Tag: Latvia

Latvia Tourist Information

Latvia Tourist Information

Latvia is a great option for those who love beautiful European architecture, interesting historical sights and beach holidays. And if you have already chosen tours to Latvia for yourself, it remains only to get acquainted with the information about the country, which will undoubtedly come in handy on a trip.

Latvia: location. According to thesciencetutor, the rather small country of Latvia is located in the North of Europe, and its neighbors are Lithuania (border in the south), Estonia (border in the north of the country), Russia and Belarus (in the east and southeast, respectively).

Latvia: capital. The capital of Latvia is the stunning Riga – a city with beautiful architecture and ancient sights. Here you can visit castles and museums, churches and cathedrals for more than one day, or just wander around the cozy streets of Riga and the Old Town. And you can feel and feel the Latvian culture at local fairs, which are quite often held in the city.

Latvia: language. The official state language in Latvia is Latvian. At the same time, many residents of the country know and speak Russian.

Latvia: visa. Ukrainians will need a Schengen visa to enter Latvia. A tourist visa to Latvia is issued (the price of the consular fee is 35 euros) literally up to two weeks. All that is needed is to fill out an electronic application form, submit the necessary documents for a visa to Latvia and pay a consular fee.

Latvia: features of customs control. When entering the country, do not take with you more than 200 cigarettes / 50 cigars / 250 grams of tobacco (optional) and more than 1 liter of alcohol (wine up to 4 liters). Latvian customs regulations also prohibit the import of weapons, narcotic and explosive substances (objects), meat and dairy products, chocolates, and certain medicines. Difficulties may also arise with the import of ancient art objects (more than 50 years old), as well as amber.

Latvia: climate and seasonality. Tourists will be pleased with the climate of Latvia, because in winter there are practically no very severe frosts (usually temperatures are from 0 to -3 degrees), and in summer there is no tiring heat (on average + 21- + 23 degrees). Therefore, you can safely go to Latvia at any time of the year. But if you want to additionally visit the beaches of Jurmala, then it is best to go in July – the sea is as warm as possible (water temperature is about +22).

Latvia: time. There is no time difference between Riga and Kiev time.

Latvia: currency. The official currency in Latvia is the euro.

Latvia: tips. On average, in restaurants, “for tea” they give about 5-10% of the bill (but quite often they can already be included in the bill).

Latvia: telephone. It is worth buying a Sim-card on the spot. Regarding prices, one of the cheapest calls will be the local operator Zeltazivtina. For 2 euros you will have unlimited network (to phones of other operators 0.17 euros / minute) and the ability to activate the service for foreign calls (for calls to Ukraine) – it will cost about 4 euros for 30 minutes. As for emergency numbers, it is the same for everyone – 112.

Latvia: electrical network. In Latvia, the voltage in the network and the type of sockets are the same as in Ukraine.

Latvia: clothing etiquette. There are no special rules and requirements for clothing in Latvia.

Latvia: official holidays. The main holidays, of course, are the Independence Day, which is lavishly celebrated on May 4 and the Day of the Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia, which Latvians celebrate on November 18.

New Year in Latvia is celebrated, as in Ukraine, on the night of the first day of January, but Christmas, according to the European model, is December 25th.

For tourists, the Ligo holiday (Yanov’s Day) will also be interesting. On this holiday, folk traditional festivities are held in all cities and you can get to know the Latvian original culture and customs as much as possible. On this day, you can also taste unique festive dishes – Janov cheese and very tasty barley beer.

Latvia Tourist Information

Latvia Literature in the Early Age

Latvia Literature in the Early Age

The various events of Latvian literature are closely connected with the history of the Latvian people. Just as the Latvian language is, together with Lithuanian, the most archaic of the European languages, so too the popular literature of the Latvians contains elements that date back to prehistoric times. But the fact that the collections of Latvian folk songs do not predate the second half of the century XIX requires a very careful and prudent critique for the understanding and study of this rich poetic heritage. To this is added another fact that profoundly characterizes the past and the mentality of the ancient Latvians: the Latvian folk songs, the dainas (see below: folklore), are exclusively lyrical: myological songs, of family life, songs of even more or less pagan festivals, of daily life, of love, etc.; – no name and no historical fact, no reference, neither generic nor particular, to the many centuries of freedom and subsequent political submission, in which the aesthetic conception of the life and nature of this people developed, under certainly unfavorable conditions. The dainas reveal a pure conception, full of love and nobility, of family life, and an ancient and essentially artistic interpretation of nature. Moreover, the Latvians lack any trace of an ancient dramatic literature and there are no sure indications to admit the existence of an epic literature.

