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Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Since its independence, Latvia has been referred to as one of the Baltic states. It is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, and Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi). The country has a temperate seasonal climate.

After centuries of Swedish, Polish and Russian rule, a rule mainly executed by the Baltic German aristocracy, the Republic of Latvia was established on 18 November 1918 when it broke away and declared independence in the aftermath of World War I. However, by the 1930s the country became increasingly autocratic after the coup in 1934 establishing an authoritarian regime under Kārlis Ulmanis. The country's de facto independence was interrupted at the outset of World War II, beginning with Latvia's forcible incorporation into the Soviet Union, followed by the invasion and occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941, and the re-occupation by the Soviets in 1944 (Courland Pocket in 1945) to form the Latvian SSR for the next 45 years.

The peaceful Singing Revolution, starting in 1987, called for Baltic emancipation from Soviet rule and condemning the Communist regime's illegal takeover. It ended with the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia on 4 May 1990, and restoring de facto independence on 21 August 1991. Latvia is a democratic sovereign state, parliamentary republic and a very highly developed country according to the United Nations Human Development Index.[19] Its capital Riga served as the European Capital of Culture in 2014. Latvian is the official language. Latvia is a unitary state, divided into 119 administrative divisions, of which 110 are municipalities and nine are cities. Latvians and Livonians are the indigenous people of Latvia. Latvian and Lithuanian are the only two surviving Baltic languages.

Despite foreign rule from the 13th to 20th centuries, the Latvian nation maintained its identity throughout the generations via the language and musical traditions. However, as a consequence of centuries of Russian rule (1710–1918) and later Soviet occupation, 26.9% of Latvians are ethnic Russians, some of whom (14.1% of Latvian residents) have not gained citizenship, leaving them with no citizenship at all. Until World War II, Latvia also had significant minorities of ethnic Germans and Jews. Latvia is historically predominantly Lutheran Protestant, except for the Latgale region in the southeast, which has historically been predominantly Roman Catholic. The Russian population are largely Eastern Orthodox Christians.


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Riga, Latvia

The largest and most exciting metropolis in the Baltics, Riga will inspire you.

Architecture from Gothic cathedrals to world-class Art Nouveau, buzzing cafes and bars and delicious dining from haute cuisine to local market produce are all yours for a price tag that will add to the pleasure.

Gauja National Park

The Gauja National Park is the perfect place to destress. Wander miles of stunning hiking trails, explore fascinating medieval castles or thrill to bungee jumping, bobsleighing and other adventurous activities.

Jūrmala, Latvia

Just 20 minutes’ drive from Riga, Jurmala (Jūrmala) is a seaside resort like no other. If you’re looking for fun, there’s vibrant life on the beach and in the unique spas, offering a tempting menu of mud packs and massages.

But Jurmala is also a great place to get back to nature, strolling the miles of pine-fringed shore or admiring beautiful timber summer cottages.

Rundale Palace and Museum
Riga, Latvia

Nicknamed the Baltic Versailles, Rundale Palace (Rundāles pils) will transport you to an age of splendour.

Designed by Francesco Rastrelli, the architect who also created St. Petersburg’s Hermitage, Rundale is a superbly restored Baroque and Rococo masterpiece packed with art treasures and surrounded by a delightful rose garden. 

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Located in the continent of Europe, Latvia covers 62,249 square kilometers of land and 2,340 square kilometers of water, making it the 125th largest nation in the world with a total area of 64,589 square kilometers.

Latvia became an independent state in 1918, after gaining its sovereignty from Russia. The population of Latvia is 2,191,580 (2012) and the nation has a density of 35 people per square kilometer.


Nearly every Latvian passenger train route either begins or ends at Riga. In the areas close to Riga, the passenger railway traffic is especially frequent, with a train in each direction every 20-60 minutes between morning and almost midnight. It gets progressively scarcer further from Riga however, with just 2-4 daily trains each way to the most distant cities such as Daugavpils.To some cities, there are merely two trains a week (on Friday and Sunday, mostly aimed at students getting home). 

Languages Spoken

Latvian is the dominant language in Latvia with an estimated 1.75 million native speakers in the country. Latvian is also recognized as the official language of Latvia since 1989 as is provided for by Article 4 of the Constitution of Latvia. Latvian was originally known in English as Lettish. Latvia is an Eastern Baltic language and is a member of the Indo-European language family which is closely related to the Lithuanian language.


