Riga, Latvia’s Latgale Tirgus Flea Market

Riga, Latvia is a gem of a destination. The largest city of the 3 Baltic countries boasts an exquisite historic center, great food and nightlife. 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. Here’s why you may want to pop in 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, shockingly. When Bell attempted to take a photo of his stall, he nearly dropped his cigarette and had an aneurysm. He shouted no photos! Most of the vendors are Russian. While we were looking at the pins one of his friends came by to give him a firm handshake. 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)

Author

  • Alex&Bell

    Alex and Bell originally met while solo traveling after finishing university in 2002, in Brugge, Belgium. Alex grew up in the USA and Bell hails from Australia. During our nearly 20 year marriage we've lived around the world, including spending six years living in the Netherlands and Ireland. We have traveled to nearly 70 countries and enjoy giving readers authentic and quality travel tips. Alex is an award winning travel journalist and travel planner, who also freelances for other outlets. Bell is an award winning PhD scientist who currently works for a non-profit lung cancer advocacy research organization called Lungevity. Happy travels and if you have any questions leave a comment or drop an email!

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2 thoughts on “Riga, Latvia’s Latgale Tirgus Flea Market

  1. I love the Latvale Tirgu…no cheap Chinese stff, I find little bits and pieces of things to tinker with and much less tgan storss… never had a pick pocket occurance in all my years going! Friendly Russian guy there to greet you as you enter and turn right…more than willing sellers will dig through their mounds of “treasures” if they think they have something you want. Not a latte and sun hat place, it’s sometimes muddy and grundgy, but if you like to haggle, your up for a treat!!

    1. Hey Mike. Thanks for sharing your experiences at the Latgale Tirgus flea market with us. Ha yes, not a “latte and sun hat place.” We’re glad to hear you’ve had good experiences there!

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