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Riga Travel Guide, Latvia

Riga, Latvia – Overview

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. January to February is the coldest period in Riga and the minimum average temperature is about -6 degrees Celsius. However, the minimum temperature may fall down to 20 to 25 degrees Celsius during the coldest days. There is a frequent occurrence of rainfall and fogs due to its proximity to the sea. Riga has warm humid summers and the temperature is usually around 18 degrees Celsius. On a hot summer day in Riga the temperature may exceed 30 degrees Celsius.

Population: According to a survey in 2008, Riga has a population of 719,613 inhabitants. Since 1991, the rate of population in Riga has decreased due to migration and lower fertility rates. Some scientist also has predicted that there may be a 50% fall in the population of Riga by 2050. The majority of the populations in Riga are Latvians while Russians, Poles, Ukrainians and Belarusians live here in a small percentage.

Economy: The Economy of Riga is improving over the past few decades due it its well developed infrastructure. Business and tourism play a vital role in improving the economy of the city. Over 50% of the large scale companies in Latvia are registered with Riga and the foreign trade has been increasing in the recent years. Some of the industrial outputs produced in Riga are public utilities, textiles, wood processing, beverages, food items and pharmaceuticals.

Transportation: Riga has only one airport called Riga International Airport which offers both commercial and international flights. Moreover, there are the ferries of the Baltic Sea connecting Riga to other important cities such as Stockholm, Lubeck, Kiel and Rumbula. Rigas Satiksme provides effective public transportation inside the city. It offers various means of road transportation that include buses, trolleybuses and trams. Moreover, there are many private transport operators who offer minibus services.

Culture and Society: Riga has a rich culture and the people believe in God and strictly follow the code of the society. They are religious and there are many famous artist and cultural elite in Riga. Today, Riga has a mixed culture due to the migration of Americans and Canadians. They have many annual festivals and Jani is one of the popular celebrations in Riga.

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