Some of our TOP Frequently Asked Questions

Questions before visiting

Where does Travel Out There operate?
We began our operations in Riga in 2004 and expanded into Lithuania and Estonia in 2006. In 2010, Travel Out There began working in Belgrade, Prague, Krakow and Budapest. There are plans in place for further expansion into some of Europe’s most exciting up-and-coming destinations in the future.

Is your money safe if you book online?
Reputations are built upon reputations! We have an excellent reputation in both the Baltic States and abroad. If any company in this industry cheats its customers then you soon get to hear about it. Our own website allows people to post comments about their experiences, while travel forums also offer open access to people to post their opinions about us and other companies.

Do they use Euros in the Baltic States?
Estonia adopted the euro on January 1, 2011. The euro will replace the Estonian Kroon. Latvia and Lithuania, meanwhile, have their own unique currencies – the Lat and the Lit.
There are 100 santimi in a Latvian Lat. Lat notes come in denominations as large as 500 lats (approximately 700 euros)
Lithuanian Litas and the Latvian Lat are likely to remain in use for several more years before either of the two countries joins the euro.
We advise all our clients to take advantage of ATM machines, which can be found all over the three Baltic States.

Is the weather ‘Baltic’ all year round?
Far from it! Although temperatures can dip to as low as minus thirty around February time, the 2009 winter was the mildest on record with snow only arriving in January. Mind you, in winter 2010, the Baltics then experienced the coldest winter on record! Spring and autumn are similar to Western Europe, but with greater temperature extremes. Summers can be positively balmy, on occasion, with temperatures reaching +30 Centigrade in 2009, while in summer 2010 temperatures topped 30 degrees on around 20 days in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

What are the health and visa entry requirements in the Baltics?
Citizens of EU countries do not need a visa to enter any of the Baltic countries. UK visitors are permitted to stay for up to 90 days in any six-month period. All visitors are advised to take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before they set off.
You should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. No injections are required for visitors although Tick-borne encephalitis is a problem in Latvia, especially in some parts of the countryside during the summer months from May to August. If in doubt, you should consult your GP about inoculations against Tick-Borne Encephalitis. If you plan to visit the Baltic countryside during the summer months, be sure to bring plenty of mosquito-repellent!! Elderly travellers should be aware that temperatures can drop to as low as minus 30 degrees in winter.

Isn’t the food a bit strange?
Perhaps the only thing that is really strange about the food is that it isn’t strange! The three Baltic capitals offer a dizzying selection of international restaurants including Tibetan and Uzbek, as well as the usual suspects – namely, Italian, Chinese and Indian. It’s never easy being a vegetarian anywhere but most restaurant owners are beginning to recognise that providing veggie menu options makes good business sense.

Is it safe?
Crime levels are generally lower in the Baltic States than they are in Western Europe.

But I’ve heard reports about people getting in to trouble in Riga. Is there anything I should be worried about?
There has been some media coverage about a number of male tourists becoming involved in trouble during their stay in Riga. These incidents have occurred inside some of the city’s strip clubs, so if in doubt, stay clear of strip clubs.  For more information be sure to check out our Riga Do’s and Don’ts page.

Won’t it be a problem if I can’t speak the local language?
Not unless you are planning to marry a local! English is in widespread use. In fact, some ex-pats complain that they aren’t able to improve their language skills because the locals invariably reply to them in English. Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian are quite distinct languages, which are not similar, as many people believe, to the Russian language.
This said, there is probably no greater compliment to local people than if you try to speak their language. For a few pointers on the Latvian and Estonian languages click on the links.

How can I get around while I’m on holiday?
Most of the major sites can be reached on foot, but an extensive and cheap public transport system exists in all three Baltic countries. Taxis are rarely in short supply, although some have a reputation as rip-off merchants. But never fear! We offer transfers from the airport to your hotel in Riga, Tallinn or Vilnius.

2012 – The Year of the Smile

First of all I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year.   In the past I had a tendency to delay the beginning of the year to February.  Main reason being is that my birthday falls in January and I used to find it difficult making resolutions and thinking about fresh starts…when all I was really wanting was to continue the celebrations.  Perhaps, coming to an age where one begins to forget how old one is, you begin to opt for more subdued birthdays.  This year, I am looking forward to sharing my first birthday with Henry, my new boy!   He gave me the best Christmas present I could have hoped for – a smile!!!


Therefore, I suppose I am conforming and yes have decided to make a few resolutions both on a personal and professional front.  Yep, there are the standard eat more healthily, exercise daily, watch less TV, read more blah blah but what excites me most about 2012 is a concerted effort to smile more.


Some year sago, a department store in New York City, in recognition of the pressures of its sales clerks were under during the Christmas rush, presented the following homely philosophy.


The Value of a smile at Christmas


It costs nothing, but creates much.

