Sunday, August 7, 2022

Money & Shopping in Latvia

EuropeLatviaMoney & Shopping in Latvia

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The Latvian currency is the euro. This single currency is used by a number of European nations. In all nations, all euro banknotes and coins are legal tender.

100 cents are split into one euro.

The euro’s official sign is €, and its ISO code is EUR. The cent does not have an official symbol.

  • Banknotes: In all nations, euro banknotes have the same design.
  • Normal coins: On one side, each eurozone country’s coin has a unique national design, while the other side has a basic shared design. Regardless of the design, coins may be used in any eurozone nation (e.g. a one-euro coin from Finland can be used in Portugal).
  • Commemorative two euro coins: The sole difference between them and regular two euro coins is their “national” side, and they circulate freely as legal currency. Each nation may make a limited number as part of its regular coin manufacturing, and “European” two euro coins are sometimes made to mark exceptional occasions (e.g. the anniversary of important treaties).
  • Other commemorative coins: Other commemorative coins (e.g., ten euros or more) are considerably rarer, feature completely unique designs, and often include significant quantities of gold, silver, or platinum. While they are legally legal currency at face value, their material or collector value is often considerably greater, and as a result, they are unlikely to be seen in circulation.

The only location where you can acquire commemorative two euro coins at face value and exchange euro banknotes for smaller or bigger denomination euro banknotes without paying a charge is Latvijas Banka (The Latvian National Bank). This may be done in the Riga and Liepaja branches.

The signage for tax-free businesses are prominently visible.

ATMs may be found all throughout Latvia, notably at the Riga International Airport and in many small villages.

Banks will accept traveller’s checks in return for a charge, which is typically equivalent to or more than 1% of the amount exchanged or a flat cost of €10.

Shopping

  • Amber. Most souvenir stores have it. After a storm, some may be discovered on the Baltic Sea beach if you’re fortunate. When searching for amber on beaches in western Latvia, be aware that the water around Liepja has been contaminated with phosphorous, which appears identical to amber but may catch fire when dry.
  • Smoked (black) ceramics, Latgale region.  
  • Silver jewellery.  
  • Pirts (Latvian style sauna) items. Fragrant oils, honey and herb-based massage lotions, sauna felt hats designed to protect hair proteins from high heat, and a variety of other products are available.
  • Mittens with ornaments. Handcrafted and symbolic of traditional culture.
  • Wool products. Slippers and shoes, vests, coats, caps, and other items used inside.
  • Dark (rye) bread (Rupjmaize). It has more energy than regular white (wheat) bread. It’s best if you get it fresh and don’t keep it for too long.
  • Riga Black Balsam (Rīgas Melnais balzams),  +371 670 81 213, toll-free: +371 80 009 990, fax: +371 673 15 265, e-mail: [email protected] Traditional Latvian herbal liqueur prepared with a variety of natural ingredients. The original formula of Abraham Kunze, a druggist, is believed to have healed Catherine the Great’s strange sickness in 1755.
  • Bee products. Various types of honey, including honey with nuts, bee pollen, propolis, and beeswax candles are just a few of the local goods available.
  • Laima,  +371 670 80 301, fax: +371 670 80 332, e-mail: [email protected] Latvia’s largest confectionery manufacturer. Almost all supermarket and convenience shops throughout the nation carry the product, with specialist Laima outlets in the bigger cities. 

On weekdays, specialty stores are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays are closed. Supermarkets and grocery stores are open every day. Some shut at 8 p.m., but others, particularly bigger supermarkets, stay open until 11 p.m. Convenience shops, such as Narvesen, are often open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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