Many people ask us ‘is Riga a safe city?’
Riga is a relatively safe city when compared to other cities in Europe. As with all big cities you must be aware of your surroundings.
Pick pocketing is common within the tourist areas of Riga, specifically in the central market and between the bus station tunnel and the Old Town, along Valnu Street. Common places of pickpocket activity are doorways of places where lots of tourists enter, like churches. As people squeeze in, they squeeze the wallets out!
There are some scams in the city that one should be aware of, such as the money switch. It is a simple trick that people do; they have coins and want to change them for a bank note as ‘this is needed to pay for my car park’ for example. The thing is that the coins are Lithuanian and not Latvian and their value is 5 times less. Personally I have seen this scam operate for 5 years and people still fall for it, partly because of the smooth English talking scam artist who carries it out. People dressed in suits asking to exchange money are up to no good.
Other scams include young ladies luring men into bars, where drinks are extremely expensive and, after ordering their own drinks, the unsuspecting men are left with a large bill. Riga’s strip clubs also have been known to overcharge, but it could be the case that they are cleaning their act up a little, although I would urge all of you to not to fund and encourage such business.
Riga is a beautiful city, if you respect it and are aware of your surroundings, Riga will respect you. Come and enjoy, be safe and have fun. If you want to see the city, learn about how to avoid rip off bars, bad venues and dangerous districts you are welcome to join us on one of our walking tours or bicycle tours to find out the nicest spaces in the city of Riga!
Read more info on what to do in Riga and some other advice on our GUIDE TO RIGA section.