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Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia, is a country in Northern Europe.

Latvia shares land borders with two fellow Baltic states - Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south - and both Russia and Belarus to the east. In the west, Latvia shares a maritime border with Sweden. The capital of Latvia is Riga. Latvia has been a member state of the European Union since May 1, 2004.

Administrative divisions

Latvia is divided into 26 districts. There are also seven cities that have a separate status.

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  1. Aizkraukle District
  2. Aluksne District
  3. Balvi District
  4. Bauska District
  5. Cesis District
  6. Daugavpils District
  7. Daugavpils (city)
  8. Dobele District
  9. Gulbene District
  10. Jekabpils District
  11. Jelgava District
  12. Jelgava (city)
  13. Jurmala (city)
  14. Kraslava District
  15. Kuldiga District
  16. Liepaja District
  17. Liepaja (city)
  1. Limbazi District
  2. Ludza District
  3. Madona District
  4. Ogre District
  5. Preili District
  6. Rezekne District
  7. Rezekne (city)
  8. Riga District
  9. Riga (city)
  10. Saldus District
  11. Talsi District
  12. Tukums District
  13. Valka District
  14. Valmiera District
  15. Ventspils District
  16. Ventspils (city)

Abrene District (1919-1940), the eastern part of which was annexed to Russia in 1944;
the legal status of the annexed portion is disputed - the western part of the former district is now in Balvi District.


sms serviceLarge parts of Latvia are covered by forests, and the country has over 12,000 small rivers and over 3,000 lakes. Most of the country consists of fertile, low-lying plains with some hills in the east, the highest point being the Gaizinkalns at 311.6 m (1,020 ft).

An inlet of the Baltic Sea, the shallow Gulf of Riga is situated in the northwest of the country. The capital city Riga is located on the shores of this inlet, where the River Daugava flows into it. Other major cities include Daugavpils further upriver and Liepaja along the Baltic coast.

The Latvian climate is maritime and temperate in nature, with cool summers and wet, moderate winters.

Latvia is historically and culturally divided in four or five distinct regions, see regions of Latvia.

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