Travel Blog: Latvia & Riga

Travel Blog: Latvia & Riga

Travel Blog: Latvia & Riga

My thoughts following a two day visit…

A trip to Latvia was on the agenda following a visit to Estonia a few years previously.

The flight from Gatwick took only 2hours 20 minutes, I used Air Baltic and found them easy to deal with. Two things to consider-

-Bear in mind that Friday flights may attract stag and hen do’s going to Riga for the weekend!

-Although only 2 hours 20 mins away, Latvia are two hours ahead of UK time

First impressions whilst coming into land, were the landscape looked relatively flat, and the sheer amount of forests and trees.

The airport was very modern, and well organised.

Buses and taxis were easy to locate at the airport, and most people spoke English.

I deliberately chose to stay on the outskirts of Riga, because understanding how “ordinary” people lived and worked is always of interest to me. I didn’t want to hire a car which meant I had to walk everywhere, tiring but worthwhile in getting a feel for the country.

Latvia’s history is well worth a look at before you go, over the years it has seen Teutonic Knights pass thru, Napoleon’s army pass thru, the German invasion in WW2, Soviet occupation, and then independence, followed by EU and NATO integration.

It is one of the three “Baltics” but is very different to say, Estonia in terms of the language and culture. The people are very polite, there is a lack of yob behaviour and a very low-key police presence.

Although located near to Russia and Belarus, and with a sizeable ethnic Russian population, there were no signs of tensions in that respect.

After walking for a while I began to be conscious of green electric scooters seemingly left at random places, apparently you can hire and pay for them anywhere via an app. When you have finished your journey, you simply leave them there! The electric scooters are very popular, and although most pavements and walkways have designated bike and scooter avenues it does pay for you to stay alert as these things are quiet and fast!

As for the weather, I visited towards the end of May, the weather was very warm and sunny.

The price of food and drink is relatively modest compared to UK prices, especially areas away from Riga, and the old town in particular.

Whilst walking around it seemed to me that the country has three different “feels” to it- the new developments with a distinct “euro” feel, Riga old town in its own right, and the smaller towns outside Riga which still retain their “Lithuanian feel “.

It is a beautiful country with lovely people, two days is fine for a taster, but to do it real justice, I would think 3-4 days would be required.

It is a small country, still finding its identity, and doing well!

I thoroughly recommend a visit, and with Real estate prices still cheap compared to most other EU countries, now is maybe the right time to consider investing.



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