BSCOSO 2015 will take place in Riga – the biggest city in the Baltic states, situated at the mouth of the Daugava, on the Gulf of Riga.  If you are first time in Riga, you will definitely get unforgetable impression by its majestic skyline, as viewed from the left bank of the Daugava River.  Its historic centre has been inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List due to the largest collection of German Art Nouveau in the world and wihout a doubt is an unmissable place to visit. As Riga has always been located at a juncture of trading routes, it is a multicultural city which means there are a lot of things to see and experience!

In the first half of 2015 Latvia will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Practical information

Territory: 303 996 sq.km

Population: 695 539 people

Time in Riga: Eastern European Time Zone (UTC+02:00). Riga is located in the same time zone as Helsinki, Tallinn, Vilnius, and Athens.

Phone:  To make international calls, dial 00 followed by the country code. To call Latvia from abroad, dial the international code 00 371 followed by an eight digit number. Latvia has three GSM operators: LMT, Tele2, and Bite.

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz; European-style 2-pin plugs are in use.

Climate: The climate of Riga is humid continental (Köppen Dfb). The coldest months are January and February, when the average temperature is −5 °C (23 °F) but temperatures as low as −20 to −25 °C (−4 to −13 °F) can be observed almost every year on the coldest days. The proximity of the sea causes frequent autumn rains and fogs. Continuous snow cover may last eighty days. The summers in Riga are warm and humid with the average temperature of 18 °C (64 °F), while the temperature on the hottest days can exceed 30 °C (86 °F).

Currency: The Latvian currency is the euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 euro cents.

Credit cards: Most restaurants, hotels, and shops accept major credit cards.

Banking hours: Standard opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9–17. Some banks are open later as well as on Saturdays. Currency exchange offices are open on Sunday, too. Cash machines/ATM can be found all over the city.

Opening hours: Most shops are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; however, shops in shopping malls are open until 10 p.m. Food stores are often open from 8 a.m. to midnight.

Visas: Latvia joined the Schengen Zone in 2007. More information about visa requirements for citizens of other countries can be found at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website

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