Latvia is an amazing country, with so many exciting things to do and lots of beautiful, historic things to see. It’s also got a lot of stunning nature to explore, which makes it the perfect destination for almost every type of tourist. If you’re thinking of visiting Latvia, then check out these 8 major don’ts of Latvia, to help ensure you have a fantastic trip!
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Why Visit Latvia?
Why visit Latvia? Latvia is a unique country with an abundance of enthralling sights and experiences to offer. With beautiful nature and a friendly atmosphere, Latvia should be a top spot on your list of travel destinations.
First and foremost, Latvia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful scenery. Rolling hills, lush forests, picturesque lakes and rivers, and stunning beaches are all awaiting exploration. If you love the outdoors, Latvia should be an ideal location to visit.
Latvia also offers many historical and cultural sites that people can enjoy. St. Peter’s Church in Riga, a long-standing symbol of Latvian culture and religion, is an amazing piece of architecture to explore and admire. There are a few other churches, like the Dome Cathedral of Riga and the Church of the Holy Trinity in Riga as well. Other noteworthy attractions include museums such as the Museum of Occupation of Latvia.
Finally, Latvia is also known for its delicious culinary delights. In towns across the country, you can find traditional Latvian fare like sandwiches stuffed with a variety of smoked fish, fresh salads, marinated pork and a variety of tasty soups. Also popular are the famous Latvian dark beers, and the various desserts – such as rye bread cake and honey cake – that tastefully capture the sweet essence of Latvian culture.
Additionally, Latvia is a very welcoming and friendly country. The people of Latvia strive to be kind and accommodating to visitors, making it a wonderful experience for tourists who visit.
Overall, Latvia offers a unique combination of nature, history, culture, and cuisine. With its breathtaking natural beauty and friendly atmosphere, Latvia should certainly be high on your list of places to visit.
Related Post: Top 10 Reasons To Visit Riga, Latvia
What is Latvia best known for?
What is Latvia best known for? Latvia is best known for its incredible natural scenery. One of the most recognizable and renowned places in Latvia is Gauja National Park.
Located in the north of the country, the park stretches for close to 80 kilometres of the valley of the Gauja River. It is absolutely stunning and provides an incredibly scenic backdrop for a variety of outdoor activities.
The Gauja National Park features an incredibly diverse ecosystem that is home to hundreds of species of trees and plants.
The park also boasts a wide variety of wildlife, such as deer, lynxes and wild boars. This makes it a great place to visit if you’re an animal lover and want to try and spot some safely.
Hiking and biking are popular activities here, as visitors can travel down winding trails and explore the magical forests, stunning caves, and ancient castles. Picturesque sandstone cliffs line the rivers and offer some amazing rock-climbing opportunities, while the banks of the river are filled with serene beaches and spots for swimming.
Things to do in Latvia:
If you’re visiting Latvia, then check out some of the best things to do in Latvia that I’d recommend:
- Riga Sightseeing Tour by Canal Boat – Take a unique look at Riga with an unforgettable Canal Boat Tour. Float down the canals and marvel at the city’s stunning architecture while you explore its beautiful churches, parks, and bridges. Come explore the charming beauty of Riga, you wont regret it!
- Riga Central Market Latvia Food Tour – Experience the delicious flavours of Riga on a gastronomical adventure with a local! Join the Riga Central Market Food Tour and get an in-depth look at this beautiful city’s vibrant culture and traditional cuisine.
- House of The Blackhead Entrance – Explore the majestic House of the Blackheads in Riga, Latvia, and experience the beauty and charm of this iconic landmark firsthand! Take in the stunning architecture and soak in the vibrant history of Riga with its most iconic and most beautiful building in the country.
Don’ts of Latvia – 8 Things Not To Do in Latvia:
If you’re thinking of visiting Latvia, then check out these 8 major don’ts of Latvia that you need to know:
1. Don’t disrespect Latvia’s nature
One of the biggest don’ts of Latvia is that when visiting Latvia, it is important to remember to respect the country’s pristine environment.
Latvia is home to some of the world’s most untouched natural beauty, and it is important to take time during your trip to appreciate and enjoy it. Latvia boasts an incredible array of nature to explore, from its stunning shorelines and pristine forests to its vivid flower meadows and vibrant sparkling creeks.
It is important to be mindful of your impact on the environment when visiting, as Latvia’s untouched beauty is something that should be celebrated and preserved. Whether it’s picking up after yourself in the great outdoors, minimizing litter, or refraining from disturbing wildlife, be sure to show your respect for this special part of the world.
2. Don’t make eye contact for no reason
As a tourist in Latvia, you should be aware that it is considered somewhat rude to make eye contact for no reason.
