Daugavpils is the second largest city in Latvia with around 100,000 people living here. There is a high Russian speaking population, making up about 50% or the inhabitants. The name Daugavpils is taken from the Daugava river that it runs by the city, with 'pils' in Latvian meaning castle. Together the name means Daugava Castle. Aptly, you will see on its coat of arms a castle and a flowing river. Historically, Daugavpils was a very important city with traders passing through from Russia to the Baltic and back again. Today much of its industry is run down and there is a sense of a post soviet hang up which cities like Riga have been able to shake off. It is for sure, one place many visitors miss out on their travels and for this reason alone it is a good place to visit.
Internet cafes in cities are popular and charge starting from 0.50L per hour. Free internet connections are available in all libraries. Free wifi is available in many cafes, libraries, and the Riga Airport. Most hotels will provide free wireless access spots for laptops.
See also: International Telephone Calls
Emergency numbers include 110 (police), 112 (fire), ambulance (113), but you can connect to all of them by using the general 112 number.
There are both fixed and mobile phone communications available in Latvia. The international telephone code for Latvia is +371 and all phone numbers (except for emergency numbers, some information numbers, hotlines etc.) consist of 8 digits. One should note that all mobile phone numbers start with "2", landline numbers start with "6".
For local communication, it is much cheaper to buy a local prepaid SIM card, which can include data as well as voice and text. These cards and separate renewal vouchers can be easily bought in gas stations, kiosks, or supermarkets. All brands are more or less equal in price and service. Popular brands include LMT, Tele2, and Bite. All prepaid SIM cards come with a manual in English, Russian, and Latvian.
To call from a public phone, you need a phone card (telekarte) which cost as little as €2. International calls are possible from every public phone.
Latvijas Pasts is the national postal service of the country and has relatively fast, affordable and reliable services. They have both mail and express mail service, domestically and internationally. Prices for international mail start at around 0.45L for postcards within Europe, 0.50L outside Europe, stamps for letters are slightly more expensive. It usually takes at least several days up to a week within Europe, but around 10 days to North America for example. Domestic services are faster of course, usually within 2 days. Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 4:00pm on Saturday, though large central post offices might keep slightly longer hours and can be open on Sunday sometimes. Latvian post boxes are colored yellow, and postage stamps can be bought in post offices or news-stands (kiosks). Specialized package services are provided as well by companies like DHL, FedEx, TNT and UPS, among others.
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