Total area: 64,589 km2
Population: 2,217,969 (2010 estimate)
Currency: Lats (Ls)
Official language(s): Latvian
Governement: Parliamentary republic
Internet TLD: .lv
Calling code: ++371
Latvia is a Baltic country in Northern Europe. The capital city is Riga. The country's western border is the Baltic Sea. To the north and south, it is bordered by Estonia and Lithuania, and Russia to the east. Latvia is a member of the European Union.
The number of tourists increases from year to year in Latvia. Since 2000, the number of tourists has increased by 12% every year. In 2004, Latvia had over 3 000 000 tourists, with 22.8% more than in 2003. For the first time in 10 years, Latvia has registered over 3 million tourists. Tourism industry focuses more on the Latvian capital, Riga.
The must-see places in Latvia are: Riga - the capital of the country, Sigulda –a great tourist location for winter activities, Aglona Basilica - the most important Roman Catholic shrine in the world, Latvian Occupation Museum, Museum of Horns & Antlers -in this museum there are exhibited 518 antlers, all collected by a guard at the national park.
The best time to visit Latvia is during spring, when the weather is warm, the days are long and flowers bloom. July and August are perfect to visit the Baltic Sea but on the other hand, these are the most crowded and rainy, with possible thunderstorms. Autumn is the time to be avoided because of the snow which starts to fall, as well as March, when the snow melts.
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