Latvia Travel Guide
Latvia travel guide
Due to its perfect position, shoring the Baltic See, Latvia is one of the most spectacular countries in terms of old buildings and breathtaking landscapes. So, if you’re planning a trip to Northern Europe, you must choose to travel to this magnificent country where the streets are paved with history and traditions.
Latvia travel guide – Geography
Latvia is a small country bordering Estonia – in the Northern part, Lithuania – in the Southern part, with the Russian Federation in the East and Belarus in Southeast. What’s fascinating about this country is that it lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, providing not only spectacular beaches but also accessible highlands and fertile plains.
If you intend to go on a mountain vacation, you must not forget to visit the highest peak - the Gaiziņkalns. Situated at 312 m, this touristic attraction is one of the main reasons why foreigners choose to spend more and more time in Latvia, enjoying picturesque views combined with fresh air.
Riga, the capital of Latvia, is situated in the Central part of the country. The most impressive historical monuments are St. Mary’s Dome Cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, Blackhead’s House and The Three Brothers – the oldest house in Riga.
It also has to be mentioned that Latvia is one of the countries that benefit of a very well developed hydrographic network. The most important rivers are the Daugava, the Lielupe, the Gauja and the Venta. However, from this four natural wonders, the most spectacular one is The Daugava or Western Dvina – it’s worth visiting in winter!
Latvia travel guide – Climate, Flora and Fauna
Due to its position, Latvia’s climate is very much influenced by the sea blast. Anyway, the moderate climate doesn’t change very much during the year, but if you are planning to travel to this country you should be aware of the fact that the winters are usually long and cold – including heavy snowfall.
Another important factor of Latvia’s specific environment is the arable land. Because of it, more than 61 % of the actual lawn is covered with forests - pines, birch, and firs. Talking about the traditional Latvian animals, it is sure to be specified that the wild boar, the Eurasian beaver and the brown bear are the most common wild creatures in this country.
Latvia travel guide – Transport
If you intent to travel to Latvia by car, I would suggest not to – it’s not the best idea! The quality of the roads needs some drastic improvements. The Latvian Rode administration has been passing through a difficult period since the Independence and it is still in a transformation process.
However, in Latvia are very reliable railways. The only problem that you may come across, is the length of your trip – due to the fact that the infrastructure is quite old and deteriorated, trains need to keep low speeds for the safety of the passengers. However, if you choose a more contemporaneous way of travel, you may be amazed by the standards of the aviation and also by the prices. Getting to Latvia by plane is a faster but not least expensive way. The main airports are The International Airport of Riga, The Jumala Airport and the Liepaja Airport.
Latvia travel guide – Cuisine
Judging after its position and after the land-type, you can easily notice that Latvian food is based on agricultural products. But an interesting feature is that almost every meal includes meat, especially fish – due to its position, bordering the Baltic Sea. Latvian food is generally fatty and spicy, despite of the fact that they use more than 80 % vegetables in the preparation process.
If you’re planning a trip to Latvia, don’t forget to taste the famous Ķimeņu siers – the traditional cheese. If you get the chance to witness the preparation process, I promise that you will never forget this experience.
Latvia travel guide – Tips for tourists
Latvia is one of the main touristic attractions due to the fascinating landscapes and traditional cuisine. However, if you plan to spend some time in this country you should know that the local currency is the Latvian Lat (1 Latvian Lats = 2.00570 US Dollar)
Another thing that you should take into consideration is the visa. Citizens of the European Union and the European Economic Zone are to cross the border only with valid document (passports or identity cards) and they can also stay in Latvia up to 90 days if they have registered with the Department of Citizenship and Migration. As for the others, they need a valid passport, completed visa application form, 2 photos, an Invitation to visit Latvia released by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, a health insurance and payment for the visa (20 Latvian Lats).
So, if you are planning to spend your holiday close to Baltic Sea, find the perfect combination between history and tradition in Latvia!
Things about Latvia you may be interested in
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Recent Travel Guides from Latvia
With a unique architectural style and a sense of history like no other, Riga, the capital of Latvia, is also the biggest city in the Baltic region. Riga history began somewhere in the mid 12th century, and it's been an overwhelming series of events ever since. Read more »
Along with Tallinn and Vilnius, Riga is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Baltic regions. The old city centre was declared a World Heritage Site, due to its large number of beautiful Jugendstill buildings.... Read more »
Riga, the capital city of Latvia, situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea, is one of the most beautiful cities in north-eastern Europe. Along with Vilnius and Tallinn, other former Soviet cities who have risen to fame, Riga is a great tourist destination that combines the heritage of the past with modern elements. The city’s old quarter is a World Heritage site.... Read more »
Location: Riga is the capital city of Latvia and it is located on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Riga is also the biggest city in the entire Baltic States and the UNESCO has declared its Historic Centre a World Heritage Site. The Latvian territory has been inhabited by proto Baltic ancestors from as early as 9000 B.C. Weather: Riga has a climate between maritime and humid continental.... Read more »