In some parts of the Latvian capital, it seems like all you need do is turn a corner to find a night club or a casino. That doesn’t mean you should just stumble into every one of them. Some of them are small and feel distinctly shady, others large and pride themselves on being ‘sophisticated’ and ‘international’. Many of the girls up on stage tend to be Russian, and you know what they say about Russian chicks. That’s right whooaaar. Unfortunately, the management often tends to be Russian too, so watch your step. The US embassy actually issued a warning to American tourists, naming and shaming about a dozen establishments. There are a number of notable exceptions of course, and plenty of variety. One German-run club is even adjacent to a hotel, so you can slip back to your room after a night’s partying.
And we don’t want you to get the wrong impression. Yes, it pays to have a guide who is in-the-know, but Riga is a seriously fun town. After a strenuous ‘research’ trip up north recently, your correspondent found a gem that shines brighter than all the others. Maybe it’s the Swedish management who like to keep prices and practises above board, in a typically Scandinavian fashion. But the Jockey Club – Elizabetes 49 is probably our favourite. As the club’s PR material so memorably puts it: “Our girls have higher choreographic education, enjoy sports and horse-riding.” In other words, it’s a better class of entertainer for a better class of clientele. We would advise you to bring a roll of readies to get the best out of this place, but that can be said of any gent’s club.