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Latvia - Life of a Digital Nomad | Work - Travel - Repeat

Latvia

Latvia

Etymology

The name Latvija is derived from the name of the ancient Latgalians, one of four Indo-European Baltic tribes (along with Couronians, Selonians and Semigallians), which formed the ethnic core of modern Latvians together with the Finnic Livonians. Henry of Latvia coined the Latinisations of the country’s name, “Lettigallia” and “Lethia”, both derived from the Latgalians. The terms inspired the variations on the country’s name in Romance languages from “Letonia” and in several Germanic languages from “Lettland”. [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

LV Sharing Economy Meetup – This group is the ideal place for meeting professionals and enthusiasts interested in Sharing Economy principles and opportunities in Latvia. [meetup]

Riga Ethereum Talks – Hier you can appoint a talk somewhere in Riga about Ethereum and other crypto-currencies and crypto-law systems. This group is for both Riga people and travelers who stays hier just for day(s). [meetup]

Riga Marketing Lab – If you are working for the start-up and if you eager to work on the marketing strategy, this is the right place to be. Meetups once in three months together with marketing proffessionals from different businesses. [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Badoo.com – A massive worldwide online dating site launched in 2006, Badoo is an OK option for Latvia. If you do a search of active people over the last month, you will turn up a lot of people in your search results. The problem with Badoo is the same problem you will have using this site in any country…you will have to weed through a lot of low quality profiles in order to locate real people. [visa hunter]

Mamba.ru – I’m usually not a fan of Mamba as a primary dating option because there are a lot of trash profiles on the site. However, for Latvia it is truly the best launching point for your Latvian online dating adventure. Don’t be surprised to find women on there that lie about their age or are looking for a visa sponsor or “client.” The good thing is that Mamba is completely free, and I know people who use this site as their sole online dating tool for Russia and Ukraine. [visa hunter]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

In Your Pocket – One could easily stroll about Old Riga’s meandering streets and ancient alleyways for days, but for most travellers time is at a premium and a long journey is a luxury few can afford. With this in mind, we’ve prepared a condensed walking tour which includes many of Old Riga’s best sights. [in your pocket]

Discover Latvia Tours – First of all, we are people. We are ordinary people as you would meet anywhere else in the world. People who like to live, feel, see new things, enjoy, love and have fun. Just like you! We are very enthusiastic about what we do, we are always looking for new achievements, thinking positively whatever happens and are keen on discovering all new. We enjoy spending time outdoors whether we throw ourselves into wild adventures or just hanging out on the beach. [discover-latvia]

Like a Local Guide – Best things in life are free! Funny guides with a different approach to seeing Riga. Starts at 12:00 everyday from St Peters Church. Look for the yellow suitcase. [like a local guide]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Chill and thrill in Sigulda – Just 50 km from Riga, Sigulda is a natural wonderland with attractions for everyone. Hike in the beautiful forested valleys, take a trip back in time at the medieval castles or get an adrenaline rush bungee jumping, bobsleighing or flying in the Aerodium wind tunnel. [latvia]

Enjoy an action-packed year – Latvia offers wonderful events throughout the year to experience. Enjoy pagan festivities at Midsummer with beer, song and jumping over the bonfie, or rock your socks off at the Positivus music festival by the sea. [latvia]

Find your perfect beach – With 500 km of coastline, Latvia offers a stunning array of beaches. For a seaside holiday in style, head for Jurmala (Jūrmala), a multicultural resort just 30 minutes from Riga offering everything from beach football and volleyball to opera concerts. Or head a bit further out to the Livonian Coast, a region of pristine pine-fringed beaches, tiny fishing villages and no other people for miles. [latvia]

Get a natural high – With half of its territory taken up by forests and a good portion of the rest rich in lakes, rivers and picturesque countryside, Latvia is a nature-lover’s paradise. Enjoy berry or mushroom gathering in the woods, fall in love with timeless farmhouses and check out the gorgeous national parks. [latvia]

Heart and soul central – To get off the beaten track and find yourself, head for Latvia’s soulful eastern region Latgale. Known as “the land of the blue lakes,” Latgale entices with unspoiled nature, beautiful churches, ancient pottery traditions and legendary hospitality. [latvia]

Latvian cuisine – Latvian cuisine is earning increasing international praise for its innovative approach and superb local ingredients. And it’s available for every budget, from great-value country guesthouses to fancy restaurants in the capital. Whether it’s caraway-seed cheese and craft beer at Midsummer, black bread, smoked fish or cured ham at a market, or wonderful seasonal mushroom or berry dishes, Latvia will make your mouth water. [latvia]

Mind your manors – Latvia’s rolling green countryside is sprinkled with delightful manor houses courtesy of the old aristocracy, and many are open to the public. Be captivated on a tour of Rundale Palace (Rundāles pils), an 18th century Baroque masterpiece with an amazing rose garden. Or stay the night in style at Neogothic Rumene Manor (Rūmenes muiža) or Classical Malpils Manor (Mālpils muiža). [latvia]

Slow down and smell the flowers – Or simply distress in a land that brings people and nature into harmony. As the saying goes, Latvia is best enjoyed slowly! [latvia]

Small towns with big personalities – Latvia’s small towns are unique worlds offering beautiful sights, rich culture and warm hospitality. Kuldiga (Kuldīga) is a blend of Baroque masterpieces, atmospheric wooden houses and waterways that have earned it the nickname “the Venice of the North.” Cesis (Cēsis) offers an authentic medieval atmosphere including a castle encircled by a luscious park and diverse artistic and musical events. And enjoy the wonderful attractions of Latvia’s other towns, from beaches to Soviet bunkers. [latvia]

