Just over a decade after Latvia declared independence from the Soviet Union, Riga is a city on the up and up after joining both NATO and the European Union in 2004. This came three years after the city celebrated its 800th anniversary and things have seldom looked so rosy for a cosmopolitan capital that was once revered across Europe as the ‘Paris of the North’. The city is now firmly on the tourist map with an increasing number of both budget carriers and full-fare airlines now connecting the Latvian capital with other European cities. Riga is already the de facto Baltic business capital, leaving Estonia’s Tallinn and Lithuania’s Vilnius in its wake. Increasingly, for tourists, it is becoming the most rewarding city of the three, with visitor attractions spruced up and an ever-burgeoning proliferation of hotels at all levels.