Passports & Visas
All passengers require a machine-readable passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip, with appropriate visas. You should carry your passport with you at all times to ensure against its loss or theft in hotels. Check with the Latvian Consulate to determine if any visas are needed. Securing required documents is the responsibility of the traveler. This information is a guide only and it is essential that you check all current passport and visa rules with your travel agent before departure.
The currency used is the Latvian Lat (Ls). It is divided into Santimi (1 Latvian Lat = 100 santimi). Coins are in denominations of 50,20,10,5, 2 and 1 santimis and Lats in coins of 2 and 1. Notes are in denominations of Ls500, 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5.
The voltage in Latvia is 220 V , so American travelers will need adapters.
WiFi is also available in Latvia and is offered by many hotels. WiFi connections are also available in various public places – cafes, hotels, business centres, the airport and bus terminals – just look for the WiFi sign. Mobile Internet is very convenient for travelers and is available in 98 % of the territory of Latvia. The service is provided by several mobile and Internet companies; you need only to buy a modem and connection card. The fee for a mobile Internet connection starts at LVL 5 /month and it can be purchased at any customer service centre of mobile and Internet connection operators. Moreover, the mobile Internet in Latvia is no slower than stationary Internet.
The country code is +371 (dialing in) and international access 00 (dialing out). International calls can be made from telephone booths. Pay phones are operated by phone cards, which are sold at kiosks, in post offices and in some shops.
Look for local handicrafts, folk art, brightly colored woolen goods, mittens, scarves, and sweaters and art objects. Other typical gifts from the region are belts, purses, book covers, wicker work, earthenware and even jackets made from patches of leather sewn together. Riga is considered a fashion centre of Eastern Europe, so have a look at the boutiques while you are these. Amber is of high quality and a good buy.
Generally, taxi fares and restaurant bills include a tip, although it is still customary to give extra for good service.
As with most European cities, Latvia can easily be traversed by foot. However, public transportation is available in the larger cities, and you have access to a nation-wide bus system. For additional fees, you could also opt for renting a car.
Dress for the season! Also, make sure that you visit some of the fashion boutiques of Riga- a fashion centre of Eastern Europe.