Riga is perhaps the most charming of the Baltic capitals. The narrow cobbled streets and courtyards of Vecriga (the Old Town) is full of medieval treasures, while the wide boulevards of Milda (the New Town) like Alberta Street or Elizabetes Street hides some of the best examples of grand townhouses with extravagant Jugendstil motifs, which is the local version of Art Nouveau style. The River Daugava rising from Russia and flowing into the Gulf of Riga makes the city livelier, so a boat trip along the river is a must. You could catch the best city panoramas from the rooftop terrace cafe of the shopping mall Galleria Riga. Midsummer Festival (called Ligo-Jani in local language) is the best time for a visit. This local festival is held from 23rd to 24th of June (the shortest night and the longest day of the year) and is celebrated with family gatherings and big bonfires in the countryside, as well as a spectacular nude marathon held in the smaller Latvian city of Kuldiga. Don't forget to try the Black Balsam, which is a herbal liqueur used as a traditional medicine, as well as for making a variety of delicious cocktails!

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