Places in Latvia

Top events in Latvia

June
05

First held in 1998, the annual Riga Opera Festival is a popular event hosted by the prestigious Latvian National Opera. Marking the end of the...

June
07

The Baltics might not seem like an obvious place for the hottest names in salsa to get together, but that’s exactly what they do every June...

September
01

The largest film festival in Latvia takes places every September and galvanises film buffs across the city. A broad range of international flicks...

Riga at Christmas time, Latvia
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Riga at Christmas time, Latvia

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Latvia Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

64,589 sq km (24,938 sq miles).

Population

2.2 million (2013).

Population density

33.7 per sq km.

Capital

Riga.

Government

Republic. Gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Head of state

President Andris Bērziņš since 2011.

Head of government

Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma since 2014.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are in use.

A small country located on the Baltic Sea, Latvia boasts diverse and beautiful scenery that belies its size. The obvious highlights are the serene Gulf of Riga and the wild Baltic Sea, which both have seemingly infinite, sandy and often secluded beaches. Meanwhile, the equally dramatic hinterland - much of which is protected in nature parks - comes replete with vast swathes of forest, tranquil lakes and gushing rivers.

The biggest of the Baltic capitals, Riga is at the top of the region's tourism chain. This varied city offers a UNESCO World Heritage-listed old core and the most impressive collection of Jungendstil (Germanic Art Nouveau) buildings in Europe. In stark contrast to this ancient history and fabulous architecture is one of the liveliest nightlife scenes on the continent.

Long a favourite destination for holidaymakers from the Baltic region, Latvia's charms are increasingly being discovered by visitors from further afield. Those who venture beyond Riga discover picturesque medieval towns, country castles, museums and folk parks, ruined fortresses and grand palaces. It seems certain that this incredible country, championed as one of Europe's hidden treasures, won't remain hidden for much longer.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 16 April 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

There is a low threat from terrorism. 

Around 48,100 British tourists visited Latvia in 2012.  Most visits are trouble-free.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Edited by Jane Duru
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