The Riga nightlife is deservedly considered amongst the best in Eastern Europe - and even on a par with the celebrated Tallinn nightlife. So what is it exactly that makes Riga's party scene worth travelling for? Well the high concentration of pubs, cafes and bars in the Old Town (many with outside seating in summer) is certainly a major draw and newcomers to the city will have plenty of fun if getting the drinks in is a top priority. British style boozers and Irish Pubs rub shoulders with swanky bars and trendy cocktail lounges so you're almost bound to find a place to call home. For our money the Orange Bar is worth a look in, whilst PuPu can be great fun on the right night and the popular Skyline Bar in the Central District is rarely less than heaving. Meanwhile Martini on the main strip of Kalku iela boasts gogo dancers wiggling their botties on the bar. There's usually something going on here if nowhere else, although the manager is clearly aiming to draw in as many drooling stag lads as possible! For a more comprehensive guide to Riga's watering holes check out our nightlife directory.
Of course no nightlife connoisseur will want to leave Riga without first having sampled some of the clubs. There's a decent number and range on offer, although discerning party-goers will have their choices limited by their own good taste. If you are something of a club snob then Nautilus is probably the best bet for you. There are the inevitable posers and hangers-on but underlying is a core of funky youngsters who actually know the difference between house and techno, adding some much-appreciated authenticity to a night out here. Meanwhile Club Essential is a bit bigger and cheesier, but well worth a visit, especially if they've booked a big name DJ. The likes of Deep Dish and Lee Coombs have manned the wheels of steel this summer! Bigger and cheesier still is La Rocca - a favourite with Riga's Russian community. The music policy is a bit more commercial, but you can't turn your nose up at Ferry Corsten who graced the decks there recently. The antidote to all this thumping bass is Pulkvedim Neviens Neraksta. Riga's most reliable nightlife player for 15 odd years, 'The Colonel', as it is affectionately known, has an atmosphere that's hard to beat and stays busy even during the week.
If conventional nightlife holds about as much appeal to you as a dip in the Daugava river in December, then you'll be pleased to know that Riga also has a scattering of hip alternative venues. Kick back and relax at the I Love You cafe or John Lemon bar, amongst fellow bohemians, before jumping up and down in a deranged fashion at the legendary Depo club. Mayhem guaranteed.
Bars galore, clubs rammed with beautiful people, and a small but healthy alternative scene... Are there any downsides to Riga nightlife? There certainly are. With an increasing number of cheap flights making Riga accessible from almost anywhere in Europe, more and more tourists are heading to this Northern gem. Unfortunately for the unsuspecting locals, and possibly you too, a large number of these additional tourists come in the form of British stag groups - drawn by the irresistable double whammy of cheap beer and good-looking women. These guys may just be here for some harmless fun - but class they ain't. If you don't want to spend your night talking to Bazza and his thirty drunken mates you should consider coming to Riga out of season, partying during the week, or at least sticking to the harder to find venues.
Meanwhile the Riga powers that be, who seem happy to speak out against stag tourism in order to appease weary locals, should perhaps think about closing down some of the many strip bars, go go joints and brothels that appeal to 'lads' in the first place - if they don't want their city to become famous for the wrong reasons. As stags bring in a considerable amount of money to the city however, the temptation is always to sell out for the quick buck, without thinking of the long-term ramifications.
Pedro from Spain Reply
Can you please tell me what is the best place to party on thursday night and friday? I would like to go to a fine club or bars with a lot of beautifull girls to chat. Thakns
hot chocolate! from United States Reply
Is Riga extremely racist like I have heard others say? Iam a black woman, my cousin & I we are looking to visit Riga soon.So I was wondering if we will be treated poorly just because we are black. I heard that some places wont allow black people to the clubs or restaurants.Is that true? .Or maybe we should avoid this city overall. We are beautiful,classy ladies looking to explore.
Most people here are not, but we are nationalists. And we prioritize our own people. Family first as my godfather use to say. Keep in mind Latvia have been occupied many times so we are suspicious to strangers in general. If you have good intentions, and are a nice group of people maybe even speak a few words Latvian. I'm sure will be treated with respect. As any any major Nordic/Scandinavian city, if you want to enjoy the nightlife make sure you dress smart, book a table etc. If you are a group of loud guys, you probably won't get in anywhere. Not even Mcdonalds. Try Prag instead. /Arjas
Ralf from Sweden Reply
Jet again the doorman (yes the bald guy is still there) at Club Just said it was a private gay club :) I've been in Riga several times. Every time the doormen at Club Just are racists. Me and my friends are from Sweden, blond, white, blue eyes etc. So not only black, Arab or Asian guys are refused to get in. Well, I said I wanted to book a table. Sure enough it was OK to get in if we booked a table for €150, haha. Otherwise we could not get in because of the private gay club going on. If it was a private gay club, why should we book a table for €150? The doorman was not able to explain it to me. I even asked the lady who took the booking if we could get in if we booked a table the next day. She asked the guard but he said no. In the past, even if we had local female friends with us we could not get in. Doormen stopped us anyways. Well, Riga is more and more a no go zone. Few people (most left abroad), racists, expensive with the Euro and raising prices on drinks (€10/drink common). But more and more tourists are getting it now. Ryan Air have reduced their flights to Riga, happy party people go to other more friendly countries. Left are the retired people from Germany who go on group tours to the Baltics. I recommend going to La Rocca instead. At least there they are not racists. Why are Latvia in the EU? I wish everyone good luck :D
Iggly from Germany Reply
In short i was at Royal Gentelmen's club in May - it's great, - beautiful girls with amazing pole dancing skills. Perfect place to go out with friends, and i'm looking forward to go back.
