About Country Cheat Sheet
Divided into 110 municipalities with 9 metropolitan areas.
Total: 1,370 km, Border Countries: Belarus 161 km, Estonia 333 km, Lithuania 544 km, Russia 332 km
Latvia is one among 3 Baltic States. Latvia is a famous tourist destination in Europe. Tons of beaches along the 500 KM of coast, over half of the territory being forest and abundance of natural beauty is the specialty of Latvia. Latvia has several popular tourist attractions and the list starts with Riga, the capital and largest city of Latvia. Riga has amazing history and architecture on its side along with a vibrant energy in the town. Other attractions include Gauja National Park, Jurmala, Kuldiga, Turaida Museum Reserve, Cesis, Liepaja and more.
Latvia is located on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea between 2 other Baltic States Estonia and Lithuania. There are over 12000 rivers and over 3000 lakes. Latvia shares borders with Russia to the East, Sweden to the West, and Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south and Belarus to the Southeast.
Latvia Climate and Weather
Daylight hours are long in summers and very short in the winters in Latvia. Average temperatures in winters and summers are both mild varying a little in different parts of the country. There is high level of humidity and precipitation because of the proximity to the sea.
Latvia was Christianized in 12th and 13th centuries. Latvia remained under rules of first Germany for few centuries and then followed by Russia for few decades. Latvia finally had sovereign independence in 1920 but later on again conquered Nazi Germany and again by Soviets in 1944-45. Latvia finally became fully independent from Soviet rule in 1991 and since then it if flourishing as a political entity.
Latvia Culture and Traditions
Latvia’s culture was shaped by Latvians and influenced by foreign occupations as well. Today, majority of people in Latvia are Latvians. In terms of religion, majority of Latvians are part of the Lutheran Church with large Catholic and Orthodox Christian minorities. Folklore, literature, music and architecture has been integral part of Latvia tradition.
Latvia Food and Cuisine
Meat features in almost all main meals of Latvia. Fish is quite common here because of long coastal regions. Agricultural products such as potatoes, wheat, barley, onions, eggs and pork are common ingredients of the food in Latvia. Four seasons mark different seasonal cuisine. The food contains butter and fat with few spices.
Facts about Latvia
1. Latvia was one of the last in Europe to join Christianity.
2. Females in Latvia are really tall with average of 170 CM.
3. Riga is the capital city with maximum population of Latvia living here.
4. Riga has one of the biggest markets in Europe.
5. Latvia has over 500 KM of sea coast.
6. Latvia has numbers of beaches.
7. More than half of Latvia is forest covered.
8. Latvia’s capital Riga has over 800 building of Nouveau art.
9. People of Latvia love to sing.
10. Latvia is the 4th nation in the world in terms of fastest internet connection.
Latvia Trip is a wonderful lifetime travel experience. Latvia is a superb travel destination in Baltic region. Latvia has numerous beaches, hundreds of buildings of old famous art, bundle of urban and rural attractions, lots of natural beauty and old castle ruins and more to offer to the visitors. Latvia is a small country with lot of vibrancy. You can travel entire country by trains or buses. Some of the major attractions in Latvia are Riga, Jurmala, Gauja National Park, Cesis Castle, Sigulda, Jelgava, Dugavpils, Ventspils, Rundale Palace and museum, Kemeri National Park, Kuldiga and more.
Riga is the largest metropolis city in Baltic region. Riga is the most visited city in Latvia. Riga is a perfect blend of old and new. It has over 800 Nouveau art buildings and the old town of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These buildings say many stories. Riga offers you splendid river views and it is also the coolest place for youngsters because Riga has the best WiFi connection in Europe and thrilling nightlife. Riga has fairytale castles, and miles of sandy beaches. Some of the popular attractions of Riga are Riga Town hall square, old town, St. Peter Church, Riga Motor Museum, Riga zoo, Taka spa, Riga’s central market and more.
