Urban Gems Amid a Wilderness
With its Baltic coastline and vast expanses of woodlands, wilderness and water, Latvia is a small country blessed with more than its fair share of natural charms. Its cities are mostly compact, with the capital city, Riga, being the largest and most cosmopolitan. With its historic buildings and exuberant nightlife, Riga is a popular choice with European holidaymakers looking for a place to spend a long weekend. But beyond the boundaries of the capital, the rural areas provide plenty of opportunity for outdoorsy activities, from hiking and cycling to wild swimming.
As it is a member of the Baltic Sea EU macro-region, it makes perfect sense that the two cultural routes that run through Latvia prioritise aims laid out in the strategy for this macro region. The Hansa cultural route strengthens existing bonds between the many European cities that once made up the Hanseatic League, while the Réseau Art Nouveau Network route promotes the shared values that caused the Art Nouveau Movement to be such a major aesthetic force in Europe at the turn of the last century.
How to get there?
There are many options for getting to Latvia, including by car, bus, or plane. Ferry routes run from Sweden and Germany to ports in Riga, Ventspils and Liepāja. The main international airport is in Riga but some international flights also land in Liepāja. Cycling is popular in Latvia, with close to a quarter of citizens owning a bike. There is a growing network of cycle paths in urban and rural areas, and EuroVelo routes 10, 11 and 13 run through the country.