Riga: Explore the hidden treasures of Latvia's captial


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Riga Cathedral stands proud on the city’s skyline

ALAMYRiga Cathedral stands proud on the city’s skyline

After making our way around the aisles and admiring the magnificent organ, we saw a sign pointing us to an unexpected treasure – behind a door we found the biggest cloister in northern Europe. It is stunning, with beautiful Romanesque architecture and a selection of objects in a kind of outdoor museum, including an old weathervane, various cannons and even a stained glass depiction of Lenin – a reminder of Latvia’s communist past.

Riga is a beautiful city with two marked areas of interest – the old town based around Town Hall Square, and Dome Square.

The latter is the largest square in the old town and seen as the very heart of the city, with seven streets flowing into it. It is where Latvians gathered during the independence movement of 1991 and merits an afternoon’s walk. Elsewhere is the art nouveau district, which is extensive and covers much of the city centre.

I had a real treat the first night I arrived, seeing Le Corsaire by the Latvian National Ballet at the small but perfectly formed Opera House, a German-designed building that every summer hosts the Riga Opera Festival.

hotelgutenbergs.lv) offers doubles from £50.

Riga tourism: latvia.travel