About Riga

Riga - capital of Latvia is located on the Baltic Sea and a third of all Latvians live here (800 thousand inhabitants). Riga is more than 800 years old. Officially founded in 1201 Riga was a major center of the Hanseatic League, deriving its prosperity in the 13th–15th centuries from the trade with central and Eastern Europe.
Riga once was a fortified city, walled in by high ramparts with turrets and fortified gates. These walls were eventually torn down, though a few small sections remain with the so-called Swedish Gate being the oldest remaining portion and the Powder Tower. Riga became an important economic center in the 19th century, when the suburbs surrounding the medieval town were laid out, first with imposing wooden buildings in neoclassical style and then in Jugendstil (Art Nouveau). It is generally recognized that Riga has the finest collection of art nouveau buildings in Europe. The city presents a mix of cultures and architectural styles developed throughout different historical periods. The Daugava, also referred to as the River of Destiny by Latvians, flows through Riga into the Gulf of Riga about 10 kilometres from the city center. Because of its location and harbour, which rarely freezes, Riga has developed into a significant transportation hub. Riga has always been a dynamic and innovative center, and remains to this day a vibrant and lively city with a host of creative quarters to explore. It is therefore with good reason that Riga has been called the ‘city of inspiration’. Enjoy a leisurely walk around the Old Town – the historic center of Riga, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and its surroundings. Riga has the population about 700 000.

View from the Old City across the Daugava River from Old City.

Latvia (/ˈlætviə/; Latvian: Latvija [ˈlatvija]), officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas Republika), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, one of the three Baltic states. It is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, and Belarus to the southeast, as well as a maritime border to the west alongside Sweden. Latvia has slightly less than 2 000 000 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi).
Weather: Latvia’s geographical location makes it possible to enjoy the differences of four pronounced seasons. The presence of the Baltic Sea means that the climate is temperate and humid. Winter lasts from mid-December until mid-March, with an average temperature of around –6°C. Spring, with average temperatures of above 0 °C, comes at the end of March. For the latest forecast, please visit: https://videscentrs.lvgmc.lv/
Language: Latvian is the official language of Latvia. English is widely spoken.
Local time: Latvia Time is GMT+2 (from late March until late October Latvia participates in the Western European summer time scheme: GMT+3)
Currency: Latvia’s currency is the euro (€). Other currencies can be exchanged for euros at most banks and exchange offices located in the city centre and at the airport.
ATMs and credit cards: there are many automatic teller machines (ATMs) in the city and all major credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.
Power supply: The power supply in Latvia is 220V AC at 50 Hz. An adaptor for the (European standard) round two-pin sockets may be required.

airport – lidosta
I love Riga – es mīlu Rīgu
art – māksla
new media art – jauno mediju māksla
global control and censorship – globālā kontrole un cenzūra
hello/hi – sveiki/čau
bye – atā/čau ('čau' as adapted from Italian 'ciao' is very useful for informal greetings in Latvian, you'll see)
good morning – labrīt
good day – labdien
good evening – labvakar
please – lūdzu
thank you – paldies
good bye – uz redzēšanos
street – iela
excuse me / sorry – atvainojiet
price – cena
how much is it – cik tas maksā
where is it – kur tas atrodas

Dial code for Latvia: +371
Emergency: call 112, the EU-wide emergency number for the police, fire and ambulance services
Alternatively, call:
Police: 110 or 112
Medical service: 113
Fire service: 112
Gas emergency: 114
Emergency medical care is available also 24/7 in ARS, Skolas iela 5, http://ars-med.lv, +371 67201003.