Europe

Latvia

Latvia

Latvia is the heart of the Baltic States, located on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Today Latvia is a member of the European Union and the Schengen area, which makes the country attractive for tourism. It is a wonderful country with an interesting history, beautiful nature and interesting people. A small state in Northern Europe is unique for its historical and cultural roots and attractions.

Popular destinations in Latvia

Riga
The Capital
Dobele
City

Top places and attractions in Latvia

District in Liepaja
Karosta
Sight in Liepaja
Karosta Prison Museum
Museum in Liepaja
Liepaja museum
Beach in Liepaja
Liepaja Beach
The cathedral in Liepaja
Holy Trinity Cathedral Liepaja
Concert Hall in Liepaja
Concert Hall "Great Amber"
Fortress in Liepaja
Northern Fort Karosta
Sight in Kuldiga
Kuldiga Town Hall
Waterfall in Kuldiga
Alekshupit waterfall
Cave in Kuldiga
Riezhupe Caves
Bridge in Kuldiga
Kuldiga Brick Bridge
Waterfall in Kuldiga
Venta Waterfall
The cathedral in Koknese
Koknese Lutheran Church
City Park in Koknese
Kokneses Parks
Theme Park in Koknese
The Garden of Destiny
Promenade in Jelgava
Jelgava Embankment

Latvia on map

The TOP 20 most popular places of Latvia are displayed on the map. Show all

Overview

Daugavas loki, Naujene Parish, Latvia

Capital

Riga is the capital of Latvia and the second most populous city in the Baltic States. Riga is located on the banks of the Daugava (or Western Dvina), which flows into the Gulf of Riga.

Riga combines buildings of various architectural styles from the Middle Ages to modernity, and the historical center of the city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Riga cathedrals, houses and streets, built by the best architects of bygone eras, are filled with a living history that fascinates and makes travelers fall in love with itself at first glance.

The capital of Latvia is Riga

Language

The official language of Latvia is Latvian. He belongs to the East Baltic group of the Indo-European language family. Another autochthonous language of Latvia is the Livonian language. The Latgale language is widely spoken in the eastern part of Latvia. Russian is also widely used, which is spoken by a significant part of the population. The extinct Zemgali and Selonian languages are of interest to specialists. Russian is used in everyday communication, although many people of the younger generation do not know it and speak English.

Currency

Euros (EUR) have been considered legal and official means of payment in the Republic of Latvia since 2014. The international designation of the Euro is €.

Flag

The main state symbol of Latvia looks like a bright red canvas with a narrow white stripe in the middle. The official name of the flag sounds like Sarkanbaltsarkanais karogs, literally translated it means "red-white-red flag". Two stripes of bright crimson color symbolize the blood that Latvian soldiers have shed for centuries for the freedom of their people. The white stripe means the honor, justice and dignity of Latvians, as well as their rights and the law.

The flag of Latvia

Geographical location

The geographical location of Latvia is extremely convenient and profitable. The waters of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga wash its shores for 500 km. The open sea near the coast does not freeze, so navigation in Liepaja and Ventspils does not stop all year round. The Gulf of Riga is usually covered with ice in winter, during the winter months the Port of Riga is accessible only to ships driven by an icebreaker.

The country has land borders with Estonia (343 km), Russia (282 km), Belarus (167 km) and Lithuania (576 km).

Most of the country's landscape is occupied by plains and lowlands, the surrounding low hills of the Vidzeme upland at the highest point — Gaizinkalns reach 311 m. About half of the country's area is covered by forests. There is a fairly extensive water network on the territory of Latvia - more than 3 thousand lakes and 12 thousand rivers, which is why Latvia is called a Green Country.

Gauja, Carnikavas novads, Latvia

Climate and weather

Latvia's climate is transitional from maritime to continental. Latvia is located in a temperate climate zone, where the proximity of the Baltic Sea affects the seasons. In winter, the weather can change: the average temperature in winter is about -6 ° C, but there may be frost up to -30 ° C, and in spring, the weather is considered warm with a temperature of a couple of degrees above zero.

The classic summer in Latvia lasts from June to July. The hottest month is July, when the air temperature can rise to +35°C, and the average temperature is about +19°C. The summer in Latvia is sunny, but not so hot that you feel uncomfortable. But the sea is almost always cold and does not warm up especially in summer.

