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Maskačka


Local colour in Maskačka.
Local colour in Maskačka.

Literally on the wrong side of the tracks, Maskačka is the poor relation of Riga locales. But despite its dire economy (not a single cash machine in the place), this tough old working class district is rich in cultures and history. Undiluted by gentrification, the cobblestone streets and rambling timber dwellings are home to Latvians, Russians and Roma and diverse places of worship. Check out the Lutheran Church of Jesus, the biggest wooden prayer house in the Baltics, and the Grebenshchikov Church, the largest Old Believer temple in the world. Maskačka also has points of interest in Jewish Riga such as the Ghetto Museum and Great Choral Synagogue memorial, and touches of Soviet Riga like the Academy of Science skyscraper (see the photo). And don't miss never-dull Latgalīte flea market.


Food & drink: Maskačka is still a culinary desert, but combine a visit with a trip to Riga Central Market or Lido Recreation Centre and you'll dine all right.


Transport: Maskačka is is an easy walk or cycle from Old Riga. Otherwise take tram number 7 from in front of the Opera going east to the stop "Elijas iela" and stroll from there. 

Safety: Fine during the day, a bit scary after dark.