A Guide To Your Riga Stag Weekend
Bobsleigh - You've seen it in the Winter Olympics and now it's your turn to take to the sled as you head down a fast and furious run originally designed for the World Championships.
Husky Dog Sledding - Or you can let our amazingly powerful husky dogs do all the hard work for you! This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a great way to find out why our canine companions really are man's best friend.
Prison Stay - Show the groom that married life really isn't all that bad with our authentic Prison Stay experience. You'll spend the night in a disused Russian prison that'll make Porridge look like a walk in the park.
Target Shooting - Do your best Dirty Harry impressions as you get hands on with some of the most destructive weaponry known to stag-kind. Only one question remains... "Do I feel lucky?".
Best Bars in Riga
Skyline Bar - Get the night started in this 26 storey bar with incredible views of the Riga skyline all around with an impressive cocktail menu to match.
Riga Black Magic - "Black Magic" is an appropriate name for this brilliantly chilled-out bar. Why? Because there's simply no other way to describe how they make their delicious Black Balsam liqueur.
Hardcore Hangover Club - Now with a name like this you don't need us to tell you to go careful in this epic alternative bar and nightclub. Rocking tunes, a top crowd and a frightening range of spirits makes HHC a must-visit venue.
Bierhaus - This hearty pub prides itself on having Riga's best collection of craft beers from all over the world with more than few being brewed on the premises as you read this. "Priekā!" (cheers!)
May - Latvia Beerfest. This is the largest beer festival in the Baltics and the perfect excuse to sample some of Riga's best local brews (as if you needed one).
July - Blues Festival. "Everybody needs somebody" in a Latvian musical fiesta that would make the Blues Brothers proud.
August - Riga City Festival. The city comes to life in celebration of the Latvian capital with parties in the streets, live music and a brilliantly festive atmosphere.
November - Staro Riga. Riga enjoys an overnight transformation with stunning displays and performances for the annual festival of light.
Where to Head...
There wasn't a great deal to do during communist rule to Latvians practise drinking. And they became bloody good at it, and now they are no longer under 'red rule' Riga has a fantastically vibrant (and loud) nightlife. Don't go searching the whole city, if you're looking to party head straight to the Old Town, there are enough pubs in this one small area to keep a stag party afloat for months.
Veranes Garden is the city's largest public park and is a great, peaceful morning spot to rest your hangovers for awhile and lizard-like let the suns rays gradually nurse you back to life.
The Freedom Monument is quite a spectacular site and good spot for a stag team photo. It was opened in 1935, while the county was occupied by the Russians, then the Germans and finally the Russians again until 1991 when it gained its freedom and the statue at last made sense.
'Gonoreja' is perhaps the most unfortunate Christian name in Latvia, especially considering the 'J' is pronounced like 'Y'. "Have you met my sister Gonoreja?" "No but I think I've had her..."
Because of their northern position, Latvia's longest day of the year gives them 17hrs of sunlight.
Only 45% of Riga's citizens are Latvian.
A Taste of Riga
Eats - Riga isn't where you come for a weekend of healthy eating. Oh no, this is where you come for a veritable pork feast of epic proportions. We're talking about dishes like kaulu (grilled pork chops), karbonāde (pork schnitzel), cūkas ausis (pig's ears) and basically any other edible part of a pig including the knuckle, head and feet. Let's just say that Babe does not want to be a "Pig in the City" if that city is called Riga.
Drinks - At a whopping proof of 90% Riga's Black Balsam could strip the fake tan off a TOWIE babe from 20 paces. It's a mix of natural ingredients mixed in pure vodka and if you're serious about your beverages you have to give it a try. Drink prices are also on average half of those back in the UK which is a handy bonus.
On Ya Bike! Getting Around Riga
In total Riga has 9 tram lines, 19 trolleybus routes, and 53 bus routes which makes getting about the city really easy. An eTicket allows you to hop on and offer any public transport over a set time period and is a really easy way to all the stags from A (via pub) to B.
But if you're feeling fit you can hop on a 'Sixt' public bike, which you can pick up and drop off in hire stations around the city (much like London's Boris bikes).
For night's out the city is actually really to navigate on foot so there's no need to try and squeeze 15 hairy stags into one taxi.
