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Recommendations for safe travelling
In comparison with many other countries, Latvia is a safe place for travelling – there are neither robbers, nor are there are armed clashes. In Latvia, one can rest both in the countryside and in cities without worry or risk. By observing elementary precaution, your trip around Latvia will be safe and worry-free.
It is true that largely popular tourist destinations in the world are, unlike Latvia, sometimes even more dangerous. Several in Latvia services take care of traveller safety and comfort. For example, the capital city of Riga has a Tourism Police and a special tourist information line Tourist Hotline 1188. In any extreme situations, tourists should call the toll-free emergency line 112. This is a universal contact line for rescue and emergency services that connects callers to emergency medical services, the police, fire fighters and gas emergency services.
Of course, as in any other country, one should also take care and observe elementary safety in Latvia, such as to avoid conflicts and to keep out of trouble. It is advised not to leave one’s bags unattended. One should be careful in crowded places. For example, there can be pickpockets in Riga in the pedestrian tunnels near the Riga Bus Terminal and Central Train Station; pickpockets should be watched out for in public transport. You should also be sure that nobody is following you. Keep your money, credit cards, and cameras close so that nobody can easily get to your belongings. You can use a hotel safe to store valuable goods. Do not leave anything valuable in a car and use a secure lock when travelling by bicycle. It is also better to withdraw money from ATMs in a bank or a hotel, not on the street.
It is better to travel at least by two. Do not leave your bags unattended in restaurants, pubs or any other place. The following rule should be observed in any country – do not leave your glass unattended. If this happens, it is better order a new drink.
Ignore fortune-tellers, do not talk to hustlers. Ignore drunken, aggressive passers-by. In order to avoid fraudulence or misunderstandings in pubs, ask for the menu first and check the prices. If unknown women want to accompany you in a café, it is best to avoid striking up a friendship – they can order very expensive cocktails and share the profit with the pub.
The Old City of Riga is much safer because of video surveillance, allowing police to quickly identify violations and arrive at the place of an incident. You can enjoy the nightlife of Latvia quite safely, though do moderately. When paying by bank card, do not let the card leave your sight and pay attention to the amount on the receipt.
Latvia is a safe destination – moreover our country does not have negative attitudes towards people of different races or religions, and solicitation by the homeless and beggars is less frequent than in other places of the world.