Riga holidays

Riga getting there

TravelSavvy guide to city breaks in Riga

Did you know?

The area of Latvia totals 64,000sq km with 500km of coastline

Ticket office staff at the rail station usually speak English

Riga airport is about 10 km southwest of the city centre

Hitchhiking in Latvia is fairly common - but carries the usual risks

How to get to Riga

The only credible way to get to Riga is on a flight, although Baltic cruise ships and ferries also visit regularly.

Trains largely head eastwards from Latvia to Russia and journeys from western Europe by road are long and tiresome.

Cheap flight airlines offer holiday flights to Riga from several UK airports. There are also plenty of holiday deals that include stopovers in Riga.

Riga flights

There are daily flights to Riga from most major European cities. There are UK flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, East Midlands and Glasgow to Riga Airport.

Getting to the city from Riga airport: The modern Riga airport is about 8km south-west of Riga city centre. There are no tourist information services at the airport so you must make your own hotel arrangements. There are airport buses into the centre - #22 and #22a every 30min and the journey time is 30min. The bus stop is just across the car park from the Arrivals hall.

A taxi takes 15min but costs double the bus fare and drivers may try to charge even more. You can order a taxi in the Arrivals hall, but it costs extra.

Riga by bus

Several companies offer routes to Riga. There are direct buses from all the Nordic countries and from Germany, Poland, Russia, Belarus, Estonia and Lithuania. Buses are modern and services are reliable.

The bus station Autoosta is south of the Old Town in the centre of Riga and is a modern, spacious building with plenty of tourist information. A left luggage office opens from 5.30am to midnight. There is a city centre #7 tram stop right outside.

Riga by train

Rail services to Latvia are all from the east. The old Soviet connection means there are daily services to Moscow and St Petersburg with links to Kiev, Lviv, Vilnius and Odessa. The rail journey from Moscow takes 12hrs.

Riga's main railway station Centrala Stacija is close to the bus station in the Old Town and international trains arrive on platform two. There are luggage lockers, banks and cash machines in the central hall and several currency exchanges in tunnels A and B. Local trains run to Jurmala, Riga's nearby beach resort.

Riga by ferry

There are direct ferries from Stockholm, Sweden and Travemünde, Germany. The Riga Passenger Port Juras Pasazieru Stacija is about 1km downstream from Akmens bridge in Eksporta St - you can get trams #5, #7 or #9. It's a drab place though, with the ticket counter and duty free shop the highlights.

Riga by road

Travelling overland is not recommended. There are many border crossings to cause delays and you need an international driving licence and extra insurance. Europe's standard green card is not yet recognised in Latvia.

EU citizens need a passport or identity card to enter Latvia. You can only stay in Latvia for up to 90 days in any six-month period without a visa. For longer visits you must get a residence permit.

 

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TravelSavvy city breaks in Riga