Tourist information Latvia, including all the things to know before leaving for a trip or vacation in this state of northeastern Europe with the capital Riga.
Latvia in a nutshell
- Capital: Riga
- Area in sq. Km: 64.589
- Population: 2,249,362 (second half of 2010)
- Religion: Most of the Latvian people are atheists. The believers are the minority and mainly profess the Lutheran religion, followed by the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Baptist and other evangelical religions.
Where is it
Latvia, a parliamentary republic and member state of the European Union, is located in northeastern Europe. It borders Estonia to the north, Russia to the east, Belarus to the south-east and Lithuania to the south, to the west it is bathed by the Baltic Sea.
Its territory is flat and undulating, hilly in the western and north-eastern part of the country, where modest hills rise that do not exceed 300 meters above sea level, the highest point of the country is Mount Gaizina Kalns (311 meters above sea level) and is located in the Vidzeme region.
A part of the territory is located below sea level and almost half of it is covered by forests.
Latvia's main river is Western Dvina (Daugava), which flows into the Baltic Sea like the other rivers that flow over Latvian territory, including Gauja, Lielupe and Venta.
Among the many lakes in the country, the most extensive is Lake Lubanas, followed by Lake Razna. The deepest is Lake Dridzis, while Lake Ezezers is famous for its multiple bays and islets.
Latvia's climate is cold temperate, with cold winters and frequent snowfall. In summer the climate is mild, sometimes rainy, but there is no shortage of beautiful sunny days with high temperatures.
The population is mainly made up of Latvians, followed by Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Poles and Lithuanians.
The Latvian people descend from the tribes of the Letgalli, Livoni, Seli, Semgalli and Curi (Slavic Balto stock), who populated these lands in antiquity.
In Latvia, the time difference is 1 hour ahead of Italy, even in the period when summer time is in effect.
The official language of the Republic of Latvia is Latvian, which belongs to the Baltic family of the Indo-European language family.Recommended readings
- Riga (Latvia): what to see in the capital
- Latvia: useful information
The Russian language is also widespread, having been imposed as an official language during the Soviet occupation.
In the formation of Latvian GDP, the tertiary sector (trade, transport, communications and financial activities) predominates over the production sector.
The most exported products are timber, textiles, foodstuffs and mechanical and electronic constructions.
The most conspicuous imports mainly concern raw materials, chemicals and machinery.
Tourism is expanding.
When to go
The best time to visit Latvia is summer.
The Republic of Latvia is part of the European Union and therefore for Italian citizens entering the country it is sufficient to have a valid identity card for expatriation or a valid passport.
An entry visa is not necessary for Italian citizens who, for tourism, business or official missions, stay in Latvia for a maximum period of 90 days which can be used within six months starting from the date of the first entry.
- To call from Italy to Latvia the international code is: 00371
- To call from Latvia to Italy the international prefix is: 0039
The standard GSM 900 and GSM 1800 work in Latvia, the network coverage is good. Internet access is available in some cafés, in the best hotels and conference centers.
The electric current in Latvia is 220 V 50 Hz. Sockets type C (European 2-pole) and type F (German 2-pole with lateral earth contacts).
It is appropriate to have an adapter.
The official currency of Latvia is the euro. In the cities and major centers there are ATMs and banks where you can exchange currency.
The main credit cards are accepted in the best hotels, restaurants and shops.
How to get
Latvia's flag carrier Air Baltic flies direct from Italy to Riga.
Ryanair connects Milan / Orio al Serio to Riga. Riga International Airport is 10 km from the center of Riga.
No mandatory vaccinations are required for entry into Latvia. The Italian Health Insurance Card is sufficient for Italian citizens, namely the European Health Insurance Card (TEAM).
However, it is recommended to take out health insurance that includes, in addition to covering medical expenses, also the possible repatriation of health or the transfer to another country.