Latvia — Shopping and Leisure
Latvia is a shopping adventure. Even though it doesn’t boast the commercial class of Italy or France, visitors will be able to shop for the latest fashions within the large cities. Favorite souvenirs include local produce, smoked ceramics, ornamental mittens, and silver jewelry.
One of the more popular products in Latvia is amber. Riga’s Central Market is a great place to buy amber gifts at a ridiculously low price. Haggling is the norm, so bargain a good deal. There are also some nifty little stalls in the Old Town. Just avoid the malls as amber is usually overpriced or a knockoff.
Ornate mittens are a favorite clothing item from Latvia. You can pick some up at Riga’s Central Market, Liepaja’s central market known as Petertirgus or the smaller marketplace called Annas tirgus.
When visiting Latgale (one of the more traditional regions of Latvia), be sure to pick up the local ceramics. They are perfect for souvenirs, and are relatively unique with a smoked (blackened) look.
Once a part of the Soviet Union, Latvia is home to a range of interesting cultural products from that era. Hats, pins, uniforms and memorabilia can be found at Latgalite flea market in Riga and Karosta in Liepaja.
Shopping hours differ according to the type of business you run. Supermarkets are generally open until 11:00 p.m.; while food stores and grocers are only open until 8:00 p.m. Specialty and department stores generally operate Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Most are closed on Sundays.