It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.

It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

None are so rich they can get along without it, and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.

It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a business, and is the countersign of friends.

It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and Nature’s best antidote for trouble.

Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.

And if in the last-minute rush of Christmas buying some of our salespeople should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours?

For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give!


Lets not save up all our smiles for the festive period….no matter how austere, or troubled the world may become in 2012 it is so important that we keep smiling! 😉


Winter Warmers

We all know how chilly it can get during the winter in Eastern Europe; anyone who has visited these parts also knows how the locals like to tell tales and stories over strong liquor. We count down the top 5 winter warmers to try this year.

Riga Black Balzam – As thick as tar and 45%abv this drink is a cross between Jagermeister and cough medicine, which is handy as the local Latvians swear by this drink as a cure for the common cold…if you have enough we are sure it could cure most ailments.



Unicums – Brewed from over 40 herbs (apparently) this liquor from Hungary is sure to warm the cockles of your heart, even if the image of a drowning man on the label is a bit odd.




Zubrowka – This list would not be complete without a good old traditional Polish wódka and where better to start than the Bison Grass wódka. A single blade of Bison grass is placed in every bottle and although this has been copied many times over there is only one original Zubrowka.



Vana – This Estonian liquor is available in varying levels of potency, from 16%abv up to 50%abv. Of course when in Tallinn there is only option and that the 50%abv, not as old as others on the list it is perhaps a bit more palatable with a sweeter taste.



Rakija – A favourite amongst the Balkans this liquor made from distilled fruit, Serbian Rakija is renowned as the best around, due to the excellent fruit farming in this area…again the not so legal form of Rakija can pack a punch at 60%abv


What is the Secret?

What is the secret – why are Eastern European women so hot?


Excuse the cliché but if I had a Euro for everytime someone asked me why the women are so hot in Eastern Europe I would be a very rich man.

Ask any expat why they moved to Riga, Prague, Budapest, Krakow, Kiev and many more European magnets you will hear a wonderful yarn about the beautiful architecture, endless opportunities and cost of living. These are all valid reasons for anyone wanting to uproot and move to Eastern Europe but cutting out the fluff – the real numero uno reason is what you see when walking down the street.

Forget simply in the summer time, when living in this part of the world as the great Mungo Jerry sang:

You got women, you got women on your mind

Have a drink, have a drive (not illegally though)

Go out and see what you can find!

This is a great time of year for going for a wander as many of the locals have swapped playing around in their summer houses with bbq tongs and bum slapping birch branches to tottling around the old town in high heels and tight denim jeans.  There is a new fashion in this part of the world…women do not put jeans on they spray them on!  You simply have to ‘Experience it to believe it’!!

I have debated writing a book about the secret behind European beauties – I thought it would be a riveting read for any dude intending to visit Eastern Europe and the number one self help book for most Western European women.  But eh gotta start somewhere and a Blog post is as good a place as any:


[youtube width=”600″ height=”365″ video_id=”KvP_YvfFPn4″]

Video courtesy of MaiklsTV


The Secret Seven Theories:

  • Melting Pot Theory

In the past 800 years Latvia has only had only 40 years of independence! The Germans, Swedish, Poles, Russians and Lithuanians have all occupied at some time that makes quite a genetic cocktail which in turn creates a great look!

  • Brrrrrbaltic Theory

Baltic / Eastern European winters increase the metabolism – hence weight loss!  Venture outside when the temperatures are plummeting to a -25 degrees C…the only way you can keep warm is walk fast!

  • Tottle Theory

Tottling on the cobbled streets in stilettos helps to increase balance, leg and bum muscle toning and attitude!  Tottling on sandy beaches (and believe me it happens) does not quite burn the calories but it certainly raises a smile!

  • Meat and two veg theory

No processed food – a supermarket shop in Eastern Europe is very different to your typical Tesco shop .  Please Tesco’s stayaway and please Eastern European mum’s keep teaching your kids how to cook.

  • The Competitive Edge Theory

3 – 1 ratios….dudes during the soviet times were sent to Siberia, now they are sent to Oslo and Dublin to earn a decent living (the average wage in this part of the world is embarrassingly low….there is a saying that we have European costs and non-European wages).  With such a ratio it is no wonder the women want to dress to impress and keep themselves looking great.

  • Cake Justification theory

Go to a gym here – women actually do work out – it is not a social and there is no cake justification mindset.  Women here would rather spend their pocket money post work out on a solarium rather than a cheesecake.

  • MTV Theory

Young women love watching and reenacting the dance routines of their favorite pop stars. We are not only talking the moves but also the fashion. These girls know what they want and they will go to extremes to get it!

If anyone has any other secret theories we are always open for suggestions!!


Coming soon….