The beginnings of written literature date back to the century. XVI, and are connected with the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation and also with the humanistic movement which in Livonia, compared to the other states around the Baltic (the ancient Hanseatic cities, Sweden, etc.), had a flourishing development. The first news about the adaptation or version of church texts or songs belong to the beginning or the middle of the century (for example, the Pater Noster in the Cosmography of S. Münster, edition of 1550). The Catechismus Catholicorum dates from 1585, the Enchiridion from 1586Lutheran. Note, in the beginnings of Latvian literature, the efforts of the Jesuits for the creation of a religious literature (Tolgsdorf, Elger and others): efforts that represent the survival of the great projects of A. Possevino and of the Polish king Stephen Bátory, master in those times of Latvia, to establish a polyglot university in Livonia.

The true development of Latvian literature, however, dates back only to the 10th century. XVII, from the time that the northern part of ancient Livonia belonged to the Swedes. It was then that G. Mancelius, rector of the new university of Dorpat (Tartu) and eminent humanist, composed the famous Langgewünschte Lettische Postill (1654) in Latvian, a collection of sermons that soon became popular. Earlier he had demonstrated his attachment to the Latvian language with his Lettus, das ist Wortbuch sampt angehengtem täglichen Gebrauch der lettischen sprache (1638). After him Chr. Fürecker, German by origin, but Latvian by family ties and by election, composed (1685) a large number of Lutheran hymns with a powerful and truly profound expression. Finally E. Glück, adoptive father of Catherine I, gave the Latvians the first complete version of the Bible: classic version for precision and expressive force. The end of the seventeenth century is also rich in research on language (dictionaries by G. Elger and Lange, grammar by Adolphy, poetics by Wischmann and others).

Less important are the contributions to the Latvian literature of the century. XVIII. Some Protestant pastors, including GF Stender (Stender the Elder, 1714-1796), have provided examples of narrative and didactic literature. At the same time, although hampered by the taste of the time, interest in popular traditions began to arise.

At the time of the Sturm und Drang this interest took on new vigor under the influence of Herder and J.-J. -Rousseau. Above all, the latter greatly influenced the literary career of the Riga historian and journalist Garlieb Merkel (1769-1850) who, despite having written his works in German, belongs to Latvian literature for his patriotic fervor and the impetus of revolutionary ideas that brought a new current of pure air into the unhealthy and suffocating atmosphere of ancient Livonia (see especially Die Letten, 1796 and Lieflands Vorzeit, ein Denkmal desRitterund Pfaffenthums, 1797-99). Not only in the sphere of social reforms, but also in the intellectual field and even more in the development of national consciousness, the great events of the beginning of the 19th century have profound repercussions in Livonia. The beginning of Latvian journalism belongs to this period: Latweeschu Awizes (The Latvian newspaper), founded in 1822 in Jelgava (Mitau) by the Protestant pastor Watson. Furthermore, the literature of the time, now represented by writers of purely Latvian origin (Leitāns, Līventāls, Dūnsbergis and others), while partly reflecting outdated motifs of the century. XVIII, becomes more and more spokesperson for new social and political conceptions.

The real national awakening in Latvia, however, is due to the generation that, born around 1830, carried out its activity especially in the last decades of the century. XIX. The movement began first in Moscow and Petersburg, where circles of Latvian intellectuals had already formed. The Moscow club headed by the political agitator, organizer and writer Kr. Waldemārs (1825-1891) was the most prominent. Among those who, following his directives, were constructing the new edifice of national consciousness, the poet J. Alunans (1832-1864), the fervent patriot Atis Kronvalds (1837-1875), the classic collector of Latvian dainas Kr. Barons should be noted. (1835-1923)

Alongside these radical representatives of the new movement (also called “jaunlatvieši”, young Latvians), there was also a more moderate current, inclined to compromise with the ancient religious and pedagogical tradition. The noble figure of Juris Neikens (1826-1868) emerges.

After the first polemical struggles (especially against the uncompromising representatives of the Balto-German aristocracy), Latvian writers, adhering to a belated romanticism, chose, for their poetic compositions, heroic and tragic themes of the Latvian past, in the first place. of the fatal arrival of the Teutonic Order in Livonia. Patriotic sentiment is deep and sincere there; good and sometimes even perfect the artistic form. The ballads of Auseklis (pseudonym of Krogzemju Mikus, 1850-1879), have almost risen to hymns of the Latvian people, to whom the epic L āč pl ē sis (Bear hunter) by Andrējs Pumpurs (1841-1902) gave heroic figures that perpetuate the centuries-old struggle between two peoples in art. The richness of folklore was exploited by J. Lautenbachs (1847-1928), who also attempted to blend ancient legends into a new epic unity.

