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Should we or shouldn't we????

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posts: 49
reviews: 5
Should we or shouldn't we????

aaaahhhh that is indeed the question!!!

We are a group of 8 men and go to a different venue each December (just back from Edinburgh after a great weekend) and have been doing so for 20 years or so. We are clearly not a stag do but will we be tarred with the same brush?

We were booked to go to Riga 4 years ago but cancelled it all after hearing somewhat horrific reports of the local attitude to groups of English men. We would love to visit next year but we just don't need the hassle of always looking over your shoulder. At the end of the day we could go anywhere but we decided to look again at Riga so I am wondering if it is still advisable to avoid or have things improved......I would like comments from non vested interested parties (i.e stag do promotors or the tourist board) but people with genuine thoughts. Many thanks

Vejen, Denmark
Destination Expert
for Riga
posts: 720
reviews: 22
1. Re: Should we or shouldn't we????

It cant be advised to go if you are a group!

The situation are the same - maybe only change is less large groups.

Riga, Latvia
posts: 81
reviews: 3
2. Re: Should we or shouldn't we????

I have to say that I see the attitude of English men to people in latvia that makes me feel ashamed of the fact that I speak English.

lack of respect to anything, tendency to look for fights and humiliate local people, cursing, shouting, also some things that I'd not even want to say here in order not to hurt any person that is latvian

yes, there are many people in Latvia that don't like english people, this is true, and also I personally started to really disrespect english people since I came to riga and saw what is happening with my own eyes

posts: 49
reviews: 5
3. Re: Should we or shouldn't we????

thankyou....that is a shame. We are clearly not that type of group as for over 20 years we have been meeting in different places without any hint of aggrevation....we know how to behave ourselves!!! but it looks like the Riga people are unable to distinguish between individuals and view everyone in a group as a trouble maker and therefore I feel we should spend our money and time elsewhere where attitudes and opinions are not as narrow which is a real shame. Thankyou for your thoughts but we don't need the hassle when there are plenty of other great venues we can go to. I understand the feelings of the Riga people because I also have seen the damage stag dos can cause but it doesnt help your reputation either to be unable to judge everyone the same.

posts: 90
reviews: 75
4. Re: Should we or shouldn't we????

"I have to say that I see the attitude of English men to people in latvia that makes me feel ashamed of the fact that I speak English"

can i just add "SOME" not all English men are the same.... myself and a friend have visited Riga 11 times now over the space of the last 5 years. Yes i have seen English stags in Paddy Whelans shouting at the bar staff & throwing coins in glasses full of beer till they smash with beer everywhere then more abuse...etc....and that sort of thing is embarresing for me, but i have also seen many "English men" who are perfectly behaved, taking in the local culture and having a quiet drink. We now get welcomed in bars with cheers & handshake!

i can see there maybe a problem with a large group because people tend to stereotype. but i would say, keep out of the dodgy bars and strip clubs, respect the town & the people, dont get too loud & learn your please & thank yous.... as my mum always said... manners cost you nothing but will get you a long way :) i love riga & the people went in Nov & going back in Jan...you gotta love Ryanair :D

Edited: 4:16 am, December 06, 2011
posts: 49
reviews: 5
5. Re: Should we or shouldn't we????

thankyou.....maybe swinging back in favour....we are a group of 8 but probably a bit long in the tooth to be classed as a stag do type group. It is difficult to know whether the views of one or two negative posters with maybe their own agendas are truely representative of the Riga people....thanks again for a bit of balance.

given the chance would you chance it or go somewhere that we do not need to look over our shoulders all the time?

Destination Expert
for Riga, Jurmala
posts: 1,152
reviews: 30
6. Re: Should we or shouldn't we????

Local people do not treat ALL tourists as potential trouble makers. And you DON"T have to look over your shoulders all the time in Riga. It is just some - a few years back many - tourists behave like idiots (sorry), then get what they deserve and then come to travel forums screaming how bad Riga (Prague, Budapest, Tallinn, Vilnius, Warsaw... ) treated them.

I'm sure you will have a great time in Riga, if drinking and "having a good time" is not the only things you are into.

posts: 90
reviews: 75
7. Re: Should we or shouldn't we????

as latviantraveller said... you dont need to look over your shoulder...well... no more than you do in every other city in the world. most countries ive visited are the same as in if you at least try and learn some of the laugage it shows your trying and is appreciated.... divi alus, ludzu....paldies. 2 beers please...thankyou. i prob sound like a fool as my pronunciation will be terrible but at least im trying. and i think most younger latvians can speak at least 3 or 4 lanuages so we are the stupid ones!

given the chance i would go.... ive been trying to persuade friends to come with us... but we only ever go in winter and they point blank refuse.

if you barge into a bar shouting, falling over an generally being rude.... as in every other city you will get looks of disaproval and may well be the target of any locals who may not be that friendly. i wouldnt worry ...not all english people are your typical football thug and i think once you get past that first impression people realise that.

there is a site somewhere that lists some of the bars & clubs that it is advisable to avoid....again same as any other city there are some dodgy places. but use your nouse and you should be ok.... 11 times and i have been ripped off once by a taxi driver...partly my fault for gettin in any cab drunk and not asking the fare before hand.

have a great time.

Riga, Latvia
posts: 30
reviews: 9
8. Re: Should we or shouldn't we????

Riga is a perfectly civilised place, nothing to worry about if you behave normally. I mean no reason whatsoever to fear, it's a cool place.

London, United...
posts: 4
reviews: 21
9. Re: Should we or shouldn't we????

Hi mate, I would say not to worry about anything negative you may off heard or read about Latvians and their attitudes towards the English. As having been to Riga (albeit with my missus) just a couple of months ago, I can honestly say that it is a wonderful place where locals fall over themselves to be helpful to you. The old town (where I’m guessing you most probably will be) is compact and interesting and will probably only take you about half a day or so to meander around. There are also a couple of other interesting places not far which you could check out too called Jurmala and Sigulda. The local food is very filling and quite cheap and there are a plethora of reputable bars throughout the ‘old town’ where you can relax and have a beer in without any fear of malice or trickery. I’m guessing too that you and your party are middle aged (or more) so a bar for the evening to check out is the sky bar at the Radisson blu hotel. In addition, I was well advised in advance of the high jinks of local taxi drivers and was told only to take the red or olive green ones - which I can say are highly reputable and will not rip you off. About me: I am an avid traveller who has visited many cities across the globe and I found Riga ( and Latvia) to be quite an unexpected gem – give it a pop!

posts: 401
reviews: 4
10. Re: Should we or shouldn't we????

They way you will get treated depends on how you treat the locals. There are tourists (not just Englishmen) who think they can come, throw their money around, be rude to girls and servers, be loud and obnoxious, and act like they are superior to everybody else around... Yes, being that way will most likely not end well, but it would be the same way anywhere - Riga, Stockholm, London, Athens or Barcelona.... Nobody tolerates attitude and disrespect like that and it will eventually cause trouble. After all, you are a guest in a different country which is somebody's "home" and good or bad, they love it.

That said, I really don't think Riga is more horrible than any other tourist destination and living in Riga for 4 years I never saw an incident between tourists and locals. If you do want to go to bars, choose good ones that are in the Old Riga (Downtown area) and you should be perfectly fine as a big percentage of clients there are tourists and people are used to it. And honestly, there was never a time when being in the Old Riga I wouldn't hear a foreign language around me at some point, in a bar or on the street, so nobody is going to "wait" for you there just to harm you because you are an English. :) As long as you are respectful, friendly and polite you will be just fine and who knows, maybe you might get some new Latvian friends (we really can be very friendly!) and will want to come back!