- Official name: Republic of Latvia
- National holiday: 18 November
On this day in 1918, the People’s Council proclaimed the Republic of Latvia.
- Latvia became a member of the European Union on 1 May 2004.
On 1 January 2014, Latvia introduced the euro, which replaced the lats as the national currency.
- Area: 64,589 km2 (slightly smaller than Bavaria)
- Borders: 498 km of coastal borders along the Gulf of Riga, and shared borders of 343 km with Estonia in the northeast, 276 km with Russia in the east, 161 km with Belarus in the southeast, and 588 km with Lithuania in the south
- Distance from the capital Riga to:
- Helsinki: 362 km
- St. Petersburg: 491 km
- Tallinn: 280 km
- Berlin: 843 km
- Latvia is comprised of four regions: Kurzeme in the west, Zemgale in the south, Vidzeme in the northeast and Latgale in the east.
- Longest rivers: Gauja (452 km), Daugava (352 km in Latvia)
- Highest elevation: Gaizinkals (311 m)
- Climate: cool-temperate
- Total population: 2.042 million (March 2013)
- Population density: 30.97 inhabitants/km2
- Urban population: 68%
- Rural population: 32%
- Nationalities: Latvians (59.5%), Russians (27%), Belarusians (3.5%), Ukrainians (2.5%), Poles (2%) and Lithuanians (1%)
- The capital is Riga, with a population of 723,931 (over 33% of the total population).
- Other larger cities include the university city of Daugavpils, the port city of Liepāja and the resort city of Jūrmala.
Latvia’s official language is Latvian, which belongs to the Eastern Baltic language subgroup and is related to Lithuanian. Russian is also commonly spoken. Roughly half of Riga’s inhabitants are ethnic Russians.
- Bukstiņbiezputra(barley porridge)
- Pelēkie zirņi ar speķi(grey peas and bacon)
- Ceptas cūkas ribiņas un sautēti skābie kāposti(roasted pork ribs and stewed sauerkraut)
- Vārīti kartupeļi ar gaileņu mērci(boiled potatoes with chanterelle sauce)
- Rupjmaizes kārtojums(rye bread trifle)
- Bērzu sula(birch juice)
- Melnais balzāms(black balsam)