"Sveiks" - Hello
"Ludzu" - Please
"Paldies" - Thank you
"Alus lūdzu" - A beer please
"Divus alus lūdzu" - Two beers please
"Daudz alus lūdzu" - Lots of beers please
"Šis kungs par visu samaksās" - This gentleman will pay for everything
"Jūs vēlētos dejot?" - Would you like to dance?
"Ne" - No"
"Mans gliseris ir pilns ar zušiem." - My hovercraft is full of eels.
32 Reasons Why Riga Rocks!
Freedom Monument - The locals have called the Freedom Monument ‘Milda', and we've got it on good authority that she takes a mean selfie... seriously though, this monument is really impressive, and it's cultural and historical relevance should not be underestimated.
Riga Castle - It's a little bit battered at the moment due to a fire in 2013, but Riga Castle is still epic. What's even more awesome is that the Latvian president actually rules from here - although we imagine he probably forgoes sitting on the throne while chomping on chicken wings like a real Medieval King.
Riga Central Market - A walk through the market could be a great hangover cure on your Riga stag do, it's also a really cool historical site as well, seeing as it's housed inside a series of retro WW1 Zeppelin hangers.
What's in a name - The region wasn't always known by the name of Latvia - historically, the country has been called Lettland with its people considering themselves ‘The Lettish.'
Language - Latvians are fiercely proud of their native tongue, and they actually hold contests to see who can use the language in the most eloquent ways - somehow we don't think this'd work in the UK, imagine a Geordie against a Bristolian?!?
Ice Hockey - Get your skates on lads, Ice Hockey is more popular than football over here - actually, even basketball is preferred to the beautiful game in Riga.
Crocodile Dundee - Legend has it that the real inspiration for Crocodile Dundee was a Latvian bloke called Arvid Blumentals who apparently killed 10,000 crocs in his lifetime. ‘That's not a knife...THAT's a knife!'
Skonto FC - The Riga locals aren't massively interested in football, but for those who are, Skonto FC is the most successful side in the top flight of Latvian football having won the league title a total of 15 times since their inaugural season in 1991.
Dinamo Riga - Riga's premiere Ice Hockey team are a class act on the ice, and the locals love to head down to Arena Riga on a match day to enjoy some of the best hockey in the country while cheering on the home side with the same kind of passionate energy found in England's best football grounds.
The Great Kristaps - The story goes that Great Christopher once helped a child saint across the river, and when the child arrived on the other side, he transformed into a chest of gold which Christopher then had the good sense to use to buy land and build Riga. There's a statue of the scene you can visit by the rivers edge, but don't expect any wads of cash to magically appear on your Riga stag weekend...
Skyline Bar - Inside the city's Radisson Blu is one of Riga's greatest bars. The Skyline Bar, situated on the 26th storey of the towering hotel this bar provides some stunning views as well as some awesome cocktails that you and the lads can enjoy in some seriously classy surroundings.
Monks of St. John's Church - Local legend has it that a couple of monks tried to escape the monastery in search of honest wenches and beery good times. Unfortunately, they ended up sealed inside the church wall and starved to death. Tough luck lads, tough luck.
TV Tower - Riga's TV Tower either looks like a rocket about to take off, or a tripod from War of the Worlds that's about to wake up and start wasting buildings and people everywhere. It's really cool, and you can enjoy 360 degree views of the city from the heights of the viewing platform.
Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs - We're not sure if the Latvian name of this pub translates directly to ‘amazing ales and delicious pub grub', but that's exactly what you'll find in this epic boozer. With 16 independent ales on offer, this is the perfect place to find a new favorite pint.
Moloney's Pub - This Irish pub has an amazing atmosphere and there's nowhere better in Riga to enjoy an ice cold pint of Guinness - plus they show all the footy, which is a rarity in a Latvian boozer and a big bonus on your Riga stag weekend!
Zapte - This diminutive but brilliant bar is a bit of a local favorite - largely because of the really affordable shots and beers you can expect to try here before moving on to the city's best clubs, which are conveniently placed nearby.
Hardcore Hangover Club - We think the name says it all really - this place is legendary with the party loving locals, and the tight performance space guarantees electric live shows when the city's best up-and-comers take to the stage to ply their trade.
