"Where's Latvia?" is a question that Latvians (and travellers to this country) get asked quite often in other parts of the world. And so, we've dedicated our Destination Special to this little Baltic nation that deserves more attention.
Wedged between Lithuania and Estonia, with Russia and Belarus alongside, Latvia has had a colourful and turbulent history; it was once part of the Russian Empire, and more recently, the Soviet Union. This year, the country celebrates the centennial of its independence from the Russian Empire with the first Riga Biennial of Contemporary Art. Few know that its capital Riga was declared Europe's Culture Capital in 2014 or that Latvia hides some beautiful beaches by the Baltic Sea, not to mention a Soviet era radio observatory or two.
From art, architecture, hip cafes, museums, markets and urban chic to dark remnants of a Soviet past – this tiny nation is full of surprises. Enjoy our Latvia Special!
RIGA, CAPITAL OF CULTURE
From heritage buildings to a wealth of museums, hip cafes to industrial chic, Latvia's capital Riga is one of the most interesting cities in the world. Read more
A BEACH IN THE BALTIC
Ventspils is that faraway beach you'd never heard of. Pouting cows, castle pubs, books and more at this surprising seaside destination. Read more
LATVIA'S SOVIET TRAIL
Siberian gulags, radio observatories used for espionage and the chilling 'Corner Building' or the KGB Building - the headquarters of the Cheka, are some of the remnants from the country's Soviet era. Latvia won its independence from Soviet Russia as recently as 1991. Read more
IF YOU MISSED THIS...
Rice paper rolls, coffee, pizza and insect tapas – foodie, hospitality consultant and guest writer for Travel Purist, Sapna Shahani went on a culinary tour through Siem Reap and Saigon. Read all about it here
FROM THE ARCHIVES...
CELEBRATING THE BALTIC SUMMER
The tiny Baltic nation of Latvia celebrates midsummer or the summer solstice – the day when it is officially summer – with made-up rhymes, beer, flowers and naked runs. See the Ligo celebrations in the town of Ventspils, here.
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