See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Latvia for information on U.S.-Latvian relations.
Visit the Embassy of Latvia website for the most current visa information.
Latvia is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Latvia for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet.
HIV/AIDS Restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Latvia.
Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.
Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks. However, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.
Spontaneous demonstrations take place in Latvia from time to time in response to world events or local developments. We remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. U.S. citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Information regarding demonstrations in Latvia can be found on the U.S. Embassy Latvia website.
You are required to wear small reflectors on clothing during the dark, winter months in Latvia.
Crime: Crime is generally non-violent in nature; however, violent assaults and robberies have occurred. Harassment of foreigners and same-sex partners has also occurred in Latvia.
Be aware of your surroundings and take personal security measures to stay safe.
The most common crimes encountered by foreign tourists are purse snatching, pick-pocketing, and mugging, especially during the summer tourism season.
Riga’s Old Town (Vecriga), Central Train Station (Dzelzcela stacija), Central Bus Station (Autoosta), and Central Market (Centraltirgus) are places that are targeted by thieves.
You should avoid walking alone at night and using ATMs after dark.
You should be aware of scams in restaurants and tourist pubs. Pay special attention to drink prices, as they may rise to exorbitant levels for tourists. Management may use force to secure payment.
Internet crime is a growing concern in Latvia. Common fraudulent schemes involve both internet auction sites and internet job-search sites.
Victims Of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 112, and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(371) 6710-7000. For social welfare emergencies, such as domestic violence or child abuse, dial 112 (English-speaking operators are available). Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Latvia is 112, which can be called for fire and police assistance. The primary number for ambulance services is 113, but the 112 operator can also help dispatch an ambulance. 112 operators speak English, Latvian and Russian.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products may be illegal under local law. In addition, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines. The Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Division in the U.S. Department of Justice has more information on this serious problem.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested, you should ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Special Circumstances: Latvia is part of the Eurozone and only euros are accepted.
Customs: Latvian customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Latvia of items such as firearms, religious materials, antiquities, medications, business equipment, drugs, etc.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Latvia.
Credible non-governmental organizations reported widespread intolerance and discrimination against LGBTI persons, as well as underreporting to authorities of attacks and discrimination against LGBTI individuals.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While in Latvia, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different than in the United States.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
The U.S. government does not pay medical bills and U.S. Medicare is not valid overseas.
The quality of medical care in Latvia continues to improve, but often falls short of Western standards. Latvia has highly trained medical professionals, but hospitals and clinics still suffer from a lack of equipment and resources.
Prescription Medicines: Pharmaceuticals sold in Latvia are produced by companies certified in accordance with EU standards, but may not necessarily be labeled the same as in the United States.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. See the Embassy of Latvia’s website for proof of health insurance requirements.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
The following diseases are prevalent:
For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Road Conditions and Safety: While in Latvia, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
Traffic Laws: Driving while intoxicated is a very serious offense and carries heavy penalties.
Public Transportation: Public transportation is generally considered safe, but travelers are encouraged to select well-marked taxis.
See our road safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Latvia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Latvia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Latvia should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings website (select “broadcast warnings”).