Latvia lies south of Estonia and is well-known for its tranquil nature and fresh, clean air. Latvia is popular among its visitors for its historical capital city Riga and large-scale art and music festivals.
Latvia lies between Estonia and Lithuania and also borders Russia and Belarus. Its capital city Riga is the biggest city in the Baltics with a population of around 700,000. Riga is well-known for its Art Nouveau and wooden architecture, and an Old Town included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 2014, Riga was also announced the European Capital of Free WiFi.
Culture savvy visitors can savour a leisurely guided tours at the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre and the baroque Rundale Palace. Thrill-seekers on the other hand can take a flight at Aerodium wind tunnel in Sigulda. Nearby you can also take a ride on the Baltics’ only cable car that crosses the ancient Gauja river valley with views of the majestic Turaida Castle, the long and winding bobsleigh track and sumptuous green forests.
Alongside Estonia, Latvia is also one of the EU’s most forested member states, with forest covering more than 50% of its territory. The unspoilt nature, sand and pebble beaches in areas like the Kurzeme coastline provide ample opportunity for those who appreciate water sports, hiking and cycling.
Every summer, Latvian festivals such as the Baltics’ biggest music festival Positivus and Cesis Art Festival attract thousands of visitors of all ages from across Europe.
Getting from Latvia to Estonia
The distance between Riga and Tallinn is about 300 kilometers. Riga airport is a major transport hub hosting over 70 direct flights, many offered by airBaltic, Latvia's national airline. Regular flights from Riga to Tallinn depart couple of times a day. Regular coaches from Riga coach station to Tallinn, Tartu and Pärnu leave every hour or so. You can take a train from Riga and the popular towns of Cēsis and Sigulda to Estonian cities by changing in Valga. Visitors should note that the train service might be more time-consuming in comparison to the alternative transportation. Latvia is an EU member state and part of the Schengen Area, making for a convenient travel experience for visitors looking to travel between the Baltics and mainland Europe.