Tucked between Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south, Latvia is the meat of the Baltic sandwich. We’re not implying that the neighbouring nations are slices of white bread, but Latvia is the savoury middle, loaded with colourful fixings. Thick greens take the form of Gauja Valley pines; onion-domed cathedrals sprout up above local towns; cheesy Russian pop blares along coastal beaches; and spicy Rīga adds an extra zing as the country’s cosmopolitan nexus and the unofficial capital of the entire Baltic.
If that doesn’t whet your appetite, hear this: the country’s under-the-radar profile makes it the perfect pit stop for those seeking something a bit more authentic than the overrun tourist hubs further afield. So consider a trip here rather than the usual suspects of Eastern Europe.
Reinvented Riga: a traveller’s guide to Latvia’s capital city
With two decades of freedom (and a renewed status as Latvia’s capital) under its belt, Rīga is reclaiming its rightful title as the cosmopolitan cornerstone of the Baltic...
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Top 10 Eastern European getaways
For years Eastern Europe was the undiscovered half of the continent - but things have changed. The diverse highlights of Eastern Europe are now drawing travellers by the trainload...
The Baltic States: travel books to read before you go
This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania guide provides a selection of literature to get you in the mood for your trip...