Playing it Safe in Riga
Traveling to Riga for the first time there are some things that you should know, to make the most of your time here and to avoid any potential problems. The first thing that we should say is the Riga is as safe as any other European city, if not more so.
Just like any other city with a reputation for great nightlife, knowing where to go having someone to show you around is very important. This is where one of our Riga Nightlife Tours come in very useful, we will point out the few bars and clubs that could pose a problem for your group or wallet.
Here is a list of the current bars blacklisted this does however change on a regular basis so it is always best to check for the latest information;
Alibi - Kalēju 51 (Alberta laukums)
Ampir – Kaļķu iela (Līvu Square)
Baltic Saloon – Laipu iela
Bar Bar – Dzirnavu 55 Barfly – Kalēju 14/16
Brilliant Club – Blaumaņa 9
Līvu krodziņš – Kaļķu iela (Līvu Square)
Radio Bar – Šķūņu 17 (entrance from Zirgu)
Shot Bar – Grēcinieku 1 (entrance from Skārņu)
Vīna Sēta - Mazā Smilšu 7.
As a general rule of thumb its always better to pay in bars and clubs with cash, although the number of bars and clubs that like to scam clients has decreased considerably, it is always better to be safe than sorry, below is some feedback from less fortunate people;
"Too bad that i`m reading how to stay safe in Riga, cos now it`s too late…Just wanted to report that shot bar on a Grēcinieku 1 street is still total rip off. It seems like a bartender called to few girls who came and sit with me. After a bit they asked for a wine. Somehow they won my attention and i managed to pay for a two bottled of junk wine total 448 euros. first bottle cost me 185 and second one 263. Thanks guys for a sharing useful information and keeping up this page!"
"We used this as a guide before visiting Riga, thankfully we did not find ourselves in any trouble and overall the city was safe, especially the Old Town. We can't speak for others but knowing which bars to avoid was really important to us as a group"
There are numerous cash-points around the city; the most common are Swedbank, SEB and DnB Nord. Each one will charge for a withdrawal, however if you need to exchange money then the best place to do this is in Marika on Brivibas Street
As a general rule of thumb its best to stay out of the Central market area, although the opening of a new venue has laid the myth that this is a dangerous area to bed. Most of the parks are fairly well lit and are safe but again air on the side of caution and don’t do anything that you would do in any other city and you will be fine.
The policy on drugs in Latvia is harsh; no amount of any drug can be carried or sold. The police are very strict on this and would treat cannabis with the same punishment as cocaine. We cannot stress enough as a company that the use of drugs in Riga is not commonplace and if you start asking around you will quickly find yourself in trouble with the wrong people, let alone the police.
If your hotel is not within walking distance of the Old Town then taking a taxi is the best option, its very easy to know which ones to take. Baltic Taxi is a reputable taxi company and although they are more expensive they will take you where you need to go without the fear of being ripped off or worse. This is the area where most criminals make their money; unaware of distance and price many tourists take the wrong taxis and pay a hefty price for a short distance, not to mention being given change in Litas (Lithuanian currency which has a much lover value than the Lat).