This Baltic state has experienced a resurgence of prosperity and tourism since joining the EU in 2004. The historic centre of the capital, Riga, is a Unesco world heritage site and a popular city break destination filled with bars, restaurants and an impressive collection of art nouveau architecture. The extensive coastline has many pleasant beaches and inland the forests contain important populations of wildlife.
Latvia Essential Information:
Other towns: Daugavpils
Time Zone: GMT+2
International dialling code: + 371
Languages: Latvian is the official language. To learn the basics of Latvian visit www.bbc.co.uk/languages
Latvian currency: Latvia uses the Latvian Lat (LVL); £1 = Ls0.77. For up-to-date exchange rates see: www.xe.com/ucc