Latvia has a small but developing tourist industry and the country is authentic and welcoming. The Baltic coast stretches 500 km (310 mi) along Latvia's northern border, Latvia boasts a mix of ethnic backgroundswhilst maintaining the Latvian language. With cosmopolitan Riga as the capital, Latvia offers a mix of urban excitement and rural nature.
Things to know before visit Latvia
Latvia enjoys a temperate climate with cool summers and wet and moderate winters. All the four seasons are almost the same length. Summers are from June to September with an average temperature of 19 degrees Celsius while winters are from mid-December to early March with temperatures going down as low as -30 degrees Celsius.
Architecture enthusiasts will love this city as art oozes out from almost every monument. From Gothic cathedrals to Art Nouveau seen in over 800 Art Nouveau buildings, it is a haven for art lovers. The capital town has a beautiful vibe to it with street cafes and clubs dotting the narrow lanes of this vibrant town. If you are a history lover, a trip to the Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum is a good choice. It has a fine collection of traditional homes with people in their local attire adding to the charm of the place.
The historic town of Sigulda is an hour from Riga and is oft called he Switzerland of Latvia because of the spectacular scenery. It has beautiful grounds and gardens and green spaces to go for walks. History lovers can enjoy hiking to Krimulda Castle and the Sigulda Medieval Castle Ruins dating back to the 12th century while architecture enthusiasts can explore 19th century built, Amulda Manor.
Enjoy some sun, sand and the beach at Jurmala, located close to Riga. It is the so called ‘Latvian Riviera’ and is renowned for mineral mud pools and varied holistic health treatments. There are many sanatoriums dotting the coast. It is a great place to unwind and relax. Jurmala is also known for its beautiful wood architecture with many of the older houses resembling gingerbread houses.
Nestled amidst the lakes and hills of the Daugava River valley, Daugavpils has a great vibe to it. It has a glorious hisotrical past with refined architecture due to the Russian influence here. The bulwarks of the great Daugavpils Fortress was one of the major military hubs for the Russians. Stunning monuments of Saints Boris and Gleb Cathedral have golden-hued onion domes and Orthodox cupolas are a must visit too.
Cesis is one of the oldest towns in Latvia and has managed to retain its medieval charm through cobblestone streets, castles, painted timber facades in the classic Baltic style and worn courtyards where the Middle Age markets thrived. A must visit is the 13th century castle and also the New Cesis Castle made in the 18th century. The castle also has the Cēsis Museum of History and Art, a great place to know about the city’s history and culture.
Travel Advisory: For the latest information and advice on safety and entry requirements please consult your travel agent well in advance of your departure and visit the following government website:
Department of Foreign affairs and trade www.dfat.gov.au
Smart Traveler website www.smartraveler.gov.au
Electricity:While traveling to Latvia it is advisable to carry an international power plug adapter with multiple plug configurations. The standard voltage is at 220V.