Holidays in Latvia

Holidays in Latvia

They say that preparation for a holiday is better than the holiday itself. Almost the same can be said about the upcoming trip. The anticipation and preparation for it is a very good time. Besides it is the necessary time. Upon return, it is a shame to find out that, being near something interesting – did not look, tasty – did not try, unusual – did not feel. You should not make such a mistake, it is necessary in advance to study information about rest in the country.

We are going to visit Latvia. What do we know about it? A small country, located on the shores of the Baltic Sea. The capital – the beautiful city of Riga. The state used to be one of the republics of the USSR. For a Soviet person, it is almost a foreign country – well-groomed, elegant, with small cafes and restaurants. Older people remember the names of Vija Artmane, Lilita Ozolini, Vilis Lacis.

Times have changed. What do we know today? The country is part of the European Union, applies the rules of the Schengen area. You need a visa for travel. The currency unit is the euro. Names – composer Raimonds Pauls, singer Laima Vaikule. Transmissions from Jurmala. This is approximately the set of knowledge about our neighbor to the north.

How to get there

From Moscow to Latvia you can get by bus, train, plane, or by car.

If you go during the day, the bus is very interesting. You can see a lot of things, albeit briefly, on the way. Such a trip is difficult physically, it is necessary to calculate your strength, the possibility of spending 14 hours on the bus. Weather or customs could increase the travel time.

The second way is by train Moscow-Riga. It will take you in 16 hours.

Aircraft to Riga takes about two hours. The airport is 7 km from the city.

It is convenient and interesting to travel by own car. Entrance to Latvia via Zilupe, all hotels with parking along the route. Car must be un-tinted, with uncracked windows, without damage to the body, the driver must have a Green Card.

Travel within the country

Roads in Latvia

Vacationers who find themselves in the country without a car, will have to get acquainted with public transport. The impression will be most positive.

A very good type of transport is an electric train. The cars are clean and the seats are comfortable. Tickets can be purchased at the station or in the car, where they are a little more expensive. Intercity bus tickets are relatively expensive. Buses are comfortable, clearly adhering to the schedule.

Within the cities, buses, trolleybuses, streetcars, and shuttles run from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. At night, there are occasional vehicles on duty. Cabs are called for free. At night, a trip by any mode of transport will cost more.

It is possible to rent a car. To do this you must have an international driver’s license, a credit card and pay the insurance.

It is interesting and nice to see that locals often use bicycles. A very useful form of transport. It must have a registration number, and its owner must have a license. In Riga and Jurmala you can rent a bike and ride around the city.

Climate

Another common knowledge about the Baltics is that it rains, it rains. In fact, it’s not so bad. There are about 150 cloudy days a year. August is the rainfall champion. May holds the lead in dry and sunny days. Latvia is a country with a transitional climate, from maritime to continental. Weather in the west and center of the country is influenced by the sea and the Gulf of Riga, while in the east this influence diminishes. There is a piercing wind from the sea. This inconvenience of winter and autumn makes the weather comfortable in spring and summer.

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Despite frequent cloudiness, Latvia has a favorable climate. It is made so by sea air, pine and other forests, the absence of harmful industries. Temperature variations are considerable. In summer it is warm, spring and autumn are mild, but winter can be cold.

Conventionally there are three parts of the country, where the climate is different. These are the Central, Western and Eastern regions. In the table below, you can see the average temperature readings.

Average temperatures in different regions of Latvia Average air temperature in Jurmala Average water temperature in Jurmala

Accommodation

Tourism in Latvia is on the rise. There are plenty of hotels to accommodate tourists. There are luxury brands such as Ramada and hostels. Suffice it to say that there are 462 hotels in Riga and 23 in the small Cēsis. Hotels are rated by stars as in Europe. In a hotel of any stardom, breakfast is included in payment. If there are five or fewer rooms, it is a guest house. There are a lot of campsites and youth hostels.

Many hotels have been bought and renovated by well-known hotel brands. The rooms have a minibar, TV, international telephone, Internet access, safe, air conditioning.

Service is at a high level. Back in Soviet times, Latvia amazed unpretentious guests from other republics with this, but now there is nothing to say. Rooms are kept in order. You can stay with children of any age. An extra bed will require some expense. But a four-legged friend or other animal in the room will not be allowed, you will have to look for another place of residence, which is not difficult.

