From our first weekend in Riga, we fell for Latvia's capital, a charming city that instantly endears itself to you. Whether planning a weekend in Riga or spending longer in Latvia's capital - these are some of our favourite things to do in Riga plus tips on travel in the Baltic States and even how to add a cheeky side trip from Riga to Stockholm. Riga is the capital of Latvia. It is also the largest capital city in the Baltic States which are made up of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia which sits in the middle. It is by no means a "big city" which makes it a great place for a city break or even a weekend getaway.Riga is incredibly pretty. From the impressive art nouveau architecture - the finest collection in Europe, the winding, medieval lanes of the listed Riga Old Town to the skyline of storybook spires.A city that is loaded with history and is picture-postcard pretty wherever you look; there is plenty to see in Riga.As well as a fascinating history, it's charm also stems from the wide main streets, lack of traffic and bicycle-friendly culture in the city centre. There is no shortage of lush city parks making Riga a very walkable and pleasant city to get around. The city is clean, friendly and quite refined. Throw in modern and fresh cafe culture, some of the best restaurants in Europe, a great bar scene and you can have a fabulous city break in Riga.The most important travel purchase you should make is travel insurance.Nowhere else in Europe will you find a better collection of beautifully preserved art nouveau buildings than in Riga. A short walk from Old Town, in the Art Nouveau Quarter, around Elzabetes and Alberta streets you will find a few blocks of the most astonishing art nouveau architecture.With over 800 art nouveau buildings in the city, Riga is referred to as the biggest gallery of work by Russian architect Mikhail Eisenstein.Facades, some with wedding cake intricacy, others as fanciful as a children's storybook have visitors, necks craned, wandering in awe of this elegant little neighbourhood. Some of the best things to do in Riga are free and exploring the Art Nouveau District is one of them.Stop by the Art Nouveau Museum in Alberta St to gaze from the foyer at this incredible staircase. That you can do for free, entry to the museum will cost a few Euro.The heart of Riga, the UNESCO listed Old Town is undeniably picturesque. Narrow cobblestone streets wind their way past restaurants, museums, galleries and medieval churches, unexpectedly opening up onto squares bustling with street cafes and markets.Exploring Old Town Riga is an excellent way to spend a day in Riga, and the best way is to lose yourself, meandering the streets and ancient alleyways.If you are short on time, stop in at the tourist information centre and pick up a town map to help you find the highlights because there are many. Enough to keep you busy for an entire day. If you want to get the most from a day or even 3 days in Riga, we can highly recommend taking a walking tour. While you can do a walking tour of just Old Town Riga, you can also take a walking tour to incorporate the top three Riga sights; Old Town, The Art Nouveau District and The Central Market.Having a guide in such a fascinating city is invaluable, especially with the amount there is to see in Old Town alone.The Cat House in Old Town is a must if for no other reason than the story behind it.The iconic yellow art nouveau mansion was built in the early twentieth century by a wealthy Latvian merchant. It so happened the building faced Riga’s Great Guild. The Guild oversaw the business interests of the town so it made sense the wealthy merchant would wish to become a member of the esteemed organisation.Unfortunately, the Guild did not agree and declined his application. So incensed was the merchant he commissioned two black cat statues, backs arched, tails aloft. He installed them on the two corners of his roof, anuses squarely facing the Guild.