Latvia, one of the more recent members to join the EU, is one of the three Baltic states along with Lithuania and Estonia. Riga, the capital, is filled with church spires and fine Gothic, Baroque, Classical and Art Noveau buildings, alongside a cosmopolitan culture.
This lesser-visited country is perfect for travellers who are seeking an authentic eastern European experience.
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Currency Latvian lat
Flying time from London 2.5 hours
Official language(s) Latvian
Time difference + 2hrs GMT
Visa requirements Not required for UK passport holders
The Latvia Experts
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The capital of Latvia is home to well-restored buildings which showcase the historical importance of the city. The old quarter has numerous magnificent museums and churches, and along with an attractive nightlife, is a popular place for visitors.
Visit Rundale Palace and Museum
This palace was built in 1740 for the Duke of Courland. Accompanying the fine examples of baroque and rococo art and architecture are elaborate gardens and magnificent halls. The museum showcases Latvian history.
View the annual pilgrimage to Aglona Basilica
On the 15th of August every year, tens of thousands of pilgrims converge on Aglona Basilica to commemorate the assumption of the Virgin Mary. The late baroque church set amongst the rolling hills of eastern Latvia is also a beautiful place to visit any other time of the year.
Hike in the Gauja National Park
Latvia's largest national park frames part of the Gauja river beautifully and is particularly noted for its sandstone cliffs, which are up to 90 metres high.
Relax in Jurmala
With long beaches of fine, white sand, Jurmala is a popular resort town to relax, but also offers various recreational activities.
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