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Republic of Latvia > Details

Country Name
Republic of Latvia
Geographical Area
62,249 sq km
Population
2,191,580 (Oct 2014 est.)
Capital City
Riga
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People   Latvian 59.3%, Russian 27.8%, Belarusian 3.6%, Ukrainian 2.5%, Polish 2.4%, Lithuanian 1.3%, other 3
Language   Latvian (official) 58.2%, Russian 37.5%, Lithuanian and other 4.3%
Religion   Lutheran 19.6%, Orthodox 15.3%, other Christian 1%, other 0.4%, unspecified 63.7%
Government   Parliamentary Democracy
Head of Government   Prime Minister: Laimdota Straujuma; President: Andris Berzins
Embassy   1 Samnera Velsa St., Riga LV-1510 Tel : +371 6710 7000
Visas   As a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you may enter Latvia for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.
Health Risks   Tick-borne encephalitis can be contracted in wooded areas from spring to autumn.
Clothing Suggestions   SUMMER: June to August – is when the weather is warmest and the days are long and bright. Casual clothing made of lightweight fabrics and good walking shoes are essential. A shawl, sweater and/or jacket is recommended for cooler evening breezes and an umbrella is sometimes needed for summer showers. WINTER: December to March – During winter, an overcoat, hat, gloves and scarf will protect you from much of the wet and wind. For extra measure, waterproof your winter jacket or purchase a garment that is made of watertight fabric. SPRING/FALL: March to May and September to November- The weather in spring and fall can be very varied. Therefore, wearing multiple layers and bringing a jacket is recommended. Rain is common in fall so bring an umbrella and waterproof jacket. DINING: Informal attire, except for some selected restaurants, which require a jacket and tie for men.
Time Zone:   Two hours ahead of GMT/UTC; seven hours ahead of U.S. EST.
Banking / Exchange   Banks offer the best rates for performing currency exchanges. The easiest and best way to get cash is from an ATM. Bank opening hours vary but are usually Mon-Fri from 9am to 5pm
Currency   Currency: Euro
Electric Current   Metric
Credit Cards / Traveler Checks   All major credit cards are accepted in hotels, restaurants and shops. TRAVELERS CHECKS: Traveler’s checks are widely accepted throughout Latvia
Shopping   General Trade Stores Shopping Hours Mon to Fri: 9/10am –6/7pm Sat: 9/10am-4/5pm Sun: closed The items most popular to buy are amber jewelry, folk art, linen, wickerwork, and ceramics.
Weights & measures  
How to shop Tax Fee   1. Shop in any of the stores that display a TAX-FREE FOR TOURISTS window sticker and ask for a Tax-Free Shopping Form. With this form you can later claim your VAT (Value Added Tax) Refund. The VAT is included in the selling price. 2. When leaving the country, show the unused goods to customs and get your form stamped. 3. Return your completed, customs stamped form to Global Blue-Latvia by mail to receive your refund
National Airport   Riga International Airport (RIX)
Major Tourist Attractions   Riga, Jurmala, Kuldiga, Gauja National Park, Turaida Museum Reserve
Tipping Suggestion   A 10% tip in restaurants is common, but not required.
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