Living in Riga, Latvia:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

five local experts
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If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit Riga, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked five people living in Riga what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:

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5 comments on “Riga”

Riga is the capital of Latvia, but compared to other cities elsewhere, it’s relatively quiet and may seem uneventful to some. It’s not anywhere near as quiet as a village, but it’s nothing like New York or Shanghai. While many of the locals do speak English to some degree, trying to speak to our citizens “in their native language” can be a bit of a gamble, since not everyone here actually knows Latvian. Due to its legacy as a post-USSR city, Riga, just like Latvia in general, is home to many people whose native language is actually not Latvian, but Russian. There used to be a big social divide between Latvian and Russian speakers, exacerbated by various political groups, but now, this problem seems to be far less acute than it was before. In general, Riga is a nice place but may not be to everyone’s taste. If you prefer your cities relatively quiet, Riga is a great choice. If you prefer your cities loud and full of everything all at once, look elsewhere.

Eduards, says: 2020

Riga itself is quite versatile. For some who enjoy a swarm of people, there are tourist places and a handful of amusement parks and so on. For these who rather spend time alone, there are more than 10 parks all over the city. I would also like to accentuate that everything is within a walking distance or easily accessible by a bs or tram.

Rolands, says: 2020

Riga is very different to western cities, and that you will encounter many Russian-speaking residents. A major river runs through the center and several bridges, some which have historical significance, gap the wide waters. Tourists should know exploring the late afternoon can be a little dangerous and that drunk locals might approach you for a cigarette.

Someone moving to Riga should know most people over 30 don’t speak English. However, most people can speak Russian, but people under 30 won’t admit that. They will try to avoid speaking to you altogether before they will speak any Russian. But don’t let the language barrier discourage you from coming here, Riga is actually a very beautiful city with an interesting history.

We have great people. It’s beautiful and we have a lot of woodlands where you can relax. We don’t have a lot of people in Riga but traffic sometimes is big. Public transports drive regularly but they are all the time full. We have some people who begs for money but some of them feed their dog not buy alcohol.

Mihail, says: 2020

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