Riga's bus station is located across the street from the train station, not far from the central market. Inexpensive international buses serve various cities, including Vilnius, Warsaw, Tallinn, and Klaipeda. While most buses are quite large and spacious, be aware that some routes (including the bus to Klaipeda) involve a mini-bus with no facilities. If this is a concern for you, be sure to confirm what kind of bus you will be taking.
Inside the bus terminal are domestic and international ticket counters (follow the green signs), where you can purchase tickets in advance for your trip. While you won't exactly get service with a smile, the agents generally are efficient and relatively helpful. It is also sometimes possible to purchase tickets from the bus driver at the last minute, but only if there are still seats available.
There are also several other services inside the bus terminal, to include luggage storage, a waiting room, an information desk, as well as some small shops and newspaper stands.
Riga's train station is the hub of Latvian rail service. The train system is primarily geared to domestic commuters rather than international travelers. As of 2012, all trains operate exclusively within Latvia, with the exception of overnight trains to Moscow and St. Petersburg. While international buses are normally faster and more convenient, it is possible to take the train to a border station and change for another train abroad. The most convenient of these connections are between Riga and Tallinn, involving a quick change of trains at the border town of Valga. For travel to Lithuania or Poland, an evening train to Daugavpils and an overnight stay are required to catch the early morning connecting train to Vilnius.
The station itself also has a small shopping center adjacent to the platforms, containing various shops and stalls.
when you have Air Baltic connected flight, already during the flight you can ask the assistant from what gate is your next flight. When aproaching Riga, they already know and even inform sometimes passangers without even asking. You can even inform airport via cabin crew that you are comming for Istambul flight, so they arrange your meeting. When you check-in to the first flight, you can ask the crew to give you places in the front so you can get out faster. Then when you arrive, departure is from the same place, I mean you will arrive to the same area, where are departure gates, you will need just to pass passport control and you will be directly in your gate (after passport control they have only three gates I think). Another thing, that when you will arrive to airport, almost always Air BAltic assistant is waiting for connected flights passangers with destination board in their hands. They are showing the gate and direction for faster orientation. So, don't worry, you have time. I think even for cup of coffe :-)
AirBaltic flights Amsterdam - Riga; Helsinki - Riga
Too expensive for what it is, plus persistent problems with baggage.
My baggage was delayed for about one day this year, flight from Amsterdam, the same way as it was with AirBaltic last year, flight from Helsinki. My conclusion is that AirBaltic cares less about passengers baggage then about commercial baggage. Another problem: the food and drinks are for sale only, and are overpriced. Be ready to pay EUR 2.50 for one small bottle of plain water. Another way to get money : every AirBaltic passenger pays a fee of EUR 20 or 30 per one way of travel for every checked-in piece of baggage with weight limit only 20 kg.
I have compared the cost of a round trip flight in October, from Helsinki to Riga, with AirBaltic and FINNAIR, economy class. AirBaltic: ticket is EUR 117, plus EUR 40 or 60 for a checked-in baggage, this is EUR 157 or 177 without a glass of water or snack. FINNAIR: ticket is EUR 146, including one piece of baggage and a snack. No wonder AirBaltic now has big problems up to expecting bankruptcy.
On the other hand, AirBaltic check-in staff in Riga is competent and courteous, and FAs performance is efficient, maybe lacking smiles a little. Another good thing is AirBaltic taxi and buses, green cars and minivans.
I traveled to Riga using Air baltic as it was a direct flight from London; sadly London Gatwick Airport.
The following outline a few issues I experienced:
- I had to pay a fee to have my luggage put into the hold.
- I had to pay an additional £5.00 as i wished to pay for my luggage to be in the hold by credit card.
- Boarding gate staff at Gatwick incredibly rude to passengers.
- Cabin crew, Kristers, gave a great experience on the flight!!!!
- On departure, the check in and baggage queues huge and no staff around to aid travelers.
- Auto check in terminals not working.
- Asked to see a supervisor, arrived spoke to staff then left the desk! Did not speak to me!
- Check in staffed with very few people even though the queues were long.
- i was interviewed by Radio Riga; lots of news cameras around too
- I finally was rerouted to London after two more conversations with Air Baltic staff.
- Complaint about supervisor ignored, but apparently he confirmed there had been queues!
- I questioned the times between arriving in my transit airport Frankfurt and the departure time from the other terminal. I was told check-in would issue two boarding passes.
- Check-in only issued one boarding pass.
- Flight took off and landed late, and after travelling between terminals i was to late to check-in.
- Lufthansa staff friendly and professional, and ended up on an even later flight.
Arrived home in the Uk at 17.09, not 12.35 as planned!!!
All in all a poor show - make up your own minds if you wish to fly Air Baltic.
Avis office at Riga, Latvia, airport has offered me a polite and prompt service, free upgrade and even clerks' smiles - a rare thing (I mean smiles) for reserved Latvians.
My advice to visitors is to rent a car and avoid taxi in Riga, taxi is the biggest disappointment for tourists.
The public transportation in Riga is excellent: there are 64 bus routes, 10 tram routes and 20 trolleybus routes in Riga. The fare is very reasonable: you pay between 30 and 40 santims (which in 2007 was 45 - 60 Euro cent) for a single ticket. The tickets can be obtained at the driver's or oftentimes there is still a conductor in the buses and trams. I did read that they plan to change the system and install punching machines so that you must buy the tickets beforehand and validate the ticket in the car.
Trains going to Jurmala leave from the Central Train Station at Stacijas laukums - and there are about two trains per hour. The journey is about 20 minutes long on old russian electric trains with wooden benches - all for less than 1 lahti return.
The main trainstation telephone number is 583-2134 but for timetables and prices it's best to check the following website: http://www.ldz.lv/en/index.html
It has information about national nd inernational trains and... it's in English, too.
One alternative that not too many tourists/ travellers choose to get to Latvia is the ferry. There is a ferry connection from Riga to Lübeck/ Germany with Latlines and there are othe connections, some from Liepaja. I took the ferry and took a car along, it was not that expensive. It takes a while though, like about 36 hours. But the bus takes 32 and it is much more comfortable. There were mainly truckers on the ferry who drank a lot and had very interesting stories to tell. I think it was a pleasant alternative to driving all the way home to west Germany, I drove the other way and of course I needed stops so it took a long way as well. The picture shows the ferry in the riga harbour, which is the at the Daugava
If you are planning to go around in the bus, check here for the schedule.
Price is the same as for tram, so no big difference, but bus might take you to the places, where tram or trolleybus don't have lines.
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