Positively Baltic: Riga has been somewhat ignored as a tourist destination, but it’s friendlier and more welcoming than its Scandinavian neighbours

Why isn’t Riga better known abroad? It’s a puzzle, because the so-called Pearl of the Baltics compares favourably with many other European cities in terms of culture and style.

Riga in Latvia: a cosmopolitan metropolis that straddles the Daugava river at the mouth of the Baltic Sea and is a Unesco-designated World Heritage Site

Graham Greene hailed Riga as “the Paris of the north” when he stopped off in Latvia’s capital city during an all-night train journey to Berlin in the mid-1930s. The novelist was captivated by the fairytale prettiness of its medieval old town, splendid Art Nouveau district, thriving café culture and sophisticated arts scene. Were he to return today, the chances are Greene would enjoy himself even more – no doubt noticing the considerable beauty of Latvian ...