Latvia Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Latvia in 2024
Welcome to Latvia

Welcome to Latvia

The Baltic country of Latvia is little but formidable and delivers a punch when it comes to providing a one-of-a-kind getaway. Latvia is the ideal location for individuals looking for a combination of modernity and heritage thanks to its dynamic capital city of Riga and picturesque countryside with fortresses and lakes. Organizing your trip to Latvia is much simpler, thanks to the comprehensive travel information available. Why, then, hold off? Come and see what this tiny nation in the European Union has to offer!

Document checklist for Latvia

A passport that will still be valid at least three months after the intended stay

Depending on where you are from, either a visa or an ETIAS.

Evidence of enough money to cover the cost of the trip to Latvia

Return or travel ticket

Having travel insurance that includes medical and return coverage

Essential Latvia travel information

Currency – Euro (€). $1 is equivalent to approx. €0.85.

Daily budget for one person – Travel costs range from €40–50 for cheap trips, €70–100 for midrange trips, to €150+ for luxury trips.

Languages – Although English and Russian are frequently spoken, Latvian is the official language.

Socket type – Type F (European 2-pin plug).

Time zone – Eastern European Time (EET), GMT+2.

Top 3 cities to visit – Jurmala, Sigulda, and Riga

Top 3 landmarks/monuments – Rundale Palace, the Old Town of Riga, and Gauja National Park

Visa information for Latvia

To go to Latvia for tourist, business, or transit purposes, US and EU nationals are permitted to stay there for up to 90 days during 180 days without a visa. Therefore, to obtain an ETIAS, you only merely apply. However, a long-stay visa must be used for if your intended stay exceeds 90 days. In addition, you might need to apply for a Latvia Schengen visa if you’re a non-US or non-EU citizen; visa requirements differ based on your country of origin.

Typical costs and budget for Latvia

Daily spending per person – $38-68 USD per day per person

Meals – USD 10-14 per person per day

Transport – USD 4.70 per person per day

Hotel – USD 60 per person per night

Expect to pay between $30 and USD 50 per night for modest hotel or hostel lodging. Luxury hotels may cost up to $ 180 per night, while mid-range accommodation can cost between $70-120 USD.

The typical weekly spending for a couple is between $1,012.90 and USD 1,068.90. However, consider that costs might change depending on your travel choices and style.

Transport and ways to travel around Latvia

It is simple to get through Latvia, a tiny nation in Northern Europe, thanks to its efficient transportation infrastructure.

The most convenient and cost-effective method to get to Latvia is by using the public transportation system. The bus system, which connects large cities and smaller villages, is the nation’s most widely utilized mode of transportation. Bus tickets may be bought with cash on board, in advance online, or at nearby ticket outlets.

Trams and trolleybuses are other options for tourists visiting Riga’s capital city. The organization Rgas Satiksme runs the public transportation system in Riga. At ticket kiosks at bus stops, at newsstands, or through a mobile app, tickets can be purchased. When boarding the vehicle, you must authenticate your ticket because failing to do so might result in a fine.

Train travel is another well-liked method of moving about Latvia. As not all trains have onboard ticket sales, purchase your tickets in advance online or at nearby ticket offices. If you will utilize trains a lot on your vacation, the Eurail Latvia Pass is a fantastic alternative.

Public transit is excellent for getting about Latvia because of its reasonable costs and flexible timetables. Learn the booking process, then plan to experience everything this stunning nation offers.

Safety in Latvia

Latvia is typically a safe place with reduced criminal activity and a welcoming environment for tourists. But just like any place, there are a few safety issues that visitors should be cautious of.

Officials in the area warn against being a victim of pickpocketing in busy places, especially in bigger cities like Riga. Therefore, visitors should keep their valuables nearby in crowded public areas and exercise caution. Additionally, due to the possibility of skimming devices being used to steal card information, vigilance should be used when utilizing ATMs.

Latvia’s high frequency of drunk driving is another safety issue. Although there are stringent local regulations against driving while intoxicated, tourists should use caution when utilizing the roads and crossing streets, especially at night. Never call a cab on the street; only utilize authorized taxi services or ride-sharing applications.