Different Types of Tourism in Latvia
1. Historical Tourism in Latvia
Latvia was invaded by several neighboring countries and they left a huge influence on the history of Latvia. More than 800 great architecture style Nouveau art buildings are still there in capital city Riga. Cobbled stone lanes, old churches and houses are worth exploring in Latvia. Some of the famous historical places in Latvia are Old Riga, Rundale Palace, Cesis Castle, and Livonian order castle, Museum of the occupation of Latvia, St. Peter’s church and more.
2. Culture Tourism in Latvia
Latvia being invaded by several foreign nations, the culture also has huge footprint of those who ruled here for a significant period of time. Also because Latvia is at the crossroad of east and west, the culture evolved with influences from both sides cultures. One can still see the culture of old time intact here in music, song and dance. You can visit cultural sites in Latvia such as Art Museum Riga Bourse, Riga Art Nouveau Museum, Latvian Ethnographic open air museum and more.
3. Sea & Nature Tourism in Latvia
Latvia boasts of long sandy beaches along Baltic, over 12000 rivers and pristine nature in the wood and forest. Latvia is a great place for green tourism as there is sheer volume of wild nature in the country. Latvia is a must visit place for all nature lovers. You can simply walk in the woods, enjoy bird-watching, soak the sun on beaches and do more. Some super popular sites include Gauja National Park, Dzintari Forest Park, Pilsetas Kanals, Kemri National Park and more.
4. Sport & Adventure in Latvia
There are various recreational activities options in Latvia. You can enjoy swimming in Livu Aqua Park in Jurmala. You can enjoy windsurfing in Riga on the spacious coast of Baltic Sea, enjoy Kite boarding at Liepaja Beach, and sailing in the Gulf of Riga. Don’t forget to cover the small country Latvia by bicycle as you can enjoy entire country the way you want to. There are multiple winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding enticing visitors.
5. Honeymoon Tourism in Latvia
Latvia is a perfect destination for romantic breaks. Good hotels, restaurants and bars are in plenty in capital city Riga where couples can stay and spend good romantic time. They are all quite affordable as well making Latvia quite attractive for honeymooners in Europe. There are several places for young romantic couples to spend time such as House of Blackheads, beautiful old town of Riga, unspoiled Gauja National Park, Castle of Singular and more.
6. MICE Tourism in Latvia
Capital city Riga is truly an international place not just in Latvia but in entire Europe. Located at the north east of Europe, Riga is the largest city of all 3 Baltic region’s country’s capitals. Riga is easily accessible and quite close to Riga International Airport. Other cities Jurmala, Sigulda and Liepaja are also good for business meetings and conferences because they have great infrastructure, well within reach from Riga International Airport, easy transfers and all cities have unique appeal to the visitors including business travelers.
7. Health & Wellness Tourism in Latvia
For a long time Latvia has been a famous as a SPA and medical tourism destination. Latvia is rich in a way as the country has plenty of natural resources and healing mineral water sources. All these have been in use to make popular medicine for centuries drawing the attention of foreigners as well. Latvia was established as a popular health tourism destination by the end of the 18th century. Even today people enjoy relaxing at various seaside spas in Latvia.
8. Culinary Tourism in Latvia
Foodies can be delighted to know that Latvian cuisine is delicious, natural and well presented. Riga, the capital city has both traditional and contemporary cuisines served in all restaurants. All those who want to taste local specialty must taste Rye Bread, Beetroot Soup, Smoked fish, Kvass and Mushrooms in the restaurants. You will also get English menus in most of the restaurants in Latvia. Latvian restaurants are sit-down affairs, and cafes offer are multiple facilities such as coffee, a faster meal or drinks in the evening. You can hit one of the restaurants in Riga like Vicents, Restorans 3, COD Robata gril bar, Indian Raja, Wok N Kurry, Parotta and more.
9. Nightlife Tourism in Latvia
Riga has numerous bars and clubs where you can drink till late at affordable rates. You can party at one of several venues in old town of Riga. Entry is free in most of the bars and all above 18 years of age are allowed to consume alcohols. You can enjoy your evening in one of the many restaurants, wine bars, pubs and discos in Riga. Some famous ones are La Rocca, Coyote fly, First Dacha, Club Studio 69, Klub Depo and more.
