LATVIA 2016

LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
LATVIA 2016
Like Lithuania, we went straight to the capital of Latvia. And just like Vilnius, we went straight into the old part of Riga. I think at this point of our massive Eurotrip, we're 'Old Towned' out. We've been to A LOT of European cities already. They all have an Old Town. But, ya know, how can you not visit this part of any European city? It's instant history and culture all rolled into one! Convenience, ftw!

Riga's Old Town is nice and lively. But insanely touristy. There's quite an active night life here, too. Rightfully so, as we've heard from other travelers, Riga is the prettier of the three Baltic capitals. Not sure about prettier, in my opinion, but it's definitely more vibrant than Vilnius. Perhaps due to the fact that there are more hostels and bars here. Maybe slightly more things to do, like the huge Farmer's Market or the Daugava river. And there's practically a mini Narvesens at every street corner! That's genius. Talk about taking the convenient store meaning to a literal level. I love that.

Anyways, there's only so much you can do in any Old Town. Grab coffee, find a bite to eat, go on a walking tour, explore a church or museum, take a walk. A long walk. And get lost. The visuals have always been my favorite part of any Old Town. I could spend hours just walking around and taking pix, which is usually the case. There's something oddly mystifying about the resiliency of the old mixed in the sea of modernity.

Another must-see tourist destination, interestingly enough, is the super modern library that looks more like an architectural masterpiece. Unmistakably looking like a pretty, shiny beacon across the river. It's really not hard to miss. You have to cross a massive bridge to get there, but totally worth it, as the cityscape views from the middle of the river is a weirdly calming experience. Everything seems so far away.

Oh! The Tree House Hostel! I don't rave about many hostels. But this one is pretty exceptional. And in Latvia of all places! Clean, comfortable, intimate. Zen environment with a Boho feel. Plants everywhere and lots of natural light streaming in. Yoga is offered and bikes are easily rentable. The layout of the hostel is set up in such a way that it's easy to socialize with other travelers. Highly, highly recommend this hostel.

Latvia will always be an indelible memory for us. Not only has it been an impressionable stay in The Baltics, but we have started our PokemonGo journey here. That's right. The PokeGo craze! It's serious business. Let me tell ya, take a 2.5hr walking tour and you'll build up a nice repertoire of Pokemons!

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When: July 2016
Temp: 70F
Cities: Riga
Stay: Tree House Hostel. ~13EUR/night for 14 bed dorm. Breakfast included.
Recommend: Free Walking Tour, Riga Central Market, National Library of Latvia.


-jin-