Capital: Riga

Latvia is situated on the Baltic coast and borders Estonia in the north, Lithuania in the south, the Russian Federation in the east and Belarus in the southeast.

There are about 12,000 rivers in Latvia, the biggest being the River Daugava.

Language: Latvian is the official language. It is an Indo-European, non-Slavic and non-Germanic language and is similar only to Lithuanian. Russian is the mother tongue of over 30 per cent of the population and is understood by most people. English and German may also be understood.

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are in use.

Climate: Temperate climate, but with considerable temperature variations. Summer is warm with relatively mild weather in spring and autumn. Winter, which lasts from November to mid-March, can be very cold. Rainfall is distributed throughout the year with the heaviest rainfall in August. Snowfall is common in the winter months.