Leo from Latvia Reply
Hello guys!! Planning coming to Latvia?! Want to get cheap hotels? Find out what to do during day time? Restaurants? Want to have a blast fun time in Riga nightlife? Discos,Bars,Pub Crawls, Stags, you name it! I can be your tour guide, im an student in Riga, and i can guarantee you that with my help you will save a lot of money. In Latvia, still taxis, bars,clubs try to rip off tourists, but with me you will have no worries as i will help you out during all trip and try to make your trip as enjoying as possible. I will be glad to help, email me if you would like me to assist your holiday/business trip. Leo.firstname.lastname@example.org Kind Regards Leo
bongo from United States Reply
NEVER GO STRIP CLUB ...SCAMS BLOW STYLE (IN OLD TOWN)
SupDude from United Kingdom Reply
Just like most people said, if you go and behave like idiot, you will get in trouble. Be smart pay attention. Riga is not the same as other cities, I been around and see far more scamming in Riga than in Tallinn or western european cities for example. As for walking alone at night, never had a problem. I look a bit like latvian/russian so I guess that helps blend in. If you go with a tourist shirt and cap at night, you're calling all the attention to yourself and therefore more likely to get in trouble. Riga Old town is full of consumption bars, girls work for the bars and get commission on the drinks. They will usually try to take tourists into the most expensive bars but some have normal prices. Just don't order the most expensive drinks and always check prices before ordering. Also don't get drunk or you'll get in trouble... the police hates drunk tourists, you will most likely get kicked out, beaten up and robbed by security guys if you get too drunk. Skyline bar is in the top of radisson hotel and they have good food, the atmosphere is very pleasant too. :-) For night clubs, which I don't go to because it is not my thing, I heard 69 is one of the best. At first I took cards with me, now I only take 1 debit card if I don't have enough cash for the night. I don't take my mobile or wallet either. Just reduces the chance of getting any problems even though I had none in 2 weeks. I did get approached a lot by the girls but now they know that I know who they are so they don't approach anymore. Talked to the guys on the street getting people into the "scam" bars, they're quite friendly, in the end of the day it is all just business... don't act like stupid tourist don't be rude with people or get drunk and you should be fine. I see some tourists insult the girls... then of course they get beaten up and robbed. Ask for trouble and you will have it. I had one girl insult me when she came to me and I told her I know she is working... I did not insult back and just wished her a good evening then went on my way. Be polite, it is not so hard. ;)
Leo from Latvia Reply
Hello guys!! Planning coming to Latvia?! Want to get cheap hotels? Find out what to do during day time? Restaurants? Want to have a blast fun time in Riga nightlife? I can be your tour guide, im an student in Riga, and i can guarantee you that with my help you will save a lot of money. In Latvia, still taxis, bars,clubs try to rip off tourists, but with me you will have no worries as i will help you out during all trip and try to make your trip as enjoying as possible. I will be glad to help, email me if you would like me to assist your holiday/business trip. Leo.email@example.com Kind Regards Leo
Selim from Canada
Hi Leo, I am from Toronto, Canada. I am first time going to Riga. Need your help. Appreciate if you contact me firstname.lastname@example.org Thx Selim Toronto Canada
Km from Norway Reply
Went friday-monday this November. Never going back to Riga. Felt uncomfortable when going out, with this I mean both early evenings AND nights. We went a group of 15, all ages.
Dr x from United Kingdom Reply
Steer clear!!! Country of scam, husslers and rude girls, especially the Russians. My mate was forced to pay €870 for 5 drinks in a club. The girls are beautiful but have no brain, dumb as f***. Go to Prague instead.
tony from Portugal Reply
Is there nightlife during the week or just on the weekend? Thank you
Taxi maniac from Bahamas Reply
I pay in Riga for Taxi not more than 4 usd on every trip , just got this link gudriem.lv/taxi and registring trip whit them. Waiting time 5-15 min
nick from United Kingdom Reply
hey guys, does anyne know what riga will be like in february? thanks, nick
By far the best city in the Baltics to party!
angus from United Kingdom Reply
I found the people very friendly, and the nightlife was fantastic! Also, I thought us Scots knew how to drink, but I was put well in my place by the locals! Respect!
Mikey from United Kingdom Reply
All I can say is - Latvians sure know how to party!
Breyton from South Africa Reply
I am south african and travelled all over the world many countries.I find america and uk more trouble then Latvia.Make friends with Latvians and you will never have troubles. If you don't want to do that learn the language before visiting a country and respect their rules and culture and no trouble will find you.If you going to boast with money and chat to girls that don't want you and think your money will get you what you want you wrong.A cocky tourist will always find trouble in any country its common sence.For some reason the yanks and brits think they rule the world and they dont you dont respect woman or foriengners. Its not your country so respect it.If you came to my country and act like pissed up brit or western tourist or any tourist the same would happen to you if not worse probably get shot or stabbed if you go to Johannesburg and act like idiot.If you cant behave or respect other cultures and countries i suggest you don't go abroad at all.I have been to latvia more than a hundred times got latvian friends have nothing bad to say about latvia its beautiful country great people very interesting langauge.word of advise if you go latvia try going to countryside not just riga theres lots nice places like valmeria,Cesis,liepaja sigulda beautiful places no tourists usaully go there.I dont like going where everyone else has been discover latvia in different way you shall have no troubles.I dont blame tourist i blame their cultures whilst abroad it doesn't respect other countries either.I love latvia its great place to go on holiday best country in the Baltics
varis from United States Reply
All the bad reviews r bullshit if u got robbed u deserved I'm from Boston born in Latvia I got back every year for the last 15 years nothing like this has never happen u guys just need to be smart and respectfully not wild and drunk and if u go to a club go to coyote fly best club in Riga always having special events ...and ps stop using credit cards take some cash out the ATM forget about ur wallet in ur room and go out have a good time stop blaming the city on ur bad choices and mistakes
Jan from Norway Reply
Okay. Just went to Riga with 7buddies with no expectations. The 1st day we didnt know anything and ended up on what everyone here hates, the lame miniclubs and scamming-women that suddenly appears from nowhere. But behold! the second day whe asked locals where these known club places where. And one club, called Club 69, was an amazing place. A complex with 7-9clubs and Club69 being the biggest. We just called the club ordered a table on the dancefloor and ordered couple of liters of booze. Might be a little expensive, but totally worth it! Best club ever! XD Best part is the club doesnt really take of until 1am and lasts until dawn break (6-8am)
anonym from Germany Reply
Within our stay at Riga we want to go into the JUST Bar, but it is not allowed for people from Germany. @ latvian people from the JUST BAR: think abaout your history and where are you from! At Germany you are all the time welcome! Why we are not welcome at Lativa?
Dzhelmek from Spain Reply
We Are going tonight to the El Divino Riga! Meet You There! El Divino Ibiza was fantastic, think the Riga will be the best one.
ahmed from Oman Reply
i been to latvia more than 18 times during 8 years and i never get any problem with any one i like this country and true i want to come again and agian pls dont believe whats is writen here until u try with ur self most of the problem it happend bcs some of the men they dont want to use there mind and they get drunk and they run like crazy for the girls only bcs of this they got all the problems in the bars really there is many nice place u can visit and u can enjoy ur time there spicial in the summer .
David from Spain Reply
Boring city, why does it have this fame for nightlife? I'm amazed to see how boring it is. Most of the bars are small, half empty bars, overpriced and boring. That on a Saturday night! On a Sunday night it was simply depressing, almost everything closed! Beware of girls that flirt wi you on the street. I'm sorry, mates, it's not that you're good looking, they're basically prostitutes who want you to invite them to drinks. But, at least with a prostitute you know what you're paying for... Here you'll just be scammed for nothing. You're warned. And the most annoying thing: Places such as Just Bar and others, DONT ALLOW FOREIGNERS. It's locals only. I was told so by the bouncer, even though i was dressing smart, was not drunk at all and was on my own! I don't know you guys, but for me this is a no-no... If they hate foreigners so much, I guess that we should help them and not go there at all. Btw, I hate stag parties and such demonstrations of collective stupidity, but anyway I was treated as just another rubbish tourist. In summary, a beautiful city to visit with lovely and charming people...during the day!!! Nightlife is an horrendous hole.
Johan from Australia Reply
I was in Riga 2 weeks before. It is beatiful city , but you need to be careful with girls , who ask you to buy a drink , and don't use a taxi, it is very expensive. I rested with my friends and it was amazing . Many sights in Old Riga town ,Lido is very tasty and cheap restaurant ,it is near from Latvian hotel Radisson . The best place , which i have visited was - Burlesque cabaret , on Kalku street. It was realy amazing , we payed only 10 Ls (about 14 euro)for each person i sat there more than 3 hours and saw a show with my friends . I won't forget it. Also i reccomend you a Bar fly .There are very nice smoking water pipe it is near from main street in Old Riga. Also Coyoy fly is very nice , but there was a lot of Latvian people and i thought that i am only one foreighn person in this place :D
Steve M from United Kingdom Reply
True capital of prostitution. Totally changes your view about women!
