Association of Latvian Professional Guides

10 Things to Know About Association of Latvian Professional Guides (LPGA)

1. What year was LPGA established, and where is the headquarters?

LPGA was founded in 2002 with its headquarters in Riga, the capital of the Republic of Latvia, but our members are situated all over Latvia. In the same year, we became associate members of FEG. Since 2018 LPGA has a full membership status within FEG.

Photo: LPGA archive, LPGA members visiting the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia

2. What is the primary mission/goal of LPGA?

The primary objective of LPGA is to bring together professional tourist guides in Latvia and facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences among them.

Our emphasis is on enhancing the professional education and qualifications of our LPGA members. Another significant area of focus is the promotion of the tourist guide profession and elevating its status.

LPGA actively advocates for the interests of its members within tourism-related organisations in Latvia. We also place a strong emphasis on international collaboration, organising meetings with other tourist guide associations and institutions from foreign countries to share expertise and insights.

3. What is the process to become a qualified tourist guide in Latvia?

The requirement for tourist guide certification in Latvia is currently mandatory in cities like Riga and Daugavpils and in specific sites such as Rundale Palace and other museums.

The certification of tourist guides in Riga is overseen by a dedicated commission established by the Riga Investment and Tourism Agency, comprising representatives from relevant professional organisations and the Riga City Council.

The information of certified tourist guides in Riga are documented in a specialised registry and made publicly available. Additionally, foreign tourist guides are permitted to offer their services at key tourist attractions in Riga, provided they meet the necessary criteria. More comprehensive information about the certification process in Riga can be found on the Riga tourism portal:

Most of Regional Tourist Information Centres of Latvia have their own list of their certified guides, but they also allow other guides to operate there, with the exception of Riga and Daugavpils.

Joining (LPGA is not compulsory for working as a tourist guide in Latvia, but it serves as evidence of meeting high-quality standards.

To become an LPGA member, education, completion of professional courses, experience and recommendations from employers and other tourist guides are taken into account.

An evaluation of the guide's knowledge and feedback is carried out through a meeting with the Association's Board Members. Details regarding the admission process for new members can be found here:

4. Once qualified, how do tourist guide in Latvia maintain their qualification? Also, is there an official badge that qualified tourist guides in Latvia wear?

LPGA organizes monthly events dedicated to topical issues and events in the country. These gatherings encompass lectures, guided tours, and opportunities for members to share their experiences. Additionally, LPGA provides its members with a unique certificate and an internationally recognised badge.

Riga tourist guides use a specific badge, which serves to inform those receiving tourist guide services about the service provider and attests to the quality of the service:

Other regions, municipalities, urban areas, and museums within Latvia may also issue their own badges following the completion of specialist courses.

5. How many qualified tourist guides are members of LPGA and tell us about their diverse backgrounds?

As of November 1, 2023, we have 76 members, all of whom are certified in their respective fields of work. Our members have diverse professional backgrounds, and they contribute a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from their past or current vocations. Our membership includes individuals with backgrounds in translation, education, students, sales, and various other professions.

6. What are some of the professional development classes offered to members of LPGA?

During the off-peak guiding season, we arrange monthly activities for our members, and the majority of these are covered by the annual membership fee, without additional charges. These events encompass both theoretical lectures and practical sessions. Subsequently, we typically host workshops, discussions, and opportunities for members to share their thoughts and ideas.

Photo: Aija Lubeja-Sube, LPGA candle making workshop

7. What are some of the top reasons for using a qualified tourist guide in Latvia?

Our guides possess not only the knowledge but also stay current with the latest developments, receiving training in all facets of guiding to ensure that your visit to Latvia is both remarkable and unique. When you engage the services of a certified tourist guide, you not only gain insights into Latvian history, prominent attractions, and stunning natural surroundings but also receive an introduction to the Latvian way of life and the Latvian society.

8. What are some of the popular places to visit in Latvia?

Latvia is rich with both cultural, historical and natural sites. Prominent destinations in Latvia include Riga, Gauja National Park, Jurmala, Kuldiga, Rundale Palace Museum, Turaida Museum Reserve, Cesis, Liepaja, Ventspils, and the Latgale Region. For additional details, please refer to the following link:

Photo: Laura Junghane, view from Sigulda to Krimulda in autumn, Gauja National Park

9. What are some general tips you would give to potential visitors planning a vacation to Latvia?

The people of Latvia are known for their friendly and welcoming nature. While the official language is Latvian, it's common for individuals to also acquire proficiency in English and other languages through school education.

For Latvians, culture and traditions are an integral part of their lives. This is evident through our Midsummer celebrations, Song and Dance Festivals, and a plethora of cultural venues such as theaters, opera houses, museums, and art centers. Latvians have a strong sense of mobilisation, unity, and pride in the accomplishments of their fellow countrymen.

In the capital city of Riga, you'll discover the historic old town, the Opera House, theaters, remarkable Art Nouveau structures, and the iconic Central Market. However, the city's charm extends beyond the Daugava River. Its left bank boasts beautiful wooden architecture, Uzvaras Park, winding and occasionally unpaved streets, and the revitalized old Agenskalns market. This area presents a noticeable contrast to the city center, offering a different facet of Riga.

Latvia has more to offer than just Riga. If you venture into the countryside, you'll be pleasantly surprised. The nation's fields and forests are its treasures.

Photo: Edgars Egle, country homestead “Lielkugi” in Penkule

Over half of the country is covered by untouched and easily accessible forests that serve as a habitat for a diverse range of wildlife. Latvia is a country in Europe, whose residents feel a special connection with nature. Latvians have a genuine fondness for foraging wild berries and mushrooms. Latvia boasts an extensive coastline of nearly 500 kilometers, offering a multitude of beaches. These shorelines cater to a diverse range of preferences, whether you seek lively beach activities or the tranquility of vast stretches of unspoiled sands. The best part is that these areas are accessible to the general public. Additionally, Latvia is blessed with numerous rivers and lakes.

Photos: Aija Lubeja-Sube, the Baltic Sea coast

Although the majority of tourists come here during the warmest months of summer, Latvia's beauty shines throughout all four seasons. In spring, we invite visitors to partake in the national tradition of birch juice drinking. Autumn graces the landscape with its vibrant and colourful foliage.

Photo: LPGA archive, visiting Ikskile county

Winter possesses a unique allure, especially with its snowy landscapes. The key is to have the right clothing. Latvia offers an array of options during the winter season, catering to both those who seek tranquil nature experiences and those who crave more exhilarating activities. Despite Latvia's predominantly flat terrain, we have numerous elevated areas that we affectionately refer to as "mountains," and these regions are home to several ski resorts. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, you can even try out rides on real winter bobsleigh track in Sigulda. Additionally, cross-country skiing in our forests and fields is a popular pastime.

To have the most of the experience here in Latvia, we suggest to use professionals to plan your trip and guided tours. Book a qualified guide, you can find them below. LPGA Members – professional tourist guides – offer routes developed according to individual wishes.

Photo: LPGA archive, Christmas gathering excursion in Ragaciems

10. Where can potential visitors to Latvia find out more information about LPGA and find a qualified tourist guide?

The list of LPGA members can be found here: