Riga

Riga Background.jpg

Key Facts

Currency: Euro (EUR)
Official Language: Latvian
Dialling Code: +371
Emergency Number: 112
Population: 724,476

Riga is the up-and-coming newbie on the stag scene in Northern Europe, and the destination’s budget friendly prices, excellent and diverse nightlife scene and wide-ranging activities, are quickly earning it a place in the list of favourites for stag groups looking for a wild weekend away. The city is not only picturesque and culturally rich, it also offers epic dining options for stag groups with a big appetite and the strip clubs and lap dance joints are second to none. Come and see for yourselves – we can promise you won’t be disappointed with what you discover!

Top Things to Do

Day

  1. Take a City Tour: Riga is best explored on foot, so spend a couple of hours really getting to know the city on a guided tour. Here at Eventhuse, we have a couple of tours for you to choose from and we can guarantee that all of them will leave you with a better understanding of the way your chosen stag destination ticks.
  2. Soak up the Art Nouveau atmosphere: Riga is an architectural haven, and nowhere is that more evident than in the Art Nouveau district, located just north of the Old Town. Here majestically tall, colourful buildings from the late 19th-century line the streets, making it a great place to walk around and soak up the atmosphere. Don’t miss the Art Nouveau Museum on Albert Street which houses one of the most spectacular Art Nouveau staircases in Europe.
  3. Nibble your way through the Central Market: Housed in a series of old World War II Zeppelin hangars, the Central Market is one of the biggest marketplaces in Europe. Here you will find local farmers, and food and drink producers selling their wares, which includes anything from homemade cheeses, breads, meats, fresh seasonal fruit and veg, sweet treats, cakes and even clothes and bags. This is the perfect spot for a really authentic local lunch, or to pick up some bits for a picnic in the park.
  4. Go on a day trip to Jurmala beach: Riga is conveniently close to a small but fantastic stretch of coastline with long sandy beaches where locals swim, sunbathe and indulge in a spot of water sports or beachside dining. Jurmala beach can be reached easily by train from the centre of Riga, and the best thing is the trip only takes half an hour and costs a mere €1.70.

Night

  1. Sample the local Black Balsam: Latvia’s infamous national liqueur is a potent elixir of herbs mixed with pure vodka. The result is a slightly medicinal tasting drink that can be imbibed neat or in cocktails. Black Balsam can be found all over Riga in most restaurants, bars and clubs. Be warned though, the stuff is strong!
  2. Go on a big one in the Old Town: The Old Town of Riga is where most of the nightlife happens and the area is popular amongst locals, weekend visitors and stag groups. Nightclubs, bars, strip joints and more await you boys, along with super friendly locals and ridiculously gorgeous women! What more could you ask for!
  3. Try your luck at the casino:  Whatever they tell you, it’s not all down to luck when it comes to winning big at the casino, and a stag do abroad in Riga is the perfect opportunity to show of your slick, winning streak and your cards skills at some of the city’s top local casinos. Get dressed up, get your drink on and rake in the big bucks fellas. 
  4. Get down and dirty at a strip joint: Riga is world-famous for its excellent strip clubs, so it would kind of be rude not to visit them on your stag do in the city. We know the best ones around, as well as the ones to avoid, and you know what they say boys, ‘what happens on tour, stays on tour!’ – we won’t tell if you won’t.

Top Stag Activities in Riga

  1. Bob Sledding: Come rain, snow or sun, bobsledding is a great unique activity to enjoy with your boys on your stag do in Riga. Not only is it action packed and adrenalin fuelled, it also gives groups an opportunity to get out of the city centre and see a bit of the surrounding area, as they embark on this hardcore adventure sport. 
  2. Riga Beer Bike: You just can’t go wrong with a beer bike, it’s that simple! You get to ride around the city, soaking up the atmosphere, seeing the sights, checking out the ladies AND drinking beer all the while. Win, win, win, win, win in our opinion!
  3. Fire Arms Shooting Experience: Boys, if you’ve never held and shot a fire arm before, you won’t be able to understand the feeling, but let us promise you, the mixture of power, adrenalin and competition that you get from a Fire Arms Shooting Experience is second to none. Only time will tell who has the best aim – may the best man win!
  4. Drift Taxi Experience: Are you ready to put your pedal to the metal and hit the drift track with speed, precision and skill? The rest of the group will be eating your dust as you bomb it around the track in a full-on pro drifting car, with an experienced drifting champion. We can smell the burning rubber already, can you!

