Andrejsala mixes urban decay with gentrification as the former heart of Riga’s alternative culture is overtaken by commercial enterprises. Great views of the river and some crumbling architecture remain and there are some nice places to chill out for a spot of lunch, but the price of a beer has increased dramatically!
Andrejsala was, back in 2006, a hot spot in Riga for parties, artists, performances, markets, open air events; the vibrant creative hub of Riga. Today the story is some what different. Andrejsala (or Andrew’s Island) no longer holds these sort of events, and most of the creative types have been long kicked out. Buildings once used for alternative venues are now owned by large wine and spirit distributors, happy to feed the Swedish tourists fresh off of the boats from Stockholm with low priced, hard liquor. The naive art museum now sells jeans.
There are now a number of upmarket locations here, and their customers are more likely to arrive by Bentley than by bicycle. Restaurants Koja and Aqua Luna, something called a Bus-taurant, and the First Dača nightclub cater to those who have the cash to splash, prices often higher than in the Old Town.
However, head past the beginning of the Andrejsala, past the trains shunting back and forward, past the old power station with the Energy Museum ( Click Here for info on Andrejsala’s Electrical Power Plant ) and you will arrive at a small harbour and breakwater. Popular with fishermen and students who want to have a discreet beer or cigarette next to the water, there are also nice views of the river and Riga’s port infrastructure. The old grain elevators from soviet and Russian imperial times still stand nearby.
It’s a good place to go for a ride on a bicycle, just watch out for the broken glass.