Location / Language of Latvia
Latvia is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, and Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants and a land area of 64,589 sq km. The country has a temperate seasonal climate.
Riga is the largest city and the capital city of Latvia where almost one third of the country’s population resides.
Visa Requirements / Currency (please note these procedures / exchange rates can changed from time to time…please get an update from the embassy prior to travel)
As India is not part of the Schengen Area, if one is an Indian passport holder you will need to apply for the appropriate type of Schengen Latvian Visa for travelling to the country. To be eligible for a Schengen Visa for Latvia one will mainly need their current passport, along with certain documents, to be submitted with the Visa application form.
Currency : Euro (EUR)
Conversion: Rs.1 INR = 0.013 EUR
1 EUR = Rs. 78.04 INR
Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Latvia
- The Gauja National Park – The park is the perfect place to destress when you’re in Latvia’s capital Riga. Wander miles across stunning hiking trails, explore fascinating medieval castles or thrill to bungee jumping, bobsleighing and other adventurous activities.
- Jurmala – It is a beautiful seaside resort like no other and if you’re looking for fun, there’s vibrant life on the beach and in the unique spas, offering a tempting menu of mud packs and massages. But Jurmala is also a great place to get back to nature, strolling the miles of pine-fringed shore or admiring beautiful timber summer cottages.
- Rundale Palace & Museum - Nicknamed the Baltic Versailles, this stunning museum will transport you to an age of splendour. Designed by Francesco Rastrelli, the architect who also created St. Petersburg’s Hermitage, Rundale is a superbly restored Baroque and Rococo masterpiece packed with art treasures and surrounded by a delightful rose garden.
- Latgale – Latgale is an off-the-beaten-track gem that is home to a museum dedicated to legendary artist Mark Rothko to awe inspiring Aglona Basilica. Stunning lakes, fascinating traditions, timeless handicrafts and heartfelt hospitality will make this a place you will never forget.
- Salaspils – The city of Salaspils is situated on the verge of the Daugava River and is infamous for the World War II Nazi Concentration Camp that was founded there. Now one can travel the Salaspils Memorial Ensemble, which was established on the spot of the concentration camp where many thousand were murdered – it is a solemn monument and serves its motive to remind us that we should never overlook man’s atrocity towards his fellow men. You can also pass some time exploring the National Botanical Garden, which is the home of the huge collection of flora from the Baltic areas.
Things You Must Do in Latvia
- Brave the Naval Port Prison – The Naval Port Prison in Karosta is the only former military prison that is open to the public in Europe and was built in 1900 to house military inmates. Now one can visit the cells, the solitary confinement blocks, and the dedicated museum section that takes you through different periods of history such as World War Two and the Soviet Regime. If you are feeling adventurous there are even events that you can join such as the ‘Extreme Night’ show where you can actually spend the night in a prison cell or eat in the prison canteen.
- Visit the Old Sigulda Castle – It was built in the 13th century by the famous Livonian Brothers of the Sword a group of self styled ‘warrior monks’. It was also the first stone castle to be built anywhere other than the capital of Riga and was designed to guard against an enemy attack from the Gauja River.The castle has been loving restored over the years and visitors can now climb up inside the North Tower as well as the Main Gate Tower where you will get excellent views over the surrounding area. There are also showcases of traditional archery held here during the summer.
- Experience the Latvian National Opera - The powerhouse Latvian National Opera hosts both the Latvian National Opera and the Latvian National Ballet company. As a result, one can take in a range of performances here that include opera and ballet showcases and there are traditional Latvian folk stories as well as dedicated children’s plays and shows. Over the course of a season some 200 performances take place here so whenever one visits there is sure to be something that appeals. The building is a work of art in itself having been built in 1863 in the neo-classical style although it has also been restored over the years and can accommodate over 1,200 spectators.
Food on the Plate
Latvian cuisine typically consists of agricultural products, with meat featuring in most main meal dishes. Fish is commonly consumed due to Latvia's location on the east coast of the Baltic Sea. Common ingredients in Latvian recipes are found locally, such as potatoes, wheat, barley, cabbage, onions, eggs and pork. The Latvian cuisine is markedly seasonal – due to pronounced four seasons in the climate of Latvia, each time of the year has its own distinctive products, tastes and flavours. Latvian food is generally quite fatty, and uses few spices.
Some of the Latvian dishes one must taste include:
- Rye bread – It is extremely popular in Latvia and there are plenty of different types, including dark or sweet sourdough rye bread. Latvians love to accompany almost every dish with rye bread. It is also common to eat it with butter and cheese or ham for breakfast.
- Potato Panakes - Potatoes, in general, are extremely important for the Latvian cuisine as it is one of the vegetables that can easily grow in the local fields. Even though most of the people could hardly imagine pancakes made from potatoes, Latvians could not imagine their lives without this dish, some times with sour cream and speck sauce.
- Mushrooms – They are a big part of Latvian cuisine and during the autumn, people rush to the forests to pick fresh mushrooms for the upcoming year. There are plenty of traditional Latvian dishes made from mushrooms, but the most delicious must be fried boletus with salt, rye bread, and herb-flavoured butter.
- Yeast pancakes with mixed berry jam and sour cream used to be (and probably still are) dessert staple in Latvian schools. They are more time consuming to make, but the thick, wholesome and bread like treats are well worth it.
Overseas Travel Medical Insurance Latvia
Since Latvia is a country which is part of the Schengen countries in Europe, It is mandatory for Indians applying for Latvian visa to purchase Travel medical insurance satisfying the Schengen visa consular needs.
Schengen visa health insurance India for Latvia is relatively cheaper when compared to destinations in Americas, and most insurance companies offer a specific Schengen Insurance Plan
. One must ensure that the minimum Accident & Sickness (A&S) sum insured for a Schengen plan must be €30,000 (around $50,000), and a visa to visit any Schengen country will not be provided without this minimum coverage.
The insured must purchase an “Excluding Americas” Plan, if they are travelling to other destinations that don’t include only Schengen countries.
Illustration for 15 days travel health insurance for Indians visiting Latvia.
|Sum Insured($USD or €Euro) / Premium in Rs. INR
||Insured Age 32
||Insured Age 62
|Schengen - €30,000
|Schengen - €50,000
|Excluding - $50,000
These premiums are across different plans and different benefits.. please log in to www.eindiainsurance.com
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