Europe, Latvia, Riga

A Mini Guide to Riga: Seven Cool Places in Riga

January 22, 2016
Cool Places in Riga

Seven Cool Places in Riga

Just like when I set out to find cool places in Budapest, on my last trip to Latvia, I went on another quest to find some cool places in Riga. So when I wasn’t “out and about” snapping Riga photos, I was ducking into cafés to sip on flat whites and into hipster bars to drink my weight in Latvian craft beer.

My time there was way too short and I didn’t make it to half of the cool places in Riga that I wanted to visit, but I did manage to hit up these trendy spots around the city.

Seven Cool Places in Riga

1) Tallink Hotel

Cool Places in RIga Tallink Hotel Bar Cool Places in Riga Tallink Hotel Room
Tallink Hotel is just one of many cool places in Riga. The four-star boutique hotel offers a funky modern design throughout its seven floors, starting with the furry white chandeliers that line the hotel’s lobby bar to the rooms’ bright yellow leather chairs. The minimalist vibe throughout the stylish location lends to a relaxing stay, as does the hotel’s sauna and hot tub. There’s free wifi throughout the hotel, a mini bar in each room, as well as free coffee and tea. You’ll also find English speaking television channels, like BBC World to catch up on the day’s news.

Tip: Some weekend packages include free access to the sauna and hot tub facilities.

Tallink Hotel (Elizabetes iela 24, Rīga, LV-1050)

2) Coffee Inn

Cool Places in Riga Coffee Inn Cool Places in Riga Coffee Inn Entrance
Coffee Inn has several locations throughout Riga and takes their coffee very seriously. All of their beans are freshly roasted by hand, at their own location in the Latvian countryside, near the Varene River. Always innovative, some of their signature coffees include the Silk Black, Aero Cappuccino, and Sparkling Coffee, which combines espresso and sparkling water. Some locations are nicer than others, and this spot on Brīvības iela was ideal for a break from the cold November weather.

Tip: If you’re a flat white nerd like me, I highly recommend ordering one.

Coffee Inn (Brīvības iela 39, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1010)

3) DAD Cafe

Cool Places in Riga DAD Cafe Cool Places in Riga DAD Cafe Chilling Cool Places in Riga DAD Cafe Pumpkin Soup
You’ll find DAD Cafe, whose name draws from the first initial of its three owners, along Riga’s world renowned hipster street, Miera iela. The candlelit space is homey and welcoming, with an eclectic mish-mash of couches, tables, bookshelves, modern art, and even, a piano. Jazz tunes play softly in the background, while you do some work (there’s free wifi) or sit back and read a book. It’s an ideal location for brunch, a stop for an afternoon coffee and cake, or a light evening meal. The menu boasts pancakes, soups, homemade breads, and delicious cakes, like their chilean lemon cake. DAD Cafe also hosts regular exhibitions and live music every Thursday.

Tip: Try the pumpkin soup, with a side of the homemade bread.

DAD Cafe (1001, Miera iela 17, Rīga, LV-1001)

4) TAKA

Cool Places in Riga TAKA Craft Beer Cool Places in Riga TAKA
TAKA, also situated on Miera iela, is a chilled out bar known for their wide selection of Latvian craft beer and homemade apple wine. This is one of the coolest places in Riga, where locals come to work during the day (jump on their free wifi) and at night for reportedly wild costume parties and alternative music. The interior consists of homey old furniture and brightly coloured yellow walls.

Tip: Ask the friendly bartenders to recommend one of their favourite local brews.

TAKA (Miera iela 10, Rīga, LV-1001)

5) Labietis

Cool Places in Riga Labietis Cool Places in Riga Labietis Bar
If you’re looking for beer heaven, come to Labietis. This local brewery offers such a vast beer menu, it will leave your head spinning. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed, as the bar staff will lead you through a tasting that will have you drunk before you’ve even ordered your first beer. The craft beers on offer include American-style IPA’s and English bitters, enhanced with Latvian herbs and varying fruits.

