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4 Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Latvia: Buying Guide

Latvia is a Baltic state together with Estonia and Lithuania. As all Baltic states, expect cold winters and mild summers. However, that should not discourage you from visiting Latvia.

Latvia is home to many things. For example, it has an impressive waterfall called Ventas Rumba, which is referred to as the widest waterfall in Europe. Its capital, Riga, is known for its Old Town and the central markets.

Sigulda has plenty of castles, caves, and ruins to explore, while Liepaja is known for its famous beach – Liepaja beach. Being bored in Latvia? No way!

What may also bore you is trying to find out which Latvian SIM card you should buy when visiting the country. However, it should not. Roaming with your provider can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers prefer to buy a local SIM card.

Data prices in Latvia are one of the lowest in Europe, which is why you should get a Latvian SIM card if you do not have an EU/EEA SIM card.

In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Latvia. Let's get started.

Telecom Providers in Latvia

Latvia has 3 telecom providers: LMT, Tele2 Latvia (Zelta Zivtina), and Bite Latvia. All Latvian operators have 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks.

Best SIM Card in Latvia

If you want to buy a SIM card in Latvia, then I would recommend going with LMT because they have the best coverage throughout the country.

However, you should know that your coverage and speeds will be good with any Latvian operator, so it does not really matter which operator you choose.

Like some countries in Europe, and like all Baltic states, you do not have to show your passport when buying a Latvian SIM card.

You will notice that data rates in Latvia are low (like all Baltic states and some countries in Eastern Europe). Latvia is part of the European Union. As of June 2017, a new regulation has been enforced, which is known as roam at like home, meaning that those with a European Union (or EEA) SIM card should be allowed to use (some) of their data allowance in other EU/EEA countries without a surcharge.

Because domestic data rates are so low in Latvia, the Latvian operators have opted-out from this regulation, meaning that they are not required to give those with a Latvian SIM card free roaming allowance. Instead, some operators have a Fair-use data roaming policy, sell roaming packages, or allow you to roam for relatively low rates.

With that said, let’s see what Latvia has to offer to us.

LMT

LMT Logo

LMT is the largest operator in Latvia. That does not say much in a country with a low population, and when the competitors are close behind in terms of subscribers. LMT, however, does have the best 3G and 4G/LTE coverage, reaching more than 90% of the population.

LMT SIM cards, called LMT Karte, are sold in LMT stores, kiosks, post offices, and supermarkets. The most you will pay for your LMT SIM card is €3.

However, if you look well and are lucky, you can find an LMT SIM card for €1.50 in some supermarkets. I would not recommend going out to multiple stores trying to find the €1.50 version because you will be wasting your time (speaking of experience here!).

If you buy your LMT SIM card at an LMT store, the salesperson will tell you this too, but you have to call 29202010 to activate your LMT SIM card. Listen to the instructions and follow them. Worry not, you can change it to English.

LMT recharge cards are sold from €1.42 to €20. You can also recharge online with a credit card. You can check your LMT balance by dialing *120*#.

The following LTM combo packs are available:

  • €0.50: unlimited data and 184 MB in EU for 1 day. Activation: text ID to 1626
  • €1.50: 1 GB, 551 MB in EU, 10 minutes, and unlimited SMS for 7 days. Activation: text NSA to 1626
  • €2: 100 MB and unlimited calls and SMS for 7 days. Activation: text NIA to 1626
  • €2.50: unlimited data, 918 MB in EU, 10 minutes, and unlimited SMS for 7 days. Activation: text NIPA to 1626
  • €14.90: unlimited data, €8.93 GB in EU, and unlimited calls and SMS for 1 month. Activation: text MV to 1626

All LMT combo packs auto-renew if there is enough data. To deactivate a plan, add a behind the activation code. For example, if you want to deactivate the €2 100 MB combo pack, then you would text NSA- to 1626.

Sending an SMS to 1626 will cost €0.0213 per SMS.

If you go over your data allowance, where applicable, your speeds will be reduced to 64 Kbps, which is extremely slow. You can check your data balance by texting i to 1626.