Travelers may securely take advantage of what Latvia offers by using a little common sense and alertness. However, by adopting simple safety measures, tourists may have a wonderful, worry-free trip to this stunning nation.

 

Weather in Latvia

The four different seasons of Latvia’s climate are mild. Your interests in certain activities will determine the ideal time of year to visit Latvia. Most people like to travel throughout the summer, from June to August. With extended daylight hours and numerous outdoor festivals and activities, temperatures throughout this summer range from 15 to 25°C (59 to 77°F).

Latvia’s winters may be chilly, with temperatures between -5 and 0°C (23-32°F) in January and February. The abundance of chances for skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating makes this a precious time to go if you enjoy winter sports. If traveling, it’s necessary to have warm clothes, such as hats, gloves, and insulated jackets.

With warm temperatures between 5 and 15 degrees Celsius (41 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit) and stunning fall foliage in the final season, spring and autumn can also be excellent seasons to visit. However, it’s vital to appropriately prepare with layers and waterproof clothing because spring and fall may be windy and wet.

Generally speaking, Latvia enjoys a pleasant year-round climate, with each season presenting a variety of unique sights and activities. There is plenty to enjoy in this lovely nation for everyone, whether you favor hot summer days or icy winter experiences.

Must do and see in Latvia

Anyone traveling to Latvia must see Old Town Riga, the country’s historic core. With its delightful cobblestone alleys, bouncy houses, and stunning architecture, Old Town Riga is a beautiful destination to roam and explore. Dinner at one of the numerous little cafés and eateries is a must after visiting the magnificent St. Peter’s Church for sweeping city views.

Jurmala Beach is a central seaside town only 30 minutes outside of Riga that is renowned for its lovely sandy beaches and charming wooden buildings. Visit during the summer to go swimming and sunbathing and taste some of the region’s typical delicacy: smoked fish.

With its hiking and bike routes, pristine lakes, and breathtaking vistas, Latvia’s largest national park, Gauja, is a haven for nature lovers. A couple of the park’s most spectacular vistas can be found in the Gauja River Gorge and Turaida’s ancient castle ruins.

Typical Latvian food to try

Rupjmaize Dark rye bread, known as rupjmaize, is a mainstay of Latvian cooking and is frequently eaten with butter and cheese or as a side dish to soups and stews.

Piragi are little, crescent-shaped pastries often eaten as an appetizer or snack. They are filled with bacon and onions.

Skābeņi is a cold soup prepared with kefir, beets, cucumbers, and dill, frequently served as a cooling meal throughout the summer.

Jāņu siers: During the Jāņi event, which celebrates the summer solstice, people frequently consume Jāņu siers, a traditional Latvian cheese made from cottage cheese and caraway seeds and served with sour cream.

Vaccine information for Latvia

Before visiting Latvia, it is advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that all visitors have all of their routine immunizations up to date. The measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio vaccination, and flu shot are among them.

In addition, the CDC may advise specific vaccinations based on your travel plans and current health. For example, per the nation from where they are departing, their intended activities, and the locations they will visit, visitors may require vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, rabies, or typhoid.

It’s also important to note that entrance to Latvia does not require confirmation of COVID-19 immunization or a negative test result, but tourists are still urged to get all their COVID-19 shots.

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A unique sort of visa called a Latvia Schengen visa enables you to travel for up to 90 days across all the Schengen nations, including Latvia. With only one visa, you may visit all 25 Schengen countries, including Latvia, making this a traveler’s paradise.

No, not every Schengen visa will be issued for 90 days. Only the days shown in your trip plan and the dates of your reserved flights and accommodations are eligible for a Schengen Visa.

Except under exceptional circumstances, you are not authorized to extend your short-term visa while in Latvia, and staying longer than your allotted duration of stay is unlawful or criminal. Instead, you must depart from Latvia within the allotted time frame and, if necessary, obtain a new visa for Latvia.

Single-entry or multiple-entry Schengen visas are possible. You may only enter the Schengen region once with a single-entry visa. The “01” on the visa sticker designates this. A visa that permits two or more entries allows you to enter the country twice or more while the visa is still valid.

With a short-stay Schengen visa, you are permitted to visit and reside in Latvia for up to 90 days in a six-month period.