The Baltic's most cosmopolitan capital, beguiling beaches and a unique firewater
Since becoming a member of the European Union in 2004, Latvia has enjoyed a bumpy ride of boom and slump, although the decision to adopt the Euro in January 2014 seems to point to a measure of stability in future. The Soviet occupation left the country with a large Russian minority population, and it remains a place divided by language and culture – Rīga in particular is a strikingly bilingual city, although all road signs and public notices are in Latvian. And although it’s the boisterous capital to which most visitors are attracted, to experience the true spirit of Latvia you’ll need to head into the spectacularly unspoiled countryside, with its lakes, forests and sandy beaches.
Planning your trip to Latvia
Everything you need to plan where to go and what to do.
Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners
Everything you need to know before you set off.
The Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget
An in-depth, easy-to-use guide filled with expert advice.
The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.
The 10 best Baltic beach resorts
European beach holidays haven’t always been just about the Mediterranean. A century ago, the resorts along the Baltic Sea were just as likely to attract the E…
Ten central & Eastern European sites to mark the WWI Centenary
Most of us know that World War I started with the assassination of an Austrian Archduke in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. For the English-speaking world, howe…
European Capital of Culture 2014: why Riga?
January 2014 sees the start of Riga’s year-long stint as European Capital of Culture, an honour it shares with the Swedish town of Umeå. The occasion provide…
After Latvia, where next?
Check out Montenegro