Riga Gift Shop: Very good souvenir shopping
This pleasant shop near our hotel proved to have a very good range of souvenirs, all of good quality and nicely presented, and with friendly service too. A great little place to shop for gifts to take home or souvenirs for yourself. There are t-shirts, decorative items for the home, jewellery (amber, inevitably in Riga, but some other pieces too), edible treats such as chocolate and sweets, scented candles and more.
I was travelling light so restricted myself to just a few small items - some postcards (they sell stamps too, by the way, and even have post box inside the shop), a cute black cat fridge magnet for Chris who loves cats (3.50€) and also a little bottle of Black Balsam for him (2.50€) and some toffee decorated with a cat logo (70c). A nice selection of small mementos.
Next tip: a medieval restaurant
Stockmann: Departmental Shopping
I am used to visiting the Stockmann store in Helsinki, and this was an unexpected find. It was nice to see that they have the same standards of service and stock.
It was a home from home in regard to having a coffee and doing some clothes shopping.
Hobbywool: Hand Knitted Gifts
The shop is within a building from the 17th century; it was a priest's house and part of the St Jacob's cathedral complex. The three-storied house is built in the Baroque and Classicism style, it was constructed by using timber framing techniques to build the walls. The house was renovated in 1733 when a second floor added.
In late 19th century a further renovation was undertaken by H. Geigenmiller, when the stables and cart hall were replaced with residential rooms (where the shop is now located). It has a modest charm with a courtyard combined with church walls perfectly fitting in with the architectural style of old Riga. The house is a state monument of architecture No. 6547.
What to buy: I bought some wonderful hand made woollen slippers.
Tabakas Nams: My Sorta Shop!
Although I didn't have need to use it, this visit, I couldn't help but take note of this little shop. Tabakas Nams (Tobacco House) is, as the name suggests, a specialist tobacconist offering a range of imported tobacco, cigars and the necessary requisites for their enjoyment.
It also stocks an upmarket selection of wines and spirits.
This is part of a small Latvian group, started in 1997, with 3 shops in Riga and a couple of others around the Country. Pictured is the one on Wall Street.
- Luxury Travel
- Wine Tasting
- Hiking and Walking
Narvesen: As Useful As They Are Ubiquitous
You'll notice these Narvesen shops in several places around Riga, including at the airport, and they are as equally useful for us tourists as they are for locals.
Narvesen is a Norwegian chain of convenience stores, similar to Seven-Eleven, and they stock all sorts of useful things including public transport tickets, local and International press, snacks and coffee to go, and even cheap beer. There are over 200 branches in Latvia and the one at RIX had a particularly helpful staff member when it came to buying my bus ticket for my journey to and from the city.
I think you can also buy theatre and concert tickets from selected outlets too.
- Beer Tasting
- Budget Travel
Apavi 40+: Large size shoes
Finding large size shoes is being problem for many years both for men and women.
This shop specialises in selling large size shoes form women (size 40-46) and men (size 46-53). Here you can find lot of different brands from Latvia, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy, UK, France and other countries.
Definitely can say that some of shoes style you can not find in any other shop in the world, especially Latvian brand, exclusively made for this shop.
Here you can find nice handmade accessories - footlets, gaiters, shoe clips, heel condoms ect.
P.S. Every customer are welcomed, even if you are guy who likes women shoes. If you are shy, they let you try shoes in warehouse :)
What to buy: Large size shoes, socks, stockings, tights, shoe clips, shoe care products.
What to pay: 40-100 euro
- Gay and Lesbian
- Women's Travel
VARIOUS SHOPS: SOUVENIRS - SUVENIRI
Throughout the Town of Riga, you will find various SOUVENIRS -SUVENIRI Shops. I loved to browse through them to see all the different and unusual things to buy.
Popular items seem to be t-shirts, hats, Riga cups, Riga books and maps, Baltic Amber jewellery pieces, cotton tablecloths, etc.
I also enjoyed seeing the different ways the shops decorated their entrances. The one pictured here has a large stuffed cat at the entrance.
RIMI: GROCERIES AND MORE
I needed to get some groceries, so I asked the ladies at the Lobby Desk, where to go. Simple they said - RIMI which was just minutes walk from the hotel.
Located in the "Galleria Riga" complex, RIMI carries a lot of items and at reasonable prices.
Items I bought were bottled water, milk, juices, bread, lunch meat, cheese, snacks and fruit.
They even have a delicatessen with salads and prepared meats, like baked chicken which I bought a couple of times for lunch.
They also have a good selection of alcoholic beverages, wine and beer.
Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Located just across the square from the house of the Blackheads are two good souvenir shops.
