Tourist Guide
 

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Other Latvian-related
tourist articles: 

Rave/Dance Music
Latvian Opera
Wine: A Baltic Guide
Jewish Riga
What's in a name?
The Bear Slayer
Riga: No. 1!

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Estonian Guide

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The shopping scene in Riga has improved by leaps and bounds in recent
years. Many chic brand-name stores have opened outlets in central Riga. You can also find the best selection of foreign language books in all the Baltics here, as well as some of the best record stores and food-specialty stores. If you’re looking for furniture or home design items, Riga is also a good bet. Prices can be high, however, and business-to-client service can sometimes be sub-par.

Department Stores and Malls    Open Markets  Handicrafts    Books    Antiques  Sweets   Suggested Souvenirs     

Department Stores/Malls

Alfa Centrs: Brivibas 372, tel. 707-6500. The largest shopping center in Latvia. Norwegian-owned.

Berga Bazârs: (C-4) Dzirnavu 84, just outside the old city; you can also enter from Elizabetes street. A range of fine specialty shops in a quaint, upscale shopping complex.

Barona Centrs: (C-5) Elizabetes 85a, tel. 750-8403. Norwegian-owned. Open:10-22; Sun. 10-18.

Basteja Pasaza: (H-3) Basteja 16. A new Western-style shopping mall at the edge of the old city. www.bastejapasaza.lv 

Centrs: (I-4) Audeju 16, in the old city, tel. 701-8018. Open:08-22. After renovations, Riga’s best known department store has successfully cast off the Soviet label. The place is now Norwegian owned and has all the trappings of a Western mall: specialty shops, fast food, even escalators (though they only go up). The place is clean and efficient, and is conveniently located. There’s also a good grocery store, Rimi, downstairs.

Dole: Maskavas 357, in the suburbs, tel. 701-8545. Open:10-22. Norwegian-owned.

Domina Shopping Center: Ieriku 3, tel. 781-8063. The largest shopping mall in the Baltics. 

Jekaba Kazarmas: (G-3) Torna 4, in the old city. A series of antique stores, chic brand-name stores and boutiques in recently renovated army barracks at the edge of the old city.

mc2: Krasta 68a, tel. 700-6868; info@mc2.lv. This new shopping mall named after an Einstein theorem is a rough Latvian attempt at a kind of Harrods. It is a string of delicatessens offering fine wines, cheeses and candies from around the world. There’s also a good seafood restaurant. They are clearly aiming at a monied glass with refined tastes. Also, excellent interior design shops with Scandinavian and Latvian furniture. www.mc2.lv 

Mols: Krasta 46, along the Daugava River, a 5-minute drive from the city center; tel. 703-0300. A vast Norwegian-owned shopping center. Open:10-22. A vast, classy Norwegian-owned shopping center with an outstanding range of specialty shops, restaurants and a huge grocery store. For diehard shoppers who love to stroll, people watch and eat on the same day, this is your place. 

Origo: (D-4) Stacijas laukums 2, tel. 707-3030. A vast shopping center right next to the train station.

Spice: Liel Irbes 29, tel. 800-7337. Open:09-22. This shopping mall has among the largest grocery stores specializing in items that might otherwise be hard to get.

Stockmann: (D-4) 13. Janvara 8, tel. 707-1200. Open:09-22. A new addition to the Finnish-owned department stores chain. Excellent customer service, a very good grocery store, a high-quality selection of goods. 

Open Markets

Central Market: (D-4) Pragas 1, tel. 722-9981. Open:08-18. An absolute must for shoppers and tourists! Immediately southwest of the old city next to the train station. Located in and around five enormous World War I-era Zeppelin hangars. This is a bustling, smelly, loud and downright fascinating place-one of the largest markets of its kind in Europe. If they make it or grow it, someone is almost certainly selling it here.

Flower Market: on Terbatas. Open 24h.

Latgales Market: Sadovnikova 9a, tel. 722-3955. Open:08-16; Sun. 08-15.

Vidzemes Market: (B-5) Matisa 2. Open:08-18; Sun. 08-16. Smaller market located north of the city center. For those who can't stand the crush of the larger markets.

Sweets

Emihla Gustava Shokolahde: (C-4) Marijas 13, in the Berga Bazar, tel. 728-3959. Also at the Centrs department store, and the Domina shopping center. Delicious, hand-made chocolates and pralines made in a small, extremely quaint local chocolaterie.

Laima: (H-2) Smilsu 16, in the old city; (B-5) Miera 22 and many other locations over the city. Latvia’s largest producer of chocolate and sweets. A Baltic favorite and a must for a visitor. www.laima.lv 

Ledija Harissa: (I-4) Vaîðu 48, tel. 721-0269; (C-4) Dzirnavu 57, tel. 760-2127. Oriental sweets produced in Latvia.

