Is it safe to visit Riga now?
Many visitors to Riga are asking us if its a safe place to visit right now given the current conflict in Ukraine. Considering that Latvia is a neighbour to Russia and Belarus, sharing a land border along its eastern region it is understandable that people have some concern about visiting Riga.
Latvia as a nation is newly founded in 1918, born out of the chaos at the end of the 1st World war and seizing the opportunities thrown up at the end of the Russian empire. Latvia only regained its independence after years of Soviet occupation in 1990. This obviously means that Latvians are fully aware of the costs and risk of conflict in the region.
Some things to note about Latvia as a nation is that it is a full EU member as well as a full member of NATO. Actively hosting, training and with troops of many NATO member states stationed here. Right now it looks that this NATO military presence will be beefing up and although this may seem like a cause for concern, it really is more of a defence positioning that is in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
With NATO membership comes the assurance of article 5. Meaning an attack on one NATO member is treated as an attack on all members. On paper the small nation of Latvia with less than 2 million inhabitants is actually part of one of the Worlds largest and most modern military alliance.
Of course we do not say that there is no threat. The current geopolitical situation across Europe is tense and following current affairs is always advised when travelling abroad. Riga is a beautiful city and has plenty to offer for visitors. As a city, Riga is a very safe place to visit and if compared to other cities in Europe, Riga is calm, clean and for now relatively peaceful.
Is it safe to visit Riga right now? Sure, just use your head as you should always do when travelling!