The 20th century was not kind to Latvia. With no hills to deter invaders, both the German Nazis and the Russian Communists took turns in occupying the country. However since Latvia got its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, things have been looking up.
With over 800 years of history, Cesis is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the Baltics.
Built to house workers on nearby radar installations, Skrunda-1 has been abandoned since 1998. While nature, weather and vandalism have taken their toll on the structures, this is still a great site to see the eerie shell of Cold War-era ghost town.
The capital city still has the feel of the shadow of communism, but Riga has a charming old town, great night-life. Expect to see many rowdy British stag groups and drunk Russians who are finding it difficult to negotiate the cobblestones.
Thirty minutes away from Riga, Jurmala is very renowned seaside resort. Nice beach with plenty of facilities, too cold to enjoy properly when I was there but would be lovely in the summer.