The best of Riga

Older than both Stockholm and St. Petersburg, this cosmopolitan capital was once revered across Europe as the “Paris of the North”. Already the de facto Baltic business capital, Riga is firmly on the tourist map, with visitor attractions and a proliferation of renovated hotels, bars, and cafés.

Sishar Qureshi
investigation and forensic services, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Favorite hotel: Reval hotel Latvia, Elizabetes iela 55, tel.: +371 777 2222
Favorite restaurant: Restaurant Esplanade, Reval hotel Latvia, Elizabetes iela 55, tel.: +371 777 2222 – great buffet
Favorite attraction: Changing of the guards
Best-kept secret: Try sushi in Riga.
Advice: To watch the English premiership football, go to: Dickings English Pub, Grecinieku 9/1, tel.: +371 721 3087
Lukáš Bába
general manager, economica
Favorite hotel: Konventa Séta, Kaléju iela 9/11, tel.: +371 708 7501
Small hotel directly in the historical center of the city.
Favorite restaurant: Sarkans, Stabu iela 10, tel.: +371 727 2286
The name means “Red” in Latvian. It’s a modern restaurant with an expressive atmosphere and non-traditional interior.
Favorite night club:Pulkvedim neviens neraksta, Peldu 26/28, tel.: +371 721 3886
Means “Nobody Writes to the Colonel” or simply “Colonel”.
Favorite attraction: Sigulda, Sveices iela 13.
Remarkable “adrenaline” experience that you can try in the winter or summer on the bobsled with little wheels. This track is even used for world championships.
Best-kept secret: The art nouveau quarter is definitely different looking from the other districts, and it belongs absolutely to this Baltic capital.
Favorite shop: Stockmann, 13. janvara 8, tel.: +371 707 1200
– good shop with a solid selection.
Advice: While having business meetings in Latvia, forget the old Czech premise that you are in Russia. Everyone speaks his national language, which is Latvian. The majority of negotiations are held in English. If you prefer Russian, I suggest to open the meeting with several English phrases and then gradually move to Russian. Latvians of course remember Russian, but considering their history they prefer other foreign languages.
Zane Zelenková
representative, LATAFavorite hotel: Hotel Bergs, Elizabetes iela 83/85, tel.: +371 777 0900
Favorite restaurants: Čárlstons, Blaumana iela 38/40, tel.: +371 777 0572
Melnie Muki, Jana seta 1, tel.: +371 721 5006
Favorite night club:PuPu Lounge, Marstaiu 14, tel.: +371 722 0732
Favorite shop: Stockmann, 13. janvara 8, tel.: +371 707 1200
Best-kept secret: Bergs Bazaar – a complex of historical buildings and shops.



Basic factsLocation: Daugava River, southeast corner of Gulf of Riga
Country dialing code: + 371
Population: 850,000 (city)
Ethnic mix: 55% Russian, 40% Latvian, 5% Polish, Belarussian, and Ukrainian
Religion: 56% Russian Orthodox, 32% Lutheran, 12% Roman Catholic
Time zone: GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October)
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz; round two-pin plugs are standard.
Average January temp: – 3° C (26.5° F)
Average July temp: 18° C (64.5° F)
Annual rainfall: 580 mm (22.8 inches)


· 1.0-liter bottle of mineral water: LVL 0,35
· 33-cl bottle of beer: LVL 0,45
· Financial Times newspaper: LVL 2
· 36-exposure color film: LVL 4
· city-center bus ticket: LVL 0,20
· adult football ticket: LVL 7
· three-course meal with wine/beer: from LVL 11

1 Latvian Lats (LVL) = CZK 46; GBP 1; EUR 1,50; USD 1,85;
(Currency conversion rates as of press time.)



Where on the web?
For further information, we suggest the following websites dedicated to Riga: – the “essential city guides” from In Your Pocket are ideal for the casual visitor – the official city guide of Riga offers comprehensive coverage of events, sightseeing, dining, music and more – a guide for business and pleasure aimed at the executive traveler – a good, not too in-depth overview of history, shopping, events, accommodation, etc.

Business etiquette

· In general, Riga is moving away from how things used to be done in the old Soviet Union days, and firmly embracing the western European example of how business is conducted. Dress code is relatively formal, with suit and tie expected for business meetings, although new technology-based industries have got behind the trend of dressing down in more casual gear. Business hours are Monday to Friday 0900-1700.
· Handshakes are the normal way to start any meeting and gifts are appreciated. In a nation with a high per capita rate of alcohol consumption, most evening meetings and dinners, and indeed many lunches, are peppered with drinks.


Business profile

Riga is the economic heart of the Latvia, and home to all major domestic companies and many international players, including KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Radisson. The main Latvian industries were traditionally wood processing, textiles and agriculture, but since 1991, the service sector and tourism, in particular, have become increasingly important.
· Since gaining independence in 1991, the economy has been transformed beyond recognition. The main business district is the New Town, however, many companies are also located at Riga’s port, with an increasing number of industrial companies moving out to sites on the city outskirts.


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