Hotels provide bellhop service, and each has a parking lot, free for guests.

There are saunas, fitness rooms, restaurants.

It is possible to determine the accommodation from home on the Internet. If people travel, change places of residence and do not want to limit themselves to a time limit, you can find accommodation by coming to town.

There are not many 4* and 5* hotels. Even in Riga there are less than ten. If you compare with Moscow, prices are moderate, about 200 euros per night. Of course, this is expensive for most people. There are hotels that fall into the “above average” category. The room rate there ranges from 80 to 150 euros. The golden mean are hotels of average, budget level. Most of them correspond to the level of three stars with good service. The price starts from 30 euros per night.

A good alternative to hotels are apartments. It is cheaper and, for many, more convenient. The price depends on the location, area, furniture, amenities offered.

Light House Jurmala Hotel in Jurmala

What else can I add about temporary residence in Latvia? It is useful to know:

  • The country is quiet, there is no crime. You can walk around at night. The exception is station areas, ports.
  • In Riga and Jurmala tap water is suitable for drinking. In other cities it is better to use bottled water.
  • There are a lot of currency exchange points.
  • For foreigners medical service is expensive. Just in case it is necessary to have insurance and some medicine.
  • In darkness, pedestrians are obliged to wear reflectors and are fined if they are not.
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How to behave

Going to another country, it is necessary to know the rules of conduct there. They sometimes differ from what we are accustomed to at home. Of course, everywhere appreciate politeness, courtesy, calm demeanor. But every country has its own peculiarities.

Smoking in public places is prohibited in Latvia, and the ban is enforced. A bottle of alcohol in the hands of a passerby is nonsense. It must necessarily be in a bag. It is forbidden to walk on lawns, sit and lie on them.

Tipping is in the tradition of the country. They are received by waiters, cab drivers, hotel employees. It is about 10% of the payment. Sometimes tips are included in the bill.

Latvians are loyal to all religions. There is no fanaticism. There is respect, which is useful to follow. There are no restrictions on clothing.

Of course, you have to keep it clean and orderly. It’s a little strange that we have to remind people of that. You should not use foul language, your confidence that they do not understand may be false.

Kitchen

Latvia's Grey Peas

Fish and potatoes are a popular food of Latvians. Baltic salmon in all forms, herring casserole, potato casserole with cheese. You can try patties with bacon, steak with onion sauce and many other things. Prices in restaurants are moderate. Latvia has a lot of cozy restaurants, where it’s very pleasant to sit. There are also adventurous gastronomic experiments in the form of beer soup with dried fruit or black bread kissel with cranberries and honey, and even peas with kefir.

Popular resorts

Latvian resorts are divided into balneological, climatic and mud resorts. The level of Latvian medicine is high enough to ensure that treatment in Latvia takes its rightful place among treatment facilities of the European Union.

The most popular treatment destination is Jurmala. There are many hotels, sanatoria, resort and rehabilitation centers treating with mud baths and mineral water. The famous Kemeri mud is located right there. The city has all conditions for recreation with children.

Liepaja is also a resort city. There is a large Seaside Park. The beaches with fine sand are famous.

Attractive for recreation is the city of Ventspils. It has clean beaches with blue flags and playgrounds for kids. There is an adventure park, water park, the Olympic center. And in general, this resort is great for holidays with children. The center has a large park for kids with different slides, big and small, swings, climbing. Children will be happy for sure.

Ventspils waterfront

Famous youth resorts are Bulduri and Majori. Their beaches also have EU flags.

July-August is the best time for beach resorts in Latvia, but to determine the place to stay, read about the best hotels on the coast of Latvia.

There are many ski resorts in Latvia. You can name Sigulda, Kurzeme, Vidzeme, the slopes of Riga. For holidays with children the most suitable are Kurzeme and Riga slopes. All slopes are located among pine trees, which is excellent for health.

The capital of the country will be interesting for everyone in terms of sightseeing. Walks through the old town of Riga are interesting even to children, especially if you book a guide for 2-3 hours.

