Ice hockey is the national sport, and the revered national team plays at the 12,500-seat Arena Rīga (Skanstes 21, t6738 8200, wwww.arenariga.com). You’ll need to book in advance for important games.

Outside Rīga there is plenty of scope for outdoor pursuits. A number of beautiful national parks, best visited in the summer and home to dozens of protected species, offer extensive hiking and biking trails ripe for exploration. Canoeing, rafting and extreme sports such as mountain boarding, quad biking and bungee jumping are on offer around Cēsis and Sigulda in the Gauja Valley. Skiing and snowmobiling take over in winter while the port of Ventspils attracts kitesufrers.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Latvia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Ten central & Eastern European sites to mark the WWI Centenary

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…

02 Apr 2014 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
European Capital of Culture 2014: why Riga?

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…

13 Jan 2014 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
The least friendly countries for tourists?

The least friendly countries for tourists?

Whether you’re on a weekend away or a month-long adventure, being made to feel unwelcome by rude or unpleasant locals can make or break a holiday. So, if you …

25 Jun 2013 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month