Living the easy life in Latvia

March 15, 2019By

Today there seems to be an app for everything! There are many great apps that will help make your life easier in Latvia, here are a few of my favourite apps and websites (disclaimer – I am not receiving any kickbacks for listing these apps and there might be others that people love that I have not listed!) 

Loecsen

A great app for learning Latvian. A little effort will go a long way to getting to where you need to be or making friends with locals. A great app to start learning some basics is Loecsen which includes pronunciation and short little quizzes. Loecsen covers useful language for getting around and living in Latvia including basic greetings, numbers, taxi vocabulary, and restaurant and bar phrases. Be wary of Google, there have been some very interesting translations!

Bolt

This app used to be called Taxify, and many people may still use “taxify” as a verb. This is the local equivalent of Uber, quick and easy to use and the taxis here are very cheap. You can pay drivers straight from the app if it is connected to your credit card. To date I have not heard of anyone having issues with this. Bolt can be used across the Baltics and in some other places in Europe (I used it in Prague).

Mobily

A do-it all “travel” app. You can pay for parking, buy train tickets and pay for RedCab and Baltic Taxi, and a whole bunch of other things, all from this handy app. It doesn’t need to be synced with your credit card, you can instead put money on it through its direct debit function. Note that when creating an account, it will ask you for a “resident number” to help verify you … just fill the space with zeros if you don’t have a resident number!

Waze

This is a useful app if you drive a lot. Real time updates allow you to plot the best route, especially during rush hour and will provide new routes immediately as road conditions change. It is a global app, and is used heavily in Latvia, so it is fairly reliable. Waze will also inform you of speed cameras, police on the road, and even obstacles that have just appeared on your route (e.g.: boxes have just fallen off a delivery truck). 

1188

A great website to figure out train and bus schedules (especially outside Riga). While Google Maps does a great job with public transport inside the city, www.1188.lv has been far more reliable in bus schedules in places like Sigulda. Not the most user-friendly site and there not yet an app, but a good resource when getting out of the city and exploring.

Wolt

An app and website that does food delivery (make sure you select Riga before you start searching for delicious restaurants as Wolt is a Baltic-plus wide app). Currently you can select restaurants from the following categories salad, vegetarian, fast, pizza, and Asian. Their offerings are said to be expanding.

Barbora

An app that is part of the Maxima family of grocery stores. The Barbora app and website allow you to order groceries that will be delivered directly to your front door (even if you live in a walk-up without an elevator!) Everything, including fruit and vegetables, need to be ordered by weight, so the first time you order bananas or apples, be careful! Delivery times within Riga can be selected for same-day delivery and usually their windows are small and they are pretty good about being on time.

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About the Author ()

Tabatha is a third-culture-kid and moved to Riga from Canada in the summer of 2017. She has loved every minute she has been here (including winters and trying to figure out how to speak Latvian!). She loves sharing her finds around Riga and learning from other people’s experiences.

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