Latvia sits on the Baltic Sea.
The country ranks high for homicides per 100,000 residents and the figures are some of the highest in the European Union.
Most intentional homicide victims are female, up to 60%.
In addition, the country experiences high levels of transnational crime such as human trafficking, labor trafficking, and drug trafficking, as Latvia is a source country where women are trafficked domestically and internationally.
The Latvian government has put policies in place to combat the surge of trafficking.
Latvia’s capital, Riga, has been identified as a smuggling hub.
- 10 Safest Cities in Latvia
- 5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Latvia
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Safest Cities in Latvia
Latvia has an intentional homicide rate of 3.71 incidents per 100,000 residents, an incarceration rate of 164.56 per 100,000 residents, a 0.42 death rate by guns per 100,000 residents, and a death rate of 2.48 per 100,000 residents for stabbings.
These crimes are spread out across the country as there are no high-risk areas or low-risk areas.
1. Ogre, Latvia
The city of Ogre was established in 1828 and consists of three parts: Pārogre, Ogre, and Jaunogre.
Ogre is situated east of the capital city of Riga, approximately 36 kilometers away.
It is well-known for its history and culture, including The Ogre Museum of History and Art.
Latvia has a safety index of 64.52 out of 100 and a crime index of 35.48 out of 100.
The city has a moderate level of crime and saw a moderate increase over the past three years.
Crime trends that visitors and locals should be aware of are things stolen from cars, attacks, vandalism of property, and corruption.
There aren’t major incidents but they do occur in certain parts of the city.
Home invasions, muggings, robberies, car theft, assault, and drug dealings are of low concern.
Visitors and locals are safe during the day and at night when walking around.
2. Jelgava, Latvia
Jelgava is situated approximately 40 kilometers southwest of the capital, Riga, and is located in central Latvia.
The city has a population of approximately 60,000 residents.
It is rich in history and boasts some of the most beautiful architectural structures, such as castles and churches.
Jelgava has a crime index of 36.48 out of 100 and a safety index of 63.25.
It is very safe overall but has seen a moderate increase in crime over the past three years.
The most prominent crimes are things stolen from cars, vandalism, theft, and corruption.
Visitors and locals are safe when walking around during the day and night.
In addition, there is very little concern regarding muggings, robberies, physical attacks, and assaults in this city.
3. Cesis, Latvia
This city is located in the northeast part of the country.
Cesis boasts one of the most beautiful medieval castles in Europe.
It is also one of the safest cities in Latvia.
Cesis has a safety index of 76.96 out of 100 and a crime index of 2.04 out of 100.
The city scores low on all forms of crime, from property crime such as theft and vandalism to other types of crime such as muggings, robberies, assaults, car theft, things stolen from cars, or drug-related crimes.
Travelers who go to Cesis generally feel safe when walking around and consider it to be a great city for families and people who have kids.
It is very safe to walk around alone during the day, but there may be a moderate risk when walking alone at night.
4. Jekabpils, Latvia
Jekabpils is a city in southeast Latvia, approximately halfway between Riga and Daugavpils.
The city has a population of approximately 28,000 residents.
There is a moderate concern about various types of crime occurring in the city, but travelers who exercise reasonable caution should be safe.
Jekabpils has a crime index of 43.53 out of 100 and a safety index of 56.47 out of 100.
While it is generally safe, there are certain crimes that are somewhat more of a concern, and visitors and residents should remain aware of their surroundings and vigilant when out and about in the city.
There is a moderate level of crime in Jekabpils and there has been a moderate increase in crime over the past three years.
Residents and visitors are primarily concerned about robberies, muggings, and home invasions.
Vandalism, theft, physical assault, and crime-related drugs are of moderate concern to those traveling in Jekabpils and living in the city.
Safety is high during the day but low at night.
5. Ventspils, Latvia
Ventspils is a city located in western Latvia.
It is well known for a castle built in the 11th century by the Teutonic Knights.
The city has a very low crime index of 33 out of 100 and a high safety index of 64 out of 100.
The city is considered to be very safe and especially safe for families and children.
