Tips for Expats Driving in Jurmala

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Jurmala.

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Jurmala is generally considered safe and straightforward. The roads are well-maintained and the traffic rules are strictly enforced. However, it’s important to be aware of the local driving culture. Latvians drive on the right side of the road and overtaking is on the left. The speed limit in urban areas is usually 50 km/h, while on highways it’s 90 km/h. In winter, due to icy conditions, it’s advisable to drive slower than the speed limit.

2. Car Recommendation

As for the type of car, it largely depends on your personal preference and needs. Compact cars are recommended for city driving due to their maneuverability and fuel efficiency. However, if you plan to explore the countryside or drive in winter conditions, a 4×4 vehicle might be a better choice.

3. Parking in Jurmala

Finding parking in Jurmala can be challenging during the peak tourist season in summer. However, during the rest of the year, it’s relatively easy. Parking fees vary depending on the location and time of the day, but they are generally affordable. Always make sure to park in designated areas to avoid fines.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in Latvia with an international driving permit (IDP) along with their valid home country’s driving license. This is valid for up to six months from the date of entry into Latvia. After this period, you will need to obtain a Latvian driving license.

5. Obtaining a Latvian Driving License

To get a Latvian driving license, you will need to pass a theory test and a practical driving test. The tests are conducted in Latvian, Russian, and English. You will also need to provide a medical certificate proving you are fit to drive. It’s advisable to take a few driving lessons to familiarize yourself with the local driving rules and conditions.

6. Be Prepared for Winter Driving

Winter driving in Latvia can be challenging due to snow and ice. It’s mandatory to have winter tires from December 1 to March 1. Always keep a snow brush, ice scraper, and a shovel in your car. Also, make sure to check the weather forecast before setting off on a long journey.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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