The Baltic Review - Latvia
The best web English-language portal covering Tourism, Transportation, Hotels and Flights in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Welcome to Latvia

Besides cherished national traditions and many masterpieces of urban architecture in Latvia still has a warm Baltic coast, dozens of modern resorts, almost fifty old castles, the famous Amber, hundreds of lakes and springs. We note, incidentally, that the excessive "overload" at the height of tourist season, typical of many mass trends in Latvia is not observed. Even Jurmala, the most famous resort in the country, it is not crowded hotels. Sanatoriums in Latvia so far, too little, some are just beginning to change and update.

Holidays in Jurmala was once cherished dream of every Soviet intellectual (for such broad popular destination served, of course, "Sochi, where the dark night"). Latvia, like the other Baltic republics, reprized the role in the USSR hateful "internal abroad" with a measured and even, perhaps, an elegant seaside holiday, beautiful nature and not bright elusive veil restricted life in the West, which, they say, especially clearly felt in the days when the wind blowing from the Gulf of Finland.

Getting to Latvia

To get from Moscow to Riga in three ways: by plane, train or bus. The most economical option - bus ride from Riga station (usually 10-14 hours, but the duration of the trip can increase bad weather or a delay at customs). From St. Petersburg can be reached trip bus company "Ekolayns." And also, on a train from Vitebsk Station.

Train Moscow - Riga is 16 hours, of which about two hours away to cross the border (customs clearance and other formalities). Flights from Moscow to Riga can aircraft "Aeroflot", "Transaero», UTair and Air Baltic for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Riga International Airport is located 7 km from the city center.

You can fly from Kiev to the country by plane for 1.5 hours. You can take a train from Simferopol, Kiev and Lviv. Buses to Riga from the Central Bus Station in Kiev.

From Belarus (Minsk) in Latvia (Riga), there are also frequently flights, trains and  buses.

Visa to Latvia

Latvia is in the list of countries of the Schengen agreement. To visit the country to get a visa.


Import and export of foreign currency is unlimited. When entering from countries outside the EU, the amount above 10 000 EUR are subject to mandatory declaration. Tobacco is possible to take in the amount of 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco. Customs will miss one liter of alcoholic beverages (with the strength of more than 22 °), or two liters of alcohol with less than 22 °. It is also possible to smuggle 50 grams of perfume or eau de toilette 250 ml. Medications to get into the quantity necessary for personal use tourist.

Phone numbers

Latvian Embassy in Moscow Street. Chaplygin, 3, phone: (495) 232-97-60, 232-97-43
The Russian embassy in Riga (67) 33-21-51

Consulate General of Russia in Daugavpils (654) 21-644, 22-773

Consulate General of Russia in Liepaja: (634) 22-517

Police: 02 Ambulance: 03

Transport of Latvia

The country can be quite comfortable to travel by train: the cars clean, seats - upholstered. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office at the station or from the conductor (in the second case will have to pay 20-25% more).

Intercity buses are equipped with and strictly adhere to the schedule, but the ticket price for them is quite high - from 3 to 5 LVL per trip at close range.

Urban transport is represented by buses, trolleybuses, trams, buses and taxis. Opening hours of public transport - from 5:00 to 23:00. Taxi is free, as the machine can be stopped in the street, and they usually have a parking lot near the hotel. Fees are divided into day - up to 0,5 LVL for 1 km and 1,5 LVL for landing, and the night - 20% more expensive.

Car & Van Rental

To rent a car required an international driving license, credit card and pay the insurance fee. For cheap van rentals you can look here

Tourist safety

Latvia - relatively quiet in the crime, the country. Movement in the evening and at night (except for the areas of stations, ports, and "flea market") is almost completely safe. The tap water in Riga and Jurmala suitable for drink, in other areas it is still recommended to use bottled.

The climate of Latvia

Latvia climate transition from maritime to continental. The average July temperature of +18 to +20 ° C. In January, on the Baltic coast around -2 ° C, in the east - to -7 ° C. Sunniest and driest month - May.

