Riga, a cultural hub with a unique and historical feel, is the capital of the country of Latvia. It is the main and the oldest city in the country, which is also a major political, cultural, and economic pivot. It is set on the south coast of the Gulf of Riga with an area of 307.17 square kilometers and a population of more than 640,000 inhabitants.
The capital is home to the Government and Parliament of Latvia, as well as the largest manufacturers in the country. It is a place where all can enjoy a range of cultural display such as classical music, world-class opera, theatre performances, art exhibitions, and a whole lot more. It is considered the world’s best epicentre of Art Nouveau, while also showcasing the contemporary European architecture in its streets.
Famous attractions include St. Peter’s Church, Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, Vermanes Garden, National Museum of Art, Freedom Monument, and Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum.
Riga has no specific red light district (RLD), but sex tourism still exists in the capital. The industry is centered on the old town locale, with strip clubs, nightclubs, and massage parlours offering a range of adult entertainment to clients. The Old Town in this eastern European capital is said to transform into a red light district after 10 PM.
Reports suggest that the historic Old Town centre has become a new destination for sex tourists. This is because the area is now filled with massage rooms, hostess bars, and hostels. The Latvian capital is also a popular place to celebrate stag party and order erotic massages. The historical centre of the city can be found on the east side of Daugava River.
The Old Town has cobblestone streets, as well as old churches and cathedrals. Visitors are sure to find stunning sacral structures and buildings from the medieval era. The houses and establishments in the area also feature varying architectural styles such as Gothic, Baroque, Romanticism, Modernism, and more.
How to Reach the RLD
The most affordable way to reach the Old Town is by taking the city Bus No. 22. It is important to note that this has two stops. The first stop leads visitors to the so-called beginning of the town, with the Dome Square and the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia. The second stop, meanwhile, is near the bus and train station, as well as the Riga National Opera.
Tourists can also take a Baltic Taxi or Red Cab to get to the Old Town. Private transfer is also available, as some hotels and companies provide this kind of service. There is also the Mini-bus Route 222, but the service is only during daytime.
There are some tourist scam reports in Riga, with most of them happening around nightlife venues such as pubs, bars, and club. Reports suggest that pickpocketing occurs in the Old Town, the central market, as well as the central bus and train station.
It is advisable to check the cover charges in some bars and clubs first. It is also recommended to ask for the prices of beverages in advance and pay for each drink individually. Clients should also avoid using ATM machines in bars if possible. Taking basic safety precautions is necessary for the journey to be hassle-free and safe. It is also best to know the special information hotline for tourists in Riga: 1188 and emergency number: 112.
Many of those who have been in the city consider the capital a top destination for commercial sex in Eastern Europe. Baltic women, particularly Latvian girls, are sexy and stunning. Tourists are sure to see charming ladies on bars and clubs, which then add excitement to the nightlife in the city. Riga has also a number of nightclubs and striptease clubs, offering a range of adult entertainment services. XXX Girls is a known portal where clients can find a companion with contact details. Other agencies include Sexy Lady, Riga VIP Escorts, and Escort Service.
There are also establishments in the city, where clients can order for an intimate massage. Erotic studios also exist, which is a great place to meet charming models, providing both adult and escort services.
Labi is one notable adult cinema in the city. This is also a chain of sex shops, known for providing live strip shows, private video booths, and a wide selection of adult films, sex toys, and other adult items. The establishment has decent prices, and clients can choose to splurge for a live erotic entertainment or spend less for a peep show.
The cinema is located in Lāčplēša 47 (and C-4, A. Kalniņa 8, and Brīvības 98; Lāčplēša 6). Interested clients can contact (+371) 67 28 61 15 or visit http://www.labi.tev.lv for more information about the cinema or the sex shop.
It is possible to see some women working in Kalku Street, which is known as the main street in the Old Town. Selling of services usually takes place during evenings. Caka Street is a prominent zone for street hookers, but some of the prostitution scenes has moved in the small streets between the railway and the said street. Tourists can also find some sex workers on Jana Asara Street, Tallinas Street, and Pernavas Street, especially late at night.
While prostitution is legal and regulated in Latvia, the operation of brothels is illegal. The law suggests that involvement of any third party is not allowed to organize prostitution, therefore operating a brothel is a criminal act in the country, a serious offense.
There are several strip clubs in the city, perfect for witnessing erotic performances from stunning girls. Some establishments are just small, while others consider their club international or sophisticated. Most women working on stage are mostly Russian, as well as the management.
