Welcome to Latvia! We are not only proud of having the widest waterfall in Europe or being the world leader in internet speed, but also for our 50 shades of potato dishes and four extremely diverse seasons. Check out these amazing facts and get to know Latvia!
One of the last corners of Europe to join Christendom, Latvians are still very much pagans at heart. They worship nature by jumping over bonfires at Midsummer Eve, and many surnames are about birds, animals or trees.
Latvians are a people to look up to. Latvia has one of the world’s tallest women, with the average lady coming in at an impressive 170 cm. The men are no midgets either, holding fourth place.
With almost 500 km of coast, Latvia has tons of beaches. There’s space for everyone, whether you want fun in the sun or miles of sand to yourself, and best of all its all open to the public.
Over half its territory is covered by forest, so Latvia is a very green place. Locals love to pick mushrooms and berries, and at Midsummer young couples duck into the woods to look for the mythical flowering fern. No such plant exists, but the search goes on…
One of the attractions of the port city Liepaja is a night in jail. The haunting Karosta district offers accommodation in the old military lockup complete with Soviet-style treatment.
With over 800 Art Nouveau buildings, Riga has one of the world’s greatest galleries of this joyful style. Alberta iela is a street almost entirely created by Art Nouveau genius Mikhail Eisenstein, and his son film director Sergei Eisenstein was one of the founders of modern cinema.
You don’t need to go to a health food store in Latvia to find organic food, because locals find fantastic ingredients on their own. From birch sap juice in spring to berries in summer and mushrooms in autumn, Latvians are a nation of foragers.
Ventas Rumba in Kuldīga is the widest waterfall in Europe, and in spring you can see fish jumping up the rapids as they head for spawning sites.
Next time you put on a pair of jeans, thank Latvian-born tailor Jacob Davis. In 1871 in Reno, Nevada, he invented denim as a tough material for trousers, then made a fortune in partnership with fabric merchant Levi Strauss.
Chugging down 78 litres of beer per capita every year, Latvians love a cold brew on a summer’s evening. The country also boasts one of the world’s most northerly outdoor vineyards in the village of Sabile.
Legendary painter Mark Rothko was born in Daugavpils, southeast Latvia, before finding fame in the US. Sold in 2014 for a cool 140 million euros, his No.6 (Violet, green and red) is one of the priciest paintings of all time.