 
What to Eat

Latvians love their pork and the national meat is in most dishes on the menu, even if you can’t tell straight away! Try Karbonāde ar kaulu (grilled pork chops), karbonāde (pork schnitzel) and cūkas stilbs (pork knuckle) and follow it up with a delicious sweet sklandrausis pie made of mashed carrots and potatoes baked in a rye flour crust.
DINE OUT @ Istaba on Krisjana Barona iela, for a colourful and quirky dinner.

What to Drink

Local Beers: Užavas alus, or for a more traditional taste, Tērvetes alus
Local Microbreweries: Iļģuciems (try their cannabis beer) or Malduguns, for real craft beer. 
Local Spirits: Riga Black Balsam liquor made using Latvian herbs and pure vodka.
DRINK OUT @ Beer Underground, for one of the most popular hidden local treasures.

Exclusive Destination Events

  • International Jazz Day: April
  • Latviabeerfest: May
  • Riga Festival (music): June
  • Rīgas Ritmi: Late June/Early July
  • Positivus music Festival: July
  • Riga City Festival: August
  • Porta Music Festival: November
  • Staro Rīga Light Festival: November
  • Christmas Market Riga: December

Public Transport

With a grand total of 53 bus routes, 19 trolleybus routes and 9 tram lines, Riga is a great city to get around via public transport for stag groups visiting the capital. Unlike the tubes and trains in some European capitals, Riga’s public transport systems run from 5am in the morning, until 1am the following morning every day making it ideal for stag groups wanting to hit the town on a big night out.
Tickets are both cheap and easy to buy, with the €1.15 fare available to purchase at public transport ticket, designated ticket offices, supermarkets, post offices and newsstands. Tickets are valid on trams, trolleybuses and city buses and there are a variety of different price options depending on the number of rides you plan to take. For stag groups in a rush, ticket for the old trams can also be purchased on board from the bus driver at a slightly elevated price of €2 and the new trams have ticket machines on board. 

Climate

As a Northern European destination, Riga does not get the hottest weather, however summer can see pleasantly warm temperatures with sunshine and blue skies. July is usually the hottest month in Riga, with average temperatures of 17°C. This also makes July the best time of year for most outdoor activities as well as swimming in the sea.
Interestingly, the wettest month of the year is usually August with an average of 90mm of rain and winter is the coldest in February, with an average temperature of -5°C. Stags wanting to get active and head outdoors during their stag weekend abroad are advised to be aware that Winter can get very cold in Riga!

Useful Costs

Cost of a meal in an inexpensive restaurant: €6
Cost of a budget lunch: €3.18
Cost of a pint of beer: €2
Cost of a cocktail at a downtown club: €5.95
Cost of a 0.33 litre bottle of water: €0.59   
Cost of a bottle of Coke: €0.80   
Cost of a Cappuccino: €2.18
Cost of a pack of cigarettes: €3.45
Cost of a one way public transport ticket: €1.15
Cost of 1km taxi ride: €0.40

Tip from a Local

“Latvians love evenings out with live music relaxing with a bottle of wine, so head to Kalnciema Street Quarter for a totally local experience, where open air markets, concerts, movie nights and small festivals held almost every week.” Anca

Did You Know?

  • The Gulf of Riga has been likened in shape to the head of a horse leading neighbouring countries to call Latvians from Riga ‘Horses Heads’.
  • Riga is home to the 3rd tallest tower in the EU, namely the Riga Radio and TV Tower at Zaķusala. The tower reaches 368 metres at its highest point and can be visited by tourists for a small fee.
  • Riga used to be the starting point for Nordic Vikings travelling east to loot and pillage.
  • One in every three Latvians in Latvia live in Riga which should be a good sign that the capital has it going on!
  • Lastly, one for you single stags, Latvia produces more female models per capita than almost any country in the world!