Tip: Do experience the tasting. The bartender will let you sample 6-8 different beers to help you figure out which one you like best.

Labietis (Aristida Briāna iela 9A2, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1001)

6) Cafe Leningrad

Cool Places in Riga - Cafe Leningrad Decor Cool Places in Riga - Cafe Leningrad Cool Places in Riga - Cafe Leningrad Bar
Cafe by day and bar by night, this Soviet themed spot is a throwback to the Communist times. Cafe Leningrad’s interior is decorated like an old-school apartment, complete with dated furniture, boom box, and all sorts memorabilia on the wall including pictures of Lenin and a strange collection of bras! Bookshelves are stuffed full of Soviet literature. The venue hosts live music events and is popular with locals on the weekends.

Tip: Order the light and sweet honey flavoured beer

Cafe Leningrad (Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela 4, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1050)

7) MiiT

Cool Places in Riga MiiT Bikes Cool Places in Riga Cool Places in Riga MiiT Coffee Shop
Another one of the cool places in Riga? MiiT. What started out as a bicycle shop that served drinks, is now a lovely vegetarian cafe that serves up a mean coffee. It’s open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has a menu that changes daily. As with most cafes in Riga, wifi is free and is another great place to get work done while chowing down on healthy, vegetarian or vegan food.

Tip: Stop by for their weekend pancake brunch. Totally yummy.

MiiT (Lāčplēša iela 10, Rīga, LV-1010)

Good to Know

  1. Riga is an easy weekend trip away from Berlin. You can book a cheap fare there through Ryanair, and the flight is just over an hour.
  2. When you arrive at the airport, you can opt to go into the city by bus, airport shuttle, or taxi. I prefer the airport shuttle, as it’s only about €5 and will take you directly to your hotel.
  3. Latvia uses the Euro, so there is no need to worry about exchanging currencies when you arrive at the airport.
  4. To get a feel for the city, check out my photo filled post about Riga.
  5. For more inspiration, see In Your Pocket’s city guide to Riga.
  6. Consider staying at the centrally located Tallink Hotel or an Airbnb apartment. Better yet, let me help and give you some Airbnb credit toward your next stay.

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11 Comments

  • Reply Kate January 23, 2016 at 4:58 am

    What fantastic finds! Riga is on our list, hopefully we can make it there soon!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 23, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Riga’s a fun city and very beautiful! I can’t wait to get back as I didn’t even get to half the places I wanted to see. 🙂

  • Reply kami January 26, 2016 at 3:45 am

    It took me 3 visits but I finally loved Riga! I’ve been to 2 of these places (MiiT and DAD) and enjoyed them so much! Next time when I go there I will have to visit other places you recommend as they sound really great! Can’t believe I haven’t seen before how cool Riga is!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 26, 2016 at 6:05 am

      Three visits? LOL! Glad you came to like it … I’d been hoping to find more street art but I did have fun with all the cafe hopping. 🙂

      • Reply kami January 26, 2016 at 3:25 pm

        I was really disappointed with their non-existent street art scene – Vilnius wins here big time! But at least the rest of the city is pretty great so it wasn’t that bad 😉

        • Reply Cheryl Howard January 26, 2016 at 3:29 pm

          Ha ha, me too! Good to know as Vilnius is definitely on my list. 🙂

  • Reply Shannon January 27, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    This is a city I would have never really considered visiting, but its bar scene looks really cool, especially the Leningrad cafe! Thanks for the tips 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 27, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      No problem Shannon! It’s a really cool city, with many more cool bars than I mentioned here. 🙂

  • Reply Emmalene January 28, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Riga is definitely on my bucket list…but knowing about these fab bars and cafes have bumped it up the list!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 28, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Hey Emmalene!

      Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment. 🙂

      Riga is a fun city, definitely worth checking out. So many cool places to see and such an interesting history as well.

      Cheryl

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