LatviaLatvia

Year of EU entry: 2004

Capital city: Riga

Total area: 65 000 km²

Population: 2.3 million

Currency: Member of the eurozone since 2014 (€)

Schengen area: Member of the Schengen area since 2007

Latvia

Latvia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Situated on the Baltic coast, Latvia is a low-lying country with large forests that supply timber for construction and paper industries. The environment is rich in wildlife. Latvia also produces consumer goods, textiles and machine tools. The country attracts tourists from all over Europe.

Ethnically, the population is 59% Latvian and 29% Russian, and more than a third live in the capital Riga. Founded in 1201, Riga is the largest city in the three Baltic states with a population of 730 000. Its Freedom Statue is one of the highest monuments in Europe, at 43 metres.

The 100-seat unicameral Latvian Parliament, the Saeima , is elected by direct, popular vote every four years. The president is elected by the Parliament, also every four years.

Among the best-known Latvians are the expressionist painter Mark Rothko and the contemporary composer Peteris Vasks.

Characteristic specialities of Latvian cuisine are speķapīrādziņi (bacon pies) and a refreshing, cold sour cream soup.

Useful links

CONTACT

General information enquiries

Call
00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 See details of service

E-mail your questions

Contact and visit details for institutions, press contacts

Latvia

Help us improve

Find what you wanted?

YesNo

What were you looking for?

Any suggestions?