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Riga What's worth seeing? With a colourful and complex past Riga is a city marked by invasion and occupation. Situated close to the Baltic Sea on the river Daugava, Riga, which has only been independent since 1991, boasts some breathtaking architecture, more than 40 museums and one of the best nightlife scenes in Europe.

Place What's worth seeing? Headly Headly Headly HeadlyHeadly HeadlyHeadly Headly HeadlyHeadly HeadlyHeadly Headly HeadlyHeadly HeadlyHeadly Headly HeadlyHeadly HeadlyHeadly Headly HeadlyHeadly HeadlyHeadly Headly HeadlyHeadly HeadlyHeadly HeadlyHeadly HeadlyHeadly Headly Divided by the Daugava, both the old and new parts of the city have a great deal to offer. The medieval part of the city is best explored on foot and free tours are on offer at noon every day.

Said to resemble parts of Paris and Berlin the old town houses Riga's oldest church, St Peter's, the Wagner Concert Hall and Riga Cathedral. It's a good idea to invest in a Riga card, which offers discounts for lots of attractions.

The freedom monument, one of Latvia's national symbols, is a must see for any visitor to Riga not least because it is situated near a stunning park and has a guard of honour that changes every hour between 9am and 6pm.

Feeling peckish? Latvian food tends to have a wholesome quality to it, being mostly based around cabbage, potato, beef and pork, but as a busy and vibrant city Riga offers a range of international cuisine.

One popular foreign food currently making a mark in Riga is sushi. Riga has everything from cheap student cafeterias to high-standard local dining and with a busy, expanding nightlife it has a wide spectrum of bars and clubs.

Try the Bergs Restaurant where the presentation of the food is just as important as the meal itself, visit www.hotelbergs.lv.

Where can I stay? There are a whole host of hotels in the very centre of the old city with high star ratings, a number of comfortable and affordable hostels and everything in between. Wherever you chose to stay there are regular and convenient tram services into the city and although cars are not permitted in the old town it is easy to rent a bike or take a taxi.

The five-star De Rome hotel is situated in the heart of the city overlooking the liveliest street of Old Riga.

www.riga-hotels.1bigeurope.com.

What can I take home? Riga Central Market is one of the largest in Europe. Pick up amber or woollen products.. Look for street stalls where it is possible to haggle.

When's best to visit? Summer is the best time of year to visit this beautiful city, however a great time to go is the end of November to catch Riga's Festival of Light, which celebrates their independence day.

How do I get there? Direct flights are available to Riga from Cardiff or Bristol.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EXLA
Date:Nov 12, 2011
Words:476
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