Rosi: (C-4) Elizabetes 57, tel. 728-2115.

Staburadze: (C-4) Merkela 13; (H-2) Smilsu 8; (A-5) Valdemara 67; (B-4) Brivibas 68 and other outlets around town. Latvia’s largest producer of cakes and biscuits, another must for first time visitors. www.staburadze.lv 

Handicrafts

A&E: (I-2) Jauniela 17, tel. 722-3200. Amber.

Arka: (G-2) Torna 4, in the Jekaba Kazarmas.

Ezerciems: (I-3) Kalku 7/9, tel. 722-2428.

Griezi: (H-1) Maza Miesnieku 1, tel. 750-7236. Tastefully done linen, jewelry, wooden items, wrought iron and more. Classier than many other handicraft stores.

Izvele: (I-3) Jana 8.

Laipa: (I-2) Laipu 2/4, tel. 722-9962. Linen clothes, silver jewelry and more.

Livs: (I-3) Kaleju 7, tel. 722-9010. Linen, jewelry, handpainted silk by Latvian professional applied artists.

Mara: (I-3) Kaleju 9/11, tel. 708-7541. Possibly the best selection of amber in Riga. Linen.

Rota: (I-3) Kaleju 9/11, tel. 708-7546, in the Konventa Seta Hotel; Tirgonu 17, (I-2). Tasteful amber, ceramics, linen, silver jewelry, leather.

Sena Klets: (C-4) Merkela 13, tel. 724-2398.

Tine: (H-3) Valnu 2, 721-6728.

Valnitis: (H-3) Valnu 21, tel. 722-9577.

Vecpilseta: (I-3) Kalku 7/9, tel. 722-5427.

Books

Globuss: (I-4) Valnu 26, tel. 722-6957. Open:08-22. A good selection of English-language books. They’ve opened a very nice café on the 2nd floor where you can read English-language newspapers.

Jana Rozes: (C-4) K. Barona 5. Open:10-19; Sat. 10-18. Among the biggest bookstores in town with a large selection of foreign-language books. It also has outlets at Elizabetes 85a (D-4), (C-4) Basteja 12, (E-4) Krasta 46, Brivibas 90 (B-5), and Maskavas 357, at the Dole department store, and at Centrs, Audeju 16 (I-4). www.jr.lv 

Jana Seta: (D-4) Elizabetes 83/85, tel. 724-0892. A good selection of guidebooks and maps. www.kartes.lv 

Jumava: (C-4) Dzirnavu 73, tel. 728-2596, and at Vagnera 12, tel. 722-7629.  

Planeta: Barona 70, tel. 727-4730. Open:10-19; Sat. 11-17; Sun. closed. Sells second-hand foreign-language books.

Valters un Rapa: (I-4) Aspazijas 24, tel. 760-1642. Open:09-21; Sat. 10-21; Sun. 10-16.

Antiques

Antikvariâts Del Arte: Barona 16/18, tel. 948-1568.

Antiqua: (C-4) Valdemara 20, tel. 728-4377. Paintings, icons, furniture, porcelain, books, postcards, coins and more.

Galerija: (C-4) Dzirnavu 53, tel. 728-2978.

Raritets: (C-5) A. Caka 45, tel. 727-5157.

Vecbaznisas: (B-4) Lacplesa 9, tel. 728-2373. Mostly furniture.

Volmar: (C-4) Brivibas 46 (entrance from Dzirnavu), tel. 728-3436; and (H-2) Skunu 6, tel. 721-4278.

Suggested Souvenirs

Latvian-made Laima candies are a wonderful purchase; during the Soviet era, they were celebrated by all the children with rotting teeth up and down the Communist empire. Laima-brand chocolate is simly divine! It's the perfect souvenir. 
The Latvian national liqueur Riga Black Balsam, if nothing else, makes a very nice conversation piece. 
Latvians are well known for their craftsmanship, especially when it comes to jewelry and leather.
Linen items are an excellent buy.
Baltic amber is also a very good buy.
You could also stumble across some real finds in antique stores that dot the city center.
One good place to go for possible souvenirs is the Riga Market, which has a mind-blowing selection of almost anything and everything in existence.
       On Skarnu street near St. Peter's Church, you can find Rigans hocking anything from knitted wear to beautiful paintings of local sights.
Another good souvenir are CDs recorded from the recent National Song Festival, on which you can hear many of the most treasured Latvian folk songs. Others might prefer one of Latvia's premiere classical recordings of international favorites, as well as works of famous Latvian composers-like Jazeps Vitols.
For pop music, look no further than beloved songwriter-turned-politician Raimonds Pauls, or even a recording of the famous rock-opera Lacplesis, about Latvia's national hero.

Department Stores and Malls    Open Markets  Handicrafts    Books   Antiques  Sweets   Suggested Souvenirs     
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