Trippin: Piano sounds better in Riga

The city was on my list for so long, (not as long as Madrid is, and still there aren’t any chances of seeing it in near future), but the moment that I saw Peter Bence had a concert there, the city immediately went many places up. The price of the concert tickets was very inviting, but we had to see how we were standing on the balance sheet, after our main vacation of the year, Singa + Bali.
Every time when we come from somewhere I do the math, and now the sheet was so positive, that this couldn’t wait any more. The return flight was combination of RyanAir + AirBaltic, and the price was even more inviting than the price of the concert ticket.
However the AirBnb/Hotel offer was surprisingly not inviting or maybe we were just too late, and all the great deals were gone, but in the end we were satisfied with our flat.

This time it was important for us to have the whole flat for ourselves, since we were remotely working for 2 days.

Airbnb: Studio apartment with fire place
BusStation: Kalnciema iela
Walking minutes from Station: 2
Recommendation: It was a great place in a quiet residential area in Riga. There was beautiful fireplace and enough wood left by our host.
Breakfast included: No Breakfast included
Price: $$$$$ (20EUR pp/night)

Our trip was from Saturday till Tuesday, and every day I was looking forward more and more to the concert. 

The transport from the airport is possible by regular, or shuttle bus, both cost the same price, and it is cheaper if you buy ticket in advance, or fill a card, instead of buying at the driver. Since I am in love with markets, and our accommodation was so close to the local Saturday’s market in Kalnciema, that was our first stop. The market was so so nice, it had many stands with self made cheese and meat, delicious sweets, and different types of liquors. I mean maybe the offer was as on a regular market, but the whole environment and the people were so so nice.

We had a little stroll to the old town, and wanted to find eclairs, but we ended up having coffee in super cosy place. The night was reserved for ALA Folk club, maybe a super obvious choice, but I would totally recommend it (also we never repeat places, but we came back for the garlic bread once again).
In the tiny street where ALA club is located there are more bars and restaurants in case it is full good options are available.

On our Sunday in Riga the weather was sooo nice, we headed to walk across the bridge, and ended up in the park. There, really close to the tennis courts we saw a place that seemed super proper for a break (and I saw that actually I had it on my list). A friend of mine told me that it was the best brunch spot in Riga, we did not had a breakfast here, but we couldn’t resist the desserts, and when they brought our coffees in ittalla cups, they bought me forever. (I always get so excited when i see ittalla table setup)

Then we continued to explore the more modern/hipster part of Riga, Marciena street, unfortunately only the handmade shops were open, not the coffees, but we bought some bags of Laima’s chocolate factory.

Talking about fancy promoted places, we went to Herbarijs, one of the nicest interiors I’ve been to, but so overpriced that it hurts. Then, we ended up with average burgers. Its unbelievable how the atmosphere can make a place looking soo great, and when the same local is almost empty, because of Sunday night, everything seems soo average. Even the burger. The same place the previous day, looked the best. Full with people having conversation and what seems at first sight great food.

Monday and Tuesday were not so eventful, Mondays highlight was Riga’s Central Market, the bread the fish and the caviar.

And on Tuesday was “a can’t wait for 7pm” kind of day, to go to the concert. It was in the National Public Hall, and going down to the lobby, I started noticing tables full of Russian salad. I was confused. Ice-Cream cups full of Russian salad, the drinks next to them were different, sometimes Prosecco, sometimes some aperitivo drink or a regular wine, but no exception Russian salad. Still confused. Then we went to the bar and saw that that is the official offer of the bar. Several drinks, but food was either a cheesecake, a brownie or  a Russian salad. I was sooo damn happy, i started saying yes, this is my country, or every concert hall should have this in their offer.

The concert was so great, so amazing, that I think I almost destroyed my seat from dancing. Couldn’t stand because no one was doing that, and I wanted to respect the rules, but nevertheless it was pure pleasure.
After the concert we thought that we will have our long awaited meal in the new area on the north west of the city, but almost all of the places were either closing or not serving food at 10pm. Our only choice was Street Burger, because going to Ala Club one more time would have been too much. While we were waiting for our food to arrive, the star of the night arrived before it. So I can say that we were having a dinner with Peter Bence. OK sitting on separate tables, but that confirmed that this place was the best possible choice on a Tuesday night in Riga.

I think that long weekend is enough for Riga. If by chance you are visiting it during the warm months, make sure to go to the seaside in just 25km, there are a lot of bars and a lot of things happening, but unfortunately not on a Monday night. We were lucky with the weather even though it was November. So next time you see a concert of an artist you like, make sure to see it in a non so commercial city. 


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