Attractions

Latvia is very rich in its diverse history, unique architecture and unique nature. The resort town of Jurmala is a real gem on the coast of the Gulf of Riga. In the capital Riga, the old town is considered a must-visit. Every city in Latvia has its own special character and many attractions.

Tourists like to visit the Dome Cathedral and the House of the Blackheads in Riga, the Mezhotnensky and Rundal Palaces, the Monument to the Bremen Town Musicians, the Riga and Turaida castles, the Daugavgriva Fortress and many other attractions that the amazing Baltic country of Latvia is full of.

Religion

The predominant number of believers are Evangelical Lutherans (Lutheranism is one of the oldest Protestant movements in Christianity). There are Orthodox Christians in Latvia, and Catholicism is widespread in the east of the country. In general, society is tolerant of various religious movements, and the church does not have a significant impact on public life.

Culture and traditions

Latvian culture is rich in traditions. In Latvia, it is customary to walk noisily and on a large scale, especially when it comes to national holidays. Any event is drowned in flowers. It is customary to give them to everyone for a reason and without.

Folk songs (dainas) are one of the unique phenomena of Latvian culture. Latvians are called a singing nation for a reason. In ancient times, songs accompanied all the events of human life. They were sung during rituals, work and folk festivals. Today, dainas are still performed on national holidays.

Lielvard belt, Latvia

The Lielvard belt is not just a beautiful decoration, an element of the national Latvian costume and a masterpiece of folk needlework. The belt consists of a two-tone patterned red and white ribbon, in the middle or along the edges of which a green thread is woven more often, less often a blue or purple thread with a non–permanent motif of the pattern, or a geometric ornament. The Lielvard belt is considered one of the symbols of Latvian culture along with the Auseklis, and is included in the Cultural Canon of Latvia.

Ligo Holiday, Latvia

National cuisine

Latvian national cuisine is quite simple and hearty, based on cereals, meat and fish products. Since Latvia is washed by the sea, fish dishes are common here. Herring is a favorite delicacy of Latvians. Sandwiches and salads are prepared with it. Almost all types of fish can be bought at the Riga Central Market, where fishermen deliver their catch.

And the famous Riga bread, known all over the world? Nowhere is there such rye bread as in Latvia. Real Latvian rye bread is dark on the outside and inside, dense texture and slightly sour taste. Cumin is often added to it.

Latvians are big meat lovers. The most common meat here is pork. The ancient Latvians, being a poor enough people, even cooked pork ears, tails and piglets, which are now considered a "delicacy".

Legumes are actively used in Latvian cuisine. A traditional Latvian dish is grey peas with bacon (a kind of ham). It is customary to serve it on the Christmas table, so on Christmas Eve, gray peas are included in the menu of many Riga restaurants and are prepared at Christmas fairs.

Rye bread in Latvia

Holidays

Most holidays do not differ from the generally accepted and Christian ones: Easter, Christmas, New Year and many other holidays in Latvia are celebrated in the same way as all other countries, but here are a few exclusively Latvian holidays:

On May 1, the day of the convocation of the Constitutional Assembly of the Republic of Latvia, when the State Constitution of Latvia was proclaimed, Labor Day is also celebrated. It's an official day off.

May 4 – proclamation of the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia, on this day in 1990, the Parliament adopted a decision that marked the beginning of the restoration of state independence.

June 23 and 24 is the biggest Latvian national holiday. June 23 is the evening of Ligo, when the summer solstice is celebrated. It's the shortest night of the year, people are lighting bonfires, singing, drinking beer and eating cheese. The bravest jump over a bonfire, an important fertility ritual – couples go in search of a mythical fern flower. June 24 is Jan's Day, the day when the owners of the most common name in Latvia celebrate their name day. Ligo and Jan Day are official days off.

November 11 is Lachplesis Day. This is the day of commemoration of the soldiers who fought for the freedom of Latvia. The holiday was introduced after 1919, when the army of young Latvia saved Riga from the German-Russian army of Bermondt.

November 18 is the day of the proclamation of the Republic of Latvia, when in 1918, in the current building of the National Theater, representatives of the people came together and proclaimed the independence of Latvia. It's an official day off.

Ligo Holiday

How to get

Direct flights between Russia and Latvia have been suspended since March 2020. You can get there with transfers via Serbia, Turkey or other countries. Unfortunately, it is also impossible to enter directly from Russia or Belarus. Latvia is a member of the European Union, so it is impossible for Russians to enter it without a Schengen visa.

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March 29, 2024

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