Latvia is a country in Europe according to eningbo. Located on the Baltic Sea, Latvia has a remarkably diverse and beautiful landscape, especially considering its small size. Particularly impressive are the quiet Bay of Riga and the wild Baltic Sea with its seemingly endless, often lonely sandy beaches. The dramatic interior, most of which is occupied by nature reserves, consists of vast forests and numerous lakes and rivers. Riga is the largest and most touristic of the Baltic capitals. The historic city center has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Art Nouveau buildings are among the most beautiful in Europe. Riga has also made a name for itself with its lively nightlife. Outside the capital there are medieval towns and castles, museums and public parks, fortress ruins and proud palaces to discover. Long considered a European insider tip, Latvia is well on its way to becoming a top travel destination.
Arriving by plane
Daily direct connections from Frankfurt/M. to Riga are offered by Lufthansa (LH) and Air Baltic (BT). Air Baltic (BT) also flies non-stop to Riga from Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Zurich and Geneva. Austrian Airlines (OS) and Air Baltic (BT) fly direct from Vienna to Riga. Ryanair (FR) connects Berlin, Bremen, Cologne/Bonn, Frankfurt Hahn and Memmingen non-stop with Riga. Ryanair (FR) also flies from Vienna to Riga.
Frankfurt/M. – Riga: 2 hours; Vienna – Riga: 2 hours 15 minutes; Zurich – Riga: 2 hours 30 minutes
Arrival by car
Car: From Germany and Switzerland, the easiest way to get there is via Poland and Lithuania. No visas are required on this route as it only goes through the EU. From Austria you first cross the Czech Republic to get to Poland. Several connecting roads lead from Latvia to Estonia (border crossings: Ainazi, Valka, Veclaicene), Lithuania (border crossings: Daugavpils, Subate, Bauska, Eleja, Ezere, Nica), the Russian Federation (border crossings: Karsava, Zilupe) and Belarus (Border crossings: Paternieki, Silene). Long-distance bus: Eurolines runs from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to Latvia. Toll: Driving by car is toll-free in Latvia. Tolls are only due for vehicles over three tons in freight transport. Documents: The national driving license is sufficient in Latvia.
Arrival by train
Latvia’s main railway company, Latvijas dzelzceļš, operates a well-developed star-shaped rail network running towards Riga, which offers connections to Russia, the former Soviet countries, Estonia and Lithuania. From Berlin to Riga there is a connection via Warsaw and Vilnius. For the night connection from Berlin via Minsk (Belarus) to Riga, travelers need a Belarusian transit visa, which must be obtained before departure. The direct night train from Minsk to Riga only runs every other day.
Arrival by ship
The three major ports of Latvia are Liepaja, Riga and Ventspils.
Among others, the following shipping companies have Riga on their cruises: AIDA, Phoenix, TUI Cruises, Plantours, MSC Cruises, TransOcean and Hansa Touristik.
Stena Line offers ferry connections between Travemünde and Liepaja several times a week. Tallink Silja regularly connects Stockholm with Riga.
Traveling by plane
The Latvian airline Air Baltic (BT) regularly connects Liepāja non-stop with Riga (flight time: 40 minutes).
Traveling by car/bus
In a European comparison, Latvia has a very extensive road network, which, however, connects all parts of the country. Toll: Travel by car is toll-free. Petrol stations can be found everywhere and are often open around the clock. Usually you can pay with credit cards.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
National roads are mostly in good condition, but roads with less traffic are often unpaved.
The Latvian road network consists of: – main roads, which are star-shaped towards Riga and partially developed as motorways (marking: A and a number); – Class 1 state roads connecting the various administrative districts (marked: P and a number); – Second-class state roads connecting places within administrative districts (identification: V and a number).
Booking is possible through hotels; Advance booking is recommended. Western brands of all classes are also offered with a chauffeur service. One-way rentals are also available. Car rental companies in Latvia often require an international driving license in addition to the national one. Drivers must be at least 21 years old (often different depending on the vehicle category) and have held their driving license for at least one year. Drivers under the age of 25 often pay an additional young driver fee on site.
Taxis are available everywhere. For shorter distances, it is advisable to ask for a receipt so as not to pay too much unnecessarily. For longer distances, negotiations often bring great price advantages, which is usually only possible in taxis that have been called by phone.
In Riga and Jurmala, Sixt offers rental bikes at a large number of stations. In Bulduri and Kemeri, bicycles can be rented at the train station; in rural areas and small towns often at restaurants. Scooters can be rented from various rental companies in Riga.
Buses are the most commonly used form of public transport in Latvia. The bus station in Riga is behind the main train station. Buses all over the country start from here. Tickets are available online from Autoosta, at the bus station sales points and from vending machines. The minibuses operating in the countryside are often very unpunctual; the fares are very cheap.
Traffic regulations: – Seat belts are compulsory. – Alcohol limit: 0.5 ‰. Drivers who have held their driving license for less than 2 years: 0.2 ‰. – Dipped headlights must also be switched on during the day. – Telephoning at the wheel is only permitted with a hands-free device. – Children up to 1.50 m in height must be carried in child seats or secured with the waist belt of the seat belt. – Winter tires are from 01.12.-01.03. Mandatory for all vehicles under 3.5 tons. The traffic light is different than in Germany: green – flashing green – yellow – red. The flashing green corresponds to yellow in Germany. When the traffic light is yellow, you are no longer allowed to drive. Speed limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h; – extra-urban: 90km/h; – Expressways 90-100 km/h (observe the signs).
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in case of vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (89) 22 22 22, in case of illness: +49 (89) 76 76 76. The ADAC partner club in Riga is Latvijas automoto biedriba (LAMB), Tel. +371 67 56 62 22. Emergency call: Phone 1888.
The EU driving license is recognized in Latvia. Holders of older German driving licenses should also have an international driving license with them. For citizens of EU and EFTA countries, the license plate number is valid as proof of insurance. Nevertheless, EU and EFTA citizens are recommended to take their international motor insurance card with them in order to be able to enjoy full insurance cover in the event of damage and to make it easier to record the accident. Otherwise, the statutory minimum liability insurance coverage applies.
Traveling in the city
Trams, trolleybuses, buses and taxis operate in Riga. The municipal company Rigas Satiksme operates the public transport. Bus and tram tickets are sold in kiosks and shops or can be purchased directly from the driver.
Locally on the way by train
The route network of the Latvian railway company Latvijas dzelzceļš regularly connects Riga with all major cities in the country. The main train station is Stacijas laukums. Tickets can be purchased at the train station or online for most routes. Banitis operates Latvia’s last operational narrow-gauge railway on the Gulbene – Aluksne line (33 km).
Traveling by ship
Along the coast there are several small ports with yacht berths: Riga, Roja, Salacgriva, Pavilosta, Ventspils, Skulte, Engure, Mersrags, Liepaja and Lielupe.