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“A Two Hour Run-Through on What's What in Riga”

Ranked #39 of 80 Tours in Riga
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Reviewed 6 September 2015

We met up with our allocated guide at the Town Hall Square (Ratslaukums) which was a good starting point for the tour as the "House of Blackheads" is one of the most famous buildings in Latvia. As we moved around the Old Town we learned from our guide, Mārtinš, that Riga suffered extensive damage from aerial bombardment during WWII & was more or less totally rebuilt from the 1950s to the 1970s. They obviously did a real good job at authentic reconstruction because some of the cathedrals look as though they date from well before that recent period. Mārtinš was definitely switched on about Riga & took us to all of the places of interest whilst sharing valuable insights about how the Riga locals think & act (with lots of witty asides thrown in). Mārtinš introduced us to the range of architecture that Riga has - older wooden structures, fashionable Art Nouveau blocks & some old Soviet buildings, very grey, unattractive functionalist buildings (the Latvian Academy of Science has echoes of the Soviet skyscraper Palace of Cultural & Science in Warsaw). Mārtinš showed us a few off-the-beaten-track spots where you can get away from the crowds & chill out, including a very nice canal-side park in the city. A very comprehensive, knowledgable tour with masses of information & pointers on how to maximise our time in Riga.

Thank Funambulator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 8 of 14 reviews

Reviewed 14 August 2015

I did the walking tour of the old town in Vilnius and loved it. It seems mean to compare but you just can't help it! Our guide, Toms was passionate about Riga but his style was slightly jarring and he put a lot of pressure on us at the end to do a night kayak tour he also organised! We were herded into a room and shown a video and told off for being "the only group with no interest in this tour!" As one guy pointed out- it really was "tourist trap!"
The tour was ok- it went on for 2 hours which is too long for Riga's fairly small old town and I didn't really like the style of guiding (a little brash) However, if you have a few hours to spare or only have a day in Riga its probably worth doing

1  Thank travellingsal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2015

I decided to take a tour because the museum of occupation was shut for renovation. It was a useful short trip One can take the trip of the old town or Alberta iela (the art nouveau district). I took the trip to the old town The guide gave the history of the buildings and was nice to know about the buildings I had been walking past the last few days. The guide took me to through the buildings, the black magic bar, the medieval restaurant which and inside a few other buildings and churches which I would other wise have hesitated to go inside. She also recommended places to visit and eat at the end of the tour and it was an over all friendly and fun way to spend a few hours.

Thank flyinkipper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2015

Went to the tour as we thought it would be a good way to see the city and get our bearings. The guide was prompt and explained the day. Took us around a few sites and explained, did this with a bit of humour. I would say only downside is the amount of time we spent in a coffee shop at the start. This became more apparent when later that afternoon when wandering we found some amazing places which we were close to earlier but did not frequent. Saying that, it's a free tour and was good.

Thank Brian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 December 2014

My friend .and I went to Riga for a short break just before Christmas. We decided to do the free walking tour on our first day. We met at St Peters church at 11am. The tour lasted about 2 hours. Our guide spoke excellent English, was very friendly and was extremely informative. He told us about the history and architecture of the city and also about how life had changed for him after Latvia became independent in the early 1990s. At the end of the tour we were given a complimentary glass of Black Balsam and our guide Tom gave us some suggestions of places to eat and things to do. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone arriving in Riga, it's a great way to get to know the place. The tour is mainly outdoors so if you go in winter as we did MAKE SURE YOU WEAR PLENTY OF WARM CLOTHES! There is no fee but a donation to the guide is well deserved.

2  Thank MaggieHYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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