I am a French guy who would like some informations about Daugavpils..
I am actually looking for a town where the cost of life is not too expensive, and where I could spend some months (maybe 8 or more) to learn the Russian language.
Daugavpils seems a place that correspond to my demand. I know some people will tell me that if I go to Latvia I should learn Latvian (I will learn the basics), or that I should go to Russia.. but I want to learn Russian first.
Latvia has some great advantages : it's in schenghen, so I won't need a visa, and it has the Euro now, plus the internet speed is very good in Latvia, that's what I heard.( I have activities with Internet)
So here are my questions :
1) does the majority of the population speaks Russian ? and is it not too different from the Russian spoken in Russia or Ukraine for example ? (accent/pronunciation/slightly different words ?)
- also - does a lot of people speak English there ?
2) I know some people here said that this town was depressing, why ?, I checked on google and it didn't look that bad at all !).
3) the town looks pretty large, I guess it's more convenient to live in the centre, is it ? where are the good places ? are there any dangerous zones ? places to avoid ?
4) how much is a rent /month (something in the center, nothing fancy but convenient and clean) ? what is the best solution to find a place to live ? what are the good websites to find an apartment ?
I found apartments that looked decent for rent going from 50 to 100 euros a month, is that representative of the market ?
5) what are the big expenses I will be confronted to ? (electricity, water, gas, other ?)
6) what is the internet speed ? how much does it cost (approx.) ?
7) for the food : are there any big shops (that has everything) ?
8) what about the everyday life ? the people ? the atmosphere ?
Please understand that I don't have deep pockets and want to live like a "normal" person, meaning that I won't go to the restaurant everyday, have a maid, a car, drink beers and go out all the time. I'm interested to go there, to learn Russian, and live in an affordable place.
For the transport from Riga to Daugavpils, I checked both train and bus. Bus is slower but not so much. I will have a big luggage (20kgs) with me, and I fear that it could be a problem in the train (lack of space). Will it be ok with the bus ?
That's a lot of questions.. and I hope someone with good experience will be able to answer.
Thank you very muchEdited: 8:13 pm, March 12, 2014