Latvia

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PRACTICAL INFORMATION

 

Currency - Business hours - Transportation - Internet - Basic conversation guide - Langages spoken


Currency

The currency is the Lats or LVL.

 

Automatic Teller Machines (ATM)
To find out the locations of ATMs in Latvia , click on the link to your credit card: Visa, Mastercard or American Express


Business hours

8.30 or 9 AM to 12.30 AM or 1 PM and 1.30 or 2 PM to 4.30 or 5 PM. However, on Friday, offices close at 3 or 3.30 PM.



Transportation

Road
The main freeways are well maintained, secondary roads are in bad condition, often not asphalted. Frequent police controls; speed is limited to 50 km:h in cities, 90 km/h on roads. It is compulsory to turn your headlights on, day and night all year long from April 1st 1999. Supply in fuel is hard to find in the country, but not on the main roads. The civil liability insurance is compulsory with a local insurer (the "green card" is not recognized yet in Latvia). It is possible to rent cars with or without chauffeur. For fearless persons, urban public transports are advised. Otherwise, it is advised to ride a taxi: easy to find and prices are reasonable.



Rail
It is very slow. Travelling by bus is frequent.

Air
The company "Air Baltic", a franchise of S.A.S, and all the Occidental companies seem to offer all the safety guarantees. The other local, Russian and bielorussian companies, on the other hand, do not seem to offer the same guarantees.

 


Internet

The Internet suffix is: .lv



Languages spoken

The official language of Latvia is Latvian. This country, with 2.5 million inhabitants is home to several linguistic communities. Indeed, it is important to note that only 54.5% of the population speaks Latvian. As far as minorities are concerned, 33.5% of the citizens speak Russian and 4.1 % speak Byelorussian. Finally, Ukrainian is spoken by 3% of the population, Polish by 2.2%, Lithuanian by 1.7%, Yiddish by 0.5%, Tatar by 0.2% and Estonian by 0.1%.


Last modified in January 2006
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