For humankind, the last 18 months have been tough. I for one really needed a breath of fresh air recently, which led me to Riga, a place that boasts the second-best quality of air in the world. Yes, yes, when I said I needed a breath of fresh air, I didn’t totally mean that literally. But I have to say, filling my lungs with Riga’s clean oxygen as I strolled its lively streets was just the tonic I needed.
One of the most impressive things about Riga is the way it has meshed the old with the new. This city could be described as the art nouveau capital of the world. But I also found so much vibrant local art as I explored, which made me think of this city as youthful, brimming with life, and vital, all the while interacting with its rich past.
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Planning a city to Riga? Here are my two top tips: for the old, visit the Riga Art Nouveau Center. For the new, visit Miera Iela (Peace Street), where you’ll find art galleries, cool cafes, and hip vintage shops. If you stay there until the sun sets, you’ll find some of the best bars in the city! Don’t miss my interview with Julija, an official at the Riga Art Nouveau Museum, for some local tips.