We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

living in Daugavpils

Calais, France
2 posts
Save Topic
living in Daugavpils

Hello,

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 those sites : http://www.reklama.lv and http://www.ss.lv

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 much

Edited: 8:13 pm, March 12, 2014
Vejen, Denmark
Destination Expert
for Riga
Level Contributor
1,255 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: living in Daugavpils

You have many questions, but how will you learn

russian? Just by live in area where some people speak it?

Remember that for many Latvians its an offence to

speak russian to them even they know the language!

Btw the spoken russian is different from the "real"

russian spoken in Russia.

I dont know much about cost and living in Daugapils,

but I also find that the city looks ok. Its a poor area

with many unemployed, but that just make the

living costs lower.

I hope some can help you with more local details.

Calais, France
2 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: living in Daugavpils

I am already learning with methods that can be done alone (like Rosetta stone and Assimil), I also read books, learn grammar, and watch videos and movies in russian.

I read that they provide Russian lessons for adults in Daugavpils. Also, I could probably find a teacher.

Being immersed in a Russian speaking environment will not teach me magically the language, I know, but it helps a lot ! I progressed a lot in English when I was living in England, because you end up forced to speak the language all the time.

When you mean that the Russian spoken here is different, how big is the difference ? would people in Russia understand well Russian speaking people in Daugavpils ?

I know that Latvians don't like to talk in Russian, but I thought it was different in that town ?

Vejen, Denmark
Destination Expert
for Riga
Level Contributor
1,255 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: living in Daugavpils

Yes they will understand it in Russia, but will be

like an dialect. It can be different in Daugavpils

because there is more people with russian

origin, but rest is still Latvians.

1 post
Save Reply
4. Re: living in Daugavpils

Hello, this is exactly the same I'll be doing when I finish the tourist season here in Salou (Spain), rental is quite cheap. If I was able to learn English in Aarhus (Denmark) ten years ago I thing I can improve my russian in Daugavplis this winter. My teacher wanted me to go to Minsk (she is from there), but I think it's much more complicated. Russian language is quite standard and I don't need a superior level.

Madison, Wisconsin
1 post
Save Reply
5. Re: living in Daugavpils

I am from Daugavpils originally. I see your rationale - Daugavpils would be a great place to practice Russian in safe environment. Besides, you could easily find a Russian speaking tutor at reasonable rates. Stay in center, there are many shops, food options etc, local theater, parks.

Luxembourg City...
Level Contributor
697 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: living in Daugavpils

It is a bit of a myth that Latvians are offended when addressed in Russian. I am Latvian and have no problem with Russian, neither do I know people who have. There are some ultra nationalists and the youngsters do not learn Russian at school anymore. In places like Daugavpils people are basically bilingual. If you explain you are from France and are here to learn Russian, I do not think Latvians will have anything against that.

Russian is language spoken in a huge territory by millions of people, so naturally there are varieties and accents, but people understand each other anyway. It is not like in France where there are some regional varieties others do not understand. Russian is pretty standard everywhere.

Both of the biggest supermarket chains (Rimi and Maxima) are in Daugavpils. In Latvia big shopping malls are usually in the city, not in outlets you can only reach by car as in many European countries.

Daugavpils is very provincial, economically disadvantaged and post-Soviet, but it is also very green, surrounded by lakes and forests. That part of Latvia in general is very beautiful and people (both Latvians and Russians) are very kind and hospitable. If you have this idea, go ahead!

Edited: 4:55 am, February 12, 2015
Luxembourg City...
Level Contributor
697 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: living in Daugavpils

As to the renting www.ss.lv is the site most locals in Latvia use to buy, sell, rent or let. It is known to everybody. It gives you a pretty good picture of prices and offers. Rent price is usually just the rent and you also pay a variable sum of money as charges (in winter these are bigger, because you have to pay for the heating, in summer they can be ridiculously cheap). Water, electricity, gas - these you pay according to meters. The more you use the more you pay. Other charges (heating, waste collection) is communal and divided by number flats in the house, you cannot really influence that, you just pay your share. Talk to the owners and find the best offer that suits you.

If you have big luggage take the bus. Trains are old with steep stairs. It is pretty difficult to manage a 20 kilo luggage in a Latvian train. If you can, try to go in early spring so that you have all the fantastic summer with nearly white nights, with fresh and cheap local berries and fruit and the fantastic autumn in all its colours. Late autumns and winters can be a bit daunting in a far away provincial Latvian town, but then again, if you spend a winter in a place like Daugavpils, you'll understand the classical Russian literature better.

Edited: 8:54 am, February 12, 2015
Daugavpils, Latvia
1 post
Save Reply
8. Re: living in Daugavpils

Its not true what you say about russian language in Daugavpils. I am originally from Daugavpils,lived there almost 40 years, my native is russian , and people from Moscow,Jekaterinburg cannot find any akcent! There is NO difference at all.

If u dont know=dont say .

Vejen, Denmark
Destination Expert
for Riga
Level Contributor
1,255 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: living in Daugavpils

Sorry I dont know specific from Daugavpils, but from many

other cities in Latvia - real russians thinks its a funny dialect.

10. Re: living in Daugavpils

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:16 am, April 01, 2016