Are you planning to go to Latvia on an internship abroad and more specifically to Riga? You might be wondering what life is like in Riga!  That’s a very good question! You can learn all about life in Riga! 

Living in Riga, the climate 

The climate in Riga in summer is rather hot and dry with average temperatures ranging from +25°C to +30°C. Winters are rather cool in this city with frequent snowfalls. Winter temperatures vary between -5°C and +2°C depending on the month. 

Living in Riga, cost of living

The cost of living in Riga and more generally in Latvia is lower than in France. For example, restaurants in Riga offer menus for as little as €8. For a mid-range restaurant, a meal for two people costs between €35 and €40. You can also find trendy bars and cafés offering drinks for between €4 and €5. Other items of expenditure are also affordable, including internet connection and mobile data packages. You should expect to pay around €20 for an unlimited internet connection and €10 for a mobile data plan. 

Living in Riga, public transport

It’s easy to get around Riga and Latvia’s main cities by bus and rail. In Riga, it’s easy to get around by bus, trolleybus or tram. A ticket costs €1.15 for one journey. However, you can take out a monthly season ticket, which will cost you around €50 a month. Timetables, routes and maps are available on the Rigas Staiksme website. You can also get around by bike or on foot to make the most of the pretty squares, streets and canal.

Living in Riga, things to do

Latvia offers beautiful scenery as it is a very green country. You can go to the parks in Riga to relax on your days off. If you want to go further afield, you can go to the Kemeri National Park which is located 1 hour by train from Riga. This park has pine forests and various lakes. You can also go to Seaside Park in Liepaja which is a park with woods containing over 140 species of trees. There are many activities to do in Riga such as playing mini-golf, tennis, trampoline, go-karting or swimming if the weather is good. The largest waterfall in Europe, “Ventas Rumba”, is an hour’s drive from Riga. It is also a waterfall to see if you have some time! The old town of Riga is also beautiful and worth visiting with its colourful buildings! You will have understood, you will have a lot of things to do and to visit in this capital of Latvia! 

Living in Riga, languages spoken

The official language spoken in Riga is Latvian. However, many people speak Russian or English. If you go to Riga for an internship, I recommend that you learn some basic Latvian words. As I’m a nice guy, here are some basic phrases you can already learn: Hello! How are you? – Labdien! Kā jums klājas, Do you speak English? – Vai jūs runājat Angliski?, See you later – Uz redzēšanos! Enough to make the locals like you right away! 

Living in Riga, respect for privacy

If I have any advice for you, don’t ask the locals living in Riga too personal questions. What they appreciate most is their privacy. So unless you want to be seen as too intrusive as soon as you arrive, I would advise you not to ask questions about the family or personal life of Latvians, especially at your workplace. At work, Latvians respect a hierarchy, but they are not strict. They can be flexible, especially in terms of working hours and punctuality, where the locals are tolerant. If you like to go out and get to know your colleagues outside of work, I advise you to propose an afterwork. Latvians love it! If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask, locals like to help! 

Living in Riga, cultural information to know before leaving

You should know that Latvia has the fastest internet speed in emerging Europe. In Riga, you will have more than 800 free internet connection points. You don’t necessarily need to buy a special internet package to go to Riga! The national sport of the country is ice hockey. I advise you to read up on the national teams. If you like beer, it is a very popular drink in the capital. You can even visit the Beer Spa. 

We loved Riga and the life there! We can only recommend it to you! If you call us, we can tell you more about Riga! So for your internship in Riga: contact us!

For more general questions, visit the International Horizons Internships Abroad FAQ.