European Culture Capital, a great new place to explore.
Riga is one of the largest cities on the shores of the Baltic Sea, a diverse and lovely city to explore. In its 800 years of turbulent history, everyone from German knights to Swedish kings and Soviet commissars have left their footprints, and today Latvia’s capital is an exciting European metropolis at the crossroads of eastern and northern Europe. It is home to many museums and concert halls. The city is also known for its wooden buildings, art nouveau architecture and UNESCO world heritage medieval Old Town. The pedestrian-only Old Town has many shops and restaurants and is home to busy Livu Square, with bars and nightclubs.
For travellers, the best thing about Latvia is that it is so compact. Its 500 km of sandy beaches are easily reached from historical towns, where medieval hanseatic foundations support baroque and art nouveau buildings, that become venues for cultural festivals during the summer. Families of storks happily give their seal of approval to the unspoilt nature, fresh air and clean water around them. In addition to Riga, its spectacular gateway, there are 6 other UNESCO world heritage listed sites.
Close to Riga, explore the natural paradise of Sigulda with its fairytale castles, romantic vistas and adventure sports, stroll along miles of pine-fringed sandy beaches in the seaside playground Jurmala, and marvel at the Baroque and Rococo splendor of Rundale Palace.