Places in Latvia
Stay – There is not one five-star hotel in Latvia, but in the bigger cities you can find luxury in abundance! Lavish and luxurious hotels can be booked from €130 per night.
One star less, and still quite luxurious, drops to as little as €70.
Three star hotels cost an average of between forty and fifty euros in Latvia.
For low-budget travelers or backpackers there are youth hostels across the country which cost five to ten euros per night.
A list of accommodations, sorted by region in Latvia can be found on Booking.
Eat – The thing about the Baltic states is that they are cheap. You can enjoy food at bargain prices! A rich, tasty breakfast with freshly squeezed juice will cost you little more than five euros per person. A main course, dessert and soft drink costs anything between ten and fifteen euros.
Transport – Public transport in Latvia is dirt cheap. Across the country a ride on the bus or tram costs you between €0.70 and €1. For a train ride of about an hour, you pay just under two euros.
Traveling from or to Latvia from the other Baltic states is quite easy with long distance busses. On average, these cost fifteen euros if you want to head to Lithuania or Estonia.
Bus to the other Baltic countries – Chances are you’ll also visit the countries next to Latvia: Lithuania and Estonia. Instead of arranging an expensive flight, you should get the much cheaper and hassle-free bus ride. In about five hours you’ll arrive in the other Baltic capitals. A ticket costs between €10 and €20 per person.
Take public transport – Public transport in Latvia is quite good. Moreover, it’s dirt cheap! If you would like to see more of Latvia, rely on public transport. Taxis or shuttle buses are much more expensive and not necessarily faster or more comfortable.
Riga – It may sound like a cliché that you should definitely see the capital of a country, but Riga is really worth it. It seems like the Latvian capital has something for everyone. Beautiful buildings, good food, interesting history, friendly people, beautiful day trips, beautiful nature and moreover: it’s incredibly cheap!
Read more specific on Riga in this guide.
Jurmala – In the summer it can get quite hot in Latvia. The perfect excuse to cool down at the beach. The adorable coast of Jurmala is a favorite spot among many Latvians and is becoming increasingly popular with tourists. The beach retains its charm because there aren’t any skyscrapers in the nearby area. Only nature and gorgeous art nouveau buildings in the city center. The charming wooden houses teleport you back to a more romantic time.
More information about Jurmala can be read in this guide.
Kemeri bog – A bog is some kind of wetland. Not so far from Jurmala and Riga you can visit the National Park of Kemeri. A vast natural domain with in the center of it a giant swamp. A beautiful wooden path guides you effortlessly through the deep swamps that look completely different with every season that passes.
Gauja National Park – the oldest national park in Latvia is Gauja and smack in the middle of this park lies the historic town of Sigulda (read below). Everyone who wants to explore Scandinavian-like parks at almost no-cost should head here. In the park you will find caves, forests and lakes as well as some archaeological finds and buildings.
Sigulda – If you are into winter sports, nature and history then you shouldn’t skip on Sigulda. This town in northern Latvia offers vast forests, where you’ll find some hidden medieval castles as well. Nowadays it starts to get quite popular as a ski resort. You can skiing, snowboarding and bobsledding even if you’re a true daredevil.
Rundāle Palace – The Baroque Rundāle Palace is one of the most impressive palaces in Eastern Europe. The gigantic domain consists of some beautiful woods and forests, landscaped French gardens, a river and of course the palace itself. Inside the castle walls you will find a (decadent) interior and a beautiful museum. The interior was inspired by the Palace of Versailles.
Flagging taxi’s – Although it happens fewer and fewer in Latvia, sometimes there are false taxis driving around in the country. They aren’t dangerous, but they dare to charge ridiculous high amounts for a ride in their taxi. If you must take a taxi, try to look up some telephone numbers in advance or ask for your hotel to call one.
Insufficient cash – In many stores (and sometimes even in restaurants!) You can only pay in cash, or there’s an extra charge if you want to pay with your card. So always keep enough cash in your wallet, especially if you are moving to smaller cities. Some travelers also recommend to pay attention when paying with electronic cards since it sometimes occurs that cards are being copied illegally.