LATVIA TRAVEL GUIDE

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INTRODUCTION

Until fairly recent, Latvia was swallowed up by the mighty Russian Empire - now one of the many small new countries of East Europe. Latvia is only just emerging from the shadow of big brother, the erstwhile USSR and tasting independence after the collapse of communism. The Latvian countryside is a beautiful one, with scenic vistas, dense forests and sunny beaches and a long history.

 

Latvia became a republic in 1994 and things began to change; today, life is more relaxed and free in Latvia. There are cafes; bars, cinema halls, museums and palaces, finally open to the public. Shops are full of local produce, and the government is trying its best to replace the old economic system with a new, more dynamic and free-market economy. Most importantly, tourism is recognised as an important sector of this new economy.

 

Latvia's landscape is characterised by wide beaches as well as dense, sprawling forests. Latvia’s capital is Riga, home to notable wooden and art nouveau architecture, a vast Central Market and a medieval Old Town with St. Peter's Church. Riga's museums include the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, showcasing local crafts, food and music.

COVID-19 TRAVEL STATUS

Updated:

Latvia has restricted the entry of all travelers except for Latvian, Estonian, and Lithuanian nationals and permanent residents. Nationals and residents of EEA Member States and the UK may enter the country if they are traveling from within the EEA or the UK. Spouses or minor children of Latvian nationals, members of government delegations and passengers in transit may still enter Latvia.From 17 September the period of self-isolation is reduced from 14 days to 10 for asymptomatic travelers. Travelers who have been in contact with a COVID-19 infected person or who work in Latvia in the medical professions, as teachers, or as social workers are still required to self-isolate for 14 days.The Government of Latvia is monitoring the rates of COVID-19 in these countries and travelers arriving from countries with more than 15 cases per 100,000 inhabitants will be required to self-isolate for 10-14 days upon arrival. Up to date information can be found on the Government of Latvia website.Currently, residents of the following countries are also permitted to enter Latvia: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. This list is updated every two weeks by the EU and can be found here.Starting from July 16, all travelers are required on arrival to complete a contact form for contact tracing listing the address they will be staying upon arrival.

 

TRAVEL ADVISORY

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QUICK FACTS

  • Capital: Riga
  • Currency: euro (EUR)
  • Area: 64,589 sq km
  • Population: 1,92 million (2019)
  • Language: Latvian (official), Russian (widely spoken, especially in Riga and Daugavpils), English (widely spoken in Riga), others
  • Religion: Lutheran, Catholic, Muslim, Russian Orthodox, Jewish
  • Electricity: 220V/50Hz (European plug)
 

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LATVIA

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

  • 4 May, Restoration of Independence (1990)
  • 18 November, Independence Day (1918)

BEST TIME TO VISIT

 

WEATHER SYNOPSIS

Latvia’s climate is cold and temperate. It is influenced by the country’s location in the northwest of the Eurasian continent, distance from Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga and relief of the territory of the territory.

Latvia

TOURIST SEASONS

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

JANUARY

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FEBRUARY

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MARCH

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APRIL

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MAY

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JUNE

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JULY

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AUGUST

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SEPTEMBER

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OCTOBER

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NOVEMBER

HOT

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DECEMBER

HOT

COLD

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WET

 

SPORT & ACTIVITIES

SNOW:

The snow sports season in Latvia can start early in December and last until the end of March.

HIKE & CYCLE:

The best time for outdoor activities in Latvia is from September to May as the forests can be full of mosquitoes during the summer months.

BEACH:

Latvia has some beautiful beaches with their short summer beach season stretching from the beginning of June to the end of August.

WIND:

Latvia only has a 50% chance of winds good enough for kitesurfing from April to December, leaving kitesurfing possible but not all that probable!

SURFING:

The surf season in Latvia is unfortunately not during the summer, but rather during the cooler Autumn and even Winter months.

 

LGBTQ

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Latvia face legal and social challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Latvia, but Latvia does not recognise same-sex marriage or any other type of partnership, including registered partnerships. The Latvian Constitution prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriages.

 

There a small gay scene in the capital, Riga. Only a very small minority of the population is LGBTQ accepting.

 

HEALTH

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Latvia

For the latest travel health notices and recommended precautions click

 
 
 

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© 2020 Andre & Lisa