Aussie Pub - You're guaranteed a good evening in this awesome pub that's chock full of Aussie spirit and fantastic Latvian craft beers. For the paltry sum of 10 Euros, you can enjoy all 14 independent beers in 100ml glasses to find the pint that's best for you.
Aldaris - Latvia's best brewery produces some truly delicious beers that we really wish we could find at home. A pint of the delicious Gaisais or Luksus is all that it takes to convince your party that Latvian beer is the real deal.
Richard Wagner - The man who unwittingly provided the soundtrack to one of the most famous scenes from Apocalypse Now with his infamous composition Ride of the Valkyries was a Riga resident for many years of his career, although that's not to say that you'll discover any hidden musical talents while you're here...
Spot Kafe - You have to admire any bar that can provide the lads with a choice of more than 50 different shots. Spot Kafe also boasts a couple of great Karaoke nights, so if you feel that your party is incomplete without your X Factor ready rendition of Westlife's Flying Without Wings, then this is the bar for you.
Rocket Bean Roastery - After a heavy night out, the Rocket Bean Roastery really could be your saving grace with brews that are so strong, they really will put hairs on your chest. You can also treat yourselves to some top quality nosh if you're feeling the hunger - hangover? What hangover?
Snowmobiles - Riga is one of the best places in Europe to don the snowsuit to take on some of the most exciting off-road action you can have without wheels. Rip up the powder on high powered snowmobiles and put on your best Bond impressions as you cut through a thrilling course. Read more...
Rock Café - When it comes to live music venues, they don't get much better than Rock Café. Compact, energetic and always rocking, this bar is host to the city's best bands - bang your heads stags!
Kalku Varti - One of the few clubs in Riga to have achieved ‘legendary' status with the party-loving locals, Kalku Varti's spacious underground dance floor has seen many an epic night out, and yours could be next.
Bobsleigh - You've probably seen this high speed sport in the Winter Olympics, now, you can see how you and the lads fare in the fast-moving confines of the bobsleigh. This is seriously adrenaline pumping stuff and it's only for the toughest of stags - have you got what it takes?!?
BK VEF Riga - The city's premiere basketball team have a massive following, they're four time Latvian champions and they also compete in the Eurocup, which is Basketball's answer to the UEFA Champions League. Not bad VEF, not bad...
Nabaklab - If you're into alternative culture, then Nabaklab is perfect for you. It's got a dark, grungy atmosphere and it plays host to some of the city's best rock bands as well as a few travelling acts. Discover more...
Shot Café - Why has nobody thought of this in the UK?! A café, serving shots - its genius. Drinking in this bar is tantamount to drinking in your mates loft conversion in all the right ways. This is fun, friendly, and let's be honest, who doesn't want to try a flaming shot?
Target Shooting - Unlike in the UK, you're allowed to get hands on with proper firearms in controlled conditions in Riga, and every lad owes it to himself to give it a try. Feel the power of the all-powerful Glock, used by special services around the world, and get hands on with the iconic AK47. Read more...
B-Bar - Perfectly cooked, juicy steaks, dripping with sauce and some of the manliest cocktails around - that's what you'll find in B-Bar. It's the venue of choice for the city's young working professionals, probably because this is the perfect place to enjoy a few quiet drinks before a few loud ones elsewhere.
Labietis Brewery - To find one of the best watering holes in the city, you've got to head underground. Labietis is full of folks in the search for beer-fuelled fun just like you, there's a fantastic atmosphere and if you head down early enough, you can even watch the beers being made in the craft brewery. These are pints that are worth the pilgrimage.
Garaza - This restaurant is epic. They do the best burgers in town, loads of tasty beers and the interior is decked out like a real garage, from the number-plate décor to the repurposed car-seat bar chairs. This is wheely, wheely great!
Top Tweeters - LIVE Riga will keep you up to date with all the latest goings on in the city as well as when and where the best live events are happening so that you won't miss a thing during your stay. Riga Guide will keep you in-the-know when it comes to the city's best restaurants, bars and other worthwhile attractions.
Facebook - Follow the city's Facebook page for epic shots of Riga as well as loads of information about what's on and how to get about town.
like its 1929!"
Latvia's most popular sport is Ice Hockey.