You can also get an LMT data-only SIM card, called Priekšapmaksas mobilā interneta SIM karte (try pronouncing that for fun), for €5.65 in LMT stores. It comes with 10 GB (2.03 GB in EU) for 1 week. The following two data packs can be added:

  • €1.40: 1 GB and 514 MB in EU for 24 hours. Activation: text DI to 29202010
  • €5.65: 10 GB and 2.03 GB in EU for 7 days. Activation: text NED to 29202010

Your speed will be throttled to 64 Kbps if you go over your data allowance.

Zelta Zivtina (Tele2 Latvia)

Zelta Zivtina Logo

Tele2 Latvia, just Tele2, is almost as popular as LMT while having almost the same coverage throughout Latvia. Tele2 covers more than 90% of the population.

Tele2 does not sell its prepaid SIM cards as Tele2. Instead, their prepaid brand is called Zelta Zivtina (or ZZ), and can be bought in Zelta Zivtina stores, supermarkets, newsstands, and kiosks. Tele2 SIM cards are sold between €1.50 to €4. As to be expected, it may be a challenge to find the €1.50 version.

Zelta Zivtina has several different combo packs:

  • €4.50: unlimited data and calls and 1000 SMS for 7 days. Activation: text E to 1616
  • €5: unlimited calls and SMS for 30 days. Activation: text V to 1616
  • €7: 200 MB (also for in EU), 60 minutes, and 60 SMS for 7 days. Activation: text E to 1616

Except for the €7 plan, data can only be used in Latvia.

All Zelta Zivtina combo packs auto-renew when there is enough credit. To cancel a plan, text STOPATA to 1616.

You can also get a monthly Zelta Zivtina data pack:

  • €1: 100 MB. Activation: text XS to 1616
  • €3: 500 MB. Activation: text S to 1616
  • €4: 1 GB. Activation: text M to 1616
  • €6: 2 GB. Activation: text L to 1616

All these Zelta Zivtina data packs can only be used in Latvia.

Finally, there is also a Zelta Zivtina data-only SIM card, which is sold for €5 and comes with 5 GB for 10 days. Recharge vouchers for the data-only SIM card can be bought in kiosks or gas stations:

  • €1.50: 5 GB for 2 days
  • €3: 2 GB for 7 days
  • €5: 5 GB for 14 days
  • €10: 15 GB for 30 days
  • €20: 25 GB for 60 days

All these data plans can only be used in Latvia.

Bite Latvia

Bite Logo

Finally, we have Bite Latvia, just Bite, the smallest operator in Latvia. This, however, does not mean that they are bad. They also cover more than 90% of the population.

Bite Latvia SIM cards, called Bite karte, can be bought at Bite stores. Top-up vouchers are sold in various stores from €2 to €8.  

Bite has 2 monthly combo packs:

  • €4.75: 100 MB and unlimited calls and SMS. Activation: text B2 LV to 1600
  • €6.75: 100 MB/minutes/SMS. Activation: text BITE EUROPE to 1600

The data, minute, and SMS allowance of the €6.75 plan can be used in other EU countries. Additionally, you get 100 minutes and SMS to call and text from Latvia to other EU nations.

Bite does not sell data packs. Instead, you will get the following allowances if you meet the top-up threshold:

  • €1.42: up to 100 MB
  • €3.56: up to 500 MB
  • €6.40: up to 2 GB
  • €9.96: up to 6 GB
  • €12:09: up to 10 GB

Bite, however, has an internet pack. For €1, you will get unlimited data for a selected app for 30 days. The apps are Facebook, Waze, Viber, and Draugiem. To activate an internet pack, text the name of the app to 1600.

Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Latvia

Being redone.

The Preferred Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Latvia

Getting a SIM card from LMT would do you well when considering a Latvian SIM card.

Local Prepaid SIM Cards in Other European Countries

Visiting other countries in Europe? Check out my Europe SIM card buying guide, covering other European nations, such as:

Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.

Next Steps to Enhance Your Travel Experiences

Looking for the next steps to enhance your phone travel experiences? Here is what to do:

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Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.

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