Suveniri is a tiny shop, stacked full of souvenirs and all types of gifts at pretty reasonable prices. The quality was good, and this was where I bought my souvenirs from, and I was real happy with what I bought. Souvenirs include ceramics, glass bottles and wooden carvings, dolls, amber, anything you can think of!
- Women's Travel
- Family Travel
The best souvenir to buy in Riga would be Amber.
The locals find it washed up along the Baltic coast where they collect it to sell to tourists.
This amber has made the region renowned amongst jewellery lovers, traders and archaeologists.
Amber dates to 20 to 50 million years old and is fossilised resin of ancient conifer trees, formed by pressure and time. It's a transparent golden colour, and I found it made into jewelery and into all types of different souvenirs.
In folklore, it's believed to be good for love, strength, luck, healing and protection, calming for hyperactivity and relieving stress. It is a very soft substance and should be worn with care to prevent marring the stone.
Amber is beautiful to look at and comes in 250 colours or shades, changing colour in the different light. Its shades range from greenish to a warm, reddish orange, and pieces can often include tiny insects, flowers or pieces of bark which were trapped when the sticky tree sap fell to the forest floor millions of years ago.
There are many shops and market stalls selling beautiful, locally-made pendants, all types of jewellery, and also private traders..
Be careful when buying.
Look out for a white pearling and sediment within the resin.
- Women's Travel
Sakta Flower Market: Flowers...24 hours a day!
This was a pleasant and very enjoyable place to visit - lots of flowers available, and the stall holders very feiendly and always on the look out for a sale.
The market is open 24 hours a day and demonstrates the need and desire for northern Europeans to enjoy the fruits of the sunshine no matter when in the year takes their fancy!
What to buy: Flowers of course
Narvesen: A tradition in kiosks!
Narvesen is a Norwegian chain of convenience stores/news agents, and is one of Norway's largest convenience store chains with 440 stores.
Narvesen was established in 1894 by Bertrand Narvesen.
Narvesen stores also exist in Latvia; I used one of them in Riga to buy postcards, stamps and bottled water.
What to buy: convenience goods!
Rigas Balzams stores: Sparkling wine - Rigas shampanietis
What to buy: Riga champagne is tasty and costs only a fraction of the proper namesake from France. There are different types; we usually go for pussaldais (semi-sweet) or pussausais (semi-dry).
Rigas balzams is another local drink, a bit like Vana Tallinn from their neighbouring country to the North, or Jaegermeister. It is very flavourful and traditionally considered very good against colds ;) not to my taste, but then again, to each his own. The Rigas balzams bottle is a brown ceramics bottle and it looks rather nice.
What to pay: Much cheaper than at home in the supermarket, more at the airport though not outrageously expensive.
- Wine Tasting
The Central Market
The Central Market in Riga is THE shopping facility per se - it is the biggest market in the Baltics and people from all over Latvia come here to sell their goods. It is located near the central railway station and is housed in 5 huge halls that in former times were hangars for zeppelins. Each hall has a specific emphasis, like meat, fish, vegetables, dairy products and groceries. Outside you find more vegetables, flowers and clothes. Look at this interactive map for the exact location - or just go there and discover it yourself!
The market is open every day from 7 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays and 6 p.m. on all other days.
What to buy: We bought smoked fish, cheese and vegetables there - and could not resist those fantastic mushrooms either!
Riga Central Market: Hanging around in hangars
The central market is located in and around four Zeppelin Hangars vacated by the German Imperial Army when they left Latvia. If you are at a vantage point looking out over the city, you can't miss these buildings.
Actually you can get anything at the market place. Mostly food, but also shoes, hats, clothes, beauty articles, music...
This is such a fun place to go and have look, even if you don't actually fancy buying anything at all. This is the place where the locals come for groceries.
The food is displayed nicely, and the prices lower than in the supermarket. There is also a certain charm with the way trade goes here. Prices for food are, as far as I could tell, not really negotiable, but other items you can haggle for if you want to.
There are old ladies also selling plastic bags, as a means of providing shoppers with really nice plastic bags (!) and as a means to earn a living. We do not haggle for the prices of these bags as they are cheap and the ladies selling them are trying to get by on a very meager pension.
What to buy: Food is the main thing here, and we usually go for caviar here (well, we have the luxury of home cooking as my mother lives here). The prices are much lower than at home and the quality good, if you know how to check it. Ask to try some, and if it smells and tastes strongly of fish, it's going off. Fresh caviar has a taste of sea and salt that is pleasant.
What to pay: 100 grams cost something like LVL 15-18 last time I checked.