Britguy83 from United Kingdom Reply
Ive just come back from Riga after staying there for 3 nights. There were 4 of us (all lads). We read all these reviews beforehand and were abit cautious about how dodgy it seemed. I can now confirm that alot of these reviews are not as they seem. To avoid these so called "scams" When going into a strip joint simply ask the manager 3 questions..how much are dances, how much is a beer, and how much is entrance fee? They will happily tell you these things and you can then choose to walk away or not! When you sit down the girls will come over and eventually ask for drinks,and yes it will be the Champagne they order not a £2.50 beer but again they dont force you so if you agree then its your own fault! I think the reason why people were charged in the thousands on their bills was cuz they didnt look at the price list of things beforehand! Strip joints do have tabs most of the time, but again theres not "weird charges" other than your drink and dance! With regards to Latvian women who approach you and get you to buy them drinks - of course they do.. their fit so why not? Its no different to what alot of girls from the UK do anyways so I cant see how this is a scam! Skyline bar did feature alot of "snipers" we called them. Basically women who are dressed really sexy who approach guys to get drinks then leave them, only to approach another guy for the same reason. You can tell who they are. They are the ones who have boobs etc on show the most and hang around with similar looking girls. We saw a group of 6 of them all scattered around who did there snipering very well. The looks on guys faces when they realised what they have done was funny. They tried touching us up and coming onto us but I wasnt pi55ed enough to go along with them and make them get me a drink instead- normally i would have :) Latvian women are very beautiful women. I have travelled all over the world and this place features the best looking women by far. I have even been to Stockholm/Sweden where apparantly was voted "City with best looking women", and it was nothing compared to Riga. The women here are so friendly aswel. So not only are they beauties but they are really friendly. They even have superb smiles! All bar staff we encountered made us feel so welcomed. If you come to Riga, make sure you go to Kiwi bar by St Peters church. That place has amanzingly friendly women and a great atmosphere. We found some underground bars that featured £1.50 a pint. Its around £2.80 for a pint elsewhere. The local shots here are called Black Balsam. It tastes of Blackcurrent and really nice, but will eff you over! If you want to pull go to a place called "THE CLUB". This is better than club essential in my oppinion as club essential charges stupid amounts for drinks and entrance! oh and can i Just say, LATIVIAN women do not come across as slutty at all. If you want one night stands, prob best to go to Ibiza etc. In regards to the bouncers etc, i swear that half of them drive taxis aswel. We asked a taxi driver to take us to a strip joint and they did for free, he then pulled outside the club and got out and saw us in. I can see how this could be intimidating for some, but seriously if we didnt like what it was offering we just walked out - they aint gunna beat the chit out of you for that! Yes they probably earn commision on you going in but who cares? Simple rule here - if you come to Riga dont act like a pratt. We didnt witness or get into any trouble with anyone and we were wandering the streets until 7am in the morning drinking. Dont get me wrong if you choose to kick off with someone then i imagine these boys will do alot of damage to you and will easily out number you within seconds so just avoid it! There are many nationalities here and I reckon its most likely other cultures that cause the trouble, not the locals! Treat this place with respect. It is a beautiful city with so many beautiful friendly women. I really want to go back!
Bob D. from Austria Reply
Hey, I'm going to visit Riga in a few weeks time with a group of friends. the problem is that not all of my friends are already 18. (but at least they're 16-17, so they don't look like kids). Does anyone know if we're going to have problems by entering clubs with them there? How strict are the controls there? Thanks for answers!
Fentr from Croatia Reply
Stupid, stupid Brits... :)
Dan from United States Reply
I have never been to an Eastern European country that: a) did not have masses of beautiful women b) was short on thugs keen only on your cash c) a short respect for life in general Decades and even centuries of hardship. The cold seeps into the heart, survival of the fittest prevails. My honest to goodness advice? Stay away from situations involving alcohol, vice, and stick to the tours... boring yes to a degree, but if you want to party, do it in safe cities where the majority of the men don't have calluses on their knuckles from their hands dragging on the ground as they walk...
Alfonso from Norway Reply
I have got a transaction overview from DNB bank about an incidente from my weekendtrip to Riga: From card: 4925055001453941 Acceptorname: BRILLIANT-NAKTS KLUBS RIGA All in local valuta. 2012-02-11 02:05:10 250,00 LV Acceptet transaction 2012-02-11 02:54:25 1075,70 LV Accepted transaction 2012-02-11 03:27:44 795,80 LV Accepted transaction 2012-02-11 04:08:16 772,80 LV Not accepted transaction (not enough at account) 2012-02-11 04:09:41 700,00 LV Not accepted transaction (not enough at account) 2012-02-11 04:10:18 600,00 LV Accepted transaction I was not consciously after two friendly people from Donagans pub visited my hotelroom until I woke up at the middle of the day with my Visa-card intact at the room. I found it was a problem when I tried to withdraw money the same day. They must be proud. Managed to empty my account for about 3500 EUR and are now at Googles top list of fraud/robber/scam-factories.
stor kar from Norway Reply
Me and my mate went to riga last weekend and I must say I feel in love with the place. Great clubs and party life. the bars were clean and the staff and guest were friedly in all places we were at. We came on a friday and left on the monday filght home. I never had so much fun in my life. We went the whole shabam cola++. It wasnt hard to get want you want. I just had a friendly chat with the owner of the club and it was fixed. the lockal are friendly as long as you treat them with respect, Ive had worse exsperiences in scottland were you cant even say hello to a chick with out her going off her head and telling you to f off Friday night was heaps of fun, started at some local pubs and ended up at some club were we fixed us some chicks and 2g off the 70`s the chick showed us around the town and different clubs and well they were outgoing and wasnt hard at all to bring them back to the hotel when the night rang out. Saturday was a ball sleeped some hours and went to get breakfast in the old town in clasic fashion, double egg and bacon and a pint. at the time there was a lot off sweidish MC meting in town so we ended up have the best pub crawl ever! Later that night we wanted to taste some of the local food and heard of a place called Ludo or something. Ended up meting some russian guy that show us the way and in good old norwegian fashion invited hin in with us. We had found us a local guide and offcourse we had heard about these but we went along anyway. Too the next pub we said and ended up in this bar in a celler. Wasnt many people there just the bar tenders and a chick with a 12 year old. I stared to talk to her and she was realy friendly. The funny thing was, thursday before we left to riga we went out on town. My mate got realy wasted and ended up triping over into a rubish bin wich made a cut under his eye. So we were at this bar with this russian girl that I was chatting to when she turns to my mate and says.. the look on my mate face and then he loses it in laughter and was laughing so hard that i nearly feel off the barstool. This chick is sitting there not undersanding a thing! Well one thing you should know and some of these girls, there not so good at english and we had just realised she had ment Hey how you! classic. This russian guy then took us along way out of town to this other bar with a grandmother behinde the counter and to huge russian guy at a tabel. Here we new that it wasnt going to end well when the russian guts moved the table over to us and the grandmother came with a plate of food. My mate went out to take a smoke where he meet a guy on the outside that said we should leave and that the guy on the insiden were trouble so we walked out of there very fast after making some excuse. We made our way up the street and junped into the nearest taxi that drove us to the old town and ended up at the say club from the night before. when we came in the owner starts laughing and asked us if we had fun last night. Well we where well accepted in and took us some drinks together and asked if they could get something better 30 min later come back and said is is what the turist dont get and a little warning take it easy! ended up the bomb.. Went from there to studio 69 and not long after we were sitting there with girl on each lap and haveing a goodtime. Well the night ended up at the hotel room with these hotties too. 2 nights two girls and two telephone numbers. Good shit! these girls are hot,hot,hot Im telling you. I have never seen a so large concentration of beautiful women in one city. My advice to everyone going to riga is show respect, be friendly and have a good time. Sure turist pay more but it cost what it cost and nothings for free. Not the girls not the company but in the end the girls are just out looking for a goodtime and if that means buying them drinks all night so be it. As I say dont act like The Big Man if you cant afford it. And i can honestly say we used about there average monthly wage every nigh that weekend and I have no regrets. Best time Ive ever had and am already planing to go back in a though months :) Enjoy Riga!!
