Traveling on a Midsummer trip is becoming increasingly popular. Many think midsummer is almost a Swedish tradition, so is it a good idea to celebrate Midsummer in Riga or is everything closed?
In Latvia and the rest of the Baltic States, they have a feast like midsummer, which means that most of the Latvians are free from work at least the 23-24th June. This holiday in Latvia is called Jani.
Those who celebrate Jani usually tie flower wreaths, drink beer, eat spicy cheese, sing, dance, and bath a sauna until dawn.
Around lunchtime on the 23rd of June, the lively Riga slowly turns into an empty city. Jani is celebrated best in the countryside and traffic jams out of the city is more rule than an exception.
Everything closed in Riga on Midsummer/Jani?
Well, almost everything. Those who look forward to going shopping for hours will be disappointed. Most shops that aren’t food stores are closed. Even the huge market in the old Zeppelinarium halls is going to have low activity. A few market stalls are open, but there is no congestion and the majority of goods for sale is related to the Jani celebration.
However, the large Stockmann warehouse is open. Likewise, cafes, restaurants, and bars, but by the way, Riga is a rather sleepy city around Midsummer. It can certainly also have its charm …