If the sun only reluctantly decides to set well after 22:00 and the high-pitched, infernal squealing of shameless seagulls interrupts your sleep each night, there’s a good chance that you’re experiencing that most elusive of Baltic seasons – a Riga summer. Still not sure? Have no fear, other clues abound. Do nearly all of the residents of the city disappear at the weekend or on pretty much any other day when the temperature climbs above 25C? Is nearly every square and pavement in the old town occupied by a sprawling outdoor café and are there huge queues of people dressed in beachwear and flip-flops at the train and bus stations? If you’ve noticed all of these telling signs, then you may indeed be experiencing a local summer that’s often as evasive and mysterious as the Tibetan yeti or the slippery jackalope of the North American West, which only mates during winter electrical storms. Yes, while the rest of the planet is slowly coming to a boil, in recent so-called summers, Latvia has been plagued by rainy, blustery weather that is rarely warm enough to cause a sweat. That said, we’ll go against our default natures and be optimists, which is why we’ve written features on beaches, day trips to the summer resort of Jūrmala and the family friendly lakeside Riga neighbourhood of Mežaparks. Thankfully, a Riga summer, regardless of the weather, is always packed with events so don’t miss Midsummer’s Eve, the Riga’s Rhythms Festival or the European Choir Games this June and July.

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