Souvenirs

Latvian cheese

It is impossible to return from a trip without gifts and memorabilia. Amber is the most common souvenir from Latvia. It is cheap, available in almost all stores. The main thing is that it is a beautiful stone, which is considered as a family stone, which brings happiness to the house. It has medicinal properties, and is recommended to be worn by those who have problems with the thyroid gland.

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A well-known Latvian souvenir is leather goods, such as bookmarks and covers for books.

You can buy beautiful wool sweaters in national style. A lot of linen products which are fashionable and hard-wearing.

Remember to take home home-balsam in a clay bottle, and local beer. You can take smoked cheese and cheese with cumin to go with beer.

Riga’s sprats are no less famous than the balsam. They are considered to be the best in the world.

Latvia has very good and tasty bread. There are up to 30 varieties in the store. You can take away a loaf that seems the most delicious variety. And don’t forget about Riga gingerbread – delicious addition to a cup of hot tea.

As a gift for women, you can buy products from “Dzintars”, this cosmetics line has been famous since Soviet times. As you can see, the list of gifts and purchases is large, and that’s not all. We suggest to read about traditional as well as unusual and original souvenirs from Latvia.

In order to plan approximately how much money to take with you to Latvia, read the article with approximate prices and popular expenses on vacation.

Shopping

Shopping is rarely the main purpose of a trip to Latvia. Compared to other European countries, however, prices are slightly lower, but the choice is poorer. Anyway, it is impossible to do without shopping.

In Riga, it is worth visiting Galerija Centrs. This is the oldest arcade in the city.

Nearby is the ultra-modern Galerija Riga. Apart from selling brand goods, you can also enjoy a view of the city from the roof of Galerija Riga.

Near the railway station there is a shopping center Origo.

If you want to buy something from Valdinini, Dolce&Gabana, Brioni, Calvin Klein, Guessi, you should go to boutiques near Notel De Rome.

You can also make good purchases during sales. They usually occur in January and early July.

At weekends, most stores are closed. On weekdays, they are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., nonstop.

In all major shopping centers in Riga and other cities there are playrooms where you can leave your child while you shop.

Things to do

Attractions in Latvia – a separate topic of conversation. A country with a rich history, with carefully preserved traditions, there is a lot to see. Everyone knows about the Old Town in Riga, where not only the buildings, but also every stone in the paving is a living history. Of course, you should take advantage of your stay in the country and see as much as possible – walk and drive on your own, go on excursions. There are many small towns in the country, walk through which is a pleasure, old castles with their mysterious legends.

Holidays with children

Ventspils beach

In Latvia, all is made for a comfortable holiday with children. Comfortable beaches, ski slopes, hotels – everything is adapted not only for adults, but also for children. There are a lot of attractions which children love. In Riga there are water park “Livu”, water center “Aura”, water adventure park “Aqualandia”, a similar park in Ventspils. There are zoos in Riga and Cesis. Many entertainment complexes. This is as far as entertainment is concerned. Besides, there is the issue of health. Rest in the climatic conditions of the Baltics is more favorable than in hot countries. This applies to both adults and children.

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Latvia – reviews

In general, I am crazy about beach vacations. I like to lie on the beach to the sound of waves, I like to soak in the water and walk barefoot on the hot sand. Everything about the sea, the sun, the beach, the palm trees – it all brings me to the wildest delight.

Afenia avatar

Hello everyone! In this review I want to tell you about Christmas Europe and about Latvia (Riga and Jurmala) in general. All my life I have dreamed of going to Christmas Europe. It always seemed to me that it is just magical there at this time of year. Everything sparkles, everything is dressed up.

Boheme avatar

Latvia is a wonderful country! It’s quiet, small and cozy! I have positive impressions after I visited it. In my review I want to give advice to those who go to this country for the first time (and not just the first time!). I hope they will help make your trip more interesting and comfortable.

star avatar

Hello to all! The first time in the capital of Latvia we were on New Year’s Eve. Totally different emotions and impressions. But here came the month of May! Has Riga not changed? Now we will see. Sunny avenues and parks, the sea coast and unusual places, it is much more pleasant to look at in spring.

During my month in the country, however, I did not get to see much. But I did have a general impression of the country. So, the first and main city of the country is the capital Riga. How to get there: Options for all tastes: 1. Airplane 3.

