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Shopping in Latvia


If there were only two words to sum up the shopping experience in Latvia, they would have to be ‘really expensive.’ Prices of imported goods tend to be inexplicably high, with simple things like a pair of Nike trainers costing in lats what they would in euro most anywhere else in Europe. Local crafts, food and alcohol, however, are still relatively cheap. Shops are scattered throughout Riga, with the highest number being concentrated around the Old Town and near the centre. Several shiny new malls have also opened on the outskirts of Riga.

Amber is of high quality and a good buy. Other interesting purchases would include wicker work and earthenware.

Shopping hours are usually Monday-Friday 9/10 am-6/7 pm, Saturday 9/10 am-4/5 pm. Some smaller shops may be closed for an hour or two between 12 noon and 3 pm for lunch. Food shops open 8/9 am-8/9 pm. Some shops are open 24 hours.


The shopping scene in Riga has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years. Many chic brand-name stores have opened outlets in central Riga. You can also find the best selection of foreign language books in all the Baltic here, as well as some of the best record stores and food-speciality stores. If you’re looking for furniture or home design items, Riga is also a good bet. Prices can be high, however, and business-to-client service can sometimes be sub-par.

If it is brands that you are after, then the best places to start your Riga shopping experience are at Stockmann, Origo and Galerija Centrs, which all provide top brand shopping in the middle of Riga. All three of these department stores rate highly if you are shopping in Riga for clothes, shoes and cosmetics. Shopping in Riga’s department stores you will find top international brands (many currently at heavily discounted rates) and some excellent local brands, which will make shopping in Riga rather more enjoyable than walking around your normal department stores back at home.

The Central Market (Centrāltirgus), 1 Centrāltirgus, a striking building near the central train station, began life as an airship hangar in the 1930s, but is now an excellent place to buy fresh produce, meat, dairy, and the occasional counterfeit goods, though these have been mostly eradicated. The market is actually quite non-touristy but very good for souvenirs. There are lots of small cafés scattered around the markets that serve up cheap local eats.

If you are looking for Soviet era items, such as hats, medals, pins, or complete uniforms, go to the flea market Latgalite, at the corner of Gogola and Dzirnavu iela. On the way there you will see old buildings that aren't exactly well conserved, but there are some that are breathtaking.

Konventa Seta, behind St. John's Church, is a former convent courtyard that now contains several touristy shops.