Paul from United Kingdom Reply
The perfect city for a stag do. it's perfectly safe unless you look for trouble. If you get smashed off your face in the UK you will get into trouble and this is the rule everywhere including riga so dont believe the bad reviews. The city is beautiful with plenty of history and beautiful buildings everywhere. loads of clubs and pubs, gorgeous women who out number the lads 4 to 1 as well.
andrey from Canada Reply
Planned to spend two days in Riga - went to strip club, got drunk and they robbed me of passport and $8000 from credit card - avoid this city if you want to party. Took me 5 days to leave because I was without Canadian Visa. I went to the police and they basically lectured me and told me drinking was a "sin" - I'll never return.
Sandra from Latvia Reply
Hello, I am girl from Latvia and live in Uk. I agree we have some dabgeroys places and strip clubs are not the best thing to do. But why British tourists are such a idiots and acting like jurks? That is why a lot of people in Riga hate them ang they get in trobble and you know...you deserve it!!! You should respect place where you go!
John from Germany Reply
Been here before and some friends with their families wanted me to come with them for a visit here. Thought it could be interesting to see if things had changed in last 7 years. Can say it have. But not in a good way. More organised criminality and so.
Jeff O from United States Reply
This can be a very dangerous city. Went to a place called Essential with two friends. I speak fluent Russian so it's no problem getting around. However, I ordered two drinks and soon discovered they were charging foreigners 2x of what they charged locals. When I ran out of money I went to the security guard and asked where the ATM was. Just outside. When I returned I had to re-pay the entry and as soon as I stepped in two security guys grabbed me, threw me into a closet and took all $200. Avoid, especially if you're a stag group which we weren't.
Goen from United States Reply
Ive been and lived in Riga, met locals and even had a child to a local woman, but watch out. At the drop of a hat they can steal all your flat and stuff children and the local police will do nothing effective to help you. As for bars, if you get talking to a girl you get the bill at the end of the night for her "drinks and service" and you WILL be marched by the club heavy and the POLICE to the nearest ATM for them to legally empty your bank account! But if you get to know a local woman or family... beware.. they are good at doing that too! After all "its business!"
Cygno from United States Reply
I will go to Riga in November and i wanted to know if it's possible to get fun to party during the week or only the week end ? Thank you
Johan from Sweden Reply
It's a quite interesting place, which I believe will gain on one staying a bit longer, like a week or more. Me and my friend met these two girls (sisters) at a pub/cafe and invited them to join us along the evening. They were attractive, helpful and sincere. Since we wanted to experience some of the 'true' local culture they showed us around all night, and took us to places I doubt you will find on your regular tourist map - like underground bars etc.. They were so sweet, when we insisted on dropping by the 'sky bar' they told us they've gone up and down the elevators several times before but never dared to enter the bar itself, figuring it was perhaps only for the elite rich and loaded tourists which is of course 'kinda' true, but I mean c'mon! So we bought them two beers and shattered their prejudices like a thousand pieces of glass. Regarding Brandon from USA:s comment "As for the whole thing about girls coming up to people, taking them to clubs and ripping them off, that happens everywhere, you people heard of gold diggers? Just be nice to them but don't follow them anywhere.." - You, my man, are a fairly confused individual who obviously have no clue what you're mumbling about. 'That happens everywhere' Really!? I've been to most countries in Europe and that has NEVER happened to me, neither have I ever heard of any friend of mine it happened to. Don't know what trash-holes you've been to but it makes you wonder. As for being 'nice' to them (the girls)- you gotta be kidding me! Hey man, ever heard of heard of like - THE LAW, ever heard of like 'organized crime'? I suppose you'd like to ignore the one and encourage the other! Sick. I can't imagine what a brutal experience that would be for the unsuspecting Joe, being set up and robbed like that(and sometime even beaten) Though I'm positive girls like that are FEW indeed, and definately not something you'll bump into everywhere you go, thankfully. "ever heard of gold diggers?" \**/ (you will hear much before your ears fall off) No, Riga is an old, interesting, pretty modern & aspiring city with a lot of personal character, if you ask me. If you go there - go in faith. Cheers
Adolfo from Italy Reply
The best is Moon Safari..the others are the same that in our country..Moon Safari is different, not "too much", just simple but great...and girrrrrrrrrrrls are so beautifull and accessibles go to look, and you will understand
James H from United Kingdom Reply
The nightlife was hot, hot HOT!
Jamie from United Kingdom Reply
A bit overrated, but the girls are hot! Shame there are so many drunk Brits making a t*t of themselves, but there you go...
Mike from United States Reply
One of the hottest nightlife destinations in Europe - for sure!
Tricky from United Kingdom Reply
I am in Riga now, fine so far good food and beer at OK prices in the Old town. If your coming here as a stag party as we are how you get on all depends what you are looking for and how you behave. We have come as a 40 something group and we are flying the UK flag by being well mannered respectful and not drawing attention to ourselves. However still had a suspect cocktail that we are sure contained no alcohol, and you really need to know prices before yo buy anything at all. City itself is small and has some great buildings. If your coming to get pissed up and for for strip joints I can almost guarantee you will have a bad time and experience. Vultures will inmediatley home in on you and do there best to fleece you. And if your inside a strip club with Russian Mafia I can only wish you a safe return home with an empty bank account the least of your worries. I sat across from Babylon last night which looks very enticing but strange how it is empty with the occasional mugs being drawn in. If you want strip joints I recommend you stay in the UK and go to Spearmint Rhino. You really do not want to be in Riga if it was the last place on earth. Expect to be robbed blind if you go in these places is the warning on all the websites and the american embassy even tell you to steer clear of certain bars including the above mentioned. At the airport there are pocket guides, pick one up and read it from front to back and you will have a good time I think. We are following a guide to recommended bars tonight and I will write again tomorrow as to the results.
Jim from United Kingdom Reply
Came back from Riga with a dislocated thumb and minus £300 quid courtesy of the local plod. Tossers.
