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Moving to Riga

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What to know if you're moving to Riga

Riga is the capital city as well as the economic and cultural hub of Latvia, but still offers a livable and non-metropolitan atmosphere as well as a multicultural heritage. As such, moving to Riga is getting more and more popular. Read on for more info on the city, its climate, and accommodation.

about-latvia

All about Latvia

Moving to Latvia offers diverse landscapes and opportunities, from the touristic coastal region and pristine beauty spots, to the modern cities with their inspiring architecture. Read up on InterNations GO! some advice and information about this country, its people and the climate!
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Relocating to Riga

About Riga

As the largest city in Latvia, Riga is the cultural and economic center of the country, and also its capital. It is also the largest city across all of the Baltic States and is famous for its 19th-century architecture. However, with less than one million inhabitants, it is also one of Europe’s smaller capitals. This coastal city is home to one of the largest ports on the Baltic Sea, and the city accounts for more than 50% of the Latvia’s GDP.

The main language in Riga is Latvian. English is widely spoken by the younger generations, but older Latvian citizens will be less skilled at the language. Learning a small amount of Latvian will help you throughout your stay, and will endear you to the locals. Outside of Riga, English is rarely spoken.

The Climate in Riga

The city of Riga has a humid continental climate, with icy cold winters where temperatures can reach as low as -20°C. There is frequent snow throughout the winter months. The summers are humid but relatively mild. The average temperature is about 18°C, although temperatures can rise as high as 30°C. Many foreigners moving to Riga will not be used to such cold winters, so keeping warm is essential, particularly in January and February, when the temperatures are at their coldest.

Finding Accommodation

Riga is split into six main administrative districts, which have been established since the middle of the 20th century. The growing tourist industry in Riga is still relatively new to the city, with the country becoming a much more popular destination for expatriates since Latvia joined the European Union in 2004. Riga’s housing market offers reasonably-priced accommodation out in the suburbs of the city. The Central District is only 3km² big, and finding affordable accommodation in this area is almost impossible. Luckily, housing in the surrounding districts is much cheaper.

Salaries are low across Riga and this is reflected in the apartment rental prices. If you are moving to Riga for work, and accommodation is not included in your contract, then there are many consultants who can help you to find a suitable place to stay. This is a popular choice because the language barrier makes it difficult to find accommodation on your own. Do not rely on consultants that you have found online; ask your employer to recommend someone to you.

InterNations GO!
by InterNations GO!
03 July 2015
Living

Living in Riga

Riga is not only a cultural center, with interesting architecture and multiple influences, but also a city just a stone’s throw from majestic natural landscapes: living in Riga is a diverse and exciting experience, enriching and adventurous for any expats planning on making Riga their new home!
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Working

Working in Riga

Riga, as capital city, is the principal center of business and economy and can offer many opportunities across a wide range of sectors. It is, moreover, an international hub thanks to its harbor on the Baltic see. So get ready for working in Riga and read up on job hunting, work permits and more.
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