Latvia Travel Information

If you want to discover Latvia as a travel destination for yourself, you will find the most important travel information here. How to get to Latvia, optimal travel time, overnight accommodation and practical tips for your holiday in Latvia are answered here.

Getting there

BY FLIGHT

The capital Riga has the largest airport in Latvia, a country starting with L in Europe defined by COUNTRYAAH.COM. It is located in the west of the city in the direction of Jurmala. Air Baltic is the national airline, it flies for example directly to Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Munich and Düsseldorf. In addition to Air Baltic, there are also connections with Lufthansa (via Frankfurt), Finnair (via Helsinki) or LOT (via Warsaw).

WITH THE FERRY

Due to its location by the sea, Latvia can be easily reached by ferry. Latvia has three major passenger ferry ports: Riga, Ventspils and Liepaja. Riga can be reached with Tallink * from Stockholm. Ventspils is served by Stena Line * from Travemünde (25 hours) or Nynashamn in Sweden. There is also a connection to Liepaja with Stena Line * from Travemünde (26 hours). Alternatively, you can also travel with DFDS Seaways * from Kiel to Klaipeda in Lithuania (21 hours) and continue your journey overland.

OVER LAND

If you want to travel overland to Latvia by car or mobile home, you have to travel via Poland and Lithuania and possibly via Kaliningrad (Russia) and thus cross some borders. However, all states (with the exception of the Kaliningrad region) belong to the Schengen area. The “Via Baltica” (E 67) leads from Prague via Wroclaw and Kaunas to Riga and is very well developed in parts.

To get there, you should bring your passport or identity card, vehicle registration document and driver’s license with you. The green insurance card is strongly recommended, as is a power of attorney if you are not the owner of the vehicle yourself.

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Travel time

Latvia has very distinct seasons. Each of these times has its own special charm. Winter is snowy, so winter sports fans can indulge in their hobby and ski or ice-skate. Tourists interested in nature travel to Latvia in spring, summer or autumn. In spring nature awakens, there are not that many holidaymakers in the country and the prices are still moderate. Autumn is colorful, bird migration attracts ornithological interested visitors. A great time for a stay in nature, hikes and long walks. Summer is of course the main travel season, when Latvians also have their long summer holidays. In the high season the prices are significantly higher, as are the number of tourists. But not in vain: the warm months beckon with a magnificent and luscious nature, long summer days when the sun hardly sets, many (cultural) events and a wonderful beach life on the coast. For city travelers who want to see Riga, however, there is actually every season of the year.

Accommodations

There are all types of accommodation in Latvia: from campsites to simple pensions and guest houses to upscale hotels and houses in the luxury category.

The castles and manors in Latvia are particularly beautiful to spend the night. The castles of Jaunpils, Kuska and Dikli or the Marciena estate are examples of these architectural gems. They have been lovingly restored and converted into hotels. The flair of these houses is unique.

Accommodation of all categories can be expected in the hotel industry throughout Latvia. By the way, guest houses or bed & breakfast accommodations can be good and inexpensive alternatives to hotels.

Those who travel by tent, caravan or mobile home have a large selection of campsites. Most of them are in the north and northwest, the south and east are less populated. At Latvian campsites, it is common for small houses or log cabins to be rented out. In this way, even those who do not want to take a lot of luggage with them and want to travel close to nature can also find cheap accommodation. Just like vacationers on a car tour who want to stay inexpensive.

Jurmala has long been known for spa and recreational tourism. Therefore there are numerous hotels with spa and wellness offers such as the Baltic Beach Hotel or the Hotel Jurmala Spa. In addition, many hotels and guest houses throughout Latvia offer a sauna or steam bath.

health

Travelers to Latvia should make sure that they already have the European Insurance Card. Nevertheless, it is advisable to take out private international travel health insurance, which is usually very inexpensive. *

Health care is good in Latvia, although the range of pharmacies and hospitals in the sparsely populated countryside is of course much smaller than in the cities. If you travel close to nature and in remote areas, you should stock up on the most necessary medication in advance. In addition, a good mosquito and tick repellent should also be in the first-aid kit. Vacationers should think about a vaccination against the tick-borne disease TBE (early summer meningoencephalitis) and seek advice from their family doctor.

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Shopping / souvenirs

A typical souvenir is the Latvian silver and amber jewelry, as well as pottery items such as plates, vases and candlesticks. Latvia is also known for linen and woolen goods. Hand-knitted gloves, socks and blankets, decorated with folk patterns, are nice keepsakes. The belt from Lielvarde is something very special. The belt, woven from wool, has up to 22 ornaments and is part of the Latvian folk costume.

Another popular souvenir is the Riga Black Balsam, a strong herbal schnapps.

Souvenirs are sold across the country. Even in the visitor parking lot of the Gauja National Park there are stalls selling jewelry, amber and other handicrafts. The largest selection is of course in Riga. Visitors will find what they are looking for in numerous shops, souvenir shops, boutiques and market stalls.

Road traffic

There is right-hand traffic and the duty to turn on the dipped headlights during the day. Tempo 50 applies within built-up areas, outside Tempo 90. Winter tires are also required from December 1st to March 1st. The mandatory equipment of a vehicle includes a warning triangle, first aid kit and a fire extinguisher. Attention: The 0.5 blood alcohol limit applies in Latvia. Anyone who drives under the influence of alcohol can expect high fines (withdrawal of their driving license, administrative detention).

Petrol stations are available in sufficient numbers across the country. Fuels cost as much as in Germany, in some places a little cheaper. The road network is well developed. In remote areas it can get a bit narrow and bumpy here and there.

The taxi drivers in Riga are notorious. It is not uncommon for tourists to be driven through half the capital by Latvian taxi drivers in order to then collect inflated prices. In 2009 the airline Air Baltic founded its own taxi service called Baltic Taxi to deal with this situation.

Accessibility

Latvia strives to ensure that hotels, public buildings and museums are barrier-free. Existing buildings are slowly being retrofitted, nowadays attention is paid to new buildings. But it is definitely advisable to clarify specifically the accessibility of a hotel before booking.

Riga in particular, with its cobblestone streets and sometimes narrow and high sidewalks, is not always pleasant for wheelchair users and people with physical disabilities. The buses in Riga, for example, are barrier-free, and a ramp can be extended on the vehicles if desired.

Tip: On the website of the Latvian Tourist Office * you can find information about the accessibility of the individual sights.

A beach was opened in Kaugari (Jurmala) just in time for the bathing season, which takes the needs of people with visual impairments into account. These include buoys in the sea that emit sound signals to make swimming in the sea safer. The two newly acquired tandem bikes and balls with clay invite you to further activities.

The city of Liepaja has also improved its offer and offers several special wheelchairs for the beach. If accompanied by an assistant, these enable people with limited mobility to find their way to the water. Here, too, there are radio buoys in the water to facilitate orientation in the sea.

* Please note that this link leads to an external website. We have no influence on the content and design of the website, nor on the processing or storage of the data collected.

Latvia as a travel destination