The Heart of the Baltics!!!
Much of this country’s rich history has been obscured by the violence it endured during the 20th century. But as the wounds from decades of Nazi and Soviet occupation continue to heal, visitors can discover remnants of Latvia’s ancient past virtually anywhere inside its borders. Year-round, the mountain town of Sigulda, the self-anointed “Switzerland of Vidzeme,” is a major draw because of its hiking and ski trails, medieval Turaida Castle, and proximity to Guaja National Park. During the summer months, Jurmala is one of the region's top seaside destinations. Back in Riga, less than an hour’s drive away from either spot, history lovers will marvel at the capital’s old town as well as its monuments to the past. Shopping enthusiasts can haggle over everything from toothbrushes to amber at the central market, which is mere steps from the bus station. Don’t wear yourself out too early, though, because Riga’s hard-driving night life only starts to heat up after midnight.