Brandon Grayson from United States Reply
I've been in Riga for a few days now with some buddies and just happened to stumble upon this site and the first thing that struck me is all the complaining. First off, to all the people whining about getting robbed, ask the f..king price of what you're buying before being like "Yo get us 5 beers" and dont be a douche in general. If you're in a small group and you see a large group of sketchballs, why the hell would you walk towards them? As for the whole thing about girls coming up to people, taking them to clubs and ripping them off, that happens everywhere, you people never heard of gold diggers? Just be nice to em but don't follow them anywhere, and if you do, remember to keep a seperate tab and all will be good. So far we've been hanging around Old Town and its been pretty fun, oh and yeah don't piss on monuments, its not just rude, its completely f..ked up and if anyone gets their ass beat after such an incident, you had it coming. One last thing, the green cabs seem to be the most reliable ones so far, the other being the reds which occasionally "forget" to turn on the meter, either way I'd say stick with the green ones. Lookin forward to another 4 days here in Riga, and so far I recommend it to anyone who isn't a jackass, can hold their liquor and can keep their junk in their pants.
Karsten from Germany Reply
I was some time in Riga. Nice cafes, shopping center und nice old and new buildings. I like very much the old jugendstil in Riga. In nightbars I go never and when I go to a discotek, I go alone, with good friends and so I have no problem. I like Riga very much, it is a very good culture-city in euro-zone.
Tom from United Kingdom Reply
Hi guys! The best look of what is going on there: www.facecontrol.lv
Pedro from Portugal Reply
How is possible that the government don t close those #clubs and pub#?Even that the people is not looking for sex is quite obvious that everywhere if a girl speaks to a guy like #let s go to a club to have a beer# the guy accept it.I will not accept because I already know this kind of histories but I also never talk to a latvian girl because i am always afraid.
martin clarke from United Kingdom Reply
Riga was a super city before Ryanair bought all the stupid cheap boozed up Brits.. what would we think if every night Lats and Russians filled are pubs were sick and pissed everywhere... it was a great place , cheap prices friendly girls until we the Brits f***ed it up..
vickyl from Latvia Reply
I live more than 5 years in Ireland and every time when I am home I m enjoing my city,if u will go to nice places as planeta sushi-japaneese food, studio 69-night club, sky line bar u ll never have any problems. but about troublemakers tell u one,i heard loads of talking about Riga that many irish male going to riga just for weekend or just for a lough when they piss on monuments or bulling to latvians just because they r british or irish,tell u just stay at home dont bring your rubbish to latvia.
cici from Norway Reply
oh btw kristine.. I cudnt agree more. How can u not know how much money u give for a drink etc. Hilarious.. Seriously its ur own dam fault. Be a little more cautious next time, treat people nicely nd ull get the same in return. Its common sense to check things properly when ur abroad. Nd not to mention before u go. Oh nd before someone asks cos i bet someones thinkin this. How can u say that riga is beautiful and nice when all uve been doin is clubbing. Well ye there was alot of partying. But the first trip was also gettin to know riga. Its amazing how much u can do in 24 hours ;) lets put it this way.. i was exhausted when i came home. We filled our days with stuff to do. We were lucky enough to meet a latvian who had been workin as a guide before. I am personally a huge fan of history and culture. Therefor i felt right at home. It was fascinating walking through the old and new riga. It was like out of a movie nd thats how i felt the first trip. I actually remember thinkin that. So there u have it :)
cici from Norway Reply
i was in riga last year. First in june and it was so good me and my friends immediatly booked for 3 months later, in september.i had never been to riga when i came in june but one of my friends had nd she showed us where to go. We're party people so for us this week was perfect. We stayed at a hostel in the old town. Riga hostel which is perfect. Its cheap and nice. If ur hardly gona spend any time at ur room then does it really matter if its not like ur room at home lol anyways we wud always start our day really late cos we were up till the nightclub closed which is round 6 am i think. And then we wud go eat at ex. Fridays. Brilliant food. Nd then walk around little bit buy sum boose at the store which is amazingly cheap. Its ridiculous. Nd then walk back to the hostel, get wasted while gettin ready go out, eat nd then we went to french bar. Its right around the corner from fridays. Its cheap nd brilliant. If ur like us that is. We liked it. U get even more wasted, get to know people. Nd then we went to roxy. Nd then we wud go to mcdonalds which is 500 meters from roxy. Ull see it. Perfect end to a perfect night. Oh btw all this is linked. Meaning the french bar, fridays nd roxy its basicly all on the same street. Kalku iela. Kalku iela is like the main street in the old town. Oh then we have the skyline bar not so far from kalku iela. U just keep walking past the big statue which u can see from kalku iela nd ull get it. Its a tall buiding. Cant miss it. Not that cheap but brilliant. We basicly did this everyday. We really cudnt be bothered checkin out any other places cos we had a brilliant time right where we were. There was this one place tho. Its underground, cant remember the name but again, its near kalku iela. We were there to party so we didnt have the patience to look for anythin else. Except i wud recommend jurmala which is bout 30 min by train from the city center. Which is also not that far from kalku. Lets just put it this way. We didnt ONCE take a cab. We walked all the time which was fine. Anyway jurmala is a spa town. Beeeautiful beach. Cute little main street. Its worth the visit. Smoking is allowed sum places. Like roxy nd sum resturant near fridays. Just for u people who think thats brilliant. Like myself. Nd thats all i had to say really. For u who considered cancelling, dont. Its a beautiful exciting city. Friendly people as far im concerned. I got to know a whole bunch. I had the time of my life for very little money. I did NOT use my credit card anywhere. I only used the cashpoints. Nd i always left my card at the hostel after withdrawing. I never took it with me. If i needed more money our hostel was right around the corner so basicly all in all we didnt have any problems down there. Wasted everyday but we were still in control. U have to have ur passport with u when ur out at night, the police is constantly driving around kalku. Nd they mite stop u nd ask to see it. Even the latvians we hung out with had it with them. Im going back in april nd i cant wait. Riga is absolutely recommended. For both party people nd other type of people ;) enjoy!
Kristine from United Kingdom Reply
the only thing what comes to my mind after reading all these comments is you get what you deserve, ha ha. com'on. you don't have to go to Riga to get robbed if you are a bloody stupid arsehole! been to many different countries. and it works like that - if you don't have your brains in a good working condition you will experience some troubles. how can anybody pay for drinks such a huge amounts mentioned before in few comments??? what were you thinking guys??? you should check your mental health before blaming Latvian people for ripping you off. think what you do. been to Riga many times. nice city. all people I've met are intelligent, polite and friendly. can't get those who say bad things about Latvians. on the other hand again... depends who you are yourself and where you spend your time. if somebody goes to Riga just for sex... don't think anybody should take their reviews for serious. it's just stupid. don't listen to braindead people. just go and see yourself. most of Latvians are much more intelligent than those who left shitty comments here about Riga and its people. Riga is a beautiful city with such a rich culture. but you don't get it if you are not able to grasp it, right? btw, flying to Riga again tonight. looking forward to it. just wanted to check online what's the weather today in Riga and came across this site. just shocked all those negative comments. not all of them, of course, but mostly. so, I just could not leave my comment here. seems to me everything is really to do with - you get what you deserve. how can you expect somebody to be friendly and smiley if you don't have those things in yourself? how can you expect not to be ripped of if you don't take care of your actions? open your eyes and enjoy our time in Riga. lovely place. thanks for reading and sorry if I did pissed off anybody, ha haaaa. take care.
