Latvia is one of my favorite European countries I have traveled. From bustling nightlife, delicious food, and enchanting architecture, it is a great place to explore. It's extremely underrated for what they have to offer and is a great budget destination for travelers wanting to see Europe.
What to Expect
Official language: Latvian
Safety: Latvia is a very safe country as is its capital, Riga. I felt safe walking around as a solo traveler.
Latvia is most famous for its bustling capital, Riga. It is the largest capital out of the 3 Baltic states. This is one of my favorite European cities I have been to. I was surprised at how trendy it was! On top of it being famous for its Art Nouveau style of architecture and rich history, it's a bustling city with so many things to do. The countryside of Latvia offers many lakes, dense forests, and beautifully preserved castles.
Flying into Riga, Latvia's capital, can be quite expensive. A roundtrip flight from the USA can cost up to 1,000 USD. If you are already planning on spending time in the Baltic region, it is accessible from Tallinn, Estonia. The cheapest and shortest way to travel to Riga is by bus. It will cost about 12-16 USD through the company, EcoLines. The duration takes about 5 hours, but it's a nice way to get to see a taste of the Baltic's countryside.
Best Time to Visit
April-September is the best time to visit Latvia. With summer comes amazing cultural festivals, making it a great time to learn about Latvian traditions.
Where to Stay
With Latvia being a small country, Riga is a perfect city to base yourself. You can easily take day trips to discover the castles along the countryside. Riga will have the most for you to do between shopping, eating, and nightlife. You can find anything from hotels to hostels costing 80 USD per night to 15 USD per night for a dorm style bed.
I have stayed at Cinnamon Sally Backpackers Hostel and Naughty Squirrel Hostel. Both hostels cost about 20 USD for a dorm style bed. Cinnamon Sally is a great hostel if you are looking to socialize, but still catch some sleep. Naughty Squirrel is a party hostel and is around the corner from some amazing places to drink and dance. They offer pub crawls almost every night so you can ensure you will have a wild time during your stay there.