Free Stuff in Riga

Tee-pee made of logs on the beach at Lilaste, Latvia
Free accommodation

Thanks to high inflation, Latvia is not as wallet-friendly as it used to be, for visitors and locals alike. In early 2024, here's roughly what you can expect to pay for some essential items:

  • a cup of coffee - 2.50 euros,
  • a decent burger and fries (not McDonalds) - 10 euros,
  • a pint of local beer - 5 euros,
  • a bus ticket to/from the airport - 2 euros,
  • a Bolt (Uber-equivalent) to/from the airport - 15 euros
  • a return train ticket to Jūrmala - 4 euros

But happily, there are plenty of things to do that cost nothing at all (or are still ridiculously cheap). So, here is your penny-pincher's guide to the Latvian capital!

iconic sights

Doma Cathedral in Riga with tourists in front
Doma discounts
  • Bring some ID to get a visitor's pass (it only takes a minute) and you can wander around the National Library of Latvia free of charge. There are always several exhibitions running, and the views of Riga from inside are spectacular.
  • Usually, entry to Doma Cathedral costs 5 euros. But you can come inside and hear its famous organ by coming to a church service, Mon-Sat at 8:00, Sun at 12:00 and Thu at 18:00.
  • Most Catholic and Orthodox churches, including the Orthodox Cathedral, are open to visitors for free.


Exterior of former KGB headquartrs in Riga
Nest of spies


Frieze in white granite on Riga's Freedom Monument depicting choir singer
Even monuments sing in Riga
  • The Small Guild hosts regular folk, jazz and classical concerts with entry either free or just a few euros. Their website's English version isn't updated, but run the listings through Google translate to see what's on.
  • The Kalnciems Quarter in Pārdaugava runs free concerts on Thursday nights in summer. Their Saturday markets are fun, too, with free entertainment.
  • For the price of a beer, enjoy live music every summer evening at he big beer garden Nekādu problēmu (No Problems) (at the southern end of Kaļķu iela in Old Riga). Check their Facebook page for upcoming events.
  • Also for the cost of a pint, Folk Club Ala offers live music most nights, and all-in folk dancing on Wednesdays.
  • As well as English-language services, St. Saviour's Anglican Church (Anglikāņu iela 2) holds lunchtime classical and organ concerts every Wednesday at 13:00. By donation.


Red granite, egg-shaped sculpture by Pauls Jaunzems by the Buļļupe River in Vakarbuļļi village near Riga.
Art meets nature
  • The Mežaparks Grand Bandstand and a museum dedicated to the Latvian Song Festivals are open free of charge every day from 08:00-20:00. While in Mežaparks (tram 11 to "Mežaparks"), you can also wander the hiking trails and admire the pre-1914 villas for free. Riga Zoo charges entry but is worth a look.
  • Riga's cemeteries are fascinating places to discover. Wander round the old tombs of the disused Great Cemetery (tram 11 to "Kazarmu iela), admire the sculptures at the Brothers Cemetery military memorial (tram 11 to Brāļu kapi"), and explore the forest setting and artistic memorials of the huge Meža kapi next door
  • North of Riga in Vakarbuļļi village, sculptor Pauls Jaunzems has created a remarkable Stone Sculpture Garden on the banks of the Buļļupe River. ,(bus no. 3 to "Daugavgrīvas DP, then bus no. 36 to "Vakarbuļļi) Entry is by donation.

fresh air

Sunset at Jurmala beach near Riga
Half an hour from the city
  • Enjoy a stroll, a bike ride or a picnic in Riga's many beautiful parks. Arkādijas Park (tram no. 10 to the stop "Arkādijas parks) has delightful waterfalls and streams. Viesturdārzs (tram no. 7 to "Ausekļa iela" is Riga's oldest park and has a monument to the first Song Festival. The park on Ķīpsala Island (just over the Cable Bridge) boasts a gym, a kid's playground, a beach on the Daugava and spectacular views of Old Riga.
  • For the price of a train ticket, the pine-fringed beaches of Jūrmala are all yours. If you're feeling ambitious, the Baltic Coastal Hiking Route offers 1,419 km of adventures.
  • Over 50% of Latvia is forest, and picking mushrooms or berries in the woods is a national obsession. Pick a section of the Baltic Forest Trail for over 2,000 km of hiking.