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Experience in Riga, Latvia by Mike

Published by flag-lv Mike Popov — 3 years ago

0 Tags: flag-lv Erasmus experiences Riga, Riga, Latvia

What is it like to live in Riga? Would you recommend it? What is the city like?

Imagine a German/Swedish medieval architecture old town located at a big river, flowing in the Baltic sea just few kilometers away... A semi ring of water channel and parks separating the old town from a century old Art Nouveau area. Where most of people speak English. With a lot of entertaining places with local beer, food and music. The biggest city of the 3 Baltic capitals and the main Baltic air hub. With international university making population of 0.7 M people a lot younger:-) Outside of the large center area though you will find a mixture of poorer mass construction buildings of the soviet era and not so well maintained old buildings of different styles and times.

What is the student lifestyle like in Riga?

I am not a student anymore, but could imagine that student life is still good because of international environment, frequent cultural events and very reasonable cost of leaving, including accomodation, food, dining, nightlife and public services. Besides, central area of Riga is typically safe (I only heard about some pickpockets at crowded places)

How much does it cost to live in Riga?

All is relative of course, so according to numbeo.com
Consumer Prices in Germany are 34.49% higher than in Latvia
Consumer Prices Including Rent in Germany are 49.81% higher than in Latvia
Rent Prices in Germany are 112.54% higher than in Latvia
Restaurant Prices in Germany are 49.56% higher than in Latvia
Groceries Prices in Germany are 34.94% higher than in Latvia

Is it difficult to find accommodation in Riga? Is there any advice you can give?

Plenty of web portals (including Erasmusu.com or ss.com widely used by local people) and agencies will provide you a wide choice to a spread of budgets. E.g. a room in the centre of Riga could cost you starting from 200 EUR/month and a more stylish one bedroom apartment from 450 to 600 EUR. Utilities typically charged on top.

What is the food like? What are your favourite dishes?

Traditional food is rather simple, having pork and potatoes as a base, grey peas being a local specialty. Good choice of fish in supermarkets. With frequently met discounts a kilo of fresh salmon can be bought at 7 EUR. Being an agri country, you will find a lot of inexpensive fresh seasonal vegetables, fruits and other food e.g. at Central market and the summer Night market.

What places would you recommend visiting in Riga?

Old town, Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) districts, wooden Kalnciema district, Jurmala (just 20 km from Riga) with its multi-kilometer sandy beaches at Rigas Gulf. Lakes, rivers and few medieval castles all over Latvia.

Is it good to eat out in Riga? Can you tell us your favourite spots?

Quite good. Many places offering business lunches at the day, pricing starting from 4 EUR for a 3 course meal. Depending on your location you will find your preferable spot.

Is the nightlife good in Riga? Where is good to go?

I am not a fan of nightlife, therefore cannot give a valuable advice.

What advice would you give future students heading to Riga?

Find a local friend will always help you to understand local life and mentality. Find a temporary place before booking a long term one, to feel the area and take few weeks to look around to make up your mind.

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