Riga Stag Weekend – Kick it in the Baltics!
For a lively international weekend away with the boys it doesn't come much bigger or better than Riga. The Latvian Capital (The 2014 European City of Culture) is a top Euro stag destination and has been partying hard for the best part of a decade. And let's not forget that this Baltic state has produced more than its fair share of supermodels so you certainly won't be short of eye candy for the lads to drool over.
With the “iron curtain” well & truly pulled back access is better than ever and the range of quality activities and entertainment puts many other top destinations in the shade. If you're looking for an epic stag do then Riga really allows you to kick it in the Baltics.
Likely Lads in Latvia
A truly memorable stag weekend in Riga relies on some vital components;
- Great Beer (at greater prices)
- Epic Adventures
- Huge Nights Out
- Zero Hassle
- A Willing
1. Riga Stag Weekend Beer Bonus
'The ready back gets all the loads.' Latvian Proverb
Now without wanting to sound like anyone's mother we would firstly like to point out that you should drink responsibly, especially on a stag weekend (no Jagerbombing the groom to his knees, it's a stag do not a blitzkrieg). However you will be pleased to know that not only is Riga incredibly easy on the wallet (drink prices in some bars can be half what you'll pay back in the UK) but the good folk of Latvia do treat their beer with due reverence. Any group lucky enough to be visiting in May can take part in the Latviabeerfest, a great beer festival taking place in the heart of the city.
And at StagWeb we never like to see you going thirsty so do all we can to make sure you have plenty in your kitty to allow for a few extra pints to toast the condemned man... er we mean groom.
Beer Savings – If you book a weekend individually you'll have to pay full whack, At StagWeb we've been organising Riga weekends for over a decade, during that time we've built up great partnerships with all our hotels and activity providers and because we book so many stag weekends a year we get great discounts. These are savings we can pass on to you to help free up cash for your stag kitty to be spent on more activities, fancy food or a refreshing beverage or two.
And with flight operators and budget airlines falling over each other to offer better deals getting to Riga is now cheaper than the price of a tank of petrol. To get more info check out our flights page.
2. Riga Stag Do Adventures
Riga is great any time of year but there are some fantastic winter sports activities that you won't find back home; snowmobiles and husky dog sledding are particular favourites of ours. There are also a few things to be enjoyed in Riga that you can't try anywhere else, like a yacht charter with strippers, bubble football or get your self on the right end of an AK47 with one of our incredible shooting activities. There are also some excellent opportunities for stag pranks - like the stag arrest activity, we're not suggesting you should prank the groom, we're merely pointing out that it is considered tradition.
But you will find plenty of great Riga stag weekend adventures at fantastic prices. See more...
3. Big Nights in the Baltics
There is just something incredibly exciting about the Baltic States, these are countries that enjoy their drink and like to party so you can be sure of some huge nights out. As well as Lap Dancing and Nightclub Guestlist Entry we can arrange for you to have a guide to show you the sights and sounds and personally introduce you to the best bars in the city centre.
And there's no need for chasing cabs all night, the Old Town is the hub of the city's nightlife and everything is in walking distance with hundreds of great bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants packed into one really buzzing area.
Whether you want to treat the groom to a Strip Dinner or experience a traditional Latvian Meal, we'll put everything in place for you.
4. Zero Hassle
Latvian 'Black Balsam' is 90 proof & looks like crude oil.
This could be one of the best decisions you ever make... let us help. You'll be dealing with a dedicated, expert team that will work with you to make sure your trip is well prepared and planned to give you and the boys an outstanding trip. You'll be supported all the way both in the UK during the planning process and on the ground when you get there.
At StagWeb 96% of our groups say they would book with us again but don't take our word for it, see what stags are saying about us on independent review website Trust Pilot.
So put us to the test, just call in or send a brief and we'll send you a full quote with no obligation.
5. Get Him in the Baltics
The key thing when booking any stag do is to remember this is the biggest party any man ever has. It's his last hurrah with his closest mates before he lives the happy days of single life behind to forever more spend time picking out curtains, walking round Ikea and watching Strictly-Come-X-Factor-on-Ice.
He's picked you for his wingman to create the greatest weekend of his life and the party starts right here...
Looking for information and stats about Riga? See more info here.