Like many European cities Riga is home to a varied collection of architectural and historical remnants mixed together to create beautiful and romantic neighbourhoods. Many of the city’s most ornate buildings come from the Art Nouveau era of the early 1900s. Riga was swept away by the influence of visionaries like Eizens Laube and Janis Fridrihs Baumanis, applying their principles to the streets of Alberta and Elizabetes. Today this area, to the north of the city centre, is a neighbourhood of contradiction. While a major tourist attraction, the area remains somewhat unloved and in need of renovations. Occupants vary from the more glamorous in the form of international embassies to the mundane, such a photo developers.
I’ll be honest, food was not one of the highlights while in Riga. Most of the meals I tried were stodgy or lacking in flavour, along with being very limited in range for vegetarians. The local drink, Balsam, was also something I wasn’t too fond of so I was pleasantly surprised by how Black Magic,a kooky little cafe and bar in Riga’s Old Town, managed to utilise the alcohol within chocolate in such delicious ways.