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Travelling

Location:   Eastern Europe, on the coast of the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania
Map reference:   Europe
Capital:   Riga, population 706,413
Population:   2.2 mln
Language:   Latvian (official), Russian, English, German are also widely spoken
Legal system:   Based on civil law system
Economy:   Functioning market economy
GDP per capita:   1152 EUR (2003)
FDI stock per capita:   2689 EUR (2003)
Inflation:   2.5 % (2003)
Currency:   1 Lats = 100 santimi; LVL (EUR 1.42)
Temperature (winter; summer):   -4.9; +16.9 °C
Natural hazards:   None
Culture:   European
People:   Modest and reserved
International Organizations:   EU & NATO

The best way to get acquainted with country and its culture is to visit it. There are almost 2 million people visiting Latvia every year. The number of foreign travellers who visited Latvia in 2003 was the highest in the last decade, according to results of the survey on travelers taken by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia on the basis of data from the Main Department of the Border Guard of the Republic of Latvia.

In 2003 departing foreign travelers crossed Latvia’s border 2470 thsd times, up by 197 thsd on the previous year, according to the Main Department of the Border Guard of the Republic of Latvia.

The majority of foreign visitors came from the neighbouring countries Estonia and Lithuania. 24% of the foreign visitors came from the countries of the European Union, most frequently from Germany, Finland and Sweden.

Foreign travelers were for the most part satisfied with their trip to Latvia, evaluating the quality of services and responsiveness of people particularly highly. The price/quality ratio of the goods and entertainment opportunities were given a more critical evaluation.


Related sources: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Infrastructure:

Riga International Airport (RIX) is the largest airport in Latvia. The bus takes travelers to the center of the city in 40 minutes. There is also a slightly more expensive, yet faster, minibus called Airbaltic Airport Express that also makes a few more stops in Old Riga.

The country also has international bus connections to Estonia, Russia, Poland, and Lithuania. Riga Central Station is in the centre of the city, not far from the bus station, connecting Riga with neighbour cities in Latvia and Latvia to neighbour countries. There is a ferry making daily trip from passenger port of Riga to Stockholm.

About Riga

Riga is the capital of Latvia and the largest city in the Baltic countries. It comprises spectacular ancient old town, Art Nouveau architecture, historical monuments, the ensemble of ancient, wooden and modern architecture. ArIts everyday life includes, adventure nightlife, all year festivals, all kinds of rest and leisure.

The history of Riga began in 1201, when the Prince-Bishop of Livonia Albert von Buxhovden moved his residence to Riga. Since that time, the city has gone through many different periods, it has long and interesting history which left a rich cultural and historical heritage. Today Riga is spectacular, busy, developed and modern city with excellent infrastructure. Its old town was described into UNESCO World Heritage List. In Riga there is a great number of places for sightseeing and objects which certainly attract the attention of visitors from all over the world.

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