According to EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal, the cost of living in Latvia seems to be lower than in other European countries. Students from countries in Western Europe may find that they spend less than they would normally in their country of origin.
The ERASMUS subsistence grant for Latvia is about €500 per month, which is enough to successfully cover the costs of living.
For students, the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is generally recognised and accepted in many Latvian businesses and organizations as identification and for entitlements to student discounts.
Money and banking
The official currency of Latvia is the Lats (LVL), which is subdivided into 100 santīmi and equivalent to approximately €1.42. Latvia entered the European Union in 2004 and the Lats is due to be replaced by the Euro on January 1st 2014.
Promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) is essential for Latvia. So, its government has continuously tried to improve investment conditions and create a competitive business environment, by offering grants and tax breaks to potential investors. Moreover, individual regions may offer more incentives to companies at their own discretion.
Latvia allows the creation of companies with special tax status as offshore companies and has special conditions for job creation and enterprise developments created in specific priority areas. More information are offered by Investment and Development Agency of Latvia : http://www.liaa.gov.lv/en
During recent years, there has been more capital readily available for businesses, although borrowing rates still remain high for many small and medium sized enterprises.
Foreign investors have equal access to credit in the local market, with the exception of special government credits, small business loans, European Union grants and international financial loans that are restricted to local businesses.
The tax system in Latvia has been harmonized under the guidance of international financial organizations and is managed by the State Revenue Service, which provides detailed information on the breakdown of various taxes on their website: http://www.vid.gov.lv/default.aspx?hl=2
- Cost of local transport inside city should not exceed 2,5 LVL. A single trip is about 0.5 LVL or 0.7 LVL if the ticket is bought from the bus driver.
- In Riga e-tickets could be bought in advance.
- The cost of taxis is about 0.5 LVL/km and additional start fee of about 1.50 LVL.
- Transport from airport to city center in Riga will be about 7-8 LVL.
- Transport between cities by bus or by train is between 10 to 15 LVL.
If you hold a valid European Driving License, you are entitled to drive in Latvia in accordance with the Road Traffic Safety Directorate (CSDD): http://www-en.csdd.lv/?lngID=EN&pageID=1181212466