Prior to 1 January 2014 Latvian currency was the Latvian Lat (LVL; Ls) which was divided into 100 santims.
Notes: in denominations of Ls 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500.
Coins: 1,2,5,10,20 and 50 Santims, and Ls 1 and 2.
Exchange rate of the Latvian Lat (LVL) was set by an official body of Latvian Bank and was updated every morning.
Currently the main currency in Latvia is Euro.
Be careful when you are exchanging your currency into Euros in Latvia, as there are many exchange buros in Riga which do tend to sell them at a higher price. That’s why we would recommend withdrawing cash form the nearby ATMs or exchange currency at one of the bank branches.
Of course in situations when you cant find a bank nearby, exchanging your currency in a little buro will be the only option, but make sure you double check the currency rate for any hidden management fees as every buro is different in operation.
It is still quite common in Latvia to pay cash. It is recommended to carry some amount of cash because there are places that do not accept Credit Cards especially smaller shops and cafes.
Normal banking hours are Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00. Some branches exist in Supermarkets and have extended hours and are open on Saturday.
Bureaux de change
Bureaux de change can be found all over the city (including inside shops and hotels) and usually have longer opening hours. The exchange rates can vary considerably and commission charges can be higher than in banks.
Credit cards are widely accepted: Visa and Master Card most widely used cards, but American Express, Diners Club and JCB are also accepted.
ATMs which are accessible 24/7 can be found throughout the city and shopping centres.
Travellers Checks are not commonly used in Latvia. You can exchange them in local banks.
Places to exchange currency
To avoid problems with some exchange bureaus in Riga that sometimes overcharge on currency exchange, we strongly recommend exchanging your currency while in banks (either main client centres or smaller branches). Of course in situations when you cant find a bank nearby, exchanging your currency in a little buro will be the only option, but make sure you double check the currency rate and for any hidden management fees.
Riga has got a wide selection of banks across main points of arrival: airport, train station, town centre and old town. We put together a list of banks across those regions for you:
Banks in Riga town centre:
|Bank name||Branch||Address||Phone Number||Business Hours|
|Swed||Branch “Andris”||A. Čaka iela 37||+371 6744 4444||10:00-18:00|
|Swed||Branch “Aleksandrs”||A. Čaka iela 73/75||+371 6744 4444||09:00-17:00|
|Swed||Branch “Reval”||Elizabetes 55
Radisson Blu Hotel
|+371 6744 4444||09:00-19:00|
|Swed||Branch “Sakta”||Raiņa bulvāris 11||+371 6744 4444||09:00-17:00|
|SEB||Branch “Centra”||Brīvības iela 49/53||8777||09:00-18:00|
|DNB||Branch „Bergs”||Elizabetes iela 87||+371 67282114||09:00-17:00|
|DNB||Branch „Brīvības”||Brīvības iela 52||+371 67284203||09:00-17:00|
|DNB||Branch „Daile”||Brīvības iela 92/94||+371 67299200||09.00-18.00
Lunch break 14.00-15.00
|DNB||Branch „Matīsa”||Matīsa iela 26||+371 67844472||09:00-17:00|
|Citadele||Branch “Laimdota”||Kr. Barona iela 20-1||+371 67064706||08:30—17:30, Sat/Sun: closed|