Mescalito avatar

A few days ago I returned from a delightful two-week trip to Latvia. Although the trip in the full sense of the word can not be called a trip, because I went to visit my relatives.

Zombie avatar

I was in Latvia for almost two weeks in July this year. I went to my friends, at their invitation. I wanted to walk around the city, climb castles and swim in the Baltic Sea. I am not a fan of heat, Egypt and Turkey, so vacation in Latvia was perfect for me!

Initially we decided to go to this country only because the visa is issued in our city. It is worth noting that the visa center of the Republic of Latvia is almost in any regional center of Russia. It took a week to get the visa and it was issued for a year, before that I had two other Schengen visas.

One of my dreams came true – I went to Europe! I decided not to go deep into Europe, but at least from the edge to look at it! What can I say: the first pancake is not a pancake! When I returned home, I asked myself the question: “Why did I choose Latvia? “And I couldn’t answer. I don’t know.

OlegArgon avatar

The idea to go to Riga for a weekend came suddenly after a sale of tickets from Transaero was discovered – a very low price and a nice departure time.

bajmarina avatar

So, I was in different countries, including Latvia. I was in the camp “Albatross”. I won’t go there again, because I went in August, I thought I would swim before school and get even more sunburn. But it is not so important, change of camp went afliggeno.

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If you want to go abroad, but to spend as little money as possible, choose Latvia for the trip. It’s about 12 hours drive from the Russian capital, so it’s quite possible to go for a weekend without the risk of getting tired and be late for work on Monday.

On the one hand, it may seem that the Russian tourist has nothing to do in this country: the Russians are not treated well there, and there is nothing to see. However, this is not the case.

Chu avatar

Despite all the loud policy allegedly “against the Russians” there is no such thing. At least in Riga. Because there are more Russians here numerically. The Baltic Sea is considered to be a cold sea, but it’s not a cold sea, because no one will attack you openly…

The Baltic Sea is considered to be a cold sea. Last year I did not make friends with it! Caught in August on the sea after the storm for two weeks did not bathe once. The water was cold, and the wind blew cold. But it was possible to have a rest, we had a lot of walking in Riga, it is a beautiful city and it was worth wandering.

Visiting Latvia, you will be surprised.Pleasant or not, depends on your expectations.In Jurmala you can meet the stars of Russian show business and pop culture, walking on the beach.The sand on the beach in Jurmala is clean, the sea is often cold.In the capital of Latvia, Riga, many interesting museums, you can hear the sound…

Mashulyasha avatar

My husband is from Latvia))))We go there all the time)))) Riga, Jurmala))) Super)) Beautiful European country) Terrific service in the usual cafes and stores))) I liked the movie theater – all the films are broadcast in their original language)))) Jurmala in general a fairy tale – the sea, pine trees, paved streets, everywhere…

Wonderful country. Amazing architecture – Old and New Riga, nature – Gauja National Park and castles in Sigulda. In Rundale there is Rundale Palace built by architect Rastrelli – amazingly beautiful, I recommend it to everyone.

ArinaRikki avatar

My favorite Riga ♥️ where to go and what to do ? why is it perfect for travelers ? ✈️ zoo, concentration camp and house with cats

Hi all! Recently my way home from mini-vacation for the 100th time, I think, was through Riga and I was wondering, why haven’t I written anything about one of my favorite cities?) I stand corrected!) A quick reference Riga – the capital city of Latvia currency – the euro is included in the list of Schengen Agreement countries,…

Svet_Lana_S avatar

Sigulda is a small town not far from Riga where you can go both in summer and winter. It is very budget-friendly and entertaining at the same time. There is a good bobsleigh track, the only ropeway in the Baltics, beautiful nature (Gauja National Park, caves) and much more.

HannaM avatar

“The metronome rhythmically beats your heart out, a lump in your throat, and notes of fear, horror, and pain mixed with pride, gratitude, admiration, and courage are in the air.

A place where the trail of the people does not go. A place where people of different nationalities come to visit. A place full of fresh flowers and children’s toys. Once a road of death. But now – the WAY OF LIFE. A PLACE OF LIGHT AND CLEAR SKIES. A place of horror and pain, fear and hunger, mockery and brutal murders.

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