Happy New Year and welcome to Riga in 2022!
What can we expect in 2022 and what has Riga got to offer in these strange new times? We will have a little look into the near future to see what is hot and what is not in Riga during 2022.
The effects of the Covid19 Pandemic on Riga, tourism and hospitality
Riga as a Capital city was once a city full of buzzing bars, cafes, events, concerts, museums and festivals. Since the start of the pandemic, restrictions and new rules have literally pulled the rug from underneath the tourism and hospitality industry. Left exposed, the true fragility of many business', dependent on tourism and local social gatherings has become clear and many long lasting establishments have vanished. Among these, well trodden lunch favourites, specialised bars, music venues, restaurants and eateries have not made it through to 2022. What we do see however is newer establishments trying their luck with lower rents and optimism, to carve out their futures in the post pandemic Riga. One thing that is for sure, much of Riga's character will have gone, leading the way towards a European city with much the same as the next. Well, that is of course if you just stick to the main sites. We are certain that from the pandemic will be born more underground, lesser known, artistic and creative venues, eager to make a space for locals in the new times ahead.
If you are planning to visit any festivals, concerts or events here in Riga during 2022, be aware that we have been lockdown a number of times, we have closed many businesses that hold public events and we have even had curfews at time. Make sure to follow the current news on where Covid is leading us.
Prices in Riga
As with the rest of the World, the prices in Riga are increasing at an alarmingly fast rate. Food costs, energy, imported goods and luxury items are all experiencing high inflation, however we see only one area where prices may continue to be stable or potentially even reduce and that is the real estate sector. Riga has many empty properties, shop fronts, cafes, apartments, swathes of unused 1 room Air bnb converted apartments to name a few that are in need of tenants. Rental prices should reflect the need to get these back on the markets and its hoped that the lower rents may lead to some newer opportunities for less profit focused businesses and more creative solutions to appear.
On thing to note in 2022 is that you will not be able to pay in cash for your bus, tram or trolley tickets! You will need to buy from a kiosk or machine, or try the new app for buying tickets here - https://www.rigassatiksme.lv/en/tickets-and-e-ticket/code-tickets/ Interesting that there are a few apps you can use.... And the current version of the actual transport providers app has really bad reviews :D Maybe try one of the others shown.
Geopolitics in and around Riga 2022
2021 saw some rather disturbing events take place on Latvia's borders, with Belarus accused of allowing migrants to freely attempt to cross over into the Latvian territory. Numerous commentators have declared this as a form of hybrid warfare and a way for Belarus to hit back at the West. Not forgetting that a Ryanair flight to Vilnius was escorted out of the skies and forced to land in Belarus where upon landing a Belarusian opposition member was arrested. These kinds of activities are new and we have seen nothing like this in Latvia and the region for many years. This added with the tensions in Ukraine lead many here to wonder where will this lead Riga, Latvia in 2022 and I think a cautious and calm approach to the matter should be taken. We can only see where this goes.
Enjoying Riga in 2022 - What to do and what to expect?
We are encouraging people to explore Riga beyond the Disney land of Old Town and see what Riga has to offer beyond the inner city. As longer days come and spring approaches we invite to you all to have a look at the transport maps, get on a bike or scooter, hop in a train, tram or bus and go and explore this wonderful city. It is not all doom and gloom up here in Riga. There is a glimmer of hope and a sparkle of change coming in 2022.
Make sure to check our schedule for current tour operations during 2022, We plan to run everyday we possibly can for you all!