Latvia, a small but very unique country has its capital city in Riga, which is it’s largest city also. The best travel time for visitors waiting to explore Latvia is during late spring or summer when the weather is warm enough to let you take a stroll around the cities and enjoy a splendid outdoor experience. Through November to April, you would expect a really cold weather and some snow, the winter isn’t usually a great time to visit, as the lakes would be frozen over. However, the cold temperature is much more milder during the autumn season. Latvia is a home to a large number of ethnic Russians, traditional folktales and a rich cultural heritage. The staple foods commonly eaten include, rye or wheat, oats, peas, beets, cabbage, pork products and potatoes. Meat features in most main meal dishes but fish is also commonly consumed due to Latvia's location on the east coast of the Baltic Sea. Majority of Latvians are Christians, Latvian is the official language spoken in Latvia, while the other half of the population speak the Russian or the English language.
The only major airport in Latvia is the Riga International airport, which carries around 5 million passengers annually, and offers direct flights to 100 destinations in 30 countries. Getting around the cities of Latvia is relatively cheap, as public transportation is plentiful and cheap. The trains are in good conditions, the buses are also a more convenient means of plying through the city, you can also use the trams, trolley buses, taxis and rented cars. Cycling is one of the most common ways to get through the small cities and rural areas. Latvia is generally a safe place to travel to, the locals are very warm and friendly people, there is hardly any pick pocketing and the crime rate is at a low. However, it's advisable to stay always vigilant especially when you are out on the streets at night.
From the sophisticated elegance in it's big cities to the warm hospitality in the country sides, Latvia welcomes any visitor warmly. Riga, it's largest and exciting metropolitan city will dazzle you with its Gothic architecture, world-class Art Nouveau, buzzing cafes and delicious cuisines. The nightlife is vibrant with it's buzzing bars and nightclubs sprinkled around the city.
If you are ever in Riga, you should attend the Riga City Festival marking the city's anniversary every year, Staro Riga Light festival, Song and Dance Celebration, Lattelecom Riga Marathon and Riga Salsa Festival. The Medieval Day at Cesis Castle celebrations is a wonderful reason to visit Cesis. You get to have a feel for what life was like when the castle was in operation. Taste typical foods, try your hand at traditional skills and tune your ears to the sound of Medieval music.The Metalshow.lv Open Air festival is a two day bonanza of rock and heavy metal performances, held in the township of Blome.
From Latvia’s perfect mix of dazzling beaches, dense forests and clear lakes, fun resorts, cities with medieval ruins, and a fresh, modern style of life. There is also a lot of fun and fascinating places of interest to see in Latvia like:
The Rundāle Palace, which lies in the plains of southern Latvia. Its unique interior and decor were made by German sculptor Johann Michael Graff and two Italian painters. In the grounds of the castle there is a park with rose gardens, a green amphitheatre and fountains. There is also a museum boasting much historical information and exponents.
The Gauja National Park, the biggest and oldest national park in Latvia. You will be amazed at the diverse landscapes and cliffs; the caves tempt one and rivers babble everywhere. You will find so much nature, cultural and historical monuments here, many wild animals also thrive here. You can go either hiking fishing, canoeing, take a boat or bike ride, pick fruits and even go skiing in the winter.
The Turaida Museum Reserve, rich in archaeological, architectural, historical and artistic heritage which reflect 1000 years of Latvian history. Turaida's Stone Castle, Rose of Turaida Memorial, the church and Church Hill, Folk Song Garden, Folk Song Hill and other monuments are built over 43 hectares of land.
When deciding on where to stay in Latvia, it's great to note that getting where to stay, from hotels, to beach side resorts or lodges, is very easy and at reasonable prices.
Common Questions Travellers Ask About Latvia
What is Latvian Traditional Food?
Latvian cuisine typically consists of agricultural products, with meat featuring in most main meal dishes. Fish is commonly consumed due to Latvia's location on the east coast of the Baltic Sea. Common ingredients found in Latvian recipes are potatoes, wheat, barley, cabbage, onions, eggs and pork.
Do they speak English in Latvia?
The other thing to note is that Latvian isn't the only language spoken in Latvia. A percentage of people also speak Russian. Some speak both languages, some speak both plus English, and some only speak one or the other.
Do I need a visa to go to Latvia?
Latvia is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Latvia for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.
How safe is Riga for a lone tourist?
Very safe, and locals were helpful and friendly. I travel to Latvia often I always feel secure (even at night).
What's the weather like in Latvia?
Latvia has nice weather in the summer and it gets pretty cold in the winter. Latvia experiences reasonably mild winters, beginning in January and ending in March.
What are the mobile network operators and internet service providers in Latvia
There are 6 mobile network operators and also quite a number of internet service providers in Latvia. You can checkout the
list of networks operators in Latvia
and also details about each of them.