My first trip of 2017 was an interesting one!
Back before Christmas, myself, two of my cousins and my sister decided we wanted to go to Iceland. Unfortunately, my sister and one of my cousins weren’t able to go any time soon, so our Iceland trip is on hold for a while. However, myself and Sinead still wanted to go somewhere. As you may know, I’m challenging myself to only go to countries I’ve never been to before this year. After doing a quick search for flights on Skyscanner, and a quick look online, we decided to go to Riga in Latvia.
February was probably a weird time to go to be honest. The snow has pretty much melted, and the city is in that in between time before spring. However, the city has lots of gorgeous architecture, lovely places to eat and drink (if you know where to go), and lots of history to explore.
Check out my video of Riga below. I had a lot of fun making this one, I’ve changed the format up a bit from how I normally do my videos. There’s a bit more talking and interaction in this one. Let me know what you think, and subscribe if you like my videos!
We landed pretty late on the Friday night, I think about 10pm. We were both pretty tired from a full week’s work so we decided to go to a bar for a drink or two and then head home. I had found a bar online that looked really good, unfortunately when we got there, there was a private event on and we couldn’t go in. The next bar beside it also had a private event on. Cue to us traipsing around trying to figure out where to go! We ended up in the Radisson Skyline Bar on the 26th floor, sipping on cocktails. It was nice enough but we were super tired and called it a night after a drink or two.
Sinead had found out about a street called Peace Street, or Miera Iela in Latvian. We headed there for breakfast having read online that there was a good place along there to get breakfast. Here’s the thing about breakfast in Riga, they love buffets. I’m normally fine with buffets when I can identify what food there is, but we went into two restaurants where we simply had no idea what the food was. Eventually we ended up in Miera, which came recommended online. Personally, I wouldn’t go back. The coffee was horrible and the buffet was pretty sparse and strange. I hate giving bad reviews of places, but I have to be honest!
After breakfast, we headed to the chocolate museum nearby. Yes, there is a chocolate museum! Laima is a famous brand of chocolate in Latvia with a museum that you can visit. It tells you all about the history of the brand, how they make their chocolate and there are videos showing how they make some of their most famous treats. The museum is pretty small and wouldn’t take you too long to get through, but I enjoyed wandering around, plus, there’s chocolate everywhere!
We headed back to the Skyline Bar after that as we really wanted to see Riga during the daytime. We hung out there for about two hours, just catching up and sipping some cocktails. It was so nice to just get to hang out and relax. We wanted to make sure that we went up the tower in St. Peter’s church before the sun went down as it has lovely views of the city. Warning – if you’re not a fan of lifts/elevators, this one may make you a bit uncomfortable! The top of the tower is pretty small, so you’ll only really need to spend a few minutes up there to take in the views. Afterwards you can wander around the church and admire all the textiles and artwork on display.
That night we headed to Cloud Nine which is where we tried to go on the first night. Luckily there was no private function on that night! This was one of the best places that we went in Riga. They take their cocktails very seriously and it really is a lovely experience. You’ll see in the vlog that there is some serious dry ice used in their cocktails! We actually kept a list of the cocktails that we tried so that we could recommend them to people (although all of them are probably amazing), so if you find yourself in Cloud Nine in Riga, give any of these a try – Sex on the Floor, Das Ist Experiment, Ramos Gin Fizz, White Cloud, Cloud Nine Club and Bramble.
I was determined to find somewhere decent to go for brunch. A woman on a mission. After some major Googling, I found a place that was a bit of a risk, but we decided to go for it. One thing about Latvia is that restaurants don’t really have websites, you always get sent to their Facebook page which inevitably doesn’t have the menu, opening hours or any other key information. It’s pretty frustrating but luckily this place was incredible! I would recommend to anyone to check out Mute. Gorgeous decor, great food, amazing coffee and super cheap. I got pancakes, a side of bacon, a glass of prosecco and French press coffee for €13… That is crazy cheap, and the service is great, everyone is really friendly. Definitely check it out!
Afterwards, we decided to head to the markets. Riga is a very walkable city, other than getting taxis to and from the airport, we walked everywhere. We arrived at the markets a bit late, some stalls were already packed up. They are huge! It looks like air carriers that are just filled with stalls. We didn’t end up buying anything, but it was pretty entertaining wandering around, prepare yourself for a lot of pickled food and strong smells!
It was a lovely trip and brilliant to catch up with my cousin. If you’re into history, the Riga is a great place to go. There are so many museums about their history and culture. While food is a bit hit and miss, when you find somewhere great, it’s really great. I’d recommend going to Riga either at Christmas when all the Christmas markets are on and it’s a snowy wonderland, or in the summer when there’s lots of water sports and you can do a day trip to the beach.
Let me know if you’ve been to Riga or anywhere else in Latvia. Check out my latest video and subscribe!