Latvia Local Customs

  • Applied folk art and craft fair
    Applied folk art and craft fair
    by Inguuna
  • Setting out the beer
    Setting out the beer
    by toonsarah
  • This one's real!
    This one's real!
    by toonsarah

Latvia Local Customs

  • Don't send flowers - bring them...

    One of the many charming aspects of Latvian society is that people in the cities seem to spend an inordinate amount of time wandering around with armfuls of flowers - one can only imagine that the local floriculture industry must be very profitable!There are flower stalls everywhere, and the variety of flowers on offer is amazing, ranging from...

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  • Pay to drive in the Old Town

    On the streets leading to the Old Town there are tolls to pay for entering it by car.I'd rather recommend not to drive there as the streets are narrow, full of people and very often one-side. Definitely it would be better to leave the car at the car park and walk in the Old Town.

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  • Fireworks, many people and president's...

    All this you'll enjoy if you'll be in Riga on the 18th of November. It is the Independance Day. In other towns of Latvia are parades and celebrations.

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  • Holidays in Latvia

    January 1 - New YearApril 11 - Easter SundayMay 1 - Labour DayMay 9 - Mother Day (2nd Sunday in May)June 23-24 - Ligo and Jani (summer solstice)November 11 - Lachplessis DayNovember 18 - The day of the proclamation of the Republic of LatviaDecember 24-26 Christmas (Ziemassvetki)December 31 New Year's Eve

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  • Flowers

    Well this is quite universal, but Latvians in particular like to offer flowers as a present. Apparently, it is costumary that in the bouquet that you offer the number of flowers must be odd, but the reason for this is unknown to me.In cas of need, you will find plenty of flower stalls in the streets of Riga and other Latvian towns.

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  • Looking at Scandinavia

    Latvia is in a disadvantageous position compared to Lithuania and Estonia. Sandwiched between the two of them and with Russia and Belarus to the East, it does not have easy access to the Western countries through Poland and it does not benefit from the paternalistic attitude of Finland towards Estonia. For this reason, Latvia tyes to establish a...

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  • Hitch-hiking

    Hitch-hiking seemed to be very popular in Latvia. In the most unsuspected places someone appeared from the middle of nowhere and asked for a lift. If you do not stop, chances are that they would have to wait for a long time until the next car passes by.Communication was really difficult with our very limited Russian and their reluctance to talk...

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  • Latvian people

    Latvian people seemed to us extremely reserved, in particular in the countryside. Sometimes we even had the impression that we scared them. And not that we are monsters!Only approximately the half of the population are ethnically Latvians, the rest are slaves, mostly Russians and White Russians. Only in the countryside are Latvians the large...

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  • The country that sings

    "The country that sings": that is the motto that the Latvian tourist board uses to promote the country as a tourist destination. I think it refers to the "singing revolution", but actually the only time I saw aLatvian singing (apart from the ESC, of course), was this folklore exhibition in Riga. This old lady was very enthusiastic, but her voice...

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  • Musicians

    Like in almost all European cities you can see musicians on the streets, singing or playing an instrument. But what I noticed in Riga was then all of them were elderly people. I guess that nobody of them was younger then 50. I also saw a lot of elderly people selling flowers or small handmade crafts in the streets.

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  • Beer

    As a German and as a beer lover (I know it is the same) I must try local beers. In Latvia I tasted "Utenos" and "Aldaris". I had them on the veranda of the motel near Ainazi. Both were very refreshing and tasty. I didn't stay long enough in Latvia to try all the other brands.

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  • Kvass - a local Drink

    I am not sure what it is exactly, some sort of malt drink. In any case it appears to be heavily popular in Latvia and can be bought in every supermarket. It might not be everyoneýs taste, but it is certainly worth a try.

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  • Five things the Baltic states DON’T have...

    1. Languages: All three national languages are different. Lithuanian and Latvian are related, but Estonian isn’t even in the same language family. 2. Each other: For all the proclamations about joint Baltic cooperation, Balts spend a surprising amount of time ignoring each other. If asked, most Balts would be hard pressed to name a single cultural...

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  • Latvian costumes

    The ones that have survived up to the present are the costumes worn on festive occasions. A national costume includes everything that its owner has made for wearing in various seasons and on various occasions.Since centuries ago the head covering served to signify the wearer’s marital status. It was unseemly for a married woman to go out...

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  • The flag

    The red-white-red Latvian flag have existed since the second half of the 13th century. Bearing a red flag with a white stripe ancient Latvian tribes went to war against ancient Estonian tribes. This ancient root would place the Latvian flag among the oldest flags of the world.

