Cost of Living in Latvia

Expenses of living in Latvia
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Latvia is an European country with over two million inhabitants, situated on the Baltic coast. It’s a country with a relatively low cost of living, especially when compared to more developed countries in the same region. So, Latvia’s often a preferred destination for foreign students, who want to study abroad but are on a budget.

As for those planning to move and work in Latvia, bear in mind that the minimum cost of living in the country for one individual is around €330 per month. And this is excluding income tax and social insurance contributions. The minimum wage in Latvia currently stands at €500 per month.

Bank accounts

Opening a bank account in Latvia as a foreigner is fairly straightforward, regardless of whether you’re a student, worker, retiree or investor.

Before opening a bank account in Latvia, you will be required to present a list of documents to the bank. These documents include the following:

  • Passport
  • Proof of residence/your foreign resident card/resident permit
  • Proof of address
  • Work Agreement/contract

When submitting the aforementioned documents, it’s a good idea to have a Latvian friend help you out with the speaking part, as that creates positive rapport.

If you’re planning on opening a bank account in Latvia as a non-resident, you will find it quite difficult. The reason behind this is that many banks in Latvia don’t work with non-residents and the ones that do work with such may still choose to refuse your application. So, if you’re a non-resident and want to open a bank account in Latvia, your best bet is to seek professional legal assistance.

Accommodation cost in Latvia

In Latvia, rent is regarded as a separate cost from your living expenses. Meaning that the average cost of living for one person with rent included is around €620 per month.

When renting an apartment in Latvia, you can choose between a short-term and long-term rental. Most of the expats that move to Latvia, choose Riga – the capital, as it’s the heart of the country’s economy. A 1-bedroom apartment in Riga usually goes for around €350 per month, while a 3-bedroom one – for €600.

If you’re planning on moving to Latvia with your family, however, we recommend opting for the Jurmala district, which is 25 kilometres west of Riga. The reason behind this is that this city has many large outdoor spaces and several educational institutions in which you can enrol your children. The rental price for a 1-bedroom apartment in Jurmala is around €400, while a 3-bedroom one can go for up to €1200 per month.

Type of Product Average Prices Price Range
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 324.58 € 180.00-600.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 241.16 € 120.00-400.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 608.03 € 300.00-1,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 443.61 € 250.00-750.00
Price per Square Metre to Buy Apartment in City Centre 1,632.75 € 700.00-2,500.00
Price per Square Metre to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 1,071.48 € 500.00-1,800.00

Cost of utility bills

To get a better understanding of how much utility bills in Latvia cost, let’s look at the following example – a 60 m2 apartment located in Riga. The cost of utilities (water, heating, electricity, gas, TV, Internet) for living in such an apartment will cost you around € 100 per month in the warmer months and about € 200 in the colder seasons. Also, bear in mind that in Latvia, each property owner pays an annual property tax. This tax will set you back around € 120 per year.

Type of Product Average Prices Price Range
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Waste) for a 85m2 Apartment 165.94 € 123.64-250.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.10 € 0.02-0.19
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 15.40 € 10.00-22.00

Transportation expenses

Latvia, especially Riga, has a fairly developed transport network, consisting of buses, trams, minibuses, trolleybuses and night buses. A great benefit of living in Latvia is that children under seven, as well as retired people over 75, can use public transport free of charge. However, if you don’t fall into these groups and are part of a family that relies heavily on public transport, you will be looking at paying around € 100 per month.

In Riga, you can pay for your trip with an e-ticket, which can be purchased at customer service centres or ticket machines, installed all over the city.

Type of Product Average Prices Price Range
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 1.15 € 0.66-2.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 49.00 € 30.00-50.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 2.00 € 1.00-3.00
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 0.70 € 0.40-1.20
Gasoline (1 liter) 1.21 € 1.03-1.32

Cost of necessities

Food costs in Latvia

Buying food from the local supermarket in Latvia is quite inexpensive. And even if you’re planning on eating out, it still won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Fast food restaurants offer meals for as low as €5-7, while the average price for eating alone at a traditional Latvian restaurant will set you back around €15. The food cost for families, living and working in Riga, is about €350-400 per month.

Type of Product Unit Average Prices Price Range
Loaf of Fresh White Bread 500g 0.86 € 0.56-1.20
White Rice 1kg 1.56 € 1.00-3.00
Eggs 12 1.80 € 1.20-2.40
Local Cheese 12 6.89 € 5.00-10.00
Chicken Fillets 1kg 5.24 € 3.00-6.50
Beef Round or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat 1kg 7.57 € 5.00-11.00
Apples 1kg 1.03 € 0.50-1.60
Banana 1kg 1.21 € 1.00-1.50
Oranges 1kg 1.52 € 1.00-2.00
Tomato 1kg 1.73 € 1.00-2.79
Potato 1kg 0.46 € 0.25-0.60
Onion 1kg 0.53 € 0.34-1.00
Lettuce 1 head 1.09 € 0.60-2.00
Water 1.5 litre bottle 0.62 € 0.49-1.00
Bottle of Mid-range Wine 0.750 litre 6.50 € 5.00-10.00
Domestic Beer 0.5 litre bottle 1.18 € 0.90-1.60
Imported Beer 0.33 litre bottle 1.46 € 1.00-3.00

Sports and leisure

If you’re an avid moviegoer, theatre fan or gym fanatic, fear not, sports and leisure in Latvia aren’t too expensive. For example, a movie ticket in Riga will cost you between € 6-10, depending on whether the movie is in 2D or 3D format, as well as on whether you go on a weekday or on a weekend and during the day or in the evening. Also, there are family tickets, which come with a good discount.

For theatre enthusiasts, a ticket for a play will cost you anywhere between € 15-50.

Most fitness clubs in Latvia offer a monthly subscription, which costs around € 40-50. However, bear in mind that fitness clubs in Latvia often offer promotions, during which you can do a single visit at half price.

Type of Product Average Prices Price Range
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 36.21 € 25.00-50.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 18.83 € 12.00-25.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 6.70 € 5.00-8.60

Takeaways

Are you planning to move from the UK to Latvia? If so, you can rest assured that it’s quite affordable to live there. And if you’re on the lookout to find a reliable moving company that specialises in international relocations, then look no further! We, at Fantastic Removals, can provide you with a personalised quote and convenient removals packages that cater for all your moving needs.

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