What to buy in Latvia

06 Dec 2016

Amber The petrified sap isn’t as plentiful as it is in Lithuania or Kaliningrad, but it still washes up on Latvian beaches. It’s sold in all souvenir shops and there are dozens of amber stalls behind St. Peter’s Church, on Vaļņu iela behind Hotel Riga and on Līvu laukums.
Antiques You can find antique shops in and around Old Riga, but if you’re looking for good deals on old unpolished, unframed materials, try the shops on Čaka iela between Ģertrūdes and Tallinas streets. For old books in Russian, German and Latvian try Jumava or Vēsture.

Art Nouveau souvenirs Nothing screams Riga like a screaming gargoyle. Buy Art Nouveau silk scarves, postcards, ceramic dishes, books and best of all, plaster busts based on beautiful heads seen on the city’s most impressive early 20th-century facades at Art Nouveau Riga, Strēlnieku 9.
Designer handbags Una Vita produces fashionable handbags made from llama, cow and goat leather and wild fox, beaver and mink furs that are legally harvested here in Latvia by local hunters. Visit Una Vita (Lāčplēša 87E, tel. 67 24 44 04, www.unavita.lv. Open 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Sun) or its website for more info.
Honey The Latvians revere their honey (medus) like the French do their wine and even claim that it has healing properties so taste some for free at The Honey Room (Pēterbaznīcas 17. Open 10:00 - 19:00).
Local food The following can be found in any supermarket: Latvian rye (rupjmaize) and sourdough (saldskābmaize) breads are delicious, and easily transported. Sprats (šprotes), similar to sardines, are the perfect snack to go with the Latvian vodka you bought. Finally, the Latvians revere their honey (medus) like the French do their wine so why not give it a try.


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Pekka Tenhonen
Turku, Finland
Having been several times in Riga and having spent numerous hours shopping, I would like to remind you of two of my favorite shops, that are surely worth a visit, having somewhat unique products for sale: 1. http://www.kokaspeles.lv/en and 2. http://www.riija.lv/en Best regards, Pekka
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