Tonny from United Kingdom Reply
I visited Brilliant club - the best! Girls u.u.u.Nr.1
Paul from Belgium Reply
Riga is a great city, went there already 4 times and never had trouble, to avoid problems with taxi's take the green Air Baltic taxi's they will charge you correctly, if you want to have a central situated hotel take the reval hotel Latvia (best value). Just behave normal in Nightclubs (even essential is ok is you act normal) already met some Latvian girls and believe me not all are looking to rip you off just trust on your feeling. By the way if you want to go to a great Italian restaurant go to Fellini's, really good
j from United States Reply
spent 1 year in riga. Just spent about 20 minutes reading through all these reviews. Riga is a wonderful place. I cant express in words the beauty of the land and its people. Nightlife? Yes, for the first 6 months i went out about 4 or 5 times a week. Have i ever hada problem with Latvians? Russians? Once when Latvia played Russia in Hockey there were a few rowdy drunks out on the streets. Hooligans? If you plan on raping women, buying prostitutes, peeing on the freedom monument, or anything else along those lines...i think it is highly justified that you get hurt, robbed, cheated by latvians. Of course, a few innocents may have gotten hurt out there, but i assure you, if you have an intelligent head on your shoulders, or even just a normal person, then you are more than likely going to enjoy yourself. Do visit the French Bar. Do go see Andrejsala. Check out Depo if you like underrground music. Essential is for tourists...roxy is--latvians do not go in Roxy..what makes you think that it is good for tourists to go into? take a hint. If you are uncomfortable with having to take hints, then you should stay in cili pizza until your plane leaves back. I am proud to have spent a part of my life in Latvia. Reznas iela, you are my alma mater... :) Anyways, disregard most of the comments on this page and you may find yourself in an unforgettable place. Also, check out Prata Vetra (brainstorm) Its not a club lol.
Barry O brien from Ireland Reply
trust me when i say this, complete and utter sh*t hole. me and a few mates went there. people we're horribly unfriendly and try to rip u off all the time. we were at the side of the road, 5 of us, waiting on a taxi. a car pulled up and out jumped 2 blokes with baseball bats. one of the lads got a smack across the leg, the rest of us turned and ran back to the bar. I know some of u are thinking that we must have been drunk, doing stupid things etc but I am honestly telling u, we were standing there minding our own business. we had only 2 drinks each at this stage and were completely sober. Riga is what I imagine hell to be like. I wouldn't go back if somebody paid me a lot of money. I hope nobody goes to there and they realise how horrible they have been and how much they need tourism to boost their economy. I have never had any other trouble in any other cities i've been and have been all over south america and Europe.
Calm Soul from United States Reply
Me and a couple of friends of mine are looking to go to Riga very soon and to be honest what we are looking for is a good time (not hooker good time but good dancing and partying without fights or brawls or rude people) I read a review stating that coming to meet Women mand native Latvians angry I don't see why though. I have seen plenty of non-native born Americans come to visit america and go straight for the clubs and women. I personally don't have a problem with this at all. Its the womens choice and you can't be mad at another man because a chick is interested in him and not you. I can completely understand the resepct thing. You don't come to another man's country and disrespect him, but unless your talking to a female that is his girlfriend or sister of something of that nature I just can't see being made of it.
Tommy from Ireland Reply
I visited club Traffic - didn't like, Essentials was the best. tomorrow ill go to Brilliant club
good looking :) from United States Reply
I have been in riga twice and both the times i had one friend with me. the first time i was there i went to a club called - Scandal- and you have to dress well or else you wont get in. i met two russian girls there and they approached us and they liked us and started talking with us. and they were very good looking like all the russian girls. they and til today im still friends with them and one of them came to visit me in my country after one year. Liste: you must know how to behave and choose the right clubs. dont get to drunk and end up in some strange place. always pay cash, no cards. if you like a nice strip club, go to Jockey club- it made for foreigners that want to be safe and dont get ripped of, trust me it good and safe. dont act like idiots and dont trust taxis ;) its a nice country but you must respect them and remember all the things they have been throow. good luck
Lorenzo from Italy Reply
Hi everybody. I went to Riga with three friends. I agree with those who say "be nice and you would be welcome". I never had any problems. Get a copy of the guide "Riga in your pocket" on the web or at the tourist informations centers (you can find one at the airport) and you'll find many information about the city. ***ABOUT NIGHT LIFE: Riga is not less safe than the rest of the european capital cities. I've never walked alone on the streets at night, i've never drunk too much (it's not my habit) and avoided some night clubs: there is a bullettin published on the American embassy website with a black list of night clubs. Also the English embassy has its own online pamphlets. At the moment the black list includes: "Babylon" (formerly "Roxy Klub"), "Royal" (formerly "Lords Pub" and "Groks Pub"), "Saxon", "Foxy Lounge", "Infinity Bars" (formerly "Bar Fly"), "Mary", "Pu**y (ss) Lounge" (formerly "Doll House" and "Zig Zag"), "Puzzle" (formerly "Pink Panther"), "Roxbury" (formerly "Mademoiselle Cigar Club"), "Sakura" (formerly "Nobu Sushi"), "Zephyr Bar", Versace" and "Cognac Bar. Last month there was a public ordinance to reduce scams in night clubs. Despite some of them were closed more than once, they were re-opened with different names (no wonder about that, it happens everywhere). You can get a copy of "Riga in your pocket" and read that some places have to be avoided like the plague. ---You should always ask for the prices before entering a place or ordering something. To move with taxis, you should have no problems with those belonging to the main companies; the red ones are quite cheap but they often have their taxi-meter switched off. Ask in advance to turn it on or for the price. And...About Essential club: although there are many radio advertisements to say it's the coolest place in Riga, each latvian says you'd better don't go, as it's full of prostitutes and most of the girls inside there just want you to pay their (many) drinks. And the free drink ticket is only for simple cocktails but they don't tell you in advice. ***PEOPLE You won't get a warm welcome. Russians are not so warm with foreigners, but Latvians are even worse for (i think) they suffered decades of foreign occupation; they don't like foreigners too much and tend to be very reserved. You should understand it, so don't expect too much. If you want to know women, the best thing you can do is to be kind, as they will not like you if you are too "direct" even if you are good looking.
Gabrielp from France Reply
Dear Anna, Amusing your idea to invent Joe & Derek from USA (see both comments below) to insult tourists and promote one of the video you figure in, but totally fake and stupid. Moreover, I don't think that's the way you'll high up the level of the mentality of the people of your country. Mes hommages
Derek from United States Reply
Anna, the video is sorta cool
Sebastien from Switzerland Reply
Last year, I went to Riga for 1 night (transit between Vilnius and Geneva). And I paid 100$ for 2 meals... It was bad food and much more expensive than in fashion places in Geneva.... When we were looking for a restaurant, a taxi man gave us a free ride after having told us "I will not leave people in danger, let's enter and I will drive wherever you want...".... You can believe me, I have traveled a lot and I have never seen a so bad place than Riga. Hell is a good qualification.
