old Town Days, Tallinn (May/June)
Õllesummer Festival, (Tallinn), in July
Birgitta Festival, Tallinn (Music and theatre festival ) August
Simpel Session, Tallinn (Summer/Winter). International skateboarding and BMX event.
Soomaa National Park
Lahemaa National Park
Kaberneeme is a village that has 2km long beach area with pine tree forests edging right up to the shore.
Tartu – Estonia’s student town
Jägala Falls. Estonia’s largest waterfall.During cold winters, Jägala Falls freezes and is well worth seeing.
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Baltic tour started in Vilnius capital of Lithuania.
A relaxing and pleasent daily trip to Trakaj
Walking city tour
Articles 1at Uzupis district: ‘People have the right to live by the River Vilnelė’
Local potatoes pancakes…
Now Riga the beautiful latvian capital:
Riga is an active city with a pleasent nightlife…here at an arthouse party
And finally Tallinn, wonderful medioeval city, capital of Estonia
With friendly estonian friends, hanging out and having fun
Via Baltica was done ‘on the road’…