Latvians are usually quite reserved with strangers, and making direct eye contact with them can be deemed as somewhat intrusive. It’s best to be respectful of the local culture and avoid large or intense stares at strangers.
If you’re engaging in conversation with a Latvian, direct eye contact is fine, but make sure to remain respectful throughout the conversation. Latvians are usually very conservative and value courtesy and politeness, so it is best to be mindful of their cultural values when visiting.
3. Don’t visit Latvia without trying any Latvian food!
When visiting Latvia, another one of the biggest don’ts is forgetting to give Latvian food a try. There are a wide variety of delicious and unique dishes to discover, so make sure they’re on your menu while travelling.
Latvian cuisine is hearty and tasty, often featuring fish, pork, and fresh vegetables. Popular dishes include potato pancakes, fried pork neck, and traditional rye bread with garlic and kvass soup.
Latvian comfort food is something not to be missed – and you’ll be wanting to visit Latvia again just for the food!
4. Don’t forget to learn a bit of Latvian
When visiting Latvia, it is polite to learn a few phrases of Latvian. Although English is widely spoken throughout the country, the locals will appreciate the gesture and effort that comes with earnestly attempting to converse in their native language.
There are a variety of online and offline resources available to learn some basics before arriving. It doesn’t take too much time and effort to come prepared with several key phrases, and the locals will appreciate the courtesy.
Learning a bit of Latvian will also help visitors to better understand the culture and to connect with the locals more authentically. Show your respect for the country by taking the time to learn a few phrases before visiting.
5. Don’t just stay in Riga
When visiting Latvia, don’t just stay in Riga – explore other places too! Latvia is home to some incredible attractions outside of the capital city.
Whether you’re interested in culture, outdoor activities, nature, or historical sites, Latvia offers something for everyone.
Step into a different world as you explore the stunning tangle of Old City streets in Liepaja, the sandy beaches of Liepaja, or the quaint villages throughout the country. Latvia has everything from picturesque pastoral landscapes to historical settlements, so make sure to take the time to explore what other parts of the country have to offer.
6. Don’t comment on Latvian-Russian relations
As a tourist in Latvia, it is important not to comment on Latvian-Russian relations. Latvia has a complex and often difficult relationship with Russia, so it is best to avoid bringing up the topic of politics while there.
As Latvians are proud of their country, tourists should be sure to show the same respect for Latvian politics that they would expect in their own country. Instead of discussing the relationship between the two countries, focus instead on enjoying the beauty of Latvian culture together.
7. Don’t forget to cover up when visiting churches
When visiting Latvian churches, it’s important not to forget to cover up and wear respectful clothing. Most Latvians are very religious, and the church is an important part of their culture.
To show proper respect and courtesy, tourists should dress modestly and cover up while visiting Latvian churches. This usually includes wearing long clothing to cover arms and legs, and removing headwear such as hats and sunglasses.
It is important to remember that Latvian churches are sacred grounds, so visitors should always dress appropriately and show respect.
8. Don’t enter a bar or restaurant where the prices aren’t on the menu
When visiting Latvia, it is important not to enter bars or restaurants without knowing the prices first.
In order to avoid being scammed, tourists should always ask about menu prices before ordering – sometimes restaurants may have hidden fees or unexpectedly high prices. This could lead to a difficult (and expensive) situation for the tourist.
By remembering to ask questions, it can help you avoid getting scammed while still enjoying the delicious Latvian cuisine. Always be sure to ask about the prices before entering a bar or restaurant.
Yes, Latvians are generally friendly to foreigners, although their reserved nature can make them seem slightly aloof initially. However, socializing with Latvians usually leads to a welcoming atmosphere, and locals are more than happy to help out travellers who take the time to get to know them.
Latvian people are known for their resilient and independent nature, as well as their strong traditions and customs. Latvians have a deep respect for the land and nature, making them environmentally-minded and excellent stewards of their homeland. A strongly-embedded sense of nationalism also runs through Latvian culture, and the people are proud of their heritage and history.
Yes, Riga is safe for female tourists, although it is always wise to exercise caution. The city is generally very safe, but as with any destination, it is best to stay aware of your surroundings and take common-sense safety precautions. It is also advised to avoid walking alone at night, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the area.
Don’ts of Latvia – Conclusion:
Hopefully, you’ve learnt about the 8 major don’ts of Latvia to make your trip to the brilliant country as best as possible after reading this post! Which don’ts of Latvia surprised you the most? Are there any don’ts of Latvia that you know of but weren’t mentioned in this post? Let me know in the comments section down below! If you liked this post, and would like to read some other similar posts, then these are what I’d recommend: