Do you agree that social activities and cultural events are an important part of your stay and successful study process? RLA Durbe does! You will have a great opportunity to join the social activities with your coordinator and find out more information about Riga. Furthermore, you can visit the most interesting and exciting places in Latvia and practice listening and speaking Russian after the lessons!
On your first day of studies you are invited to join the complimentary free of charge weekly Riga’s Walking Tour which takes place on Mondays for all the new students. You will be greeted by a friendly and knowledgeable guide and will see the most important and interesting places of the nearest surroundings and the Old Town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
You will learn about the Freedom Monument, Russian Drama Theatre and Latvian National Opera and will take a stroll through narrow streets of Riga’s Old Town and feel its medieval breath. In addition to the cultural side of the tour you will have an opportunity to consult your guide about some specific shops, places of your interest, public transport stops, restaurants and cafes, souvenir shops and much more! Your guide speaks Russian, therefore, expect your vocabulary to be further expanded!
In addition to the walking tour you are welcome to also sign up for various guided activities offered 2-3 times a week for the extra fee doing sightseeing around Riga, Jurmala and more! The coordinator is always happy to find out your wishes and expectations of the program. Don’t hesitate to ask about the events taking place in Riga and Latvia on a particular date as well!
You have a nice opportunity to use a comfortable tourist bus to view the bustling and modern, multi-faceted and colorfully contrasting buildings of Riga. You will see historical 19th century wooden homes in the eclectic style, which have been squeezed in between the proud and richly ornamented brick and stone residential buildings located in the city centre. They form a unique, Riga-specific city atmosphere. During the drive you will be surprised by the famous Art Nouveau metropolis of Riga with the post-Soviet heritage residential communities which in many places remain still unfinished.
During the excursion you will cross Latvia’s longest river- the Daugava, will drive along the city’s central embankment and will see the city’s business centre and grassy and colorful parks and canals. You will also enjoy the view of the embassy elite district, the centre’s avenue arch, the Riga Palace, the National Opera, the Freedom Monument, the Arts Academy and the Orthodox Cathedral, the Central Market, the Art Nouveau monumental buildings and the city’s post-Soviet residential communities.
Sightseeing buses: https://www.redbuses.com/our-tours/riga-hop-hop-off-tours / http://riga-tour.lv/en/
You can also explore the city on foot and see the ancient Hansa trade city’s most historically recognized and hidden locations: including the Great Guild (Liela ģilde) and the Small Guild (Mazā ģilde), the Powder Tower (Pulvertornis), Rāmers and Jirgerna Tower, the Swedish Gate (Zviedru vārti), the Saint Jacob Catholic Church, the Saint Peter and John churches, the Convent of the Holy Spirit (Sv. Gara konventa seta) and, of course, the narrowest and “quietest” street in Old Town – Rozena Street.
Do you enjoy some quality time spent in the theatre? Use this rare opportunity to check the local culture off your list by seeing a play, listening to the organ music, enjoying the ballet or going to the opera. Latvian culture or Russian – Riga has a lot to offer, so take your pick! For example, Riga Russian Drama Theatre, located mere 7 minutes away from RLA Durbe, is the oldest professional theatre in Latvia. In 2013 the theatre turned 130 years. Thanks to the artful conduction, strong actor’s ensemble and thoughtfully created repertoire, the Riga Russian Drama Theatre is one of the best theatres in Latvia’s capital city.
Latvians also love and respect their National Theatre which is housed in the building where the country’s independence was proclaimed in 1918. Also highly respected is the Daile Theatre. New York has Broadway and off-Broadway performances and similarly Riga has its “major” theatres and a significant number of independent or amateur troupes.
But what can be more beautiful than the sound of classical music? The globally renowned pipe organ in Dome Cathedral is magnificent. Or perhaps you prefer chamber music performances for smaller audiences? Maybe you favor choral music or the stage arts? Riga is the true capital of culture and the arts in the Baltic region. There is the widest possible repertoire for every taste, every mood and every leisure requirement offered!
You can find more information about concerts, ballet performances etc. on the following websites:
Theatres: www.trd.lv / www.dailesteatris.lv / www.jrt.lv / http://www.opera.lv/en/home / http://www.liveriga.com/en/
Concert Halls: www.latvijaskoncerti.lv/en / www.bilesuserviss.lv
Riga’s nightlife is really exciting and full of fun. You can choose any of numerous nightclubs, casinos, disco bars, or music clubs where you can meet Russians and practise the language. Visit „Studio 69”, that is recognized to be one of the best nightclubs in the Baltics. A great way to enjoy your Friday evening!
Good relaxation is one of the basic parts of human life. There is a great variety of SPAs, water resort complexes and saunas for you to choose from. Make sure you visit the Russian bathhouse («Баня») – something very Russian and extremely healthy. In the Slavonic culture, a “banya” has always played an important role – it is not only a washing room but a special club, where you can gather with fellow students, get to know each other and have a heart-to-heart talk.You should definitely try it!
You will see that Riga’s lovely cafes and restaurants turn the city into a gastronomic paradise of Northern Europe. Choose your favorite cuisines or try the new ones – the large number of dining offers will satisfy every visitor’s taste and desires.
The people in Riga most often arrange rendezvous at the Laima clock and then they head off for the Old Town where you can find the largest number of cafes and restaurants with cuisine from different countries in the world. You can enjoy traditional Russian cuisine in numerous Russian restaurants. The most famous are “Pelmeni XL” – good price value, “Krievu Sēta”, “Traktieris” and “Uncle Vanya”.
If you want to taste Latvian cuisine, a chain of restaurants under the “Lido” brand name is the best suggestion. In the city centre and out along the river these restaurants are the ones where employees wear stylized folk costumes and offer modern interpretations of traditional Latvian cuisine.
If you’d like to try something other than the local food there are a lot of international restaurants in Riga. Many of them offer a home delivery for sandwiches, pizzas or more exotic food. Kiosk “Narvesen”, cafeterias “CoffeeInn” and “Double Coffee” make really good take away coffee.
From exhibitions, concerts, festivals, historical monuments to castles, beaches and untouched wilderness – Riga and Latvia have a lot to offer you!
Landscape photos are the property of LIAA.