Latvia flag

Latvia is the middle of the three Baltic countries. The country, together with Estonia and Lithuania after the fall of communism in the 1990s, has attracted many tourists, who have wanted to experience the special culture of the former Eastern bloc up close.

Capital: Riga
Biggest city: Riga
State: republic within the EU
Language: Latvian
Religion: Christianity
Surface: 64 589 km²
Population: 2.1 million (2013)
Population density: 35 residents per km²
Expectancy: 72 years
Illiteracy: 0%
Currency: Latvian lats (LVL)
1 lats = SEK 13.53
GDP per capita: $ 13,800 (2010)
Time difference: +1 hour
Electricity: 220 V AC, 50Hz
National Day: November 18
Country area code: 371
2-Letter country abbreviation: LV (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)
Business: service sector 58%, industry 33%, agriculture 9%
Climate: temperate; cold, humid winters and mild summers

Latvia flag

The country is still, for better or worse, marked by the many years under the influence of the Soviet Union, but is both historically and culturally an interesting destination. The country became independent in 1991, and has been a member of the EU and the NATO military alliance since 2004. The capital Riga was founded in 1201 and is the largest city in the three Baltic countries, with a population of 730,000 residents. Its Statue of Liberty measures 43 meters and is one of the tallest in Europe. Characteristic specialties of Latvian cuisine are bacon piradzini (bacon pie) and a refreshing cold soup made from sour milk.


The following objects in Latvia are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The year in which the item was added to the list is indicated in parentheses.

  • Riga Historical Center (1997)
  • Two measuring points in Struve’s meridian arc (2005)


Electricity and electrical outlets in Latvia

Voltage: 220 V

Frequency: 50 Hz

Type of plug: C, F

Need an adapter: No, you do not need an adapter.


Weather in Riga

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Christmas Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature °C -4 -5 1 5 12 16 17 17 12 8 3 -2
Day °C -2 -2 3 9 16 20 21 20 15 11 4 0
Night °C -6 -7 -2 1 7 11 13 13 9 5 1 -4
Rain (mm) 40 30 40 40 40 80 80 90 90 60 70 70
Rainy days 11 8 10 11 12 13 11 13 13 16 14 11
Soltim / day 2 2 3 7 11 12 11 11 8 6 3 2

Latvia 2


According to Countryaah, Riga is the capital of Latvia. Riga is located on the river Daugava, near its outlet on the Gulf of Riga in the Baltic Sea. In 2008, the city had 719,613 residents.

Archaeological finds in the area have been dated to 2000-2500 BC. Historically, Riga has been the Baltics’ most important trading city. Ever since Riga was founded by the Bishop of Livonia, Albert of Riga in 1201, the surrounding peoples and countries – Germans, Lithuanians, Poles, Swedes and Russians – have fought each other and the Latvians in order to dominate the Riga area. Those who have controlled Riga have been able to control the transports on Daugava to and from the Russian territories. Regardless of which foreign power tried to rule over Riga, the real power has existed with the city’s merchant aristocracy – at least from the Middle Ages until 1914. There has been talk of a German effort to Christianize, control trade in and rule militarily over the Baltic Sea (1100-1300 -the number). Power over Riga was a prerequisite for such dominance.

Riga’s medieval old town has been renovated after the fall of the Soviet Union and is therefore today for the most part very fresh, with newly plastered facades. The old town is the city’s real tourist investment, with artisans selling amber and knitted garments in the squares, souvenir shops and restaurants with all the world’s food cultures. The rest of Riga is also known for its beautifully decorated Art Nouveau houses. The large market halls located in the old hangars for zeppeliners, together with the surrounding blocks at the central station, constitute the market place R? Gas Centr? Ltirgus. It is one of Europe’s largest of its kind. In Riga there are also some communist monuments left from the Soviet era.

Riga’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2001, Riga celebrated its 800th anniversary and during this year was the European Capital of Culture.