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Currency and Prices
Since 1st January 2014, the official currency of Latvia is the Euro. The price levels in Latvia for many groups, including restaurant and hotel services, are lower than the average for European countries, though price levels may vary in the capital and regions of Latvia.
Currency exchange options
In Latvia, money can be exchanged at banks or exchange offices. Some banks offer the option of exchanging money at multiple currency ATMs.
Currency exchange rates can vary considerably based on location, so it is recommended to compare rates before settling for the best deal.
Latvia has a solid network of accessible ATMs, but, when venturing outside the cities, taking cash out in advance is advised, before your trip. ATMs accept credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and others).
Prices for goods and services
Prices for groceries, non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic and tobacco goods are some of the lowest in Europe. Restaurant and hotel service prices are also lower than the average for European Union countries.
- When purchasing drinks at bars, pay close attention to the price of drinks in terms of units indicated, and if the volume is correct for the price shown;
- When using a taxi, agree on an approximate price before the trip, and always make sure the meter is switched on;
- When using public transport, buy tickets before the trip at the bus station, train station, or other ticket offices, as buying a ticket onboard can be more expensive.
- In the capital, especially in the Old Town, the price level for services can be higher than the prices for similar services outside of Riga.
Paying with bank cards
In Latvia, it is possible to pay using smart cards or chip cards that adhere to international standards. Information on whether or not a particular establishment accepts a certain type of card can be found in the form of a sticker by the entrance door or by the register.
In most restaurants, shops, banks, gas stations and hotels it is possible to pay by credit card or debit card. Some taxi service providers also accept bank cards.
On public transport, buy a ticket from the driver using cash. Alternatively, to pay by card in Riga use the ticket machines located at public transport stops and throughout the city.