Mass Media
Representative Organizations
Useful Addresses
Currency & Banks
Information on Visas
Customs Information

General Information Tourists Information Geography
Area: 64.589 (24.938 sq miles)

Population: 2.566.352 (Jan.1,1994)

Capital: Riga, Population 889,500 (1992)

Major cities:

  • Daugavpils (127,000)
  • Liepaja (108,000)
  • Jelgava (72,000)
  • Jurmala (60.000)

People: 52% Latvians, 34% Russians, 4,5% Byelorussians, 3,5% Ukrainians, 2,3 % Poles.

Cultural and historical division: Kurzeme (western part of Latvia), Zemgale (southern part), Vidzeme (middle and northern part), Latgale (eastern part)

Highest point: 'Gaizins' - 311.5 metres.

Largest lake: Lubans - 82 sq km.

Largest river: Daugava - 1020 km (within Latvia 367 km).

Woodland: 40% Northern Kurzeme and Northern Vidzeme are most forested areas.

Nature preserve areas: Gauja National Park, 5 natural reserves, 11 landscape parks, 189 restricted areas. Average temperature: July +16.9 C, February -4.9 C.

Time: GMT +2 (GMT + 3 in summer).

Language: Latvian is the official language. It is an Indo-European, non-Slavic and non-Germanic language and is similar only to Lithuanian. Russian, English and German are widely spoken.

Religion: Predominantly Protestant (Lutheran) with Roman Catholic in the East of the country. There is also a Russian Orthodox minority.

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. European-style 2-pin plugs are in use.

Can be obtained trough the Latvian Tourists Information Offices:
  • RIGA 22 Skarnu, LV-1615,tel 371-7-221731, fax 371-7-227680
  • JURMALA 42 Jomas, LV-2015, tel 371-2-764493
  • SAULKRASTI 12 Ainazu, Riga distr., LV-2160, tel/fax 371-2-951141
  • SALACGRIVA 2 Sila, Limbazi distr., LV-4033,tel 371-40-41254
  • SIGULDA 15 Raina, Riga distr., LV-2150, tel 371-2-971345
  • JEKABPILS 116a Brivibas, LV-5200, tel 371-52-31391, fax 371-52-33335
  • TUKUMS 15a Pils, LV-3100, tel 371-31-24451
  • LIEPAJA 3 Rigas, LV-3400, tel 371-34-22113
  • KULDIGA 5 Pils, LV-3300, tel 371-33-22364
  • CESIS 3 Uzvaras ,LV-4100, tel 371-41-22248
  • SALDUS 12 Avotu, LV-3800, tel-371-38-22184
  • VENTSPILS 13a Annas, LV-3600, tel 371-36-24777
  • LIMBAZI 5 Burtnieku, LV-4000, tel 371-40-23108
  • DAUGAVPILS, 46 Gimnazijas, LV-5400, tel 371-54-20950

Student and Youth Travel Information:

  • Latvian University Tourist Club: 19 Raina bulv., Riga, tel 7223114


Latvia is situated on the Baltic coast and borders Estonia in the North, Lithuania in the South, the Russian Republic in the East and Byelorussia in the Southeast. The coastal plain is mostly flat, but inland to the east the land is hilly with forests and lakes. A total of 43%of the country is covered by forests, 10% consist of peat bogs, 2-3% of fresh water reservoirs, 40% is used for agriculture and 4% consist of towns, villages and roads. Raznas Lake is the largest in Latvia, total number is 2.300. There are about 12.000 rivers in Latvia, but only 17 are longer than 100 km, the biggest being the River Daugava (1.020 km-the part that flows through the territory of Latvia is 365 km in length). The ports of Riga,Liepaja and Ventspils are ice free during winter.

Holidays and Celebration Days

1st of January - New Year Day
1st of May - Labor Day,the convocation day of the Constituent Assembly of the Republic of Latvia
1nd Sunday of May - Mother's Day
23rd of June - Ligo Day
24th of June - St.John's Day,the summer solstice
18th of November - The day of proclamation of the Republic of Latvia
25th and 26th of December - New Year Eve

Remembrance Days

25th of March - Commemoration Day of victims of the communism terror
4th of May - The proclamation day of the Independence Declaration of the Republic of Latvia
9th of May - Memorial Day of victims of the World War 2
14th of June - Commemoration Day of victims of the communism terror
4th of July - Commemoration Day of genocide against Jews
11th of November - Lacplesis Day

Updated 27/10/97

© Versia Ltd.