Latvia Religion, Geography, Politics and Population

By | December 21, 2022

Religion in Latvia

There is no state religion in Latvia, and the vast majority of the believing population are Lutherans and Catholics.

Transport in Latvia

From Moscow to Latvia you can get by plane, train and bus. The flight time will be a little less than 2 hours, the travel time by train – 16 hours, by bus – 13 hours. The cheapest option is to travel by bus. They depart from the Riga railway station.

Intercity communication in the country is carried out by buses, they are quite modern and run on schedule. Buses, trams, trolleybuses, fixed-route and ordinary taxis run inside the cities. After 11 p.m., only minibuses and taxis run, the fare at this time of day doubles.

In order to rent a car, you must have an international driver’s license and a credit card with you.

Plant and Animal World in Latvia

Half of the territory of Latvia is occupied by forests, mostly pine. In addition to pine, there are birch, spruce, oak and linden.

Of the animals in the forests, there are a large number of deer, hares, roe deer, wild boars, foxes and wolves. Latvia has the largest population of otters in Europe. Rare birds such as black storks nest here. In addition, in Latvia there is the largest natural salmon spawning ground in the Baltics – Salaca.

Minerals in Latvia

Peat, dolomite, limestone, gypsum stone, clay and sand are mined in Latvia.

Banks in Latvia

Banks are open on weekdays from 9:00 to 18:00, on Saturday – from 9:00 to 13:00. Exchange offices are open daily until 19:00.

Money in Latvia

The official currency of Latvia is the Latvian lats. 1 Latvian lat is equal to 100 centimes. In circulation there are banknotes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 lats, as well as coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 centimes and 1 and 2 lats. Since January 1, 2005, the Latvian lats has been pegged to the euro with a view to a subsequent possible transition of the country to the euro.

All exchange offices (“Valutas Maina”) accept Russian rubles. Exchange points are located in hotels, shops, post offices and railway stations.

Most banks accept credit cards and travelers checks.

Rate: 1 Latvian Lat (LVL) = 1.49 USD

Political State in Latvia

According to politicsezine, Latvia is a democratic republic. The head of state is the president. The head of government is the prime minister. The legislature is the unicameral Supreme Soviet or Sejm.

Population in Latvia

Latvians make up only 58% of the total population of their country, Russians – 29.6%, Belarusians – 4.1%, Ukrainians – 2.7%, Poles – 2.5%, Lithuanians – 1.4%.

The official state language is Latvian. English, German and Swedish are widely used in major tourist centers. Almost all locals understand Russian.

Cuisine in Latvia

Latvian cuisine has absorbed the traditions of Estonian, Lithuanian, German and Belarusian cuisines.

For starters, you will be offered spinach and sorrel soup, cabbage soup, vegetable puree soup, chicken meat puree soup, beer or bread soup with dried fruits, a national dish – cold beetroot “Auksta Zupa”, as well as sweet berry soups..

Putra is the most popular second course among Latvians. These are vegetable-grain gruels with the addition of bacon, smoked meat or fish, as well as fermented milk products. Potato and fish dishes are interesting – Baltic salmon and lamprey, cod liver, smelt, eel, Baltic herring, smoked flounder, eggs stuffed with fish, cod casserole (“zavyu pudins”), herring casserole with boiled potatoes (“siltyu pudins”), fried herring with onion sauce, charcoal-grilled herring and pike caviar. From meat dishes you can try steak with onion sauce “klopps”, “peasant breakfast” of meat products fried and baked in an egg, lamb in caraway sauce, pork ribs fried on a griller.

Sweet dishes are very diverse. For dessert, they usually serve semolina porridge with whipped proteins Рbubert̩, black bread jelly or black bread with cranberry juice and honey, rhubarb jelly with whipped cream, the famous Alexander cake with raspberries or cranberries, a variety of pies with fillings, rye puffs bread, biscuit and shortbread cakes and bakery products.

Of the alcoholic beverages, one cannot fail to mention the world-famous “Riga Black Balm”, which tourists bring from Latvia as a souvenir. Caraway vodka “Kimenu Degvins” and tomato vodka, numerous herbal tinctures and, of course, beer are popular – the most popular are light varieties “Aldaris Zelta”, “Aldaris Luxusa” and “Bauskas Gaisais”, as well as dark varieties “Bauskas Tumsais”.

Ventspils (Latvia)

Ventspils is a major Latvian port and a popular seaside holiday destination. It was the Ventspils beach that was the very first in Latvia to receive the coveted blue flag, demonstrating that all norms are met and the beach meets all EU standards. There is a Seaside Park, a children’s playground and a water amusement park.

Of the architectural monuments in Ventspils, the Castle of the Livonian Order is interesting, where the historical museum is now located, it is also worth visiting the Ethnographic Open Air Museum, along which the train of the 1916 model runs.

Ventspils (Latvia)