There's no doubt that Riga is now firmly established as a major tourist destination. But while the city's major hotels have been mostly booked out throughout the summer, Riga still desperately lacks accommodation to cater for the budget traveler. True, there are a few squalid hotels in the center that are definitely cheap, but they are not the sort of place you'd likely want to spend anything more than a night in. Which is why Riga City Camping is a truly welcome alternative.
Located near the International Exhibition Center in Kipsala, the site is just a 15-minute walk from Riga's historic Old Town. It has space for up to 63 tents and can hook up more than 40 trailers. In addition, it offers a range of services, including parking, recreation and sports.
But everyone is welcome there, with or without a tent. Motorists, bikers or hitchhikers can stay overnight for a moderate price. The site offers good food, showers and a sauna. For the more active, there is tennis, streetball, rollerblading and bicycle rental available. But, best of all, and unlike a hotel, it's a great place to meet people and mingle with other travelers, many of whom will probably be from the Baltics.
Kipsala is also a wonderful area that's very underexplored by most tourists. No one can really say he's seen Riga unless he sees the wonderful old wooden houses of Pardaugava.
Kipsala also offers a spectacular view of the Old Town. The area is the buffer zone for the UNESCO-listed historic center of Riga, and is of immeasurable value owing to its landscape and wooden buildings (some of which are fishermen's houses built in the beginning of the 19th century).
With prices starting at 1 lat (0.65 euro) per night for lodging, and 5 lats per night for a tent space, Riga City Camping really will help fill a hole in the city's tourist accommodation spectrum.