At the same time, the Kaudzites brothers (especially Matiss, 1848-1926) created the costume novel based on the life of Latvian peasants, describing an era full of changes.

In the meantime, materialist currents were becoming increasingly pressing in Latvia as well. A talented poet, a scholar of Horace, foretold and sang its advent: Eduards Veidenbaums (1867-1892). The “new movement” (jaun ā str ā va) naturally resulted in the great revolt of 1905 and its most eminent representative was one of the greatest Latvian poets in general: Rainis (pseudonym of Jānis Pliekšans, 1865-1929) in whose works the ideals of patriotism and socialism appear fused, while their poetic form (especially that of dramas) shows a predilection for symbolism and even for mysticism. Alongside him we must remember Aspazija (pseudonym of Elza Rozenberge, wife of Rainis, born in 1868) known as a lyric poet and even more as a proponent of female emancipation.

The last 25 years of the century. XIX and the beginning of the century. XX are well represented even in the purely national and bourgeois field. Andrievs Niedra (born 1871) introduces a lively exposition and an eventful psychology into the novel; Rudolf Blaumanis (1862-1908) creates a cycle of dramas and comedies which reflect, with gracefulness of movements, the Latvian life before 1914; Jānis Poruks (1871-1911), delicate and melancholy pensive poet, perceives characteristic traits of the Latvian soul glimpsed “through the mists of the end of the century”; Vilis Plūdonis (born in 1874) and Anna Brigadere (born in 1861) enrich the literature with good patriotic, historical and contemporary poems; Finally, Eglīts (born in 1877), together with companions who gathered around him, introduced the

All three addresses of Latvian literature had more or less the same aims: 1. to free the aspirations of the reborn people from the tradition that was too local and too tied to the unsteady equilibrium of the ancient “Baltic governorates”; 2. to extend the horizon even beyond the barriers – Germanic and Slavic – which limited the possibilities for the development of Latvian thought. World war and emigration did the rest. The Latvian literature of the last 15 years, relying on the good authors of the last century, turns above all to the traditions of the Latvian past, or tries to interpret the complex and interesting conditions of the present life. Among the most original and vigorous writers of this period we mention: Eduards Virza (pseudonym of Lieknis, born in 1883), creator of the new Latvian epic, critic and journalist; Kārlis Skalbe, lyricist who with fine intuition reveals the intimate qualities of the heart of his people; Jānis Sudrabkams (pseudonym of Arvids Peine, born in 1894), sensitive, delicate, exquisitely modern poet; Aleksandrs Grīns (born 1895), author of compelling historical novels about the Livonian Renaissance. Among the poetesses they have secured a sure fame: E. Sterste-Virza, B. Skujeniece and A. Dale.

Latvia Literature in the Early Age

Shopping and Eating in Riga, Latvia

Shopping and Eating in Riga, Latvia

Riga is one of the largest cities in the country of Latvia.

Shopping in Riga

Shopping in Riga is fun, not least because there is a good selection of international brands at nice prices. Another thing is that the stores are close to each other, so you can use the forces inside the stores and not between them.

Of local goods, Riga and Latvia are known for wood crafts, such as cutlery. Also woolen clothes such as sweaters and socks with Latvian symbols are a specialty. Riga and Latvia are also known for liqueur. One specialty is Black Conditioner. This is drank by the locals in many varieties.

Should you bring a souvenir home, amber is a safe choice. Amber is also called “Baltic Gold”. NB! Make sure you get hold of an original product. Amber is petrified resin, often with insects and spiders encased. They are 20 to 50 million years old and are pressed together into “gems” with a glowing color. In the old days, people believed that amber provided strength, fortune and calming power to their owners.

If you do not care about souvenirs or local products, we can tell you that all international brands can be found in Riga defined by AbbreviationFinder.

All areas of Riga, the capital of Latvia described on Countryaah have their own market. The biggest is right at the main train station. It is called Central market and is located in large hangars that were built in the 1930s and which would accommodate space ships. The market is among the largest in Europe. It is an experience to see the trade in vegetables, fruits, flowers, meat and fish. You will find the center on the south side of the river, between the bus station and the train station.

There are many shopping malls and hypermarkets in Riga. Here’s a selection of the best:

Stockmann and Origo in Riga

The large and well-known Finnish shopping mall chain Stockmann is located in Riga and is open from 0900 – 2200. You get all kinds of products at Stockmann, but the main emphasis of goods is clothing, fashion and perfume. You will also find great restaurants and tailor services here. The address is Janvara Iela 8.