The sad part is, some strip clubs in the capital try to get as much as money from clients. Some lure potential visitors with free drinks, but once they get in, they will need to pay for the beverage. Clients are often surrounded by charming women, attempting to get drinks for them. This is why it is a good idea to visit notable and prominent strip clubs like Candy Shop Strip Club or Villa Dreams.
Other strip clubs offering adult entertainment include:
When it comes to swinger clubs, the 911 Swinger Club is the only one confirmed to be still in operation today. On Fridays, the club is accessible to all, but on Sundays, it opens as an exclusive club for couples. There were other listings too, but the site links are not accessible. Kamilla Swinger Club is said to be an establishment where clients can find a companion for serious and casual relations. Visitors can spend their evening in the club or continue the relation outside the establishment.
There are the other swinger clubs, but they may no longer be operational. These include 4x4, a club hosting parties are every Friday from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., located in the Old City, and the Territory S, a venue hosting private swinger parties.
While prostitution in Latvia is legal, several restrictions invalidate it. According to the law, an involvement of the third party is not allowed to organize selling of sexual services. This is why operation the brothel or PIMP is considered a criminal activity. Prostitution, however, is prohibited to minors and those who do not own a health card.
It is required for sex workers to have monthly health checks. Therefore, it is forbidden to provide services when the prostitute is under treatment. It is also important to note that it is prohibited for a worker to offer or accept services in a house or apartment that she does not own, or has rented legally.
Those who compel a person to engage in prostitution are punished with fine or jail time for up to three years. Incarceration may increase up to 12 years for those that involved juveniles or minors.
Specific Laws for Gays
Households headed by couples of the same gender are not entitled to the legal protections that opposite-sex couples have. There is also a democratization process in the country, and this allows members of the third sex to operate businesses and establishments such as clubs, bars, stores, and more.
There are also some educational and cultural events for gays and lesbians, but there is no high level of broad-mindedness. People can also change their gender through surgical procedures. The country, however, does not allow same-sex marriage or recognize forms of partnerships from the same gender.
The city of Riga becomes alive at night, with the Old Town, serving as a party destination for everyone. Bars and clubs are close to each other and offer a generous selection of cocktails, alcoholic beverages, live music, world-class DJs, and more.
There is also the other side of the city, in the Quiet Centre and the Central district for a different kind of nightlife. Here, tourists can dine at top restaurants, sip classy wines, or play at the casinos. Wandering or walking in the area while admiring the architecture is also an option.
Here are some of the best nightlife venues in the area:
Compared to Western European countries, the gay and lesbian scene in Riga is a bit conservative. While the capital is not extremely catholic, church and prominent public officials can freely express their opinion against homosexuality, including other organizations.
In fact, the Latvian capital attempted to organize the first pride event 11 years ago, but some public figures and church leaders condemned it, as well as the issue of homosexuality in general. As the result, the event had more protesters, leading to rallies with most of them expressing violence like throwing tomatoes, eggs, as well as faeces.
In 2006, a year after the attempted organization of the Pride event, the government banned the parade, noting that it puts the country’s peace at risk. After the said ban, a gay rights group called Mozaika organized a conference, but the protesters still threw holy water and faeces at the participants.
The Riga Pride Parade was only considered successful in 2007 because there was no expression of violence from the usual scene of protesters. It is noted that the gay groups are now more organized, with support from its participants and some European officials. There is also a higher potential for both understanding and change.
Gays are allowed to party and have some fun in gay-friendly bars and clubs. The club Golden is a great venue for the LGBT community, while the XXL Club is where anyone can meet and spend time with new friends, tourists, and young people.
General Attitude Towards Gays
Since the first successful gay pride parade in 2007, many are having an open-minded perception on homosexuality. In fact, EuroPride 2015 was celebrated in the Latvian capital. While the country itself is not very welcoming to the gays and lesbians, the LGBT community is not heavily threatened.
Reports suggest that the act of two men holding hands while walking down the street is not dangerous. Comments or glances, however, are likely. When it comes to places for hangout, Golden and XXL Club are the two venues that welcome members of the third sex. Visitors can turn to Mozaika, an LGBT association in Riga for LGBT tips and advice.
Sex Clubs for Gays
There is only one gay club/sauna that exists in the city, the XXL Sauna.
Dance Clubs for Gays
There are a few dance clubs and bars where gays can party and have some fun. Most feature DJs and shows, as well as a dance floor. The gay scene in the city is relatively small, but there are a few friendly clubs that cater to gay clients.
Gay and Transsexual Prostitution
There is no information found for both gay and transsexual prostitutes. It is believed, however, that most of the people offering these services advertise or post their services online.