Kristine from Latvia Reply
I am reading these coments, and there is no wonder why they are so bad coments. I'll tell you one - 99% of you are going to wrong places :D Listen people, as Latvian I can suggest you - don't go to Essential, Nautilus, Roxy - that is crap. None right-minded will go places like these, only idiots or people with poor information, or those who are looking for trouble. The best places is: Feeling (Old city), Light (Centre), Sarkans (Centre). If you are looking for problems - you'll find them, and if you want to enjoy time - you will. Don't be rude or unpolite, don't show bad attitude and you'll be very welcome!
Leonardo from Brazil Reply
Hi, I am going to be visiting Eastern Europe with two friends in September. Would like to visit Riga as well for a couple of days. Can anyone tell me where is the best place to stay and the things to do in such a short period of time? thanks.
~~MR...TANOLI~~ from Netherlands Reply
my dear friends, I was in Riga last weekend.if you don't want to be get cheated there then follow my golden tips. 1~ don't use taxi. 2~ don't trust girls. 3~ don't go to bars. 4~ don't use creditcards anywhere. 5~ don't visit essential club and bars on kalko street. 6~ don't visit Riga as a sexual tourist. I would like to add for safe night life visit amsterdam. I was migrated to this country 12 years before and i am always proud to be Amsterdamer. ~~~~~~TANOLI~~~~~~
Pentti from Finland Reply
Ads, do you want Soviet Union back to Latvia?
Mat from United Kingdom Reply
Dan, it's jerks like you that are the reason Brits get beat up in the first place. I'm sure some guy didn't beat up your mate for no reason, he was probably being a drunk idiot. And then four of you beat up two guys?!? That's a two to one ratio, you are bullies and you deserved a lot worse than you got!
mithat from Turkey Reply
Thank you for all comments here.I was planning to visit riga in may but not anymore after i read everything about riga here..instead i think i should go to vilnius, any idea?..I went to kracov in poland last month and it was great! People are kind, smiling helpful.. very cheap country..
Max Power from Netherlands Reply
If you just dont go in if someone offers you a free drink nothing wil happen dont go to stripclubs and you will have an nice time respect them and they will respect you the people there where really nice too us olny 1 guy tried to rip us of. just go the skyline bar and nautulis and essential and you wil have the time of you life.
Gusts from Latvia Reply
Reading all the comments, made me reallize one thing, you all believe stereotyopes too much. 1 person tell you that they had a crappy time in Riga, and all the rest believe, just because they remember a few occasions when they were a little nervious. If you wonder about the hostility from people towards foreighners, then know this - if you plan to come here only to pick up the ladies, then be sure to expect some hostility. Wonder how much would you like if people went to your countires and picked up your wimen. And dont think that even if sometimes some ripoffs happen in Riga's bars, that doeset happen in your countries. And if you think you can come here, trash the local establishments, start fights, and then piss on the freedom monument, then you DO deserve to get a few teeth knocked out. All of the bad attitude towards the foreighners has arisen only because of tourists taking a piss on the freedom monument. Is that any form of respect towards us...?
Crazybee from Netherlands Reply
I've been to Riga in October last year and have read all the comments on this page. To be honest, we were quite worried because we really didn't know what to expect after reading all the negative experiences on this website. Well, i can be really honest about this: All the people that got bullied or ripped off either have had the wrong attitude or visited the wrong clubs. We went to several bars, the skyline Loungebar, Club Nautilus and Club Essential and had an absolute great weekend. I think a successful weekend in Riga purely depends on your attitude and intentions. If you're looking for trouble you will find it, if you're merely there because of your testosterone you'll most likely get into trouble too. If you behave like an ass, people indeed will not be friendly to you. DUH! I actually experienced the behaviour of an English group of guys and it's true: They behave like PIGS, are continuously looking for trouble and show no respect whatsoever to the Latvian people. If I had worked in that club, I would have thrown them out immediately. I cannot believe that people can actually behave that horrible! As for ourselves, we had a great time. People treated us kindly and we had great chats with numerous of locals. Most of them even approached us and we haven't experienced any wrong intentions with anyone there, including the people in the bars and clubs. I think the best advise i can give anyone visiting Riga is: Show them respect and a smile and you'll get the same in return. I'd love to go back again in the near future and can recommend Riga to anyone who understands how to treat other people and be polite.
Dutchman from Netherlands Reply
We were in Riga this weekend. Friday's skilinebar and then to essential. Saturday the same, it was really awesome. We had a great time. Everyone is really nice and polite. 1 tip, take the red ford taxi's. They are the most cheapest en the safest!
hans-herbert from Germany Reply
i live in riga almost 6 years, know the city more then 10 years - and i love it. 2006+2007 came to many of the ugly full-drunk british and of the slimy italians - but now they don´t come anymore and live in riga is as good as it was in the old times. prices are ok and girls you can get whenever you want... sorry for all of you who cannot speak russian! :)))))
Rob from United Kingdom Reply
The trouble is that for westerners and particurlarly English people in eastern europe is realatively cheap. That means those with no class can also travel for cheaper than a night out on a normal weekend in their town. Personally when I went there with a mate I had a fantastic time. Went to see the monuments and the old town..which was beautiful. Yes, we did meet some Latvians (in a coffee shop - mixed group) but they didnt try to rob us, didnt expect us to buy them drinks and who took us places where only Latvians people go and introduced us to their friends. Most people were friendly and nice when they realised we were not on a stag do or there to break things. Just go there with respect for the people and the place, dont drink yourself to the point where you are not aware and you'll be fine.
dave from United Kingdom Reply
it's still eastern europe, guys. i mean, if you really want to have fun and feel safe, go to vegas or some place decent.
Mike from Germany Reply
If you're going to Riga, never give out any of your credit cards. We got ripped off in a normal bar. One of us had to pay 2.500 Lev another one 4.000 Lev. Too bad that we found out about this when we got back.
Franklin James from United Kingdom Reply
If you just want to meet Latvian people- better stay in UK because thats where most of them live and work.
David from Israel Reply
We are planing to visit Riga next month - reading the comments made about the city is a shame in deed, real tourism is a very important income for many families if Riga I am sure. Nevertheless, we plan to visit. Can anyone recommend a friendly hotel well located in the center of town? Thanks :-) see you all soon
Anka from Poland Reply
Jarek, you're from Poland, you should know that this is much different than just a post-communist mentality. In Poland, even in cities with lots of Brit tourists/stags, you would never get flat out robbed in any nightclub, much less beaten. If ever it happens it's in shady strip bars on the edge of town run by gangsters, but when you go to those types of places you get what you deserve. But you would never get charged 100 quid for a drink in any central Krakow or Warsaw nightclub, and you would never get beated - the worst that could happen is you don't get let in because you have trainers on! Riga has been completely ruined by the sex tourists, and now all tourists suffer, it is a shame.
cj from United Kingdom Reply
i am seriously worried about this place, my flight cost 100 quid sounds like thats one drink in this dump of a city. Blow it im telling the lads
HoopDog from United Kingdom Reply
I have traveled all over eastern europe and now i've booked to go to Riga with some mates in December and after reading the reviews on here am seriously considering cancelling. Can any locals or visitors tell me some good things ?
