Latvia is part of the European Union’s Schengen Area. The Schengen Area is comprised of 26 European countries which have abolished passport and any other type of border control at their common borders. Once a traveler has entered a country that is part of the Schengen Area, they are granted freedom of movement within the 26 member states of the area.
United States citizens do not require a visa to visit the European Union or Riga, Latvia. This visa exception allows stays of up to a total of 90 days within a 180 day period. Stays of longer than 90 days will require a residence permit from Latvia. Entry into Latvia using the visa exception for United States citizens requires the following:
- A valid passport with at least three months validity beyond the planned departure date from the Schengen area.
- Two blank passport visa pages.
- Documents showing a travel itinerary (i.e.: airfare receipt showing entry to/from the EU) and proof of a confirmed hotel reservation.
For more information, read Understanding European Visa requirements and the Schengen Area.
Travel Safety & Advisories
For the most up to date and detailed information on the safety of travel to Latvia, read the country report authored and released by the United States Department of State at www.travel.state.gov.
Resources in an Emergency
If you encounter a medical emergency or are a victim of a crime in Riga, Latvia, contact the local authorities immediately. Although 9-1-1 is the emergency number in the United States, that is not true in the majority of other countries. Read this FAQ article to locate the appropriate emergency contact numbers: What Number Do I Call To Reach Police, Fire or Ambulance Services In Other Countries?
The U.S. Embassy in Riga can also be a resource to American Citizens. It is located at:
Samnera Velsa iela 1
Contact information is listed below:
The nearest Riga city bus stops are Kukšu iela and Upesgrīvas iela/Spice, both less than half a mile away from the embassy. The city bus routes serving these stops are numbers 22, 32, 43, and 336. Route 22 runs between the airport and city center.