Liepaja, Latvia's third-largest city and a longtime home of the Soviet Baltic Fleet, located 120 mi/195 km southwest of Riga, boasts an ice-free harbor. There are also many lakes and a nice, long seabeach with fine sand. Czar Peter the Great (called Peter the First in Latvia) lived there, and his house is worth a visit.

Liepaja still looks somewhat scruffy, but the old town (Vecliepaja) is gradually being restored. The main thoroughfare, Liela iela, is bustling with cafes and shops behind renovated neoclassical and art-nouveau facades.

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