See also forecast for the major resorts and towns of Latvia.

Hotels in Latvia

Selection of hotels in the country is quite wide, from five-star hotels to campsites and youth hostels. Hotels in Riga - the highest level. Most hotels are renovated, restored or purchased and renovated by world famous "chain."

Mains voltage - 220 V, 50 Hz, there are the old socket with two round holes, and the new three-prong grounding outlet.


Change rubles, dollars or euros at the Latvian lats better place. Banks is no charge or minimum. Russian Ruble take in all the money changers. A large number of exchange offices located in hotels, shops, post offices and railway stations. Operation hours of: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 16:00, and some are open on Saturdays from 9:00 to 12:30.

The restaurants are usually a percentage of the service is already included in the bill. Otherwise, you can leave the waiter "tea" 5-10%. Also tipping taxi drivers and hotel clerk.

Shopping, shopping Latvia

Wood products, ceramics, amber, Riga balm Melnais Balzams, chocolates confectionery "Lima". Nice jersey, especially cotton. A lot of high quality products from Scandinavia. Shops are generally from 10:00 to 19:00, and usually without a lunch break. On Sundays, most shops are closed.

Latvia - one of the "bicycle" countries. For driving on the roads need rights and "iron horse" must have state registration number.

Wood products, ceramics, amber, the famous Riga balm Melnais Balzams, chocolates known confectionery Laima. Nice jersey, especially cotton. A lot of high quality products from Scandinavia.

Cuisine and Restaurants

In Latvia, particularly popular fish and potatoes. Worth a try Baltic salmon (good in all), a casserole of herring with boiled potatoes, baked potatoes with cheese. Of the meat dishes you can taste the chicken soup, cakes with bacon, the original "cheese" from the pig's head, lamb in cumin sauce, fried grilled pork ribs, steak and onion sauce for "klopps."

In Riga there are many cozy restaurants with moderate (by Moscow standards) prices. The most popular restaurant chain Lido. It should also visit the fish pavilion in Riga Central Market and try the many delicacies. From drinks noteworthy Aldara Zelta beer and, of course, the famous "Black Riga balm."

TIP: Latvian cooks not alien urge to risky experiments. As a result of their creative breakthroughs world revealed, in particular, beer soup with dried fruit, whipped cream of wheat proteins "buberte" black bread pudding with cranberry juice and honey.

The restaurants are usually a percentage of the service is already included in the bill. If such a line in the long run not be left to the waiter "tea" 5-10%. Also tipping taxi drivers and hotel clerk.

Entertainment, tours and attractions in Latvia

Daugavpils, the second largest city of Latvia, is situated 230 km from the capital, near the border with Belarus, Lithuania and Russia. The main attractions are the Daugavpils fortress, Peter and Paul, Boris and Gleb Church, natural park-Daugavas Loki Stropsky picturesque lake and beautiful pine forests in the surrounding area.

One of the most charming cities of Latvia - Cesis. Come there to see the fort "Riekstu Calice" ("Nut Mountain") with the remains of ancient fortifications on the streets and Valnu Palasta famous Cesis Castle, "New Castle" of the Earl Sievers, Palace Park, St. John's Church with a beautiful body and old sundial, and the main monument of the city - the Victory Monument.

Sigulda - "Latvian Switzerland" and one of the most visited cities in Latvia. He is well known for its national park Sigulda castle ruins, ancient castles, Turaida, Manor Prince Kropotkin Turaida with the Lutheran Church, the sculpture park, and stunning natural valley of the Gauja.

Tourists in Latvia should definitely visit medieval castles with theatrical performances - such as Jaunpils, Sigulda and Ventspils. At 80 km from Riga is Latvia's most beautiful palace in the Baroque style - Rundale. Also of interest are the Latvian reserves Greaney, Moitssala, Slitere and others.