Riga, Latvia has been on my radar as a possible holiday destination for a little over a year now. It was a quick, direct flight from Kyiv, a quaint old town with tons to do and see, and also a very clean and safe city. Thus, I decided that my husband and I would spend my birthday weekend there. I insisted that I wanted to go early March was the optimal time to travel to Riga since there would be no crowds, and flight and hotel would be at a lower price than in summer.
At first, my husband resisted, as it was colder in temperature than Kyiv, he did not know that much about Riga, and he did not have the time or inclination to plan a vacation. Since I love planning trips, this was a fun task for me- I told him I would arrange everything. I was on a mission to make this the best holiday ever for my husband, so I pulled out all the stops.
The first day we arrived, I scheduled a car to pick us up from the airport. The Riga airport was clean and easy to get out of. Our driver drove us about twenty minutes to the hotel, which was located in the Art Deco district of Riga. If I were to plan another trip to Riga, I would have us stay in old town, because that is where most of the restaurants, shops, and museums are. Our hotel was great and had excellent amenities, however, so no regrets. We checked in, dropped off our bags, and set off in search for some dinner. We ended up at the Flying Frog, which had great food and ambiance.
After dinner we explored old town, which was so beautiful and quaint!!
We made an obligatory stop at Black Magic for some black balsam, a Latvian liquor. The bar was very neat, with servers in traditional Latvian clothing. I paired my black currant flavored black balsam with a yummy pistachio truffle. I was glad I ordered the truffle, as the liquor tasted almost exactly like cough syrup and I needed a palate cleanser. It is definitely an acquired taste. Latvians claim Black Balsam can cure any illness, and a bonus is it warms you up on a cold night.
We ended up at a Rockabilly club after Black Magic, and listened to live music.
All in all, a perfect start to our trip! We had a big day of touring the following day, which I will write about in Part 2!!