I have to admit, I know only the bare-bones minimum about the Baltics, but some friends and I need to get out of our university hall for a few days (as per our contracts) and found a 25 quid return flight to Riga. So it looks like we're going to Latvia! Any advice on what to do with four days there would great, as well as general costs, customs, must-sees, et cetera.
Hullo. I liked Riga, but I'm not sure I would spend four days in the town itself, maybe 2 full days there and get out into the country for a night.
Wandering around the old town is one obvious thing to do - that will probably take about a morning. There are some attractive mediaeval streets, mixed in with a couple of stark ex-commie concrete blocks. Definitely visit St Peters Church, and definitely take the lift up to the top of the tower, the views from the top over Riga are great. The Museum, which has lots of info about the various occupations, is quite interesting.
The markets, the other side of the main bus station from the old town, are definitely worth visiting to get a flavour of what gets sold in Latvia - not so much fun if you're a squeamish veggie, I would imagine.
For cheap Latvian food, we went to Alus Seta which is part of a chain but serves big portions of meat and dumpling type stuff, and really cheap Latvian beer. There are a number of places that sell mediaeval food, cooked to original recipes - that's quite an experience - you may have to order Bear in advance if you want to try it - I was unadventurous and had Pike in something that tasted like aniseed, it was very nice. We went to a bar called Mr John Lemon, which was quite funky, and another which I think was called the Candle Bar which was quite swish. Also the Skyline bar in the Reval Hotel has great views, but is quite expensive.
Also - what time of year are you going? In Jan-Feb the Daugava river freezes over, and if you walk onto the bridge over the river you can see rows of guys sitting on the river, fishing through holes they've cut in the ice.
Riga is awesome! Clubs open all night, some great restaurants and very friendly girls. Just approach them and ask whether they would like to take on the task of being night life ambassadors of Riga. You should definitely get out of the city for a night as well. A good suggestion would be to take the bus out to Pils Rundell Palace. Miss the last bus back to town, then start walking in the rain along the highway while trying to hitch a ride. Have an old man yell at you for trespassing while he calls his son, who shows up in less than 2 minutes in a huge Toyota SUV. Jumps out in full camouflaged fatigues and semi automatic rifles. Turns out to be the slickest cat ever and was just coming back from a hunting trip, hell will drive you to the next small city to pick up another bus. This is all fun. Goto the staple megaclub Roxy and stay all night. Cheap drinks. This is just one idea, you guys will definetly come up with something to do. 4 days go by quick. dont sleep mate.