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Booze in Latvia not as cheap as you might think

Despite its reputation as a cheap booze destination, the price of alcoholic drinks in Latvia is not as low as many people might imagine, when compared with other European countries. 

According to EU statistics agency Eurostat, in 2020 the price of alcoholic drinks across the EU was more than two and a half times as high in the most expensive Member State compared with the cheapest one.

When price levels are compared with the EU average price level index of 100, the results show that the price of alcoholic drinks (spirits, wine and beer) was the highest in Finland (with a price level index of 193), followed by Ireland (181) and Sweden (166).

EU alcohol prices, 2020

Latvia in fact comes in more expensive than the EU average with a price index level of 114, making it more expensive even than Belgium, Austria, Italy and France, among others.

Crucially though, Latvia remains cheaper than Estonia (119), so our northern neighbors can continue to fill up at border drinks stores, and with Finland the most expensive place to buy alcohol in the EU, it is not surprising that Finnish registration plates are also a frequent site at Latvian booze supermarkets. On the other hand, Lithuania undercuts Latvia, coming in right on the EU average at 100.

Over time though, the prices of Latvian drinks have fluctuated, in relative terms. In 2019 Latvia's index level was 117 and back in 2016 it was as high as 120. In 2017 though, it was at 111. 

 

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