This year Perl YAPC::EU::2011 conference brought us to Riga : what a nice discovery!
I barely knew about the existence of this city (apart some vague remembrances of having seen this name when reading Jules Verne's Un drame en Livonie, long long time ago). Now I will recommend it to friends.
Riga has a lot of beautiful buildings, mostly from end of 19th-beginning of 20th century. The Art Nouveau museum has an interesting film explaining various architectural substyles during that period; then you can easily recognize them when walking in the city. By the way, walking is a pleasure because there are large pedestrian areas through the old town, and several beautiful parks just around that center. There are various churches of different eras and styles, and a tremendous romantic organ in the Dom Cathedral, with a concert every day at noon !
I discovered interesting composers at the Sacred Music Festival (with high-quality choir, orchestra and soloists); and discovered many interesting painters at the Latvian National Museum of Arts.
So Riga has many advantages of a capital with rich cultural life, but seemingly without too many of its inconveniences : most buildings look fresh and unaffected by pollution, I didn't see any traffic jams, prices are reasonable, etc. Maybe that's the positive aspect of Soviet occupation, that the city was preserved so many years from wild capitalism...
In short, not only was YAPC a very nice conference, it was also the totally unexpected pleasure of a very interesting touristical exploration (albeit too short).
Thanks to the YAPC organizers for having brought us there!