Drinking alcohol is banned on the streets of Riga
Smoking is not allowed in public buildings
Do not go to nightclubs on your own
There is plenty of nightlife for the tourist to enjoy in Riga with clubs to suite every taste. There are places with Latvian music, Russian music, discos, jazz and blues.
However, the emphasis in recent years has been clubbing and partying as the city gains a reputation as one of the clubbing capitals of Europe.
It has has led to a big influx of young people for stag and hen holidays as well as the usual clubbing crowd.
Many start off the evening at the Skyline Bar on the 26th floor of the Reval Hotel and with spectacular views over the whole city through the large windows.
Riga is fast becoming the biggest city in the Baltics for its wild nightlife. You can go out partying every night of the week in Riga at scores of pubs, clubs and bars. Live music is largely confined to middle-of-the-road Euro pop, although a few bars offer more edgy sounds.
The biggest acts usually star at the Skonto Halle and the Kipsala Halle sports and recreation halls or at the Congress Centre in Kronvalda Park. For up-to-date listing check out the two-weekly city guides. These are the best of the bunch on the club scene:
Far & Gate - Hottest spot for retro meets modern with weird lighting.
Bites Bluzs Klubs - Live blues in dark, smoky atmosphere.
Groks - Decked out like a Soviet railway carriage with pounding techno
Cetri balti krekli - Top place for Latvian rock.
XXL - Riga's only gay club has hard line bouncers.
This is just a sprinkling of the giddy number of clubs in the city. Be warned that some clubs, especially lap dancing clubs, are a major rip-off with reports of tourists being charged £100 or more for one drink and Russian gorillas to make sure you pay up.
Riga is a city noted for the high standard of its classical music. Tickets are not cheap, but not too pricey either unless you plan a night at the opera. Venues tend to be very pleasant, and you rarely need to book.
The Latvian National Orchestra is resident here, along with the internationally rated Kremerata Baltica Chamber Group and the famous Ave Sol choir. The Riga Opera Festival runs for two weeks in July. Although there are theatres in Riga most of the plays are in Latvian or Russian so they are unlikely to attract a tourist audience.
The main venues for music are:
National Opera House - Mostly classical productions and also home to Riga Ballet
Riga Cathedral - Organ recitals every Friday.
Ave Sol Concert Hall - One of the best choral groups in Europe.
Great Guild - Home of the Latvian National Orchestra.
Blockbuster films arrive here soon after their release in Western Europe and are usually shown in English with Latvian subtitles. There are about six movie houses showing big name films as well as art house movies. The Forum Cinema is the largest with 14 screens.