Latvia, Europe - JiveHippo.travel

Latvia

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Welcome to Latvia

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

The Riga Central Market, has been in operation in 1570 and is on the border of Central Riga. Up until the 1930s the market was on the riverside, and has since been replaced with the railway. This market is an essentials Riga experience, providing entertainment such as people watching and those who love to shop. You will be able to see an incredible dairy and fish department, which each occupy a separate hangar. The market is housed in a series of WW1 Zeppelin hangars, which spills to the outdoors, which allows for thousands of vendors to sell their goods.

Founded by Livonian knights in 1214 Cesis Castle houses a museum that features original fin de siecle interiors. it is actually two castles in one, the first is dark stoned towers of the old western castle whereas the other is an 18th century manor house, which was once inhabited by the dynasty of German counts von Sievers. After visiting the castles you can enjoy a walk through the castle park, which has a pond that is inhabited by the loveliest paddle streamers that you will be able to be taken around by. At the hilltop you will see a Russian Orthodox church of Transfiguration, which is where the von Sievers built their family cemetery.

What used to be home to Latvia´s president, Blackheads House is now open to travelers. Interestingly the original house was destroyed in 1941 and later flattened by the Soviets years later and amazingly the blueprints survived and and exact replica of the house was completed in 2001, ready for the 800th birthday of Riga. The house was built originally in 1344 as a fraternity house for the Blackheads guild of unmarried German merchants.

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Climate

Latvia experiences reasonably cold winters, which begin in January and normally end around March, with temperatures that range from 10ºC to 15ºC, but winters can sometimes get as cold as -2.8ºC.

Because Latvia is close to the sea summers are usually humid and sometimes rainy. April and July are known to be the two hottest months of the year, with average temperatures of 24ºC and can rise to 34ºC.

Duty Free

Latvia is within the European Union and if you are traveling from the UK all of your duty free products are tax free. 

If you are traveling from within the EU, there is currently no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import. You will be able to import; 800 cigarettes, or 1 kg of tobacco, 10 litres of spirits over 22% or 20 litres of alcoholic beverages less that 22% and 90 litres of wine. 

 

Getting Around

Public transport, such as trains and buses are very reliable in Latvia. 

Public transport often runs from 5 am through til midnight and generally have good connections. 

You will be able to purchase tickets that can be used for a number of journeys, up to the date on your ticket, for both buses and trains, which you can purchase in the stations.

Health

Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will enable you to use the the necessary state provided health care in Latvia at reduced costs or sometimes even for free.

make sure that any vaccines are up to date before you travel, you will be able to check this with your local doctor or GP.

Language

Latvia is an Indo-European language and is known to be one of Europe´s most ancient languages and shares a common bond with Lithuanian.

 

Money

Latvia changed over to the Eoru (€) on January 1st 2014. 

Money can be exchanged in banks and exchange offices.

In the cities of Latvia you will be able to find many banks, where you can exchange money or even draw out in cash. If you are traveling outside of the cities always remember to take cash, as there may be many small business etc that do not accept credit or debit cards.

You will be able to use your credit or debit cards in any of the major gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets and can be accepted in Baltic taxis and Red cab taxis.

Safety

You should mainly be vigilant around the areas of Riga Old Town, Central Market and central train and bus stations, for petty theft and robbery.

If you would like to have a night out whilst visiting Latvia, always seek recommendations first. Reports have been made of tourists being charged extortionate prices for drinks and have had fraudulent transactions debited against their credit and credit cards. If yo are going out at night in Latvia then cash would be the best option.

If you are going to be taking a taxi journey and you pick up a taxi on the street, then be aware that they display a yellow licence plate and have a taxi meter running from when you enter.

Time

Latvia is under the Eastern European Time Zone (UTC+02:00).

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