The Baltic Beauty exercise and nutrition program:

  • Bicep curls with your ratdog
  • ‘club’ running and dancing in high heels
  • Champagne and cherry eating


FHM Hotspot

In October 20o9 Travel Out There played host to FHM Holland for the weekend. You can read the article on our website –, at the time this coverage was great for us and the exposure in Holland proved to be a success, with many Dutch coming over to Riga and our other destinations to become part of the TOT family. We have stayed in touch with the guys from FHM and have developed a good relationship with the magazine…so you imagine how pleased we were when we received the long awaited FHM Hotspots video, made during their trip.

This 8 minute video captures Riga and some of the things you can do with the TOT team perfectly…if your Dutch its even better (the video is in Dutch). So we would like to once again say a huge thanks to the guys that made the weekend possible and to the guys at FHM for coming over and helping us share this fantastic city…


Happy viewing

[youtube width=”600″ height=”365″ video_id=”Ge4d7IBORyg”]

Where is Riga?

There is one ‘Riga’ outside the borders of this planet. However, since space tourism is not so well developed right now and I’m not sure that the small planet which got the name ‘Riga’ way back in 1971 has anything to offer you, I welcome you to land back on Planet Earth and open the map of Europe.

Before we find out where is Riga, we have to clarify where Latvia is (we are back on Planet Earth – no places out of reach now). Some people will tell you that Latvia is a country in Northern Europe, others will say – Eastern Europe. Great! Excited by the North?  Want to know what life is like in Eastern Europe? Perfect! Latvia is a country in North-Eastern Europe, along the shores of the Baltic Sea. Finland, Sweden, Germany, Poland – all share the same sea with Latvia. On the other side of Latvia, you might get lost looking at the huge mass of Russia, so get back to the left side of Russia, where it has the border with Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. Here we are – in the middle of 3 Baltic States you see one country called Latvia.

Where is Riga? ‘The City of Inspiration’, ‘The Capital of the North’, ‘Nordic Paris’ – these are other names for this city.  In Latvian, its called Rīga – with a long ‘i’.  In other languages you will find this city as Riqa, Рыга, Рига, Ρίγα, Riia, Ríge, Ryga, Riika… That’s the city founded way back in 1201, and celebrating it’s 810th anniversary this year.

The biggest city in Baltics, one of the oldest cities in Europe, the main industrial, business, culture, sports and financial center in the Baltics – Riga is located in the heart of Latvia – next to the Baltic Sea (Gulf of Riga). You can reach Riga by airplane – the biggest airport in the Baltics is located here. Little Baltic sea cruises have become quite popular to reach Riga from Nordic countries. From Russia, for example, it’s quite easy to come by train – you will get out right in Riga city centre.

Of course, all roads in Latvia lead to Riga and it is not only because Riga has always been the capital city. It has a lot to offer: from medieval Old Town to Art Nouveau architecture, famous opera, sparkling night life, arts and adventures. Did you know that this year Latvia was chosen from a pool of 160 candidates in the third annual survey as one of the Top 10 countries for adventure travel? Have you heard that Riga is included among the Top 5 European cities for summer travel? While the capital of the neighbour country Tallinn (in Estonia) is the reigning European Capital of Culture 2011, Riga is getting ready for 2014 when it will carry this title. Riga is where the magical Riga Black Balsam was made more than 250 years ago and definitely the best place where to taste it.

If you were initially searching for the planet named Riga and wanted to go there, I would strongly advice you to change your plans – let the space tourism develop – the city called Riga (in Latvia, Baltic States, Europe) is getting more and more popular every day, and it’s not without a reason. Where is Riga? If you are on Planet Earth, Riga is close and within easy reach!

Written by Kristine Fedotova author of Your Friend in Riga

Slider & Title image courtesy of Roy Marvelous

How to deal with illegal parking in the Baltics

Cycle count lanes in the Baltics are slowly popping up everywhere, however this seemingly new development is catching out drivers in the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. People here are used to some pretty chaotic driving and the prospect of now looking out for an increasing number of cyclists will no doubt cause a few more headaches. We all know that stopping to fix a slipped chain in a cycle lane is deemed offensive let alone parking your car in one.

In Vilnius, Lithuania that is precisely what happened. The Mayor of Vilnius and keen cyclist Arturas Zuokas took matters into his own hands when he came across an illegally parked car;

Mayor Arturas Zuokas in an armoured vehicle which is crushing a car in central Vilnius

Ok, so its all for a bit of publicity but also a serious warning to drivers who park in lanes reserved for cyclists. As the Baltics look at ways of preserving and showing their historic cities, without clogging up the streets with endless tourist buses its becoming clear that the use of bikes and other “green” transport such as Segways are becoming more and more popular…sorry car people this mean one thing, more cycle lanes and as a result less street parking, it might be time to buy yourself a little push bike for that short trip to work, if only for the summer months. You can reads the full story from BBC News here