Located in Northern Europe in the Baltic region and officially known as the Republic of Latvia, Latvia shares her border with Russia to the East, maritime border with Sweden to the West, with Estonia to the North, with Lithuania to the South and with Belarus to the southeast. Latvian cuisine uses very few spices and contains meat and agricultural products in almost all the main meal dishes. The influence of the cuisines of the bordering countries can be clearly noticed. Though Latvian cuisine is quite fatty, it caters to the need and taste of every individual. Don’t forget to taste and relish Rupjmaize (a dark rye bread, considered the national staple) and take swigs from a bottle of local beer.
Hotels, bars, restaurants and nightclubs are plentiful in Latvia and also cater to the need and budget of every individual.
What to do in Latvia
Riga: Home to over one third of Latvia’s total population, Riga is the capital and biggest city of Latvia. Riga (the biggest city in the Baltic States) an important seaport is a major cultural, financial as well as industrial and commercial center of the Baltic Sea region. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Riga along with Umea in Sweden will be declared the European Capital of Culture in 2014. Latvian National Opera, Riga Motormuseum (speciality museum), Town Hall Square, Splendid Palace (Cinema), House of Blackheads (Architectural Building) is arguably the top 5 out of 114 major tourist attractions in and around Riga.
Jurmala: A tourist destination and a resort town, Jurmala is located to the west of Riga (nearly 25 km). Jurmala offers long beaches facing the Gulf of Riga with wooden beach houses and provides all the basic amenities needed for relaxing, sunbathing, swimming and playing beach volleyball. The beach of Jurmala, Jurmala city museum, Livu Akvaparks (Water Park), Dzintari Forest Park (Theme Park), Majori Ice Skating Hall (Sports Complex) is arguably the top 5 out of 24 worth visiting places in and around Jurmala.
Rezekne: Located in Eastern Latvia in the Latgalia region and 242 km east of Riga, Rezenke is the seventh largest city in Latvia and built on 7 hills. There are many wonderful lakes with super clean waters around the city. Latgales Mara (one of the most famous statues in Latvia), Castle Ruins, Art House, Rezekne Green Synagogue, Kovsu (lake) is arguably the top 5 out of 13 major tourist attractions in and around Rezenke.
Beaches in Latvia
If you love uncrowded beaches fringed by forests of pine with all the basic amenities needed to enjoy your holidays (to the fullest extent with your family) then Latvia is the country you should look for. There are some wonderful beaches in and around Riga and Jurmala (particularly to the north of Riga in the district of Limbazi). The other major seacoast cities of Latvia Liepaja, Ventspills and Pavilosta offer wide stretches of white, smooth sand and all the basic amenities needed to enjoy your holidays with your family.
Skiing in Latvia
December to April is the ski season in Latvia. Baili (located 107 km north of Riga), Zagarkains, Sigulda (the largest ski resort of Latvia, 53 km from Riga) is the top 3 out of 19 ski resorts in Latvia.