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Welcome to RIGA
an extra service of European City Guide / ECG
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Information about RIGA The country itself Latvia may be less famous than its capital Riga that is more than 800 years old and one of the most beautiful cities of the Baltic region. Over a decade after Latvia declared independence from the Soviet Union, Riga is a city on the up and up. About a third of the population of Latvia lives in the capital and for all purposes it is the best base for exploring the country. Since Latvia is relatively small, most of the other sights can be seen as daytrips from the capital. When in the 14th and 15th centuries Riga became one of the most important trade centers of the Hanseatic League, the city was granted special rights to transport goods along the Daugava further to the East. Nowadays, Riga is also an important transport junction. The main elements that make the city as a transit center are the harbor of Riga, the Riga international airport and developed railway and road networks. The historically developed transportation infrastructure has facilitated Riga's evolution as the major industrial and business center in the Baltic region. The city is well known for its architectural and cultural values, skilful labor and developed infrastructure. The urban fabric of its medieval center reflects this prosperity, although most of its earlier buildings have been destroyed by fire and war. In the 19th century it became a very important economic center, and the suburbs of the medieval town were built, first in imposing wooden buildings in classical style and then in Jugendstil. It is generally recognized that Riga contains the finest concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in Europe. Riga is not only the backbone of Latvia's economy but also the largest center of education and science. This is confirmed by a large number of cultural events, international exhibitions, scientific conferences and seminars that every year take place in Riga. Unfortunately it is increasingly suffering from all of the problems that face any large metropolis, with crime including robbery and mugging of tourists on the rise. Any lingering images of Communist deprivations, however, are quickly blasted away by a stroll around this city, with its gleaming renovated buildings, its fashion conscious mobile-phone carrying youth and the new bars and cafés that seem to be opening everywhere. On a sunny day, as the smart office workers vie for space in the city’s grand squares with students clad in all the latest designer gear, this could be anywhere in Europe. Things have not always been so good for the Latvian capital, as throughout its turbulent history it has been routinely sacked, occupied, reoccupied and then sacked again, by everyone from the Teutonic Knights and the Swedes, through to the French and the Polish. In the 20th century came devastating invasions by the Nazis and Stalin. The Soviets left behind the eyesore housing estates on the city’s periphery and some lingering Stalinist era architecture. But their traces gradually are being paved over. Riga’s winter can indeed be long, dark and bitter but spring and summer days are often blessed with balmy daytime temperatures and long hours of daylight. When the sun shines, the city’s numerous parks fill up, tables spill out of cafés and revellers laze along the city canal in rowing boats, in a scene that is more Mediterranean than Eastern European
 
