After staying in Riga for 3 days, I almost felt like I was running out of things to see and do, until I happened across the "I'm Local shopping tour." I found the tour quite by accident while perusing a music shop in the center. I saw the humble sign on the window and went immediately to inquire.... The address was close so i walked over. I was met by a very nice and interesting young woman who was ready to answer my questions (In English) about the tour. The tour is meant to be a shopping tour around the center of Riga and is designed to use public transportation, bicycles, and walking to the areas frequented by local Rigans. In addition, a phone card and lunch are included along with discounts in some of the cafes and shops along the tour route. The tour is custom tailored to the needs and interests of the customer and is very comprehensive. I answered a few questions about my interests; what I had seen in Riga so far, and what I would like to see, or what type of shopping I am into. Then according to my personal profile, we scheduled the tour for the next day. In my case, the tour began in the center and we worked our way further outward and then back in. The tour guides will not give you too much history but a lot of local lore, superstition, and tradition will be explained. We toured, shopping areas, cafes, artist colonies and local markets and a few miscellaneous locations related to spirituality. The guide was very pleasant and knowledgeable as well as personal and friendly. By the end of the tour (which was meant to last about 4 hours) I truly felt like I had spent a day, not only with but, as a local!!! Furthermore, I felt I had seen a side of Riga that was far more interesting than the "surface" you see as a tourist and I had a bonding experience with the city. It was the perfect end to my stay in Riga and it left me wanting to come back again.
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