Since joining the European Union in 2004, Latvia has decisively moved towards the common European currency. Not even the turbulent times of the financial crisis of 2007-2008 could stop Latvia’s determination to become a full pledged member. It was January the 1st, 2014 when Latvia joined the Eurozone.


A foreign national shall apply for a visa at the consulate of the Schengen Member State in whose jurisdiction the applicant legally resides on a permanent basis.

If a foreign national wants to lodge an application in the state in which the applicant is legally present but not residing in its jurisdiction, and can provide justification for lodging the application at that particular diplomatic or consular mission, the mission, as an exception and upon a prior agreement, may examine and decide on the application.


Electricity in Latvia

In Latvia the power plugs and sockets are of type F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.


Some vaccines are recommended or required for Latvia. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Latvia: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.

Emergency Calls

112 is one of the emergency numbers in Latvia.

The average time to answer a 112 call is 7 seconds.

According to the latest E-communications household and telecom single market survey, 50% of Latvians know they can use 112 everywhere in the EU.

The European emergency number 112 is not the only emergency number in Latvia.

The national emergency numbers are:

110 and 02 - police

113 and 03 - medical service

114 and 04 - gas emergency

01- fire

When to visit
Best time to visit the destination

The best time to visit the Baltic States is late spring or summer, when there’s usually enough fine weather to allow you to stroll around the cities and make significant forays into the great outdoors. On the whole though, the only thing that’s predictable about the Baltic climate is the deep, dark winters – in all other seasons the weather can be changeable in the extreme. 

What to do?
Don’t miss to challenge your world

Jet aircraft flight

One of the unique activities, which is not possible to enjoy at every country is amazing and unforgettable jet aircraft flight. Those who experienced this stunning activity, notes those feelings are extraordinary trough all flight, but even more by making left-hand loop manoeuvres.If you are company up to 6 people, you can delight your pleasure and high emotions by simulated flight with 6 jets at the same time. Incredible experience, that will last in your memory for the lifetime. Available: from 1st of May till 1st of October based on team`s schedule

Winter and summer bobsleigh

Another unique experience is winter or summers bobsleigh. Awesome experience to feel emotions and adrenaline as the top bobsleigh athletes of the world have. Enjoy bob`s speed up to 100km/h while passing 16 curves situated in 1km long track with track fall more than 7%. We advise trying your chance for the winter bobsleigh when the weather is at least -5 degrees Celsius for more than a week. Incredible speed, beautiful views of the Gauja River Valley and cold winter air will guaranty intense and extraordinary emotions.

Bungee jumping

Are you an adrenaline junkie who loves high and open spaces? If so, the bungee jumping is the perfect activity for you. Latvia is a unique place in Europe, where bungee jump is organised from 43 m high cable car at the beautiful landmark in Gauja National Park over the river. Trough years here have been more than 100 000 people who had experienced one of the most memorable moments of the life. 

Overnight at Prison

Listed as TOP 10 hotels of the World by Hotel booking engine and included in the list of The World’s Weirdest Accommodations, the Karosta Prison offers a gloomy and harsh experience. Here you have a chance to spend the night in a prison which considered to be even more impressive than the Alcatraz in the USA to sleep on a prison bunk or an iron bed, and to enjoy a prison meal. For sure, this is one of the bizarre experiences of the lifetime.
Available: all year round

You ask, we answer
FAQs about Latvia

Is it always cold in Latvia?

Despite the term ‘crikey its Baltic out there’ Latvia is blessed with warm but short summers, where temperatures can easily top out at 33 degrees. We must be honest however, as during the depths of winter, we can also drop as low as -30 however -15/20 is about normal from January-March.

We are blessed that the airport is only 12km from the city centre, an average transfer time by taxi would be 20mins, however traffic can get heavy in peak hours.

If you stick to the Green Baltic Taxi’s then you will avoid the ripoff taxis that do operate around the airport, this will cost around 10-12euros. If you are travelling in a group then you are best to take on of our transfers. If you are travelling in small numbers, then bus number 22 will take you from the airport to the centre, this will cost around 1euro.

Well, its all down to personal taste however Valmiermuiza is a personal favourite of T2R, you should expect to pay between 3 and 4.50euros for a 1/2 litre (1 pint). You can also try some other cheaper local beers, such as Cesis or Lacplesis and this will set you back around 2.50euros

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