Just red an article on RigaNOW November issue - some words about places where to have fun and where locals go in Riga. I’ll name for you places mentioned there as a good choice for you and give more information about the places I love to go. Aslo some places better to stay away from.
„RigaNOW” gives you these places which are safe for you and where locals have fun: Push (Terbatas street 2), Mad House (Kalku 11), Coyote Fly (Palasta 3), Nobody Writes to the Colonel – Pulkvedim Neviens Neraksta (Peldu 26) and Greenwood (Krāmu 3).
From the places mentioned here I advice you „Nobody Writes to the Colonel” („Pulkvedim Neviens Neraksta” or just „Pulkvedis”). I go there to dance. Dance, dance and dance again. Usually it’s crowded. RigaNOW says: „a longstanding favorite for locals who just want a no-frills good time dancing and enjoying the varied and generally non-techno music.” Usually there is no entrance fee, nice people – locals and foreigners, quite cheap drinks and real party atmosphere.
To be honest, I’m quite surprised that Greenwood is in this list, but I also sometimes go there. It’s a nice place, usually not so crowded. RigaNOW says: „Laidback, safe and little artsy. It attracts non-attitude crowds for freestyle devil-may-care dancing and cheap drinks.” I don’t know about crowds, but people go there. Sometimes there are concerts, usually no entrance fee. Nice place.
Other places mentioned before you will have to check out without me, but I would like to add one more place: „Nabaklab” (which could be translated as belly-botton club). Nabaklab is quite new place with concerts and exhibitions, with vintage shop inside, interesting people and interesting parties there, different kinds of music and a lot more. It’s not only bar/club – this place is something more. Made by the Radio „Naba”: non-commercial radio of the University of Latvia. Usually there is entrance fee (around 2-4Ls), but drinks there are quite cheap and locals really go there to have fun.
One more safe and a lot of fun having bar in Riga Old Town is Cuba, right next to Greenwood. Usually totally crowded, but anyway people dance there, drink and have fun. But in summer the best place to enjoy your nights is beer garden in the centre of the Old Town called „No problem”. This place has really no problems: nice choice of beers, good prices and great atmosphere! There are really great concerts so it might be full and if you think that people will go away if it starts raining – you are wrong, they all will stay there and enjoy the music. In summer go there!
Bars and clubs named and shamed by Latvia’s tourist board in 2009 and you should better stay away from: Babylon (at Kalku 24), Bar Fly (Vāgnera 8), Mary (Audēju 13), Nobu Sushi (Grēcinieku 28), Doll House (Mārstaļu12) Mademoiselle Cigar Club (on Vaļņu Street).
Pictures:1) Nobody Writes to the Colonel, 2) Greenwood, 3) Nabaklab