10. Winter Tourism in Latvia
Latvia is not a land of mountains and winters are not too cold. Snowfall between December and March can be observed here. Riga gets snowy winter and you can enjoy trees covered in snow, frozen lakes, and frozen Gulf of Riga. Artificial snow is sprayed in winters which make the winter activities such as skiing and snow-boarding quite an attraction here.
Latvia Tour and Travel Guide
Latvia is a great travel destination in the Baltic Sea region and entire Europe. Riga happens to be the biggest metropolis with lots of buzz for the travelers. Along with the best modern infrastructure Latvia easily boasts of lot of historical and cultural attractions. One can enjoy sandy beaches, spas, cobble stone lanes, markets, castles, churches, museums and more in Latvia.
Riga Tour and Travel Guide
Riga is the capital city. Old town of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. First place you go to in Latvia is Riga and it is quite close to Riga International Airport. You will get English peaking people in Riga and extremely modern infrastructure. The city is well connected and so travelling within is easy. Multiple hotels, restaurants, night bars and WiFi connection make the city traveler friendly.
1. Accommodation in Latvia
Latvia has good, moderate and luxurious hotels. In fact Riga has it all. You will get budget hotels, 5 star hotels, good apartments and rooms. If you are looking for accommodation outside Riga, then you can get budget to moderate priced hotels along with some hostels. You can also opt for guest houses outside Riga.
2. Travelling in Latvia
You have the option to travel by Bus in Latvia especially if you want to save money, you don’t have to travel to the length and breadth Bus connectivity is superb in Latvia. You can rent a car if you want to enjoy the freedom and flexibility to travel to the last mile. You can also share car with fellow traveler. Trains are also an option but numbers are less. Before going to a place you should check if there is a train available to the place.
3. Shopping in Latvia
Riga’s central market is the biggest in Europe to buy traditional stuffs. But if you love shopping in malls then you have Galerjia Shopping Mall in Riga where you can buy fashion apparels of international brands. Riga Plaza is another place to buy fashion needs. If you want to shop and dine in then go to Brivibas Street of Riga where Alfa mall with over 160 stores and 20 cafes inside make you shopping experience wonderful. You can buy clothes, footwear, home appliances and more here. Some other shopping centers in Latvia you can go to are Sky & more in Riga, Bergs Bazaars, Kalnciema street market and more.
4. Best Time to Visit Latvia
Best time to visit Latvia is between June and September when temperatures are mild and days are long. Winter lovers can visit the country between November and April when temperature is generally below 5 ° C with small days. Best time to visit Riga is July when days are warm and hotels are cheaper. But the popular time to visit Riga is in the month of June when hotel prices are high. If you visit Riga in winters, you can expect some snow as well. Christmas time is also a good time to visit Riga.
5. Latvia Flights
There is only one international airport in Latvia and that is Riga International Airport. There are direct flights from most of the countries in Europe to Riga. Direct flights from Moscow and Abu Dhabi are also there.
6. Latvia Travel Tips
• Public transport is best way to travel in Latvia.
• You generally don’t need any vaccination before travelling to Latvia but prior vaccinations for tetanus, hepatitis A and diphtheria is advised.
• Stay away from talking about USSR, any ethnic, linguistic or citizenship issue as they may be controversial topics.
• There is budget, moderate and luxurious hotels especially in Riga.
• You should not keep money or other valuable items in your hotel rooms when going out.
• Always check items price before ordering your meal or drink in a restaurant and a bar.
• People do speak English especially in capital city Riga.
• Latvian cuisine consists of meat dishes and potatoes and fish. Kvass is a nonalcoholic drink.
• Riga is 4th best city in the world for WIFI connectivity.
Latvia Visa Information
Those going to Latvia for holidays, trip, entertainment or to meet family and friends are issues Latvia visit visa. You should apply for visa 2 weeks before your visit to Latvia. It generally takes up to 10-12 working days to process visa application.
For tourist visa, you need to submit following documents:
• Completed visa application form.
• Two photos.
• Current passport.
• Travel medical insurance.
• Round trip tickets.
• Proof of accommodation.
• Proof of sufficient financial means to support your expense.
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