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  • Latvian winter celebration

    "Nâca veci, nâca jauni, Ziemassvçtku vakarâ; Jaunie nâca padejot, Vecie nâca desas çst." We found this Latvian folksong portraying the typical ancient Latvian winter celebration -- the young having a good time dancing and the oldies indulging themselves in culinary delights. Not that much has changed, really! Why not discover a bit more about the...

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  • One thing that struck me as...

    One thing that struck me as amazing, although not surprising, is the animosity felt by the Latvians (and Estonians while I was there) for the Soviets, Germans and to a lesser degree the Western countries. The Soviets because of all the pain and death that occured during te two occupations, the same with Germany and with the West because when WWII...

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  • many things to see and do in...

    many things to see and do in Riga though the weekends that I visit tend not to be enough..I would like to explore some of the more outlying area's and villages so if you get the chance,,go for, it....before I do

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  • What to buy in Latvia? ...

    What to buy in Latvia? Textiles in muted colours and stripes, often with symbolic meanings, shawls, rugs and such delightful wooden artefacts as children's toys don't merely belong in museums. You'll find them in shops, along with ceramics, fine china from The Riga Porcelain Factory, delicate Livanu glassware, baskets, leatherware and amber. Take...

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  • The festival of Lieldienas is...

    The festival of Lieldienas is celebrated during the Spring Equinox. The name itself (lit. Big day) conveys the cause for the celebration: on this day the light of the day begins to gain over the darkness of the night. Lieldienas is a festival that consists of a three-day unit (four days in a Leap Years): the first day is celebrated on Sunday and...

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  • The pop/rock band...

    The pop/rock band ''BrainStorm's'' single ''Online'' is out in stores, says the Internet homepage of the record company ''Mikrofona ieraksti''. The single also includes an instrumental version of ''Online'' and an acoustic version of the song in Latvian - ''Visskumjaka parade uz musu ielas'' (The Saddest Parade on Our Street). ''Online'' was...

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  • Yes, most of the songs are...

    Yes, most of the songs are nothing special. But the point, at least this year, is that in Latvia's third time in the Eurovision contest it has come away with a victory. Coupled with Estonia's win last year, the results should help convince any doubters that the Baltics are not some backwater region of Europe.I guess it's time to start saving for...

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  • There is an Association of...

    There is an Association of Castles and Manors in Latvia. I think in bookshops and Statoil tank-stations (and in every castle in Latvia) it is possible to get a full map of all teh castles and manors in Latvia and to visit them.

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  • In Alberta square visit the ...

    In Alberta square visit the 1800's Jugendstil architecture of Russian architect Mihail Eisenstein. Also visit museum of Riga's history and navigation in Palasta street 4 (closed Mon-Tue).

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  • We arrived in Sigulda around 8...

    We arrived in Sigulda around 8 PM. There was a car right in the middle of a crossing with an elder couple inside.. I suppose a crash or some mechanical problem. We went to look for a camping (which I suggest), set up our tent and at about 10 PM we came back looking for somewhere to eat... the car was still there with the two inhabitants inside....

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  • they learned! if you enter a...

    they learned! if you enter a castle or a museum you can pay three or for times! The first to enter the area, the second to visit the tower, the third to visit the private exibition inside the tower........

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  • The most famous Latvian...

    The most famous Latvian performer nowadays is 'Brainstorm' ('Prata Vetra' in Latvian). They have got third place on Eurosong contest in 2000, so Latvians are very proud of them. They sing in English. Another great musician is Raimonds Pauls - he became famous in the times of USSR, when he wrote songs for popular Soviet singers.

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Latvia Hotels

See all 252 Hotels in Latvia
  • Reval Hotel Ridzene

    This year - hotel Ridzene again. The main hotel's advantage is its very quiet location in the very...

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  • Prieka Pietura

    Stacijas 6, Sigulda, LV 2150, Latvia

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

  • Atputa Hotel

    Cirulisu 49, Cesis, LV-4101, Latvia

    Satisfaction: Average

    Good for: Solo

  • Hotel Juras Brize

    Vasarnicu 34, Ventspils, 3601, Latvia

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

  • Jana Nams

    Only one night stay, but very enjoyable all the same. Easy to find, close to the town centre, warm...

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  • Juras Banga

    Juras 30, Jurmala, Latvia

    Satisfaction: Average

    Good for: Couples

  • Park Hotel Latgola

    I stayed here for one night in 2010 on my trek (a luxury coach) up through Scandinavia into Russia...

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  • Promenade Hotel

    Veca Ostmala 40, Liepaja, 3401, Latvia

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

    Hotel Class 4.5 out of 5 stars

  • Day & Night Hotel Bauska

    Slimnicas iela 7, Bauska, LV-3901, Latvia

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

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Latvia Local Customs

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