Riga holidays

Riga getting around

TravelSavvy guide to city breaks in Riga

Did you know?

Nearly half of Latvia's population of 2.5m lives in or near Riga

At Riga station tickets for international trains are sold at counters 1 - 6; domestic at 7 - 12.

Smoking is not allowed on public transport

The Riga Card allows rides on trams, buses and trains

Buses are generally more comfortable than trains

Photo: Deposto

Getting about in Riga

Latvia in general, and Riga in particular, have a decent and efficient transport system.

Riga Old Town is compact enough to explore on foot and the historic centre and main sights are all within walking distance. Those that aren't can be easily reached by tram or bus.

Riga by tram and bus

Riga has a good tram and trolley bus network. Services run from 5.30am to 12.30am and some routes have a night service.

You can buy tickets at kiosks and shops or from the conductor. The fare is a flat rate. Passengers punch tickets in the tram's electronic machine.

Route maps are not posted but drivers usually announce the stop. The bus station Autoosta is near the railway station and timetables are posted here. For longer journeys use the well-named taksobuss or mikroautobuss.

Riga car hire

Car hire is hardly worth it. Most sights can be visited on foot, bus or tram and drivers must pay to enter the town centre. Parking is also difficult If you do drive, note you are not allowed to overtake a stationary tram. Both the city and the surrounding countryside are great to explore.

Riga taxis

Taxis are plentiful in Riga and can be hailed in the street, though many wait outside the larger hotels. There is an official taxi rate but drivers will usually try to charge more.

Latvia trains

For trips out of Riga the rail system is very useful. The renovated station is packed with shops and cafes. There are regular services to the coast at Jurmala and to the other attractions such as the Daugava Valley and Gauja National Park.

Train seats are wooden and hard. Fortunately, most of the interesting destinations are within comfort range. It's best to buy train tickets in advance, and Riga station staff have a very good grasp of English.

Latvia buses

Take a bus for long journeys. Seats are more comfortable and the journey time is likely to be quicker too. Check on return times as bus station staff outside Riga rarely speak English. Return times can be unclear and some routes only operate one day a week.

The international bus station is south of the Old Town. There are services to Berlin, Paris, Minsk, St Petersburg and Stuttgart as well as to Baltic destinations such as Tallin, Kaliningrad, Klaipeda, Parnu and Vilnius.

Latvia driving

Road conditions in Latvia are good on main highways but Latvian drivers are notoriously reckless and aggressive. Headlights are compulsory at all times, as is wearing a seatbelt. Do not drink and drive.

Other ways to get around

Several firms offer city tours. Hotels and travel agencies will fix you up. The best known are Latvia Tours; Patricia LTD and Riga Sightseeing.

Cycle hire and scooter hire is for those brave enough to take on Riga's notoriously aggressive drivers. Two of the most noted hire companies are Gandra and Suzuki Scooter Hire.

In summer there are boat trips on the Duagava from Akmens bridge every two hours from 11am.

 

Riga Bicycle Tours - Escape the old town and discover the real city on one of our unique and fun tours.

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TravelSavvy city breaks in Riga