Behind The Iron Curtain - Soviet Time Suburbs of Riga

Tour Type

City Tour

Tour Duration

~3,5 Hours



Tour Season

Whole year

Soviet iron curtain has fallen and now the whole world has opportunity to see what was once behind it for over 40 years when Latvia was part of the Soviet Union (USSR). Use this chance to see the raw parts of Riga which are usually missed by tourist eyes. We like to think that Riga is not only the Old Town and the central part, but also areas built during the Soviet days that tell us a lot about the history of the whole Soviet Union.

About The Tour

Tour Description

This tour will introduce you with Eastern part of Riga - suburbs named Ķengarags. This part of Riga was built entirely during the Soviet era with all the apartment buildings, schools, shops, kindergartens, restaurants and where thousands of the citizens actually live.

Visiting the area built during the Soviet times will introduce you to local way in big part of Riga and where not a lot of things have changed since the fall of the iron curtain except that MIG airplanes are not shaking windows of houses with noise when taking off the military airfield just a few kilometers away.

The architecture (living houses, schools, suburbs) had same standards around the USSR, sometimes even identic suburbs were built in different cities. Visit of this area will give you an insight into how other suburbs of USSR looked.

Before return to the center of Riga, tour will take you also to a local bistro chain "Lido" to enjoy the Russian cuisine which will give you another dimension of experience.

Tour Highlights

  • Building of a popular former Soviet time Riga restaurant
  • Visit train station from which thousands of people from Latvia were deported to Sibiria in Russia
  • Walk through Soviet residential yards
  • See tipical schools and other buildings of the Soviet time
  • Have a stroll on promenade of Kengarags
  • Have maeal at the Russian traditional cuisine bistro
  • Visit small local market of the area

Additional information

  • Tour includes moderate amount of walking, please wear flat shoes suitable for walking.
  • The tour operates in all weather conditions, please dress according to the weather

Map of the tour

Tour Price and Booking

From 25 EUR*
Price includes:
  • Guide
  • Meeting at the hotel
Not included:
  • Meal costs
*Price is provided for the complete groups! To get quote for your group size click "+Inquire / Book"!
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Reviews of this tour on TripAdvisor

"Awesome experience!! Wanting to repeat it again!! Discover Latvia rules!"

Reviewed May 15, 2019
Javier from Spain

In my second time to Latvia I decided to contact Discover Latvia about requesting a Soviet Time Suburbs of Riga tour, they quickly answered my e-mail with very detailed information about the tour. Discover Latvia staff came to pick me up at the place where you stay, so you don't have to worry about getting lost or arriving late to the meeting.

Rihards was a super kind person, and also very patient, even with me because my English language skills are not so good, he tries his best to make you understand such tragic history behind the Iron Curtain, like the deportation station. Also we did a stop in order to eat some delicious food, meeting places visited by the locals such food markets, you can breath 100% history through the whole tour which clearly exceeded my expectations. The tour is really a immersive experience.

He also kindly recommend me some pubs, and other restaurants to go while being in Riga, or helping me out to reach the Medicine Museum at Riga which was awesome by the way.

If you happen to be at Riga, contact Discover Latvia! Your experience will be 1000 x times better!

Visited May 2019

"Barnet Latvia Trip"

Reviewed March 23, 2018
Julia from United Kingdom

Many thanks to Discover Latvia especially our professional guide Rihard for our amazing tours Behind the Iron Curtain, your knowledge was impeccable and you spoke with such passion making it even more interesting. Quadbiking in the forest in the snow and ice, so much fun. Nothing was too much trouble for Rihard.
I so recommend Discover Latvia

Visited March 2018

"Riga Communist Tour"

Reviewed January 30, 2015
Simon from United Kingdom

We were met at or hotel by Rihards who took us on a bus about 15 miles top the suburbs of Riga. We had a walk around & were shown many interesting things about Latvia under Soviet rule. This is were people still live. We then went for a traditional Russian meal & after Rihards took back to the hotel door by tram. The whole private tour lasted about 4.5 hours I cannot recommend this tour enough.

Visited January 2015

"Interesting tour with good background information"

Reviewed April 9, 2014
Dominic from Rüfenacht, Switzerland

The tour shows a different site or area of Riga, which you would normally not visit as a tourist. The information about the Sovjet time was first-hand and very interesting.

Visited April 2014

"Behind The Iron Curtain"

Reviewed March 26, 2014
Lizzie from Redcar, United Kingdom

Rihards made this tour very interesting indeed, there were things he shared with us that we would never have discovered for ourselves. It was a very informative and interesting tour and Rihards was very knowledgeable. We enjoyed the tour very much and spending time together. We would definitley use Discover Latvia again as they are more up to the minute tours.

Visited March 2014

"Many contrasts and big experience"

Reviewed October 29, 2012
Dennis from Snekkersten, Denmark

My girlfriend and I took the trip "Behind The Iron Curtain-Soviet Time Suburbs of Riga" from "". We were picked up at the hotel by two very enthusiastic hosts, Rihards and Juris and the trip took place in public transport. Both bus and tram. Here we got a glimpse of Latvians everyday, which is much more than "Old-city" which tourists usually only sees. We were on and off a few times and got to see a lot of the areas and neighborhoods where "ordinary" citizens of Latvia living in everyday life. The tour also involved a visit to a Russian restaurant which featured a huge and delicious buffet of mixed dishes from the former Soviet Union and the Latvian cuisine today. We went for a old militarie-base from the Sovjet. We walked past some old disused factories and got an explanation for why things were so. We asked many questions along the way and no question went unanswered and the two guys seemed very committed to their work. Thumbs up from here - we look forward to visit Riga again and try some other trips from this homepage.

Visited October 2012