The Origo shopping center is right next to Stockman and is huge with all kinds of shops. The hallmark of the center is a solid bell tower.

Alfa Centrs and Domina Shopping Center in Riga

Perhaps the biggest center in Riga is (at least) Norwegian and is called Alfa Centrs. The address is Brivibas gatve 372.

Another large and popular shopping center is Domina. The address of Domina Shopping Center is Ieriku Iela 3. This is a few kilometers northeast of the Old Town center.


Spice has established itself in Lielirbes Iela. The motto is to offer something for everyone. The center is far from the city center, and we recommend that you take bus 22A from the National Theater or taxi across the river towards the airport. The mall is open from 5 p.m. 1000 to 2200. Spice has palm trees indoors, large Lidor restaurant and many shops, and we guarantee you will stay there for a few hours.

Clothing in Riga
The Spanish chain Zara has a cozy shop on the street Terbata’s Iela 30. This street is north of the Freedom Monument. The street also has several other good shops.

Crafts and jewelry in Riga
If you are going to buy crafts, the Griezi shop on the street Maza Miesnieku 1 is a good alternative. Here you will find beautiful linen, wooden utensils, woolen clothes and jewelry made of different materials. This store has more style than most similar craft shops in Riga.

There are several antique shops in Riga and you can make very good finds here. We recommend the shop Antiqua, located at Valdemara 20. Here you can buy paintings, furniture, porcelain, books, postcards, old coins and much more.

People in Riga (yes throughout Latvia) love sweets. In the old town you will find sweets manufacturer Laima, which has a number of outlets, for example in the street Smilsu 16 and in Miera 22. At Laima you can get guided tours and tastings.

Eating in Riga

Food in Riga, Latvia

The restaurants in Riga are known for good quality and low prices. As in all major European cities, you will also find outdoor restaurants, cafes and bars. Prices are approx. half of what we are used to paying in Scandinavia, and sometimes even lower.

Once in Latvia, eat a real Latvian meal: pork, potatoes and huge portions are typical. Grilled and smoked fish are also common. The cheapest local restaurants have the appearance of being fast food restaurants and often offer Russian food such as pancakes and a Russian kebab variant. The food here is normally better than the one you get at fast food restaurants in Western Europe. Tips are becoming more and more common in Latvia, and it is normal to give 10% of the bill in tips after a nice restaurant visit in Riga.

Everyone loves tea in Riga!

People in Riga love to drink tea, for both pleasure and health. Several tea houses have emerged in recent years. We recommend the Apsare and Zen Tea House, where talented waiters prepare your tea. The location is superb, right by the St. Peters Church in Kungu Iela Street. You can enjoy the cup of tea in quiet and homely surroundings on the ground floor or lay down on the downstairs mattresses.

Another choice is Tea Club Gija, on the street 1a Strelnieku Iela. The interior is Moroccan inspired. Here you can relax on a couch, listen to quiet music and feel peace with yourself. Choose from Chinese, Indian and Moroccan teas. There is also free internet access. On Fridays and Saturdays, the place is open until 10 p.m. 0500 at night (morning).

A selection of restaurants in Riga

Riga has several very good restaurants and you can get a mix of food that is both east and west oriented. You will find Armenian, Russian and Georgian restaurants. Also good Thai restaurants, sushi bars and pizza restaurants can be found in Riga. Normal price is between 5 and 10 lvs (60 to 120 NOK) for a main course.

The most exclusive restaurants are usually associated with the most expensive hotels. The Piramida Restaurant at the Ridzene Hotel and the Seasons Restaurant at the Grand Palace Hotel are among the very best. Main courses here cost from 7 lvs (85 kroner).

We can also recommend restaurants in the old town. One suggestion is the Japanese restaurant Sumo in Kungu Iela 8. Specialties are shushi, noodles, bird and red meat served with good beer or good wine in a pleasant atmosphere. Sumo is a small and charming restaurant. For the more economically conscious we can recommend the Italian restaurant Pomodoro, (located in the street Vecpilsetas Iela), which has traditional Italian dishes and very good pizzas. And we also got very good service!

Specialty and concept restaurants in Riga

Try the Lido restaurants. They belong to a chain that serves varied buffet with local food. You get soups, salads, fruits and desserts. Order the main course (if you want it) next door. Shashlik and grilled salmon are the favorites of most people. Don’t be surprised if the price is under $ 50 for all dishes together.