Guns & Butter: Riga Travel Guide


This is part of the Trip Report Welcome to the Cold where I went from NYC to:

If you’re just tuning in now be sure to read how I ended up with this unique itinerary by checking out The Original Plan: The $77,000 Trip Heard Round the World, the subsequent Change Up: Riga, Latvia? and the Mongolia angle: IGLOO-GER: The Helsinki-Ulaanbaatar Trip Report.

Riga, Latvia? I ask again. What is there to do there?

Americans may not know it, but those looking for a great party should.

No worries, TPOL’s Travel Guide using the Guns & Butter methodology will tell you what to do in Riga. Here’s how the graph is made:

  • A trip is composed of two factors: Labor And Lazy
  • Anything on the line (Production Possibilities Frontier for my fellow economists) is an efficient use of your time depending on your tastes and preferences.
  • Anything inside the line is inefficient as should be avoided.
  • Anything outside is aspirational but may be impossible to do given the constraints of time and resources.
  • The opportunity cost (what is given up) for relaxing and being Lazy is gained by being adventurous in the form of Labor and vice versa.

CaptureStag Party

The typical American bachelor/bachelorette party is in Las Vegas, Nevada. Riga may not be as convenient as Vegas but if you and your friends have been keeping up with TPOL then you can all get there for free. Once in Riga, the savings continue with better prices for food and drink.

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Beer & Nightlife 

Latvia has great local beer and excellent imports for a fair price. On one occasion the weather was not participating resulting in a downpour of rain and nowhere to go. Stranded, I sampled beer after beer and suggest you do the same.

The nightlife consisted of traveling from pub after pub trying as much beer as possible. To that point, I will say that going to Riga during the weekend made the nightlife a bit tame.

The menu
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Pronounce this
Last call
Last call
All in
All in
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All done
All done

Old Town

Like Stockholm, Riga has an Old Town where I spent most of my time. Walk around, look around, and enjoy.

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Orthodox Churches & Monuments

Seinfeld kept playing in my head while walking around the city and seeing its beautiful churches and monuments.

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I regret not going to the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia but was very intrigued to learn about its history and disdain of Soviet influence.


McDonalds? Are you kidding? Another Big Mac competition?

Eating fast food versus local food is not very worldly. But, this isn’t about quality, it’s about convenience and novelty. It rained both days I was in Riga. After the beer tasting, I needed quick food and fast taxi to take me back to the hotel. Look no further than McExpress. The walk-thru lady is one of the meanest persons in the world but it added to the experience.

The pasta was great
The pasta was great
The pizza was meh
The pizza was meh
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The Express was Mc

Riga, Latvia? Yes, Riga, Latvia.

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