Available Trades in RIGA ADVERTISING - MARKETING - COMMUNICATION & GRAPHIC DESIGN
AGRICULTURE - LIVESTOCK - PISCICULTURE & FORESTRY SERVICES
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
ARCHITECTS - DESIGNERS - ENGINEERS & SURVEYORS
ART - ANTIQUES & HANDICRAFTS
ASSOCIATIONS & ORGANISATIONS
AUDIO-VIDEO - ELECTRONIC & HOUSEHOLD APLLIANCES
AVIATION & MARITIME SERVICES
BANKING - FINANCING & INSURANCE
BARS - RESTAURANTS - CAFES - CLUBS & CATERING
BUSINESS SERVICES
CHEMICALS & PHARMACEUTICALS
CHILD CARE & NURSERY GOODS
CIVIC CENTRES - LIBRARIES & ARCHIVES
CLOTHING - TEXTILES & ACCESSORIES
CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS
EDUCATION & TRAINING
ELECTRONICS & ELECTROTHECHNICS
ENERGY - GAS - ELECTRICITY &WATER - SERVICES
ENTERTAINMENT & LEISURE
ENVIRONMENT & RECYCLING
ESOTERISM & ASTROLOGY
FOOD - BEVERAGE & NEWSAGENTS
FREIGHT TRANSPORT - STORAGE & PACKAGING
FURNITURE & CARPENTRY SERVICES
GOVERMENT OFFICES & SERVICES
HEALTH & BEAUTY
HOTELS
HOUSE & GARDEN
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - MANUFACTURING & SUPPLIERS
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & TELECOMMUNICATIONS
JEWELLERS & WATCHMAKERS
LEGAL SERVICES
MECHANIC - HYDRAULIC & PNEUMATIC INDUSTRY
MEDICINE & MEDICAL SERVICES
METAL & STEEL INDUSTRY
MINES & MILLS
MOTORING
MULTIMEDIA & COMPUTER GAMES
MUSEUMS - ART GALLERIES & AUTION ROOMS
MUSIC - LITERARY - ARTISTIC & CULTURAL ACTIVITES
OFFICE SUPPLIERS & SERVICES
OPTICIANS & HEARING AIDS
PASSENGER TRANSPORT - CHAUFFEURS & TAXI SERVICES
PETROCHEMICALS
PETS & VETERINARIANS
PHARMACY
PHOTOGRAPHY
PLASTIC & RUBBER INDUSTRY
PUBLISHING & PRINTING
REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY SERVICES
RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES & FUNERAL SERVICES
RESIDENTIAL HOMES & CARE SERVICES
SALES & SERVICES - MAIL ORDER & E-SHOPPING
SCIENCE - INVESTIGATION & DEVELOPMENT
SERVICES & AGENCIES
SOUND RECORDING - EVENT STAGING & PRODUCTION
SPORTS & OUTDOOR PURSUITS
TECHNOLOGY & TECHNICAL SERVICES
TOURISM - TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION
TRADE & BUSINESS - IMPORT-EXPORT & WHOLESALER
TRADE FAIRS & CONFERENCES
TRADE PROFESSIONALS & CRAFTSMENT
 


LATVIA

General Information
Capital: Riga
Area: 64,589 km2
Population: 2.3 million (2008).
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are in use.
IDD: +371
Timezone: + GMT +2 Hrs (+3 Hrs APR-OCT)

Language
Language: 58% Latvian (official). 38% Russian, Lithuanian and other.

Government
Government: Parliamentary democracy

Religion
Religion: Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Russian-Orthodox

Health
Health: The following vaccinations are recommended: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus.

Currency
Currency: Latvian Lats (LVL) 1.00 = 100 Santims

Exchange Rate
Exchange Rate: All 100.00 = USD = 46.7142 LVL EUR = 70.2804 LVL GBP = 76.7102 LVL - CHF = 46.4718 LVL

Business Hours
Business Hours: Mon-Fri: 08.30-17.30

Speed Limit
Speed Limit: Cities: 50 km/h, Outside Cities: 90/110 km/h

Traffic
Traffic: Traffic drives on the right. Minimum age 18 years. Wearing of seat belts is compulsory.

Driving License
Driving License: European nationals should be in possession of an EU licence, otherwise an International Driving Permit is required. Third-party insurance is compulsory. Insurance and vehicle registration documents, as well as your licence, should be kept with you when driving. Seat belt use is compulsory in the front and back. Headlights must be used at all times. Mobile speed traps are common. The use of mobile telephones while driving is forbidden. The minimum age for drivers to hire a car is 21 years.

Climate
Climate: Maritime; cold winters and warm summers

Temperatures
 
Temperatures:
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
A-5-5-25111417161262-3
P312927334445537064626247
S12467111096311
A=Aver. Daily Temp. (°C)
P=Precipitation (mm)
S=Sunshine (Hrs/Month)

Mobile Network
Mobile Network: GSM 900/1800 – 3G 2100

GPS
GPS: 56 57 N, 24 6 E

Shopping Hours
Shopping Hours: Mon-Fri: 09.00/10.00-18.00/19.00 and Sat: 09.00/10.00-16.00/17.00. Some smaller shops may be closed between 14.00-15.00 for lunch. Food shops open 08.00/09.00-20.00/21.00


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