Latvia is a small country on the Baltic Sea with the ancient history and traditions. There are many interesting tourist sights which will attract everyone. If you want to enjoy nature - there is not only the serene Gulf of Riga and the open Baltic Sea, but also nature parks, fast rivers and lakes with the beautiful forests on the shores. Those who are interested in history will be fascinated by the medieval castles and culture of the ancient Latvians. If you are interested not only in entertainment but also gaining new knowledge and information you are welcome to visit Old Riga, where you will find not only fabulous architectural monuments but also various night clubs and pubs. There are many beautiful churches in Latvia - both ancient and modern. There is a wide range of health rehabilitation and active recreation possibilities. And of course, don’t forget to make the inquiries about the events that are going to take place during your stay in Latvia. There is the possibility for you to enjoy the traditional Latvian celebrations, different cultural events and entertaining programs throughout the year.
Latvia is the country where you can enjoy your trip - come with the tourist group or have a nice time together with your family. You can have a variety of choices from taking a number of exciting tours to spending several weeks in the guesthouse near the river or lake, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. This web page will help you to get to know Latvia and it will help you to choose the best pastime to suit your mood and make the most of your trip to Latvia.
The Republic of Latvia is founded on November 18, 1918
Location: Latvia is situated in Northern Europe, on the coast of the Baltic Sea.
The Territory of Latvia: 64,589 square kilometers (24,938 square miles).
National anthem: 'Dievs, sveti Latviju!' (God Bless Latvia)
International code: LV
Constitution: democratic parliamentary republic
The parliament, called the Saeima consists of 100 elected MPs.
President: Vaira Vike-Freiberga (since 17 June, 1999)
Official language: Latvian
Total population: 2 294 200 (January 2006)
Capital city: Riga (with 764,328 inhabitants)
Administrative organisation: 7 cities, 65 towns, 26 regions, 11 districts, 467 parishes
Traditionally divided into 4 regions: Vidzeme, Latgale, Kurzeme and Zemgale
Largest cities apart from Riga: Daugavpils, Jelgava, Jurmala, Liepaja, Rezekne, Ventspils
Major ports: Ventspils, Riga, Liepaja
Ethnic composition: Latvians - 57.7%, Russians - 29.6%, Belorussians - 4.1%, Ukrainians - 2.7%, Poles- 2.5%, Lithuanians - 1.4%, Others - 2%
Religion: Non-religious - 35%, Lutheran - 24%, Catholic - 18%, Orthodox - 15%, Others - 8%
Currency: Lats (LVL), 1 lats = 100 santimi
Time: GMT +2, from April to November GMT +3
Internet domain: .lv
International telephone code: +371
Electricity supply: 220 volts, 50 Hz European-style 2-pin plugs
How to get there
Latvia can be accessed by virtually every means of transportation. Maritime transport links the three main seaports (Riga, Liepaja and Ventspils) with the other Baltic Sea countries, there are good railway links with Russia and Belarus, while coach routes have developed rapidly in recent years to link neighboring countries as well as more distant major European cities.
Highways lead into Latvia from Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia.
Air traffic is growing exponentially. Several low cost airlines have found their way to Latvia as well as long haul flights to the USA.
Currently Riga International Airport is the main hub for air traffic, however regional airports at Liepaja and Ventspils have recently been renovated and are already attracting international charters. An initiative has been launched to encourage more internal flights between Riga and these airports.
Distances from Riga to major European cities
Amsterdam 1670 km
Athens 2655 km
Berlin 1226 km
Copenhagen 1955 km
Helsinki 362 km
Kiev 1097 km
London 2222 km
Madrid 3726 km
Moscow 1011 km
Paris 2415 km
Prague 1403 km
Rome 3034 km
Stockholm 440 km
Tallin 330 km
Vienna 1408 km
Vilnius 296 km
Warsaw 656 km