Climate in Latvia
The current (as of 8 August 2018) weather forecast promises that from 10-12 August there will be sun (on Friday and Saturday) and rain (on Sunday) in Ratnieki with temperatures between +20 /+24 Celsius during daytime.
The average air temperature in Latvia in the summer is around +19 degrees, but on some days it may rise to +30 degrees. Summer may also bring sudden thunderstorms and rapid changes in temperatures as we are not exception to the global warming. Be prepared and prepare your Saab for Latvian climate!
Driving in Latvia is on the right side of the road. Please remember that headlights must be on 24/7.
Maximum speed limit on highways in Latvia is 90 km/h with exception of 100 km/h when it is specifically indicated on road signs and 80 km/h when driving on a road with gravel or broken stone covering. However maximum speed limit in urban areas is 50 km/h. Speed limits in Latvia are controlled by traffic police that use not only regular police cars but also unidentified vehicles (mainly Subaru, Skoda and Opel cars). There are no SAAB police cars in Latvia!
There are no toll roads in Latvia but drivers do have to pay to enter the resort city of Jūrmala. If you wish to enter the Old Town of Riga by car please note that there are many pedestrian streets. If you however accidentally appear on pedestrian streets of Old Town of Riga you will be monitored by many surveillance cameras in use and quickly caught by local police.
Please note that speed cameras are in use on roads. There are both stationary and portative speed cameras. Roads signs will warn you about stationary speed cameras. However you will not be warned about portative speed cameras and they can be located everywhere.
There are strict rules regarding drinking and driving in Latvia without exceptions. Allowed alcohol concentration limit is 0,5‰ measured in blood (if your driving experience is less than 2 years a limit of 0,2‰ concentration in blood is allowed). If you exceed the alcohol concentration limit you are fined from 430 EUR to 1400 EUR depending on your level of alcohol concentration and with the suspension of your driving licence for a period from 1 year up to 4 years. Please be aware that if your alcohol concentration in blood exceeds 1‰ in addition to the penalties mentioned before you must go to Latvian jail for up to 10 days. The good news is that you may choose in which city you would like to serve your sentence!
Of course, it goes without saying that you are not allowed to drive under the influence of drugs. If you do please note that penalties are even heavier.
Technical help in case of car failure
In case of emergency please dial 112 (joint telephone number for emergency services).
We advise you to obtain European Health Insurance Card in your country of residence that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during your temporary stay in Latvia. Please contact your national health insurance provider in order to obtain this card. Please note that this card does not replace travel insurance that can cover all your medical expenses that may arise during your stay.
The closest hospital is located in Sigulda (town located approx. 13 km from the intsaab2018 event place). You can contact the hospital directly by calling + 371 67973973. The address of Sigulda hospital is:
Lakstīgalas iela 13
Sigulda, Siguldas novads
Getting to intsaab2018 meeting
Getting to Latvia by ferry
Stockholm - Riga route
The most popular ferry route is Stockholm-Riga operated by Tallink. Please note that August is a very busy month and you should book tickets well in advance in order to get place on ferry and reasonable ticket price. Please visit www.tallink.com for more information and reservations.
Sweden (Nynäshamn) - Ventspils and Germany (Travemünde) - Liepāja route
Another alternative route is to use StenaLine (www.stenaline.lv) that will bring you and your Saab to Latvia from Sweden (Nynäshamn) and Germany (Travemünde). These ferries do not go to capital city Riga, but to the biggest port cities of Latvia (to Ventspils from Nynäshamn and to Liepāja from Travemünde). After arrival in those port cities in Latvia please bear in mind that you will need to travel approx. 3 hours in order to get to intsaab2018 venue place. However your travel from Riga to intsaab2018 venue place will take approx. 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Please note that StenaLine ferries are mostly intended for cargo and you might not find much fun on board the ferries.
Helsinki – Tallinn route
Travelers from Finland can easily reach Latvia using Helsinki – Tallinn route provided by Tallink. After arrival in Tallinn you will need approx. 4 hours to get to the capital city Riga.
Kiel (Germany) – Klaipeda (Lithuania) route
Kiel – Klaipeda route is offered by DFDS (www.dfdsseaways.lt) connecting northern Germany with Lithuania. From Klaipeda you will need approx. 5 hours to get to Riga by car.
Getting to Latvia by car
Latvia has land borders with Estonia, Lithuania, Russia and Belarus and therefore you can reach us easily by car also from the rest of Europe, Russian and Belarus. Upon entering Latvia from Lithuania and Estonia, there is no border control since Latvia is a member state of the Schengen Agreement. However, upon entering Latvia from Russia and Belarus, you must pass through border control.
Getting to Latvia by plane
If anyone is interested in flying to Latvia and if you are not coming by private jet or chopper then you should use Riga International airport. There are direct flights to many countries and Riga International Airport is the busiest airport among Baltic countries. National airline is airBaltic and on webpage www.airbaltic.lv you can find good offers from time to time.
Getting to Latvia by train and bus
Since the railway tracks in Latvia are wider than those in most other European countries, currently, you can only get direct trains from Belarus, Russia and Estonia. Therefore international train tickets cannot be used in Latvia.
You can also travel to Latvia on a long-distance bus from Lithuania, Estonia, Russia and Belarus. Most of the long-distance bus routes are operated by Ecolines, Eurolines and Lux Express.