Shopping of Latvia

Shops in Latvia: markets, shopping malls and botiques

Shopping in Latvia

Modern shopping in Latvia is centered around shopping malls, which consists of various shops, restaurants and places for entertainment (e.g. cinemas).

The larger the city, the more large shopping malls it has. The largest ones are in Riga. These may be used to spend an entire day, whereas the smaller city malls are typically more limited in size.

While many malls are located in suburbs, some are also located in downtowns where they replaced old Soviet buildings.

A typical medium-sized mall in Riga
A typical medium-sized mall in Riga. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Towns and many city districts lack malls, but they have supermarkets which are large shops that offer various goods and groceries. These belong to several major chains, most of them foreign: e.g. “Maxima” (Lithuanian), “Rimi” (Norwegian), “Prisma” (Finnish). “Narvessen” (Norwegian) is a chain of convenience stores which have longer working hours at an expense of a smaller size and somewhat higher prices.

More hectic places to shop are various bazaar-like marketplaces, often opened in mornings or just during some days. These are filled with small-scale businessmen, kiosks, and stalls.

During the festivals, makeshift new temporary marketplaces get constructed (e.g. the Christmas market in Riga).

Christmas market in Riga
Christmas market in Riga. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Shopping in Riga

Riga is the main destination for shopping in Latvia.

The main place for souvenir shopping are the stalls in the Old Town, however, the prices there may be high. The souvenirs include the typical ones (magnets, t-shirts) as well as more Latvian ones (amber) or Russian ones (matryoshkas).

Amber stall in Riga Old Town
Amber stall in Riga Old Town. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

A good alternative for more interesting upmarket souvenirs is the Kalnciema fair, that takes place in Āgenskalns district every Saturday. The products there are sold by Latvian artists, craftsmen and makers of traditional food.

Kalnciema fair in Riga
Kalnciema fair in Riga. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

The main place for general shopping in Riga are its modern shopping malls. A number of them exist further away from the downtown, each offering many shops and entertainment opportunities as well as extensive car parking. Riga Plaza is at the other side of Daugava from Maskavas district, Domina shopping is in Teika while Spice is in the Soviet districts of Western Riga.

Riga plaza shopping mall
Riga plaza shopping mall. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

A more traditional way to shop are the marketplaces. The main among them is the Central market in Maskavas district, located in former airship hangars and reachable easily from the Old Town on foot. It is a good place to buy groceries and cheap goods as well as souvenirs.

Riga Central Market in former airship hangars
Riga Central Market in former airship hangars. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

Around Christmas, a Christmas fair is established in the Old Town.