Riga is a great city where to go on your Erasmus, I lived and studied there for one semester (January – July 2014) and I decided to write this little guide for those who are going to leave for this fascinating city and want to spend a great Erasmus time.
The main Riga’s universities are University of Latvia, that is the biggest one, Stradiņš University, it is private and with one of the most important Medicine Faculty of Europe, Riga Technical University and Turība University, with one of the most prestigious Economical faculty.
The university where you are going to study is not so important for having a great Erasmus time. Anyway, if you have the possibility to choose, I would suggest to attend the University of Latvia because it is the one with the highest number of Erasmus students, and for them the exams are a little bit easier than for local ones.
On the other hand, the choice of a good accommodation is very important in order to have a great Erasmus.
The main student dormitories in Riga are Prima and Reznas: both of them are located in an area 15 minutes away by bus from the city center. This area is informally called “maskacka” and, since also a lot of suspicious people live there, is not so advisable to stay in those accommodations for a long time.
Another choice is to reserve a room in a shared flat via internet just before leaving: the easiest way is to write “Erasmus Riga” on Facebook, and you will find different groups where a lot of rooms are offered for renting with pictures and prices.
That is what I did, but I would advise to stay in one of those two student dormitories for some days in order to meet and know a lot of people from the beginning of your experience, and then to look for a shared flat with some of them, it will not be hard to find something also at the last moment.
The best option is to take a flat in the center of the city, I would suggest the red area in the picture below.
Searching very well, it is possible to find convenient accommodation like a room in a 3-4 students shared flat from 250 to 350 euros for month in Old Town (the blue area in the picture) and from 200 to 300 euros for month in other places in the center.
In Riga there are three different public vehicles: bus, tram and trolley. A single ticket to take one ride with any of them costs EUR 1.15 but there is the possibility to purchase season student tickets for very low prices.
You can find all the information about it in this website: https://www.rigassatiksme.lv/en/.
Taxi: The cheapest one is Panda Taxi: you cannot stop it in the street but you need to call this number 676 00006 and wait for some minutes. Going from the center to the airport (about 10 km) costs around 7 euros.
In Old Town is obviously very easy to tour by foot.
If you want to go to other cities of Latvia or Baltic States, also public buses and trains are pretty cheap.