The capital city of Latvia is Riga, a truly multicultural city bustling with a variety of things to see and do whether for a weekend getaway or an extended holiday.
Some highlights include:
Architecture: Riga is an architecture aficionado's paradise. A tour around the city is like a walking tour through many major movements in architecture. Examples of Baroque, Classicism, Renaissance, Art Deco, Romanesque and Romantic styles abound. Furthermore, Riga's Art Nouveau buildings are world renowned. Additionally, the many 19th-century wooden buildings are a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site.
Music: Riga has a rich and diverse musical community. The National Opera is a must for opera fans. A broad selection of other choices, from choruses to jazz to blues and popular bands are available in venues and clubs throughout the city. Also not to be missed is Dome Square which offers not only Dome Cathedral and its famous organ but also many of the city's best outdoor cafes and bars.
Arts: The Spikeri Creative Quarter houses more than a dozen creative groups. It regularly hosts art exhibitions featuring local artists and craftspeople. In addition, the Latvian National Art Museum showcases the development of visual art in Latvia, the Baltics and Russia from the 18th century to the present.
History: The city boasts numerous important historical sites. Riga Castle has served as the seat of Latvian government for centuries. Following independence in 1991, the castle continues to serve as the workplace for the country's president, making it both a historical landmark and a working government building. Like Riga Castle, the central market is both a working open-air market, which offers everything from clothes to fresh fruit, and a living part of history. Built inside converted Zeppelin hangars, the market is one of the oldest in Europe. Other monuments include: the Freedom Monument, a symbol of Latvian independence, the House of Blackheads, which dates back to the 14th century, and the Powder Tower, which houses the Latvian War Museum.
Riga offers a variety of accommodations including rental apartments. Moreover, it is the travel hub of the country, making it the perfect base from which to explore other areas of the country as well. Whether for a short vacation or an extended holiday, Latvia is the Baltic's hidden treasure and Riga is its crown jewel.