Step back in time – With over 800 years of history, Riga’s Old Town is an architectural gem that captivates history buffs and romantics alike. Admire soaring St. Peter’s church and stately Doma Cathedral, ornate wonders like the House of Blackheads, ancient walls, timeless cobblestoned lanes and much more. And a mulled wine in a cosy café, or a refreshing pint at a fun-filled beer garden are also essentials. [latvia]

Festivals

Festivals

Latvia Beer Fest – The Latvian Beer Fest in May is a massive annual event in the capital. Contrary to its name, though all of the festival is not spent drinking. There are plenty of musical performances and competitions to enjoy. Latvians love a cold one so rejoice in the best food and drinks in the Baltics. [iexplore]

Latvian Song and Dance Festival – Even though the Latvian Song and Dance Festival is only held once every five years, it is still one of the most prolific events staged in the Baltic. Around since 1873 in the city of Riga, more than 30,000 performers are brought together. Add in thousands of spectators, and the festival becomes one of the biggest events in Europe. It is held in July and the next one will be in 2013. [iexplore]

Metalshow.lv Open Air – Metalshow.lv Open Air is a two day bonanza of rock and heavy metal performances, held in the township of Blome. The festival operates during the month of July, which is similar to many other events in Latvia due to the warm, pleasant weather. Europe’s biggest names and international favorites all join the lineup. [iexplore]

Positivus Festival – The Positivus Festival is a summer music event that began in 2007. Lasting for two days in the city of Salacgriva, there is a range of genres found throughout the course of the event, which attracts thousands of avid music enthusiasts, plus the world’s most popular musicians and bands. Held the third week of July smack dab in the middle of summer, there is a camp site across from the main venue for accommodations at your disposal. [iexplore]

Riga Salsa Festival – Held in June every year, the Riga Salsa Festival is one of the more popular celebrations in Latvia’s capital. The event only began in 2005, but with each passing year sees more people coming out to celebrate. Today, famous salsa dancers from nearby countries like Spain and Portugal make their way to the largest salsa event in the Baltic Region, and one of the most popular in all of Europe. [iexplore]

Saulkrasti Jazz Festival – One of Europe’s most renowned jazz festivals, this says a lot seeing as there are so many throughout the year. Only running since 1997, the last decade has seen a dramatic increase in the popularity so be sure to book your Latvian accommodations well in advance. There is also a music camp and a concert specifically for musicians. [iexplore]

Zvera – Although not overly commercialized, Zvera is still quite a popular music event held in the town of Lasupe. Rock bands from across the Europe play for crowds of thousands for three days in July. [iexplore]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Bus – Buses are probably the quickest and most convenient way to travel around Latvia. There is a vast network of bus routes around the country. You can buy bus tickets at bus stations or on the bus when boarding. If you have luggage, ask the bus driver to put it into the trunk. It depends on the company whether they will charge extra for storing your luggage. There are express bus connections to all major towns, which will save travellers time. On Fridays and Saturdays, buses can be quite crowded in the outbound direction from Riga. [hotel travel]

Car – Driving in Latvia is popular, as the main roads are good and distances aren’t great. Driving is done on the right side, and there are 24-hour petrol stations along all the major roads. To rent a car, you must be at least 21 years old and have held your license for one year. Drivers under the age of 25 may incur a young drivers’ surcharge. An International Drivers License is required for car rental. The wearing of seatbelts is mandatory. [hotel travel]

Rail – Latvia has an extensive rail network to most major destinations within the country. However, this has been cut back in recent years due to budget constraints. Services tend to be slow and often you will have to take a bus from the end of the railway line to reach your final destination. [hotel travel]

Taxi – Latvia is no different than any other major tourist destination in the world. Taxi drivers drive in a manner that you might not approve of and they often try to overcharge you. To be safe, always make sure that the meter is turned on and working before you start the trip. If they tell you that the meter is broken, consider taking another taxi. [hotel travel]

Tram – Riga has a good tram network, with eight lines operating out of the Old City. Tickets are inexpensive and can be bought on board the tram. [hotel travel]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Agile Latvia – Community goal is to spread information about agile practices amongst Latvian software development professionals and industry newcomers. [meetup]

Frontend Meetup Riga – Meetup for frontend developers near Riga, who wants to exchange knowledge and get acquainted. Currently looking for speakers. If you something cool to share about front-end related stuff and are willing to tell others, please contact me at osvalds@turn.lv Further information will follow soon. [meetup]

Google Developer Group Riga – Google Developer Group (GDG) Riga is a place to discuss, learn, and share passion for technology. We focus on developer culture and rich technical content, with the ultimate goal to grow and expand interest in IT within Riga and beyond. All our events are free to attend for everyone and hosted by true technology advocates. [meetup]

JavaScript Latvia – This is a group for everyone who’s interested in JavaScript and everything related to it like frameworks, development experience, tools and much more. [meetup]

Latvian Developers Network – At the moment there are many communities in Latvia with united enthusiasts interested in IT, but there is no common information space to share ideas and knowledge, irregardless of your specialty and professional alignment. [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Coffee time for international Ladies Riga – This is a group for all Ladies who are interested to meet new people and exchange cultures chatting over a coffee/lunch/and other fun activities whilst making new aqquintances from all over the world. [meetup]

Culture Exchange Meetup in Riga – This group is dedicated to expanding international culture. Throughout the year we will meet people from various countries promoting inter-cultural awareness and understanding, and organizing fun social events! Let’s have fun practicing languages together! We have monthly language exchanges and other fun events to help you practice in entertaining, relaxing, and practical ways. [meetup]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Resources

Resources

Places in Latvia

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