Walking a tightrope between skid row and gentrification, Āgenskalns is one of Riga's most intriguing corners. Located on the Pārdaugava (south) side of the river, it's a rich gallery of timber architecture, ranging from firetraps to model restorations like the Kalnciema Quarter, where wan..., sorry, beautiful people gulp wine and street food at Thursday night concerts and Saturday markets. There are handsome brick buildings too, like Āgenskalns Market (closed for renovations). Nearby yet a galaxy away, the Monument to the Liberators of Soviet Latvia and Riga from the Fascist Invaders is a ginormous Soviet erection despised by Latvians for celebrating the occupation of their country. Ethnic Russians make a pilgrimage to the concrete colossus every May 9, one of the few signs of ethnic tension in a generally live-and-let-live city. When you've had enough of that nonsense, feed the ducks in Arkādijas Park, one of Riga's prettiest green spaces, or grab a beer or an eclair for yourself at the venues below.
Transport: Āgenskalns is walkable and bikeable from Old Riga. Otherwise take tram number 2 over the bridge to the stop "Āgenskalna tirgus."
Safety: The street bums are more danger to themselves than you.