Latvia Luxury Travel Vacation Guide

 The best of bringing a country into the modern age is visible in the capital city of Latvia, Riga. This small country is located between Estonia and Lithunia. About 1/10 of the country is under water and the land is mainly flat. With the abundance of water, canoeing and other water sports are very popular. In winter, you can ice skate on the frozen lakes or indoors in arenas. Birdwatchers are amazed at the many different species that nest here and if you like to get off the beaten track, you can take a horseback riding excursion. The best time to visit Latvia is during the spring and summer because this is the time of the year with the most daylight hours.

Attractions in Latvia

With picturesque towns and villages, castles and lakes, there are plenty of historic sites and spectacular scenery to occupy all of your time when you visit this country.

City of Riga

Riga is a city of hustle and bustle and has plenty of attractions for tourists. The German buildings in the older part of the city are hundreds of years old and if you take the elevator to the top of the spire of St. Peter?s Church for a fantastic view of the city. Visit the Riga Castle, which dates back to 1330 and the Freedom Monument is one of the city?s landmarks. At the Riga Motor Museum, you can see cars that once belonged to important people in the Soviet government. During the summer, Dome Square becomes a small town in itself with the many bars, cafes and restaurants that have tables and chairs outside.

City of Dundaga

The sight of a statue of a crocodile is one of the impressive attractions of this small village. It is dedicated to the person believed to be the real Crocodile Dundee, who escaped from this village, found his way to Australia and spent his life hunting crocodiles. Visit the Dundaga Castle and listen to some of the legends and stories about this location. You might just hear or see the ghost of a maiden that interrupted a gnome wedding.

Travel to and within Latvia

Although there are no direct flights to Riga from cities in North America, you can take a flight to this city from any one of the major European cities. There are also buses that travel direct from cities in Europe to Riga as well as ferries from Travemunde in Germany and Stockholm in Sweden.

Buses and trains travel between all the towns and cities of Latvia. Most tourists prefer to rent a car and drive around on their own. The roads are in excellent condition and there are gas stations open 24 hours a day along the major highways.

Languages in Latvia

Latvian and Russian are the main languages spoken in Latvia. There are some English speaking people who live and work in Riga and throughout the country many of the young people are learning English as a second language. You will probably not have much difficulty finding someone who can speak English to help you if you run into difficulty.

 

Latvian Food and Drink

While you are in Riga or one of the other towns in Latvia, you can have cuisine from all over the world in the many restaurants. If you prefer to sample the traditional food and drink, some of the choices you have include grilled pork chops, cabbage and pea dishes, piragi ? a pastry filled with bacon and onions and desserts such as the Alexander Torte.

The local beer is very potent and you can choose from dark and light ales. Black Balsom is a thick alcoholic drink and it?s best to sample it in your tea and coffee at first.

Safety and Shopping in Latvia

Tourists are relatively safe in Latvia. There are occasional muggings of tourists who find themselves alone on city streets at night. If you exercise caution and common sense, you will not find Latvia any different from your home country.

Most tourists want to buy amber and earthenware when thy go shopping in Latvia. Folk art and wickerwork are also popular choices. There are many stores and shopping malls, especially in Riga, as well as the markets, where you can buy just about anything. The stores are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday, but they close earlier on Saturday and are not open at all on Sunday. There are some food stores that are open 24 hours a day.

Entertainment in Latvia

With the many bars and nightclubs in Riga, you can stay out all night if you wish. You can take a tour of the best the city has to offer and only visit selected clubs. In the smaller towns there are also bars and sidewalk cafes where you can sit and chat and get to know the local people. There are also cultural events taking place at various times of the year and in the cities and towns you can take in a concert or two.

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