There are a few authentic venues with a distinctive touch of bohemia in RIGA. Special atmosphere and the creative public make those places live in full swing. Those areas are hosting live music shows, art performances, variety of exhibitions and fairs. Furthermore, venues are diverse with incredibly cozy cafes and restaurants where the guests of RIGA are so much welcome.
KALNCIEMA QUARTER (Kalnciema kvartāls)
Wooden buildings on the streets of Kalntciema quarter forms one of the most creative RIGA showplaces. A number of renovated two-storied houses became a vibrant hotspot that regularly hosts concerts, film shows and themed fairs; unites artists, farmers and craftsmen. Great variety of eco and organic products are available for try and buy: unique recipe Latvian rye bread, honey, berries and much more.
Once in there, people immediately forget that they are in a big city. Being in Kaltsiema quarter makes to believe that it is rather country side or a rustic garden. And, after all, it is the best possible place to swing a teeter-totter in a shade of an apple tree or to enjoy some wine and a meal on a wooden bench.
In addition, there are a number of authentic designer shops, wine bars, and Kaltsiema must see – an exclusive Latvian cuisine restaurant led by famous Chef Martins Sirmais.
THE SPEAKERS (Spiķeri)
Another creative quarter of RIGA – the Speakers is located next to the RIGA central market in the former warehouse built in the 19th century on the site of the RIGA castle.
The Speakers stir has been mainly developed over the last few years. This area is about modern and alternative arts. For example there is a Centre of Contemporary Culture, the “Dirty Deal”, based in Speakers. There are an experimental drama theater and a club that mainly offers electronical music performances.
However, there is a place for more traditional approach of the relaxation – classical and modern jazz concerts in the Speakers concert hall.
It is a place for art galleries and museums: Contemporary art gallery KIM? and a museum of Riga’s ghetto is based in the hangars of Speakers, as well.
ST. ANDREW’S ISLAND (Andrejosta)
Andrejosta (or St. Andrew’s Island) was formerly part of the RIGA’s port. In the early 2000s, Riga’s council came to a decision to stop the production on factories of the island, and to transform unsightly industrial area into a modern cultural quarter and a business center.
There is a Museum of Naive Art established, and the whole quarter became a favorite meeting point for Riga’s artists. Another museum located on Andrejosta is a Museum of Energetics. Museum’s exhibition presents first electric meters and instruments manufactured in the 30’s of the last century and earlier. Andrejosta is a hosting place of one of the top-rated modern drama theatres – “Dream Theatre”.
The fans of industrial landscapes and photographers looking for unconventional views of RIGA will be pleased to visit Andrejosta. Andrejosta will be highly rated by underground arts admirers, as well.
REPUBLIC OF MIERA STREET (Miera ielas Republika)
The quarter is recently formed in a very symbolic place – on the Miera Street (literally – the street of peace). It is a place fulfilled by young artists and crafters settled along the small street shops. There are vegetarian cafes, mystery tea houses, a number of vintage clothing and furniture shops. It is a place where even an old glass bottle can springs to life in the form of sophisticated interior décor.
BERGS BAZAAR (Berga Bazars)
Among the other matchless Riga quarters, there is Bergs Bazaar to distinguish. It is a bourgeois quarter, mainly visited by well-of persons.
Bergs Bazaar is located in the Riga city center but is hidden from the prying eyes of bystanders. Bazaar is formed by a few buildings. There are designer showrooms, wine cellar, chocolate shop located along the beautiful ground floor patios.
Berga Bazaar is settled in the architectural ensemble of the late 19th – early 20th century. It has its own unique atmosphere which is similar to the environment of small Italian towns. Every two weeks a quiet life of this miniature city gets broken by joyful fairs, where the organic products and Latvian rural delights are on sale.
Photos: Pablo Andrés Rivero (Flickr.com),
Price per person
35 EUR/pers – for groups starting from 6 people
50 EUR/pers – 3-5 people group
75 EUR/pers – 2 people group
150 EUR – individual tour for 1 person
/ Breakfast / brunch / dinner (optional): 10-25 EUR upon the menu
/ Transfer (upon request): fee depends on the number of participants
/ Interpreter (upon request): 45 EUR
Season / irrelevant
Duration / 4-7 hours
According to the individual needs and activities carried out in the quarters at the time of the tour, it is possible to visit all of them or a particular one. Perhaps, certain event will attract your attention more than others and will make you willing to stay for longer.