First time in Riga? Here are 4 things you can do.

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Words and Images by Chan Pirun—-

Let start with a short introduction of Riga because I don’t think Riga would ring many bells, at least not for many Asians.

Riga is the capital city of Latvia, an eastern European country who got her independence in 1990 from the Soviet. Latvia is bordered with Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, and the Baltic Sea, and has a land area of 64,589 km2 and a population of 1.96 million. Riga, moreover, is pretty small. It has a land area of only 304 km2 and holds a population of about 640,319 people.

So, why was I there?

If you happen to be a social science student majoring in international relations or similar fields and are interested in eastern European countries’ security issues. Then, you might want to check The Riga Conference out, next year.

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(The Riga Conference 2017 at The National Library of Latvia)
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(Gala Dinner at Small Guild, Riga)

Riga was also new to me, so I had to do a little research prior to my visit. And, here are a few things that I think one can do in Riga.

1. Chill at the parks!

Tired from work or study or, basically, needing a place to relax? You can sit down and chill at the parks. They are huge and naturally refreshing. Exercises are also encouraged; you can walk, jog, bike, or skate there.

P.S. Boat tour around the parks and the old city Riga is recommended.

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(Bastejkalna Parks, Riga)
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(Latvian National Opera, Riga)

2. Eat at LIDO!

Nope, this is not a promotion for them. However, if you ask 10 people for a place to eat, and 8 of them say LIDO, you should go LIDO.

It’s a walk-in and self-serve restaurant, in which you can find, I assume, almost everything a normal Latvian would eat on daily basis.

P.S. You will see a lot of eggs, potatoes, and breads.

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(LIDO Vērmanītis, Riga)

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3. WALK!

Just get up and go. The capital is so small that you can tour the whole old town in just a day. Put your walking/sight-seeing gears on and enjoy the places.

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(Riga Cathedral, Riga)

4. Night-out in an Underground Bar!

It gets cold at night, but, hey, underground bar doesn’t sound bad, not one bit. Cozy, warm, relaxing, and joyful (if you got a group of cool people with you).

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(Folkklubs ALA Pagrabs, Riga)

About the Author: Chan Pirun is a senior student at Royal University of Phnom Penh, Department of International Studies. He is majoring in International Relations and is interested in security and economic affairs. Asides from academic, he is also an ambassador at Teach for Cambodia, the U.S. Ambassador’s Youth Council Cambodia, and Impact Hub Phnom Penh. He enjoys reading, discovering new travel destinations and tasting local foods.

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