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If you want to learn more about Latvia, this post offers comprehensive Latvia tourist information designed to make it easy for you to plan your trip. Latvia is the middle of the three Baltic republics that gained independence after the fall of the Soviet Union. It is bordered by Estonia to the north, Russia and Belarus to the east, Lithuania to the south and the Baltic... [Read the full story]
Our Insider's Articles about Latvia
A country on the rise, Latvia has been one of Europe’s fastest growing economies in the last decade, and new, truly Latvian establishments have emerged, revamping its identity and further distancing it from its Russia-dominated past. With true Baltic style, Latvia has bright Art Nouveau buildings, medieval ruins, forests full of hiking trails, white-sand beaches, and vodka-infused nightclubs. Here are tips to help guide you on your trip to Latvia.
Located on the Baltic Sea, Latvia borders Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, and Belarus. Of all the must-see spots in Latvia, the capital city of Riga is definitely at the top. Home to Alberta Iela street, Riga has one of the highest densities of Art Nouveau buildings in Europe, making it a joy to explore on foot. Traditional restaurants abound, the nightlife is exceptional, and the outdoor markets are as expansive as their wares are unique. Don’t miss the Riga Free Tour, an English-language tour that takes you off the beaten path.
During the summer, the sun only goes down for a few hours in Latvia. Interestingly enough, these short nights make for very long nights of partying. On the sobering side, Latvia’s museums testify to the cruelties the country suffered under communist rule. Latvia’s other large cities, particularly Daugavpils and Ventspils, are primarily commercial ports, but Liepaja, “the city where wind is born,” is well worth a visit.
Beyond the urban areas, Latvia has untouched forests and beaches. Jurmala is a collection of resort and beach towns that make a good day trip for Riga. The beaches are beautiful but can get very packed in July and August. Quiet beach towns include Pavilosta, the Liv villages, and Saulkrasti. A good time to visit is September, when the water is its warmest. Other popular ways to relax are hiking in the Guaja National Park, visiting Kuldiga, one of Europe’s widest waterfalls (possibly the widest), or enjoying a eucalyptus steam in a sauna.
The official currency is the Latvian Lat. The official language is Latvian, and you’re much more likely to find Russian spoken than English. However, tourism related businesses as well as the younger generations will likely speak English. The best ways to get around within Latvia are train, bus, or rental car. Winters are windy and cold, so dress warmly.