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The Baltic city of Riga, Latvia's radiant capital, is a real gem, more precious than the amber for which it is famous. Riga's splendid art nouveau Jugendstil architecture (notably the elaborately decorated buildings lining Elizabetes and Alberta streets) would be reason enough to spend some time in the city, but add to that its well-preserved atmospheric Old Town, the grand Doma Cathedral, its lovely riverside location and many tranquil leafy parks, a hearty local cuisine, and a vibrant nightlife, and you have a long list of reasons to linger. While days can be whiled away just happily wandering the cobblestone streets, the city also has an ...

The Baltic city of Riga, Latvia's radiant capital, is a real gem, more precious than the amber for which it is famous. Riga's splendid art nouveau Jugendstil architecture (notably the elaborately decorated buildings lining Elizabetes and Alberta streets) would be reason enough to spend some time in the city, but add to that its well-preserved atmospheric Old Town, the grand Doma Cathedral, its lovely riverside location and many tranquil leafy parks, a hearty local cuisine, and a vibrant nightlife, and you have a long list of reasons to linger. While days can be whiled away just happily wandering the cobblestone streets, the city also has an array of excellent museums, including the sobering, albeit engaging, Museum of Occupation. As expected from a city of a former Russian Republic, Riga's performing arts scene is outstanding and a night at the Riga Opera or a jazz bar is an essential experience, as are sunset drinks at the sleek and sexy Skyline Bar at the Reval Hotel, and post-dinner drinks, too, when Riva's beautiful people are starting to head out.

Lara Dunston
About the Expert

Lara Dunston and Terry Carter have traveled to over 60 countries and written more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Rough Guides, Footprint, and others on destinations in the Middle East, Europe, and South America.

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Lara Dunston for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The capital city of Latvia, is situated on the Baltic Sea coast on the mouth of the river Daugava
  • Language: Latvian, Russian and other
  • Currency: Latvian lat
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer and spring