This is a question that we get asked often by guests on the tours and many of you ask if you can bring your 4 legged friend along on the walking tours. In Riga these days many bars, restaurants and cafes are catering for dogs and allowing dogs within the premises. A bowl of water and welcoming staff is more and more common around the city.
Of course many locations you will still need to ask before walking into the door with your furry friend in tow,. There are some mixed ideas about dogs among the diverse peoples of Riga so always check before walking into commercial spaces or public buildings with your animals. Often if its not allowed to enter with a dog it should be signposted at the entrance. Some smaller shop owners will allow at their discretion
Dogs in Riga's Cafes and Restaurants, Bars and Pubs
There are ever ore locations in central Riga which welcome dogs as long as they are behaved and calm. 2 places that spring to mind are Gauja and Bāka. Both located on Stabu iela in Central Riga, Gauja has a nice yard where you can allow your dog to relax and this is especially popular in the summer months. As for the 100s of other spaces in Riga that serve food and drinks just ask. We had a great meal with our big dog friend in Galerija Istaba on Barona iela and he was welcomed with water and given attention even if the location is super tiny and intimate.
As a general rule its just to ask but as the number of dogs increases on Riga's streets so do the venues willing and ready to cater for you and your pets.
Can I bring a dog along on the Riga Free Walking tour?
Yes of course you can! Many people do bring their dogs and we are happy to allow animals along for the ride, we just ask that the dog owners make sure to consider that other participants may not be so dog friendly and if needed to keep a little distance from anyone who seems uncomfortable. Normal behaviour among normal people / dogs is welcomed. We even allow well behaved humans on the tours!
Where is some good places to walk dogs in Riga
There are many, many green spaces for dogs in Riga. Generally people keep dogs on a leash in public and some of our favourite dog walking spaces are as follows
The Great Cemetery - lots of old trees and grave stones
Ziedondarzs - they have a dog gym
Mežaparks - so much space yay!
Canal parks around Old Riga
It is forbidden to walk dogs along beaches designated for swimming and recreation. Basically all the major beach towns are restricted for dog walking. However, there are many trails and paths running besides the coast that are great for dogs. You can check the destination before going to make sure that you can walk the dog in that particular area
Below is a map of the route that leads you from Vecdaugava to Vecaki station. Tickets and times can be found at www.1188.lv The walk is around 2km and the woodland nice and easy to wander through. You buy a ticket for luggage for the dog to ride on the train. The train ride is about 20 mins from Central Riga.
Can my Dog travel on Public transport in Riga, Latvia?
If your dog is muzzled and has its papers in order you can travel on Train - You can read the full requirements here - https://www.pv.lv/en/information-for-passengers/transportation-of-pets/ Experience tells that most conductors are fine with animals who are well behaved.
On Bus, Tram or Trolley bus you can take a dog free of charge if they fit into a bag. But if they are on a leash then rules and ticket applies https://www.rigassatiksme.lv/en/tickets-and-e-ticket/types-and-prices-of-tickets/ticket-sold-in-public-transport/
Inhabitants of Riga and Dogs
Ever more dogs appear on the streets of Riga. The trend for 4 legged friends ahs really taken off in the past few years and it can be seen very visibly in the streets of Riga. This means that most people are familiar with dogs and generally people seem to act calm around them. Its always the time to keep the dog on a leash in the city just out of courtesy for others, We have had incidents with unleashed dogs and our children that are just not comfortable, not to mention unleashed dogs greeting other dogs. Sadly, many local inhabitants are not able to do the decent thing and collect their dogs waste. With young children constantly skidding in poop around the city it really does seem that there is a lack of thought and respect for other city users around. Most frequently this is visible when the snow melts and suddenly 1000s of defrosted poops litter the sides of the pavements. Pull yourself together Rigan's and carry some waste bags with you!
Interesting fact about Riga and Dogs
Did you know that there is a book written about Riga called The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankel. A crime novel set between Sweden and Latvia involving the detective Wallender. A number of TV shows have been produced and are well worth watching!