Located in the middle of The Baltics Latvia has Estonia as its neighbour in the North and Lithuania – in the South. It also has borders with Russia and Belarus in the East and South-East, and 500 km of sandy beaches on the western part of the country along the Baltic Sea and its Gulf of Riga. The country has plenty of green forests and national parks which are perfect for an all day or afternoon hike observing Latvian nature. When it comes to traditions, Latvia is proud of its UNESCO-listed collection of folk songs and Song Festivals.

Brief overwiev of Latvia

International country abbreviation: LV
National symbols: red-white-red flag, small coat of arms, big coat of arms
Foundation: 18 November 1918
Location: Latvia is located in the north-western part of Europe by the Baltic Sea
Territory:  64 589 sq km or 24 938 sq m
National anthem: Dievs, svētī Latviju! (God, Bless Latvia!)
Government: parliamentary republic
Parliament: Saeima with 100 members elected by the people
Head of state:  the president

Population and Territory

Official language: Latvian
Population: 2 025 000
Capital: Riga (population – a little over 700 000)
Administrative division: 109 counties and 9 republican cities
Cultural-historical division: 4 regions – Vidzeme, Latgale, Kurzeme and Zemgale
Largest cities: Rīga, Daugavpils, Liepāja, Jelgava, Jūrmala, Ventspils, Rēzekne, Valmiera, Jēkabpils
Biggest port cities: Ventspils, Rīga, Liepāja
Ethnic groups: Latvians –60.5 %, Russians – 26.6 %, Belarussians – 3.5 %, Ukrainians – 2.4 %, Poles – 2.4 %, Lithuanians – 1.3 %, other – 3.5 %

Other information

Currency: EURO. 1 euro = 100 euro cent.
Time zone: GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) +2, from April to November – GMT +3
Internet domain: .lv
International phone code: +371
Electricity standard: 220 volts mainstream; European standard 50 hertz plugs are used
In any emergency situation you should call the free number 112

Latvia is easy to reach by plane from anywhere in Europe and the rest of the world. Travel distances within the country and to/from other Baltic States are short and convenient.