Riga, Latvia

Dec 8th, 2005, 04:41 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Riga, Latvia

Has anyone been to Riga recently or in the winter? Any thoughts about where to stay?
Thanks so much.
virginiafish is offline  
Dec 8th, 2005, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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I talked English in Riga during winter. Unfortunately, it was quite a long time ago - 1990. I stayed in an apartment with a family, so can't offer any advice on where to stay - I'm sure there are lots more options than back then, anyway.

Bring your long underwear, and very warm socks and boots. If you have time, go to St. Petersburg. It is absolutely stunning in the winter. Stockholm and Tallinn are also gorgeous in wintertime.

Sorry my info isn't more up to date.
librarygirl is offline  
Dec 8th, 2005, 07:31 AM
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"I talked English in Riga during winter." ?????
Davey is offline  
Dec 8th, 2005, 02:10 PM
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We were here in June and stayed at the Konventa Seta. Before asking on this board we had more or less decided on Radi und Draugi but changed our minds because of the recommendation. We walked past Radi und Draugi and found it was closed- seemingly long term.
The Konventa was very nice. Well located but quiet . It surrounds several small courtyards but I don't think it would have been noisy even if we'd had a room overlooking the street.
A friend who had booked up a hotel on the net found when she arrived that it boasted the biggest strip club in the East! I suppose you'll want to know which it is!
Frances is offline  
Dec 8th, 2005, 02:19 PM
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I was in Riga the first week of October this year and I stayed at Hotel Centra. Some reviewers on Tripadviser thought it noisy at night. It was not my experience. Location was convenient for all the ususal tourist sights. Rate was Euro 90 per night for a twin room.
beagle is offline  
Dec 8th, 2005, 02:53 PM
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I used to live there for a while.

Winters are cold - but the climate is continental. That means while you're likely to encounter temperatures around 0 degrees F, there isn't much humidity (lots of snow, though), which doesn't make the cold that hard to endure as long as you're appropriately dressed.

I second the recommendation of the 2.5 to 3 star Hotel Konventa Seta. It is an old convent that was beautifully restored in 1997. It is under German ownership and management - the same as the more upscale Hotel De Rome. Located just behind St. Peter's it is ideally suited for exploring the Old Town.

The same goes for the slightly more expensive Hotel Gutenbergs tucked away behind the Dome Cathedral.

Should you be driving into town, though, I would not necessarily recommend staying at these Old Town properties as it is quite expensive to obtain an access permit to the pedestrian zone of Old Town.

Should you want to spend a bit more, consider Reval Hotel Ridzene. Located just outside of Old Town this formerly Socialist Party Hotel was refurbished completely about 5 years ago and taken under the management of the very reliable Estonian chain of Reval Hotels.

Alternatively, in the same price category there is the Hotel De Rome in a prime location just at the entrance of Old Town facing Brivibas Bulvaris and the Freedom Monument. I feel it is a bit expensive for what they offer, but service is friendly and their breakfast buffet very intriguing.

Finally, there is another Reval Hotel: The Latvija. This is a formerly Socialist monstrosity on the corner of Elizabetes iela and Brivibas Bulvaris, just a 7 minute stroll from Old Town and very conveniently located for exploring the Art Nouveau district of Riga. Plus, there are quite a number of nice restaurants for dinner withing walking distance. The formerly pretty ugly highrise has been thoroughly renovated also about 5 years ago and features 3 star level rooms sporting great views over the city. While this is a bit anonymous, I find the service friendly and would stay there again. They also have a nice sauna and exercise room on their 20-something floor with a view of the city and also a top floor bar that is quite amazing at nights (although some of the bar's female clientele may be a bit obscure...;-)).
hsv is offline  
Dec 8th, 2005, 02:59 PM
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wow--thanks for such a full and quick response. SAS is having a 24 sale to Riga, so the decision needs to be made tonight. I can always depend on Fodorites!
virginiafish is offline  
Dec 8th, 2005, 03:21 PM
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Just be a bit on your guard about the Radisson SAS hotel. The hotel itself is o.k. (nice pool), but it is on the "wrong" side of the River. While this offers the advantage of sporting nice views of Old Town's skyline, it also means that you would have to cross the bridge every time you were to venture into Old Town or even farther into New Town and its Art Nouveau District.
During winters a walk would be unpleasantly chilly (and traffic on the bridge is heavy). You'd therefore be likely to use a cab every time, which would be a bit annoying after a while IMHO.
hsv is offline  
Dec 8th, 2005, 03:24 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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Just one more thought: Should you decide on going there, don't miss a daytrip to the nearby town of Sigulda. Apart from being the entrance to the beautiful Gauja National Park and therefore featuring a nice scenery, it also sports the former USSR's only bobsleigh/ luge track. You might be able to get a ride down for a comparatively small charge if you feel a bit adventurous.
hsv is offline  
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