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Finally, the cosmopolitan 13th-century Baltic capital of Riga is making headlines for something other than stag weekends.

One of two European ‘capitals of culture’ for 2014 (the other is Umeå in Northern Sweden), Riga is a great place for a family holiday this year. It will host everything from the quirky ‘chain of booklovers’ event on 18 January, where the National Library will move its vast book collection by human chain from its original building to the new ‘Castle of Light’ building (volunteers of all ages welcome), to a chance to explore the city’s old KGB headquarters, open to the public for the first time between April and October 2014 and providing a fascinating insight into this highly secretive organisation.

Go in the summer and enjoy all-night summer solstice celebrations on 23 June and head to lovely nearby beaches such as Lielupe, Dzintari and Bulduri.

Visit: riga2014.org