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in Latvia

Destination Information

Like its neighbors Estonia (to the north) and Lithuania (south), Latvia has frequently found itself embroiled in grand geopolitical struggles. It emerged as an independent republic from the Soviet shadow in the 1990s, and it joined the European Union barely a decade later. Riga, the capital, mingles modern and medieval architecture, but its suburbs are dreary with Soviet concrete. Latvians embrace the long northern winters with skiing and ice sculpture. In spring and summer, citizens head for the rugged coasts and their long stretches of sand. Jūrmala, 24 miles from the capital, is a thriving resort town. The countryside is well-stocked with stately castles and manors.


Proximity to the sea brings high levels of precipitation. Despite the country’s northern latitude, the effects of the Gulf Stream keep the climate moderate.

Direct Dial Codes

To phone hotels in Latvia, dial 011 (international access) + 371 (Latvia code) + city code and local numbers in listings.


Seven hours ahead of New York (EST).

Entry Requirements

Passport (valid for six months beyond end of stay). Visit, and for travelers’ health information,


Euro (€). Fluctuating rate valued at €1.00 = US$1.16 as of September 2018.

U.S. Embassy

Riga, Tel. 671-07-000.