The middle child of the Baltics is perhaps most famed for the hedonistic party joints of its gloriously Gothic and Art Deco capital, or the happening coastal strips of Jurmala just along the coast.
But delve a little deeper into Latvia’s backcountry and you’ll discover Teutonic castles, tsarist palazzos and wild woodlands peppered with bucolic towns.
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Top of the menu for any first-time travelers making their way across the Baltic, Riga is certainly one of the great urban treasures of the region as a whole.
It straddles the channels of the Daugava River on the northern edges of the country, boasting a labyrinthine Old Town area which is considered one of the most handsome in Europe.
Here, the cobbled streets are overshadowed by the dagger-like spires of the mighty St Peter’s Church, while the famously reconstructed House of the Blackheads stands definitely elegant after the tumult of Soviet domination over the city.
Art Nouveau is the name of the game in the city’s outer districts, with masterworks lining the pavements of Alberta iela.
And then – of course – there’s Riga’s legendary nightlife; a medley of hedonistic basement bars and thumping clubs that host locals and stag dos and hen parties aplenty.