Why have chosen this
I wanted to travel while staying in Europe and being homesick. Not knowing well northern Europe, my research has stopped to this region. Thanks to a €40 round-trip ticket with Ryanair from Frankfurt in Germany and after have checked for informations about Riga in Latvia, I decided to discover this country, bordered by Lithuania in the south, Belarus in the south east, Russia in the east, Estonia in the north and the Baltic Sea in the west.
Latvia has been a Member State of the European Union since 1 May 2004, and the Euro area since 1 January 2014.
Terms of the trip :
There is no need for a visa for European citizens, a secure identity card or a passport is sufficient. Over the holiday, many people advised me to visit Tallinn, capital of Estonia in the north, picturesque and really pretty.
Impressions :When I arrived at the airport, I took the shuttle reserved several weeks earlier on the central reservation. I was immediately surprised by the Russian rock music. You should know that Russian people accounts for nearly 50% of the population in Riga, which can seem a little confusing at first.
I particularly liked the Rock Cafe in Riga. I discovered a large building consisting of several concert halls, bars, lounge corners to quietly enjoy a cocktail. That evening, I attended a concert of local jazz, really nice.
The Cuba cafe is a coffee bar where, as the name suggests, serves Cuban specialities. We dance and we drink inside it, we discuss (and even drink) on a garden terrace outside.
Another place I loved is the Vest, a coffee shop, where the Latvian youth is found. Here, there are no tourists, but a great atmosphere and surprisingly, a man is in the process of equalizing the beard, lying in a large leather chair in a corner of the bar. It's better not go there after have drunk too much!
Located in the center of Riga, on the 26th floor Skyline, we see a dazzling panorama of the city and inventive cocktails, earned by ten minutes waiting for the elevator of the Reval Hotel. I recommend especially the "Cocaine", a rum-based cocktail, banana and coconut, a treat!
Good ideas ?
- The trip between
airport and city center: Prefer the bus - line 22 or a shuttle (€2)
- Housing: I took a hostel for about €7 a
night. The advantage of
this type of housing is the opportunity to meet backpackers from all backgrounds, to share our impressions. The one I chose is
called Tiger Hostel.
I loved the proximity to the train station (discovery of Jurmala - famous beach near Riga), Bus Station (discover Tallinn twenty euros), the large shopping center (purchase of bottled
water and biscuits, fast and cheap food),
trams, buses, the historic center and the large market of Riga.
- Eat sushi for less: The Tokyo City is a chain of Japanese restaurants in Riga. The choice is immense and disproportionate prices with the prices in France. The waiting period is still looong!
Quality of life :
The standard of living is very interesting for French, even in the Latvian capital. You can have a full meal for around €6. Tallinn, the Estonian capital, benefits of a mass tourism with higher prices than those we can find in France. Outside the historic center and the rest of the country, prices are very
The country is safe. I met one evening a Russian who wanted to sell me a really cheap mobile phone but he didn't insist in front of my lack of motivation. I had no worries for the duration of my stay.
Latvian people I've met are very friendly, smiling and open-minded, it was a real pleasure. I particularly recommend you to visit this country, mixture of charm, openness and nice surprises!
I would like to thank particulary Daina, Liga, Nora and Armands who made me discover this very beautiful capital, ļoti pateicos !