Latvia

Discover one of Eastern Europe’s most enchanting market towns – and the unspoiled countryside that surrounds it

With its truly old world town centre, picturesque wooden architecture, glorious Art Nouveau buildings and one of Europe’s best markets, you may never venture beyond Riga. But that would be a shame.

Riga is, undoubtedly the jewel in the crown of Latvia. Its grand churches, like The Dom and St Peter’s, are worth the journey in themselves. And then there are the museums and galleries, the tiny cobbled streets winding their way to quaint squares, the ancient houses and fine civic buildings. Not to mention the restaurants, cafes and bars, the nightlife, the cultural traditions and the largest and most colourful street market in the whole of Eastern Europe – a jovial scene of lively bartering, endless stalls and a bustling crowd of local buyers, buskers and street musicians. Think of a more modern version of a Brueghel painting and you’ll be able to picture the scene.

Talk to Jo Abbott, one of our Europe consultants, and she’ll suggest soaking up the atmosphere of the Medieval streets, in between visits to any of the city’s eight opera houses.

But beyond Riga lies a country with 500 km of beautiful coastline peppered with sandy beaches. You’ll find an unchanged rural lifestyle in an unspoilt countryside dotted with forests, lakes and waterfalls, nature reserves and national parks galore. Plus any number of fascinating small towns rich in local folklore, just waiting to be discovered.

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