3 Top Reasons to Visit Riga’s Central Market

3 Top Reasons to Visit Riga’s Central Market
17 June 2024

What better way to practice your Russian skills than by taking a short trip to Riga’s Central Market? Whether you need to do groceries, or simply want to connect with locals, the bazaar is your best bet. Known as Europe’s largest market, Riga Central Market is one of the main attractions in town. It shares a common history among several other local bazaars in town. So, what are you waiting for? Prepare to be swept off your feet by this Latvian landmark!

1.To learn more about Riga’s history

It might come as a surprise to many that instead of the Central Market today, there used to be Zeppelin hangars. During WWI, the German Armed forces were using them for strategic reasons. Once the airship base lost its strategic importance, the City Council planned its full restoration. The building was built by architects Pāvils Dreijmanis and P. Pavlovs in 1930. It is significant to note that the Central Market in Riga took inspiration from the Art Deco style. In daylight, you can easily notice various avant-garde details among its striking pavilions. 

2.To practice your Russian skills 

Once you end up wandering around the Central Market stalls, you will most likely eye the fresh fruit and vegetables. Various products may be just a stone’s throw away from you. Nonetheless, talking to the sellers will be a main part of your trip to the bazaar. So, to avoid any unnecessary stress, here are some basic survival phrases for one of Riga’s most popular spots.

As a customer

If you want to ask for help from the seller, it is helpful to know how to say  “Вы можете мне помочь?” which translates to “Could you help me?”. Once you initiate the conversation, you might fnd these phrases very useful:

У вас есть … ? Do you have … ?
Сколько это стоит? How much does this cost?


As a seller

For groceries, it is as important to understand the seller as it is to properly communicate. Often enough, tourists get bombarded with a variety of questions. The Central Market experience is typically very dynamic. It is very common that the seller would straight away ask you “Я могу вам помочь?”. This phrase is used to ask if the customer needs any help. During one usual day at the Central Market, you might also hear:

Что-что ещё? Anything else?
Всё? Will that be all?
Вам нужен пакет? Do you need a bag?


3.To eat fresh local food

Nowadays, we can all agree that big supermarkets are a big part of our lives. They are mostly known for being convenient. For the amateurs of local food, the Central Market is a perfect match for you. From fresh carrots to sweet strawberies, Riga’s bazaar has it all. 


Elena is currently a student at Liden and Denz, Riga

These images were taken by the author

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