Survive Latvia tips & tricks :)
Let's start with the beginning. When you arrive at the Riga's airport(RIX), most likely, you will be surrounded by peoples offering you a taxi ride. My friendly advice is to avoid them ... this is now, a very common phishing method for foreign tourists and most likely you will be overcharged.If your baggage is not to big and you have enough time try to use the buss. It is number 22 and it will take you to Central Station (Stockmann - supermarket); it costs 0.30 Ls but for a big suitcase you will have to pay a small tax (I don't know the amount because I don't like to carry big suitcases :)). Anyway once you are in the buss be aware of pick-pocketer s and please, try to avoid route of trolleybus 15! in the morning is extremely crowded and it is the best way to loose your money and your passport :( .
Unique Suggestions: I almost forgot! On various websites they will tell you that the 22 buss is on airport station every 30 minutes this is the listed schedule but...It is not true! If your flight arrives in Riga around 17:00 local time be patient because the buss will arrive in station once at one hour or much late because between this hours 08:00-10:00 and 15:00 - 17:00 Riga is full of traffic jams! .Keep in mind that they're local currency is equal with one pound so much more then one euro or dollar so if you will buy something that you think is cheap make the calculations again it is possible to cost you a lot more.Coffee shops: I recommend you "Double Coffe" it is a mark very prevalent in all town but the price is a little high 2.50 Ls for a cappuccino...but they have a great music inside.Overall they will say about Riga that is the most beautiful town from Baltic Sea ...it may be true... I really do not share same opinion. In maximum a week you will have all the fun you can get in Riga and you will see almost everything.
Fun Alternatives: Practically their piece of resistance is the old town ... it is OK for a walk on a sunny day or two but after that, you will see about everything and another walk...hmm...will definitely be very boring.(Imagine that I have to stay in Riga about a year and a half ....:))) I recomend you a trip to Jurmala this town is very close to Riga 25Km and it is on sea side ...here ,if you arrive in summer, life is quite beautiful ! While you are in Riga try to find the shooting gallery ... that if you want a bit of adrenaline in your blood.It is a old Russian bunker where you can shot fire arms with live ammo and amazed or not.. is legal !
In conclusion I would like to say that Latvian people are not the most friendly and hospitable people ... they deny with all their power the Russian language but everybody speaks it ... they try to forget their comunist past but also they try to sell it to us like a turist attraction ; they even have a museum in the central market. Museum of occupation. And they say that Latvia is the Switzerland of Baltic's ... I'm still trying to find why...
- School Holidays
The whole Riga Rip Off
Planning a trip to Riga? Cheap place, friendly people, no trouble. right? WRONG! Oh my god. Ive now travelled all over the world, and this place is the biggest rip off in the world. A 5 minute taxi ride = 8 Lats (8 pounds, 12 Euros), this was not just one taxi, this was every taxi. This is with or without the meter. Also, beer = 1.5-3 Lats, London prices my friends. Nightclub entrance, 5 Lats, what do the locals pay? 0.5 Lats. This is also the unfriendliest place i have EVER been to. I heard about the bad reputation this place had before i went, i just thought i could avoid several wallet lootings, but there was no reasoning with these unfriendly eastern european idiots. Why go to Eastern Europe, when your going to be paying Barcelona/Milan/London prices? And to top it off, random attacks for no reason on my english counterparts left us all feeling very very angry. Any help from the police? Bouncers? Absolutly no chance! This place will be a flash in the pan as for as tourism is concerned, and once this places bad reputation catches up, the rip off bars, taxis, restaurants, hotels and everyone else can go back to working in a factory for zero money. I strongly advise you to go elsewhere.
Beggar Requiring Eye Surgery
The subway in the old town area along 13 janvara iela. There is a female beggar with a sign reading that she needs eye surgery and requires money for treatment. She is sporting a contact lense with a black spot painted on it.
Almost fell over laughing at the amateurish attempt to fleece me. But anyways don't give her any money
Entrance to the tower of St. Peters Church
The entrance fee to the tower of St. Peters Church is 1,60 Lats. So I paid the entrance fee, but when the cashier saw my camera she wanted to charge me an additional 0,5 Lats for taking photos. So I told her that I wasn't planning to take any photos. Of course nobody checked at he observation platform if I took any photos or not. It was just a tourist rip off ... :-(
- Budget Travel
Tourist prices in the Old Town
Be prepared to pay high tourist prices in the cafes, restaurants and shops in the area around the Doma Laukums in the Old Town (Vecriga) The prices for drinks or postcards are often twice as expensive as in other places. Nevertheless, the centrally located cafes and restaurants are just nice for people watching ... :-)
- Budget Travel
Do not try to make them all :))
While enjoying Old Town do not even try to stay in every summer's cafe. During the season Old Town is stuffed with these. Once i tried to count them haveing one beer in everyone, but I stopped at 15....... Wish I would stopped at 5th :)))
Unique Suggestions: Well, if you are tough then try to stop at least at 10th cafe :))
Fun Alternatives: Hm, if you got in this trap, then it will seam fun enough for you. But not, then try to visit some museum or concert hall :))
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