Skyrim Riften Guide: Merchants, Loot, Quests, & More

Riften is an excellent place to visit on your tour of Skyrim. The whole town has a unique vibe thanks to the fact it’s built on top of a canal. This is one of the larger towns in Skyrim and has plenty of quests to find, merchants to trade with, and is the home of the beloved Thieves Guild.

There are also plenty of sights to see, like the Honorhall Orphanage and the Temple of Mara. Below is everything you need to know about your visit to Riften, from merchants to all the wonderful quests you can find in the bustling city.

The Thieves Guild

The Thieves Guild has fallen from glory, much like the Skyrim branch of the Dark Brotherhood. They now live in The Ratway, located beneath the streets of Riften.

Starting the quest to join them is pretty simple and takes little to no effort on your part. Just mosey on over to the outdoor marketplace during the day, and Brynjolf can get you started with a tiny heist.

The Thieves Guild is a large faction with many rewards. One of the most valuable things you’ll find here is the ability to sell stolen loot to fences. The Nightingale gear comes from the guild, along with the coveted Skeleton Key, an unbreakable lockpick. Be sure to pick up all the free goodies lying around the guild, like lockpicks and gold.


There are several merchants you can buy from, including the famous Black-Briar Meadery located near the center of town.

  • Black-Briar Meadery: Mead Shop
  • Elgrim’s Elixirs: Alchemy Shop
  • The Pawned Prawn: General Goods Store
  • The Scorched Hammer: Weapon and Armor Shop

Riften Marketplace

  • Brand-Shei: General Goods
  • Marise Aravel: Food/Meat
  • Grelka: Armor and Weapons
  • Madesi: Jeweler


  • The Bee and Barb
  • The Ragged Flagon

Trainers And Followers

There are several NPCs you can talk to if you are looking to level up your skills while visiting Riften:

  • Vex: Lockpick trainer that can be found at the Ragged Flagon
  • Grelka: Light armor trainer who can be found in the Riften Marketplace, where she runs a shop.
  • Vipir the Fleet: Pickpocket trainer who can be found at the Ragged Flagon.
  • Balimund: Smithing trainer that can be found working at The Scorched Hammer.
  • Delvin Mallory: Sneak trainer who can be found at the Ragged Flagon.

There are also a total of three followers that can be found around Riften:

  • Iona: Iona is the Riften Housecarl, and she will accompany you after you become Thane of Riften.
  • Marcurio: He can be recruited from the Bee and Barb for 500 gold.
  • Mjoll the Lioness: She can be found at the Bee and Barb and will join you after you complete the quest Grimsever’s Return.

Marriage Partners & Honorhall Orphanage

Luckily, all of your followers in Riften can be married along with two extra characters. Balimund the smithing trainer at The Scorched Hammer, and Romlyn Dreth who works at the Black-Briar Meadery.

  • Balimund
  • Iona
  • Marcurio
  • Mjoll the Lioness
  • Romlyn Dreth

Adopting children is a huge draw in Riften as the orphanage is located here. To adopt a child, though, players will need to complete a few tasks, the first being murdering Grelod the Kind, who initially runs the place, as well as completing the Innocence Lost quest.

Afterward, Constance Michel will gladly adopt out the children to you if you have a home and child’s room ready to go. The children you can pick from are as follows:

  • Runa Fair-Shield
  • Hroar
  • Samuel
  • Francois Beaufort

Other children will come to the orphanage if their parents are killed during your journey. The orphanage can hold up to eleven children at a time.


There are four main quests, one of which is becoming Thane by helping the citizens of Riften. These are the quests that you should pick up while in Riften:

  • The Raid: This is given by Wujeeta and sends the player to help shut down a Skooma operation. It also connects to the next quest, Supply and Demand, where you will work with the Jarl to find Skooma dealers in the nearby Cragslane Cavern.
  • The Book of Love: This is the quest for the Temple of Mara, which will be given to you by Dinya Balu. This quest will send you around the map, fixing different love problems, ultimately winning you Mara’s Blessing.
  • Unfathomable Depths: This is given by From-Deepest-Fathoms, and you will be sent to return a lexicon to Avanchnzel. This will gain you the Ancient Knowledge ability.


The best place to loot in Riften is the Thieves Guild, but there are quite a few places you might want to visit. The Black-Briar Meadery is an excellent place to loot, especially if you can use a fence to peddle your stolen items to.

The Mistveil Keep is also an excellent place to loot as you can get tons of items to fence and a Stone of Barenziah from the Jarl’s room. Below are the skill books that you can find around Riften:

  • A Dance in Fire, v7: Located in Beggars Row under a red bush near the entrance.
  • Advances in Lockpicking: in the training room of the Ragged Flagon.
  • Advances in Lockpicking: Riften Sewers on a barrel near a grate.
  • Beggar: Second floor of Haelga’s Bunkhouse on a table.
  • Beggar: In the Ratway Warrens inside of the Lowlife Khajiit’s room.
  • Fire and Darkness: Esben’s room in the Ratway Warrens in a box next to the bed.
  • Surfeit of Thieves: In the Jarl’s Room on an end table.
  • Word and Philosophy: In the upper part of the barracks.

Keep in mind that some things in Riften won’t be accessible until you have successfully entered into the Thieves Guild

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