Latvia became a member of the European Union in 2004.
Of the three Baltic States, Riga, the capital of Latvia, is the largest city. As a city break destination, Riga has grown steadily in popularity due to its charm and sophistication. Whether you travel, by foot, tram or trolleybus you can see beautiful Art Nouveau-style buildings in stark contrast to the architecture from the Soviet Union days. The cobbled streets of Riga Old Town (dating back to 1201) house ancient buildings, for example, Riga Castle (the Latvian History Museum and Foreign Art Museum are located here), the Three Brothers houses and the Riga Dome Cathedral. Latvians are renowned for being musical, so enjoy the experience of visiting one of the many Latvian bars, many of which have live music and relax with a Latvian beer.
Recommended places of interest are the medieval castle in Cesis, the ‘Baltic Riviera’ or visit the rapids on the River Gauju. White sandy beaches stretching for 500 kilometres make the Baltic coastline unique with its biosphere reserves and national parks. The most frequently visited beaches can be found in Liepaja, Ventspils and Jurmala (Jurmala is just half an hour train journey from Riga), however secluded , quiet and beautiful beaches can be found along the coast, Pine forests, unspoilt countryside, fresh, clean air and an abundance of friendly, interesting villages makes Latvia the place to visit.
The official language of Latvia is Latvian. Russian, English, German and various other languages are also spoken throughout the country. The weather in Latvia can be unpredictable, however we have wet, moderate winters and warm, sunny summers. Spring and autumn are particularly beautiful. Average temperatures in summer range from 17-25 degrees Celcius and winter minus 4-minus 10 degrees.