Latvia Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Latvia
How safe is Latvia?
Threat level: Low-Medium
The general travel advice for Latvia is that there is a low risk of terrorism in the country, and that travellers are advised to remain vigilant in relation to crime and in particular street crime
Tourists can sometimes be overcharged for drinks in areas such as bars and clubs, this can be avoided by seeking bars and clubs recommended by sources, such as hotel staff or holidaymakers.
Latvia has strained relations with neighbouring Russia, as Russia attempts to affect the country’s national security. This has stemmed from the belief that Russian minorities in Baltic countries are being unfairly persecuted and disadvantaged due to their ethnic background. Behaviour displayed by Russia include economic sanctions and displays of military power close to the Latvia border. 2016 saw internal and external security become the primary focus of the government.
Latvia does not have particularly high crime rate, and there is generally little issues with civil unrest. There is a minor risk of pick pocketing, petty theft and robbery, mainly in the capital city Riga. It is recommended that you avoid unlit streets and parks when it is dark, as this increases the risk of being targeted. Do not leave valuable unattended in vehicles as theft, especially in Riga, is common.
Latvia's International Relations
Latvia is a part of many organisations including the United Nations, Council of Europe, International Monetary Funds, UNICEF and many more. It joined the European Union in 2004.
The country maintains good relations with most European countries including United Kingdom and France, as well as holding embassies for South Africa, Canada, USA, China and varying other non-European countries.
Travelling around Latvia
Any European Union visitors are able to use their driving licence to operate a vehicle in Latvia. Non-EU countries may have to apply for an international driving licence, without this your vehicle could be confiscated by the police. Contact your local embassy for more details. If you are bringing a vehicle into Latvia, you must ensure you have your original vehicle registration documents with you. Failure to carry these will mean you cannot take your vehicle out of Latvia at the end of your stay.
Latvian regulations require drivers to use their vehicle’s headlights at all times, regardless of the conditions outside. During the winter months between December and March, winter tyres must be fitted and all vehicles must have a first aid kit and emergency travel equipment. It is important to be cautious on the roads as the rate of traffic collisions and fatalities in Latvia are one of the highest in Europe.
Emergency services in Latvia:
Police emergency: 110
Fire emergency: 112
Medical emergency: 113
The universal 112 number is available in Latvia. Calls to 112 can be answered in Latvian, English or Russian. Alternatively, you can reach the police at 110 or ambulance at 113.
The emergency number for a gas leakage is 114.
Time now in Riga:
Consular information for Latvia
U.S. Embassy Riga
Samnera Velsa iela 1,
Telephone: + 371 6710 7000
Telephone: + 371 2920 5708 (Out of hours)
British Embassy Riga
5, J.Alunana iela
Telephone: +371 6777 4700
Visa requirements for Latvia
Latvia is part of the Schengen Agreement and thus, most countries can enter Latvia for up to 90 days without the requirement of a visa. If you are unsure whether your country is included, contact your nearest Latvian Embassy.
Healthcare and Immunisations
It is advised that visitors to Latvia are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers get Tetanus and Hepatitis A vaccinations. You may also want to consider vaccinations for Hepatitis B and Tick-borne Encephalitis. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Generally health facilities in Latvia are a good standard. For European citizens, an EHIC card will allow you to access state-provided medical treatment if necessary on your trip.
Ensure adequate travel insurance is purchased before entering the country as medical evacuation may be required in the event of a serious injury or emergency.