Riga, Latvia’s Ridiculous Latgale Tirgus Flea Market

Riga, Latvia is an out of the way gem of a city. The largest city of the 3 Baltic countries boasts excellent architecture, food and nightlife, at mostly value prices. It used to be pretty difficult to get to Riga, given that it was also part of the former Soviet Union. But now that several European discount carriers fly there or to neighboring Vilnius, Lithuania and Tallinn, Estonia, more people are discovering all that Riga has to offer. While it has many beautiful attributes, the ridiculous Latgale Tirgus flea market is not one of them, but it’s one of the quirkiest things we’ve come across in our travels, worth writing about and popping into for a short visit if you happen to be in town.

ridiculous Latgale Tirgus flea market
 

If you never leave the old town of Riga, you may get the impression that this grand city doesn’t have a host of economic struggles. But a short pop over to the Latgale Tirgus flea market will give you a relatively safe (I’d definitely still be mindful of potential pickpockets) and interesting glimpse into the past and present of this Russian, German and Scandinavian influenced town.

Latgale Tirgus literally overflows with bicycle parts, tires, obsolete electronics and a seemingly endless assortment of junk. But the most interesting stall we came across was one selling an abundance of antique pins, mostly from the Soviet era.

ridiculous Latgale Tirgus flea market4
I was quite fascinated with the Soviet pins and picked up a few from the former Soviet Games. Yes they had those, which before finding the pins, I had no knowledge that those games existed. I passed on the Hitler pin, as yes the vendor also had a bit of Nazi paraphernalia as well, amazingly. It was probably for that reason that when Bell attempted to take a photo of his stall, he nearly dropped his cigarette and had an aneurysm shouting for her not to. Apparently most of the vendors are Russian, and while we were looking at the pins one of his friends came by to give a firm handshake to his comrade. It was a spectacle.

Soviet pins, ridiculous Latgale Tirgus flea market
Because of dodgy electronics (and perhaps Nazi mementos) Latgale Tirgus has apparently been temporarily shut down and is set to re-open in a new form soon. Will this be like something out of ‘Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie?’ Will the powers that be eliminate the used toilet paper shop, squatters and the angry wolf as well? If you make it to the new version, let us know how it is and say hi to the comrades.

Address: F.Sadovņikova iela 9 a.

Directions: Go from Central Railway Station, walk along Gogola street (about 10 minutes), cross Dzirnavu street and it is on the left hand side.

Open every day except Mondays (when open)

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