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Visit Riga, Latvia and you won’t be disappointed.

Riga, the Latvian capital and the largest city in the Baltics with a population of about 750,000, is a fascinating blend of Latvian tradition and the influences of the various countries that have occupied it.

An important Baltic seaport, the city lies on the Gulf of Riga, at the mouth of the river Daugava.

Riga’s outdoor cafés are ideal for a cool beverage and a little people watching, the city’s numerous museums and galleries allow visitors to soak up the culture, and a leisurely boat tour of the River Daugava or Riga canal is a must when in town.

Some specific sites that are highly recommended are: The Three Brothers which are the oldest stone residential buildings in the city and represent the different stages in the architectural development of Riga, from medieval through to Baroque. The Riga Museum of Architecture is situated in building N°19.

Next, housing the National History Museum is the Riga Castle, which was built in 1330 as a base for the Livonian Order and was destroyed several times during battles with the local townspeople.

Another architectural treasure on the list of sites to see is the House of Blackheads which was rebuilt in honour of the city’s 800th anniversary. Dating from 1344, it was destroyed in 1941. The Soviets completely pulled down the ruins because it was considered to represent ‘decadent’ German architecture. It is now a striking Gothic building with a Dutch Renaissance façade and has recently been opened to the public.

But Riga doesn’t just boast a rich culture but also a multitude of Latvian restaurants serving local cuisine and beers:

Bergs Restaurant – for those who wish to indulge Bergs never disappoints. With an ultra-stylish interior that looks like it was pulled from the pages of Architectural Digest and a menu of international fusion and nouvelle Latvian cuisine that will satisfy the harshest of critics, it’s guaranteed to make for an extremely memorable meal.

LIDO Recreation Centre – with the biggest buffet of home cooking this country has ever seen! Enter the remarkable cellar and discover another restaurant with bars which serve beer brewed on the premises – you can’t get more authentic and local than that! The ambiance is unmatched as every evening the restaurant stages live singing and dancing at 19:00.

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