The last decade has seen an upsurge of trendy artisanal and designer shops and cafes in Riga. This comes as no surprise since Latvians have long been known for their fine creative spirit and craving for nature’s aesthetics.
While some places come and ago, others persist for years. Here’s one of them, music folk store “Upe” (meaning “River” in Latvian). An outlet of a recording studio of the same name, it is located on one of the quiet streets of Old Riga. Traditional music instruments and funny handcrafted toys, collection of world music, a little bit of wooden furniture, ancient-style Latvian jewelry and a nice selection of great many little things – a whole treasure-chest opens to your eyes as you enter the store, be welcome!
Melodic touch to your virtual visit adds Latvīte Podiņa playing on kokle, traditional Latvian string instrument. Professional musician and teacher, Latvīte is also the only player on electric kokle, a format utterly new for this ethnographic instrument. Add guitar and djembe drum and you’ll get a peculiar sound of music band “Vētras saites” (Storm Links), of which she makes a part, too.
You can find catalogue of music recordings of the studio “Upe” here or visit their store in person:
Riharda Vagnera iela 5, tel. 67 226 119
open Mon – Fri from 11am to 7pm, Sat 11am – 4pm.
Some other places where you can find great souvenirs without leaving the Old Town:
Just next to “Upe” is an outlet of another oldtimer, Tines. Praised for their quality collections of linen and wool knitwork, here you can find one of the finest mittens and socks with authentic Latvian ornaments in town.
Riharda Vagnera iela 5, tel. 67 211 008
Anna Minna offers a broad range of ever popular traditional handcrafted souvenirs and artworks.
Gleznotaju iela 5, mob. tel. 28 300 210
open Mon – Sat, 11am – 7pm.
Organic cosmetics, bio food & a little café at the Latvian Green Studio Pienene
Kungu iela 7/9, tel. 67 210 400
open daily from 10am to 7pm