Stay safe in Riga
When traveling to Riga, Latvia, you need to be briefed on basic safety precautions if you want to enjoy your stay. Riga is a pretty peaceful place but it is inevitable to have some dangers on some part of the city.
A lot of people are asking whether Riga is a safe city or not. Riga is a fairly safe city compared to other European cities– there are no major crimes that happen within city particularly are armed clashes. But just like with all major cities, you still must be aware of your surroundings.
If this is first time to travel to Riga, there are certain things you need to know, to make sure you full enjoy your stay and at the same time avoid any possible trouble. The first thing you need to know is that Riga is as safe as any cities in Europe if not more so.
As with any other metropolis that have grown popular for great nightlife, figuring out where to go and having somebody to tour you around is very essential. This is why one of our Riga Nightlife Tours is very useful because we guarantee to point out few bars and night clubs that could pose a problem for your group or wallet.
In Latvia, anyone can rest easy both in the outlying country side and in metropolitan areas without having to worry about getting mugged or robbed. By paying attention to basic precaution, your vacation in Latvia will be safer and also worry-free. Here is a list of the bars recently blacklisted but remember that this list change on a regular basis so it will be better to check for the most up to date information;
• Alibi - Kalēju 51 (Alberta laukums)
• Ampir – Kaļķuiela (Līvu Square)
• Baltic Saloon – Laipuiela
• Bar Bar – Dzirnavu 55 Barfly – Kalēju 14/16
• Brilliant Club – Blaumaņa 9
• Līvukrodziņš – Kaļķuiela (Līvu Square)
• Radio Bar – Šķūņu 17 (entrance from Zirgu)
• Shot Bar – Grēcinieku 1 (entrance from Skārņu)
• VīnaSēta - MazāSmilšu 7.
As a general guideline it is often better to pay cash when visiting bars and clubs, even though the variety of bars and night clubs that like to rip-off clients has considerably decreased, it is always best to be safe than sorry.
Here are quite a few cash-in points close to the tourist hub within the city; the most popular are Swedbank, SEB and DnB Nord. Each of these banks will charge a withdrawal fee, having said that, if you need to exchange some currency, then the best place to go to is in Marika on Brivibas Street.
Another thing you need to remember is to keep away from the central market area. But with opening of a new venue, that are can be deemed a lot safer than before. Most of the public parks are well lit and while it may seem safe, always be on the side of caution and do not do anything that will put in harm’s way just like what you would when you are in another city.
The law on drugs in Latvia is severe. Remember this: no amount of any kind of drugs can be carried or sold. The law enforcement authorities are very strict regarding this policy and they would gladly treat cannabis with the same penalties as with cocaine. It cannot be stressed enough that illegal drug use in Riga is not very common and if you start off asking around and looking for a supplier, you will easily find yourself in trouble with the wrong people, not to mention the police.
Watch out for the taxis, as always. The meter can jump 2 or 3 euro without trying.If your hotel is not within walking distance of the Old Town then taking a taxi is the best option, its very easy to know which ones to take. Baltic Taxi is a reputable taxi company and although they are more expensive they will take you where you need to go without the fear of being ripped off or worse.
When you are checking out the city, it is best to travel by two’s. Always remember not to leave your valuable things unattended when you are in restaurants or any public place. Regardless of the country you are in, this basic safety rule must always be observed. Also, do not leave your glass unattended. You will know what other people may slip into it to spike up your drink. When this happens, order a new drink.
Pay no attention to fortune-tellers and never ever talk or start a conversation with hustlers. Ignore aggressive, drunken passers-by. In order to stay away from scam or misconceptions in pubs, always ask for the menu so you can check the prices. If unfamiliar females want to go along with you in a café, it is best to avoid striking up a relationship – they may get you to order very expensive cocktails for them and share the earnings with the pub owner.
The Old City of Riga is a lot safer today since video surveillance system were installed around key areas. This allows police to easily identify offenses and turn up at the place of an incident faster than before. You can enjoy the nightlife of Latvia quite safely, though do moderately. When you are paying using a bank card, never allow the card to leave your sight and also pay attention to the amount stated on the receipt.
Just like any old city, Riga is very beautiful and your visit will be a lot more memorable if you pay respect and be aware of your environment. Come and enjoy, be safe and have fun. If you are planning to visit the city, try to learn about how you can evade being ripped off bars, bad locations and unsafe districts. You are encouraged to join us on one of our organized tours to find out the nicest areas within the city of Riga! .