Brief Information About Latvia

by | March 13, 2021

Latvia is “wedged” between Estonia and Lithuania, making it the middle of the three Baltic states. With less than 65,000 square kilometers, the state is slightly smaller than Bavaria.
Latvia is known for the historic manors, palaces and monastic castles, and last but not least for the lively Riga, the Art Nouveau metropolis. But also quaint towns like Cesis, Sigulda and Kuldiga to Latvia. The unspoiled nature in many places presents itself in a variety of ways: with a rough coastline at Cape Kolka, with quiet moorland in Kemeri National Park or with picturesque rivers in Gauja National Park.
Riga is the center of the country, the focal point. Most travelers probably start their visit here. You will be welcomed by a lively city, the history of which is manifold. Riga is often referred to as the “Pearl of the Baltic States”, and that is by no means exaggerated: The neat House of the Blackheads, the Town Hall Square, the Cathedral, the Riga Castle, the “The Three Brothers” building ensemble and the magnificent Art Nouveau buildings are just some of the pearls of the old Hanseatic city. Welcome to Latvia!

Map of Latvia

Entry requirements
According to COUNTRYAAH, Latvia is part of the Schengen states and the EU. Germans need a valid passport or identity card to enter the country. Children need their own passport (with photo), an entry in the parents’ passport is no longer accepted.
In Latvia, payments have been made in the euro since 2014.
ATMs are widespread, especially in the larger cities. To be able to withdraw money, you need a credit card or an EC card with the “Maestro” symbol. International credit cards are common. But you cannot necessarily pay with it in all hotels or in smaller shops. It is therefore advisable to always have enough cash with you.

Time zone
CET + 1 hour

Latvia has a cool, moderate climate with warm summers and cold winters.

tHE official language is Latvian. Due to the high proportion of the population of Russian descent, many people speak and understand Russian. Many Latvians, especially those who work in tourism, speak English, some even German.

Telephone / Internet
The international dialing code is +371 according to ALLCITYCODES.
The mobile network has been expanded across the board. Latvia has one of the world’s fastest internet connections. In many hotels, public buildings, at the airport, etc. there is WiFi, pay attention to the corresponding signs.

Electricity & mains voltage
The voltage is 220 to 240 volts, 50 Hz, so that all devices can be used without problems. As a rule, two-pin plugs are used.

Emergency numbers emergency 112
tourist police +371 67 18 18 18
tourist hotline 1188

ARRIVAL by plane
The capital Riga has the largest airport in Latvia. It is located in the west of the city in the direction of Jurmala. Air Baltic is the national airline. In addition to Air Baltic, there are also connections with Lufthansa, Finnair or LOT.

ARRIVAL by ferry
Latvia has three large passenger ferry ports with Riga, Ventspils and Liepaja. Riga can be reached with the Tallink ferry company from Stockholm, Ventspils is served by Stena Line from Nynashamn in Sweden. To Liepaja there is a connection with Stena Line from Travemünde.

ARRIVAL by land
If you want to travel to Latvia by car, you have to travel via Poland and Lithuania and possibly via Kaliningrad (Russia) and thus cross some borders. However, all states (with the exception of the Kaliningrad region) belong to the Schengen area. The “Via Baltica” (E 67) leads from Prague via Wroclaw and Kaunas to Riga.
For the journey you should have your passport or identity card, your driver’s license and your vehicle registration with you. The green insurance card is strongly recommended, as is a power of attorney if you are not the owner of the vehicle yourself.

The following applies to traveling by car …
The petrol prices in the Baltic States are relatively cheap by our standards. The fuel names are not necessarily identical to “ours”. It is important to choose the correct octane number, 95 stands for super, 98 for super plus. “Unleaded” means “lead-free”, it is sometimes indicated by the addition of an “E”.
Maximum speed in urban areas: 50 km / h
Maximum speed outside urban areas: 90 km / h
Maximum speed highways / national roads: 90-110 km / h
Light during the day: all year round
Compulsory winter tires: 1.12. until 31.3.
Blood alcohol limit: 0.5 (0.2 for novice drivers)
Obligation to carry: first aid kit, fire extinguisher, warning triangle, safety vest
(Information without guarantee, please inform yourself about the relevant provisions before departure)

Best travel time
Latvia has very distinct seasons. Winter is snowy, so that winter sports fans can indulge in their hobby. Tourists interested in nature travel to Latvia in spring, summer or autumn. In spring nature wakes up, there aren’t that many holidaymakers in the country yet and the prices are moderate. In autumn the bird migration attracts ornithologically interested visitors: A great time for a stay in nature, hikes and long walks!
Summer is the main travel season, when Latvians also have their long summer holidays. In the high season the prices are significantly higher, as are the number of tourists. But not in vain, because the warm months beckon with beautiful nature, long summer days when the sun hardly sets, many (cultural) events and wonderful beach life. For city vacationers who want to see Riga, on the other hand, every season is ideal.

travelers to Latvia should ensure that they have the European Insurance Card with them. Nevertheless, it is advisable to take out private international travel health insurance, which is usually inexpensive.
Health care in Latvia is good, and the number of pharmacies and hospitals in rural areas is much smaller than in the cities. If you travel close to nature and in remote areas, you should stock up on the most necessary medication in advance. In addition, a good mosquito and tick repellent should be in the first-aid kit. Vacationers should seek advice from their family doctor about a vaccination against the tick-borne disease TBE (early summer meningoencephalitis).

Holidays and memorial
days In addition to Christmas, New Year, May 1st and Christian holidays with changing dates such as Easter, Pentecost or Ascension Day, the following holidays apply:
May 4th Independence Day (1990)
June 23rd Ligo Festival (midsummer festival)
June 24th St. John’s Day
November 18th Independence Day (1918)

Embassies & Consulates General
German Representation
Raina Bulvaris 13
1050 Riga
Tel: +371 67085100
Emergency Call: +371 29466456

Austrian Representation
Elizabetes iela 21a
1010 Riga
Tel: +371 67216125

Swiss Representation
Elizabetes iela 2
1340 Riga
Tel: +371 67338351

Flag of Latvia