There has been a moderate increase in crime over the past three years and the only other concern regarding crime relates to property crime, which includes vandalism and theft.
Other than that, only corruption is of moderate concern in Ventspils.
Safety is very high during the day and high at night, which means that visitors and locals can walk around without the fear of being robbed or mugged.
6. Riga, Latvia
Riga, the capital of Latvia, was once referred to as the crime capital of Europe.
Today it has a crime index of 38.46 out of 100 and a safety index of 61.54 out of 100.
The most prominent type of crime in this city is trafficking and corruption.
The government has put several policies in place to counter these two types of crime.
Crime levels are generally low and pickpockets are not really a concern in the capital.
Drug-related crimes, vandalism to property, and theft of items from cars are moderate risks in Riga.
Most tourists state that they generally feel safe traveling in Riga, and most residents agree.
7. Dobele, Latvia
Dobele is located in central Latvia and is one of the safer cities in the country.
The safety index for the city is 75 out of 100 and the crime index is 20 out of 100.
All types of crime have very low scores and most visitors and residents feel safe walking around during the day and at night.
The type of crime that is of moderate concern is property crime such as vandalism and theft.
8. Tukums, Latvia
Tukums is located approximately 100 kilometers from Riga.
The city has a crime index of 36.76 and a safety index of 63.24 out of 100.
It is less safe than most of the cities on this list as corruption, vandalism, and theft from motor vehicles are high risks in Tukums.
There has been a moderate increase in crime over the past three years.
Home invasions, robberies, muggings, and assaults are of low concern to residents of the city.
In addition, there is a low level of concern when it comes to drug-related crimes.
The city is known for its architecture and is a top tourist destination.
Walking around during the day and at night is safe.
9. Jurmala, Latvia
This is a resort city located on the Gulf of Riga and a top tourist destination.
Pickpockets and tourist scams are not of concern in Jurmala.
For the most part, tourists and residents feel safe walking around during the day and at night.
There is a moderate risk of corruption, property crimes, and theft from cars.
The city has a crime index of 35.87 and a safety index of 64.13 out of 100.
Attacks, robberies, muggings, and assaults are of little concern to residents of the city.
The city attracts thousands of visitors due to its climate, beautiful beaches, and forests.
10. Madona, Latvia
Madona, Latvia, is located approximately in the center of the country.
It is a small residential town with a low crime index of 29.78 and a high safety index of 70.22 out of 100.
While there are serious crimes like homicide and murder that do occur in the city, it is, generally speaking, one of the safer cities in the country.
There are three areas of crime that are of moderate concern in Madona, which include corruption, theft from stationary vehicles, and vandalism.
Apart from these three types of crime, the city is relatively safe.
It is extremely safe to walk around during the day, but residents should remain vigilant when traveling alone at night as there is a moderate risk of crime.
Muggings, robberies, and assaults are not of major concern in Madona.
Latvia Safety Overview
READ THE FULL REPORT: Latvia Safety ReviewSafety Index:
- OVERALL RISK : LOW
- TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : HIGH
- PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
- NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
- MUGGING RISK : LOW
- TERRORISM RISK : LOW
- SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
- WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Latvia
Listed below are five safety tips when traveling to or in Latvia:
- Keep identification on you. Whenever traveling in Latvia, close to the Belarusian border, carry your passport with you as the situation may change at short notice.
- Be aware of petty crimes. This type of crime is common in the capital and all major tourist cities.
- Always check prices in restaurants. It’s uncommon that a tourist may be overcharged. In addition, be mindful of credit card fraud as this occurs in bars, nightclubs, and even restaurants.
- Keep an eye on drinks. Criminals spike drinks in public establishments; you should never leave drinks unattended.
- Severe weather can cause damage to roads and cause dangerous driving conditions. Always keep an eye on the weather when traveling to or in Latvia.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the national dish of Latvia?
The national dish is a stew made with gray beans that are similar to chickpeas.
Is WiFi free in Riga?
What is one thing Latvia is famous for?
Latvian-born tailor Jacob Davis invented jeans.