Riga is a very nice city with about 650.000 inhabitants.
Riga is seperated into three parts:
1.) Old Town
"Old Town" is located in the very city centre of Riga. With it's many churches, bars and restaurants it is very popular among tourists. During the whole year it is very crowded. I have been there very often as there were lots of pubs. Almost everyday I was there with some friends watching a football game or drinking a glass of beer. As "Old Town" isn't very big but there are hundreds of bars and restaurants you have a very big choice of where to go.
My favourite place in Riga was "Folkklubs ALA". It is a traditonall Latvian bar/restaurant in the basement of a house. It is very big and almost every day there is a live band (traditional Latvian music). The food there is delicious and you can choose between several kinds of beer.
2.) New Town
With it's many beautiful parks and cheap restaurants "New Town" is always worth to see. You can have a menu with starter, main course, dessert and a drink for less than 5€. Another fact which I really liked about New Town were the countless hipster clubs. Almost on every corner of the street, there was a small club which you can call a so called "Hipster Club". Cheap prices, good beer and sparsely furnished rooms.
3.) Outside of Riga
If you take the train you can get easily to the sea. You just have to take a ticket for about 1€ and 20 minutes later you are already at the beach of the sea. I always liked to go there. There is a small city just 15 minutes next to Riga which is called Jurmala. It is a small town for rich people in Latvia. It is wonderfully beautiful there. The only thing which I didn't like there was that it was very crowded.
I prefered to go to the east of Riga. There were stunning sand beaches which were untouched. We loved to go to this desert beaches, having a barbecue there.
When I first came to Riga at the 8th of February, it had about minus 10 degrees. It was horribly cold. During the next one or two months the weather didn't change a lot. Almost every day there was snow falling or it rained. The sun wasn't shining at all. It was always covered by clouds or fog. In April the weather changed. It got warmer and warmer. The sun was shining more and more and Riga presented itself from a totally different side. At the beginning of May the weather was awesome. The sun was shining almost every day. In June we had temperatures of more than 30 degrees. The best thing about the weather was that we had 18 hours of sun in the summer.
Living in Latvia is a bit cheaper than in Austria. As I already mentioned, especially the prices in restaurants which are not in the very city center are much cheaper than back home. By the way, if you go to a restaurant in the city center, especially in "Old Town", you have to pay at least as much as in Austria. The prices in grocerie stores are a little bit cheaper than in Austria.
As I a am a football player I wanted to play in a club during my time in Riga. After some days I heard about a club called "Riga United". It is a club founded by some British guys, where people from all over the world can play. The manager as well as the head coach of the club are british as well. Therefore the spoken language in this club is English. The club plays in Latvian second league. In this league there is a really good football level. I loved it to play for this club and was very sad when it came to my last game for this club.
If you are more interested in playing tennis, there are many tennis courts in the very city center of Riga. They are beside beautiful parks. The prices for renting those places is not high as well.
If you would like to spend a little bit more money monthly, there are also some gyms in the city center.
For people who are more into watching sports, there are possibilities as well. The games of Dinamo Riga, a professional ice hockey club, are always very crowded. The games of the local basketball game are also well-attended.
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