Bregt Leyman from Belgium Reply
Been to Riga and Vilnius. Thanks for all the advice around here. Avoided all clubs mentioned so didn't get ripped off. But... Did not have a good time. People were cold and unfriendly. Nothing to see really. Vilnius was even worse. Guess city is worth visiting for couples and older people. But not for me. And yeah, women are gorgeous indeed, but like women in Belgium more. There nor not really beautiful, but at least they are friendly and nice to hang around with...
Tim jr. from United States Reply
I was disappointed by Riga as a whole-I`ve been to Prague, Krakow, Wroclaw and Danzig and enjoyed each of them much more.
paddy from United Kingdom Reply
We went to Club Essentials a couple of Saturdays ago, when we left a taxi man approached and said 5 Lats to take us home, so we accepted. When we got to the hotel, less than 5 mins away, he demanded 56 Lats!! We refused to pay, the driver then refused to let us out, and drove off with us in the car to a quieter place in Riga where we were confronted by 2 other guys and the driver, we were attacked and pepper sprayed, and lost all our belongings, phone, 2 cameras, 100+ Lat, watch and cards!! The police were not very helpful and I am still waiting for the statement to arrive at home, to make an insurance claim!
anon from United Kingdom Reply
I have just spent over a month in the Baltic countries. I am really not impressed with the nightlife in Riga. Bars and clubs- even at the weekend- tend to be mostly frequented by tourists. The locals tend to leave the city at weekends to go clubbing elsewhere. You need to be very careful in the clubs too. Follow the advice of the other reviews and avoid the list of "rip-off" clubs that most people have listed below. And remember, if youŗe a guy looking to meet beautiful women, if a girl approaches you and it seems too good to be true then avoid like the plague!
Michael Haller from United States Reply
Where is the First-Club in Riga? Website?
Jamie from Latvia Reply
A few helpful tips: 1) Riga is a very pretty city and, once you behave with respect to locals, don't get so drunk you don't know where you are, and stay out of strip clubs you are unlikely to encounter problems. 2) Avoid Groks/Roxy, Mademoiselle Cigar, Mary, the Jockey Club and the Doll House like the plague. If you go to these places drunk and by yourself, you might as well wear a neon sign saying 'I'm a stupid foreigner, rob me!' 3) This does not mean that other seedy clubs will not also try to rip you off. If you insist about going to such places, then always ask the price of drinks before you order, pay for each drink as it arrives and don't buy drinks for women working at the club. 4) Do not bring your credit card with you. 5) If, in a slightly seedy club, a gorgeous woman approaches, who would be unlikely to approach you in Liverpool or Dublin, then use your noggin and realise that an exchange of cash is probably on the cards. If you buy her a drink you may find it costs well over a hundred lats. 6) Do not assume that a woman with a short skirt or stilettos is a prostitute. Similar to Liverpool, such clothes are quite fashionable right now in Latvia. 7) If you encounter problems ring the police. 8) If the police are part of the problem ring your embassy. If you are detained you have the right to see a solicitor and to ask that the police inform your embassy and/or family of your arrest. 9) If you are one of those guys who believe women are commodities and that is the sole reason for your trip to Riga, and if despite this advice you stick to your initial plans, then prepare to be ripped off and beaten up and don't expect much sympathy afterwards. 10) If you are a normal tourist that wants to experience another culture and have an enjoyable weekend, then check out The John Lemon, Pulkevedis and The Cherry Club. But if you're an asshole please don't, as you won't find women in tiny skirts there and your presence will only spoil the atmosphere for the rest of us!
Samantha from Ireland Reply
Great! I am going to Riga next month on Erasmus, so I will be studying in college over there until January! After reading the comments on this page I am slightly worried!! Does anyone know what it is like for a female to go over there? I will be looking for somewhere to live shortly and haven't a clue where to start!!????
articolo from Switzerland Reply
I booked Riga for three days but I get some strong doubts if this was the right decision if I read all the comments from you guys... Will be very careful these days.
Sebastien from Switzerland Reply
One friend and I already booked flight tickets to Riga. Thanks to your pieces of advice, we are not going to spend our holiday there. We will just buy flight extension (about 100 EUR = 1 beer in Gorks...lol) and spend our 2 weeks holiday in a correct place. Vilnius might be good. Thanks again.
elina from Latvia Reply
Is Riga really so bad? No! People in Riga are friendly. Some tourists keep saying that Riga is a horrible place but no one didn't ask u to come here. No one isn't answerable for ur credulity. Girls are prostitutes? No! I have never slept with man for money or for drink! Don't judge all girls or clubs in Riga or Latvia for some specific girls! HAVE A BRAIN! TOTUS MUNDUS AGIT HISTRIONEM
David from United Kingdom Reply
After many visits to Riga, I feel it is only fair to the city to voice my opinion. Maybe it's because I travel there for work, and not as part of a British stag group, but I find the people in Riga very warm,(not quite as warm and open as in Vilnius, but Vilnius is very special) and have never had a problem. I have been in Groks many times, as I usually rent an apartment in Old Riga whenever I stay. While I have seen examples of extremely drunk men getting stitched up, I feel that they have to bear some of the responsibility themselves. The staff in Groks have always treated me with courtesy and respect, and have never tried to rip me off with price, possibly because I try to always behave to them also in a respectful manner. As for Roxy, there are definitely some 'dodgy' characters about, but no more than in most clubs in my home town of Luton in the UK. Basically, my advice would be to visit Riga, but to exercise the same degree of caution as you would on a night out in your own country, and try to remember above all that you are a guest in Riga of the Latvian people - they are lovely people once you get to know them.
Freddy from United Kingdom Reply
I WENT TO GROKS A FEW WEEKS AGO AND HAD A GREAT TIME, REALLY FRIENDLY STAFF AND PEOPLE, I DONT KNOW WHY UZE ARE ALL COMPLAINING, WE EVEN GOT A FREE COCKTAIL. GREAT PLACE TO BE, WILL BE BACK THERE SOON.
a from Latvia Reply
great city, stupid tourists. all the girls are not prostitutes as you think. they just look and dress good not like your fat and ugly women at home...
Nail from Latvia Reply
In addition to all the other warnings given here: 1) Ask for a price list always. Words are nothing when you are going to the police later. 2) If you are cheated in such kind of a place (there are several of them: Groks, Pink Panter, Mary, Mademoiselle, Nobu, etc), don't pay! These are relationships between customer and service provider, which, here in Latvia, are regulated by civil law. And the only thing that service provider can do - go to civil court, which will never be done by the owners of these places. 3) Call the police. Be sure to ask for Central Police Station. These people know about the place, and know what to do. 4) Be calm, security monkeys can beat you, and you won't be able to do anything because you're probably leaving in couple of days.(Weeks are needed to process the place) 5) Never ever give your card to the staff. Better say, you don't have it at all. Check the amounts they are charging you. Ask for the receipt. Cancel the card as soon as you are out of the place. More money can be charged later. 6) If you are let to go for the money to the hotel and one of the monkeys is following you - stay at the hotel reception, and call the police from there. 7) If you friend is held in the bar, and you should go and bring the money to pay - call the police ASAP, and together with the police go for your friend.