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Riga: The Darkest 50 Years with Local Guide

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2 travellers
    What to Expect
    Ever wondered how life was lived under Soviet or Nazi occupation? This is your chance to get a taste of the Latvia Occupation era and learn about the past life of Riga.

    On this Riga tour, you'll explore a whole different side to the city by visiting sites and areas that still hold the hard memories of the occupation era in Latvia. You’ll learn about daily life in occupied Latvia and get to know more about the country's history under the Russian and Nazi regimes.

    On the eve of World War II, Russia made its move into the Baltics and Finland, and by 1940, Latvia was part of the USSR. The Russians quickly started deporting anyone who posed a threat to the new regime. But the Russians were quickly replaced by the Germans, who forced many Latvians to fight against the Russians, who still had a lot of Latvian soldiers in their army. Sucked into a war between super powers, Latvians were forced to fight against each other in a war they didn't ask for.

    After the war, Latvia once again became part of the USSR and Russia continued it mass deportations to Siberia, in an attempt to decrease Latvian resistance. Groups of Russians came to settle in Latvia and thousands of Russian descendants continue to live in Latvia to this day.

    Your tour begins with a visit to the Riga Panorama Observation deck at a building often called ‘Stalin’s birthday cake’ – one of the few sites standing from Soviet times. From this high perch your guide will give you an overview of the city, pointing out most famous sites of Soviet times, such as the Riga TV tower and a blockhouse area called Kengarags.

     Back on ground level, we’ll have a short stroll through the Riga Ghetto museum and Riga Central Market, where you can get a closer view of areas that haven’t changed much since 1990.

    Afterwards, we’ll move towards the Old Town to visit more sites that are connected to the time of occupation. Before visiting the Museum of Occupation, we’ll enjoy a Soviet-style snack and drink in a true Soviet-style café and bar.

    We’ll finish your Riga tour at the KGB building – one of the darkest places in Latvia, the so-called ‘Checka.’ If you’re brave enough, after visiting the main exhibition, you can even explore the basement’s prison cells (not included in tour price).
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    Important Information
    Departure Point
    Aspazijas bulvāris 20, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia
    Departure Time
    10:00 AM
    Return Details
    The Corner House, Brīvības iela 61, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1010, Latvia
    • Local English-speaking guide
    • 1 Soviet-style snack and drink.
    • Additional Food and drinks
    • Souvenirs and personal shopping
    • Tips/gratuities for your guide
    • Visit to KGB building basement prison cells (5 EUR/person)
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    Additional Info
    • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
    • Please wear casual clothing and comfortable shoes for walking. Note that Riga can be quite cold in the winter months, so please dress accordingly
    • For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people
    • This is a child-friendly tour. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour
    Cancellation Policy
    If you cancel at least 4 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee. If you cancel within 3 days of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
    Traveller rating
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    Popular mentions
    I highly recommended this tour for anyone with even a passing interest in the history of this impressive country! A very interesting 3 hours spent with a superb, knowledgeable and friendly guide.
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    This was such an interesting tour, covering both the German and Soviet occupations of Riga. Anda was an excellent guide, explains the impact of the occupation period on life in Riga with many personal comments. The visit to the central markets was great too, seeing all the
    Read more
    When I travel it is important for me to see the `big` things and when there is a chance to go more behind the scene I take the chance. And here is at super tour, where you see and hear about `the other Riga`. You get a good impression about Latvia transforming into a modern
    Read more
    She's got huge depth of knowledge and has worked in the tourism industry for a long time, so has a very easy going nature. My friend and I were lucky enough to be the only two booked in for that morning, so Anda gave us a kind of mix of the Soviet Secrets tour plus some elements
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    Response from Anda V, Owner at Riga: The Darkest 50 Years with Local Guide
    Responded Jan. 8, 2018
    Thank you for your wonderful review! :) I'm really glad you enjoyed the tour and hope you had your Best.Day.Ever in Riga.
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    We had a very good morning with Anda who took us round the old town initially to fill us in with some historical facts, we then went to visit Hitler's birthday cake and went to the top of the building to view the ponoramic sights of beautiful Riga. Then we visited the soviet
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    About the operator

    This experience only has a few reviews, but you can read what other travellers have to say about the operator.

    By: Riga Urban Adventures
    London, United Kingdom
    Afternoon Exploring Riga
    My son and I recently visited Riga and booked the walking tour to learn a little about the city and it's history.
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    Yarraville, Australia
    Enjoyable evening
    We enjoyed ourselves on this tour, meeting and talking with a local, drinking craft beers and eating traditional
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    Sophie M
    London, United Kingdom
    Overpriced Food and Beer Evening Walking Tour
    This food and beer tour unfortunately was not a tour at all and we left feelinh robbed as it was not at all worth
    Read more
    Schwedelbach, Germany
    Great tour and tastings
    We had a great evening with different stops. We would never have walked that direction and are happy we booked
    Read more
    Catherine A
    authentic experience of Latvian food and drink off the beaten track
    wonderful to get out of the old town and see places I would not have seen without this trip. Fabulous cake, craft
    Read more
    Ithaca, New York
    Real Latvian Experience
    My husband and I did the food tour by Urban Adventures in Vilnius and really liked it so much that’s why we booked
    Read more
    Maria K
    Great evening with latvian food and beer
    We really enjoyed a great evening with our very competent and friendly guide Anda. She did an awesome Job, we
    Read more
    Columbia, South Carolina
    A fun way to spend an evening tasting beer, great food, new friends
    A fun way to spend an evening tasting beer, great food, new friends. July 30, 2019 traveling alone, first off is
    Read more
    Chani A
    A great insight with a wonderful guide
    I highly recommended this tour for anyone with even a passing interest in the history of this impressive country!
    Read more
    Maria H
    Great trip around authentic Riga, visiting local pubs, bakery and restaurant. The guide had very much knowledge
    Read more
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