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.