Riga Transportation

  • Transportation
    by AnnaHermans
  • The bus departure platforms
    The bus departure platforms
    by travelfrosch
  • Inside the bus terminal
    Inside the bus terminal
    by travelfrosch

Most Recent Transportation in Riga

  • antistar's Profile Photo

    Public Transport

    by antistar Updated Nov 27, 2013

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    Tram, Riga

    Riga has a good system of public transport, including trams, busses and trolley-busses. Currently a ticket costs 0.6 LVL, and you can buy these from the driver, although they are slightly cheaper when bought in advance. A 24 hour ticket can be bought for just 1.9 LVL.

    Getting around is pretty easy, with most of the vehicles having electronic boards telling you what the next stop is. They also have a useful web site, with information in English and Latvian, with route maps and ticket prices.

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    Air

    by antistar Updated Nov 27, 2013

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    Riga has turned itself into the main Baltic air hub, and with its own airline, Air Baltic, covering extensive destinations, you can fly direct to Riga from many parts of Europe, and often quite cheaply. Ryanair also uses Riga as a hub to over half a dozen different countries. There aren't many destinations outside of Europe, although Uzbekistan Airlines will fly you to New York if you're feeling adventurous...

    Getting to the airport is pretty easy. Bus 22 runs from just outside the old town to the airport (last stop). You can pick it up at 13.Janvāra iela, or get off at the Stone Bridge on the main square. It costs just one travel ticket, at last check 0.7 LT, or about a euro. There's also an Air Baltic bus, but this is more expensive, if a bit quicker. Bus 22 takes about 30 minutes, and runs every 10-30 minutes throughout the day.

    If it's too late or early for the bus, you'll have to get a taxi. It should cost you about 6-7 LT (off peak) and take about 15 minutes.

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    Train

    by antistar Updated Nov 27, 2013

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    Unfortunately trains in this part of the world aren't all that useful. For starters, Latvia uses a different size (Russian) gauge to most other EU nations, meaning that the train must stop and change its wheels at the Polish border.

    Even connections to neighbouring countries using the same gauge are not easy, for example travelling from Tallinn requires leaving at six in the morning, waiting in some tiny border town most of the day to change trains, and then finally arriving in Riga over 14 hours later. It takes just over four hours on the bus.

    But trains to towns in Latvia are better served, and the connections with Russia and Lithuania aren't too bad, so it might be worth checking out if you prefer travelling by train to bus, like I do.

    The main train station is quite central, just east of the old town.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Ryanair passengers 2: VERY IMPORTANT!

    by leics Written Aug 21, 2013

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    Ryanair ticket office queue 1h 50 before departure
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    In 2012 Riga airport started charging passengers to pass through security. The charge is 7 euro or 4.92 lats.

    IF YOU ARE A RYANAIR PASSENGER YOU WILL HAVE TO *PAY* BEFORE YOU CAN GO THROUGH SECURITY...AND PAYING CAN TAKE A LONG TIME.

    All the airlines which use the airport have included that charge in their fares EXCEPT RYANAIR. So if you are a Ryanair passenger you *must* pay your security charge before going through security...and if you don't know about it, this could cause you serious problems. Why? Because the security charge can only be paid in cash *at the Ryanair ticket office*....and there are very, very long queues (see photo, taken 1h 50m before my flight departed). You can also pay with your card at the ticket office.

    Riga airport website advises Ryanair passengers to arrive at least 2.5 hours before their flight because of this. They obviously know it can cause major problems for those who turn up later.

    There are two security-charge payment machines near security, but they only accept cards...so you'll possibly be paying fees on top of the security charge.

    You can also pay in advance by (suitable) mobile phone and..supposedly...online. At the time of writing this I'd tried the online payment site at least 10 times over a 3-week period and it never worked.

    There's a very easy way round this though. Just go to the Ryanair ticket office (up by check-in) when you *arrive* at the airport. Chances are there all the departing passengers will have already gone and you, like me, can just walk straight up, pay the charge and get the bar-coded receipt.

    The receipt isn't dated or flight-specific, so you can use it for your return flight. Just make sure you don't lose it (I put it into my passport).

    More info on the airport website..though it's not easy to find. Choose 'Passengers'>'Useful information' >'Taxes and charges'>'security charge'.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Ryanair passengers take note 1.

    by leics Written Aug 21, 2013

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    Airport exterior

    Riga is a very pleasant small airport, pretty shiny and new with good facilities.

    However....

    It is worth noting that if you are flying with Ryanair (and I do regularly, no problems) and have checked (hold) luggage then you do need to be at the airport at least 2 hours before departure, and preferably longer.

    Why? Well, Ryanair bag-drop opens 2 hours before as normal...but, particularly if there is more than one Ryanair flight departing (and there was for me) you'll find people queuing an hour or so before that. So if you arrive late you'll quite possibly be stuck at the end of a loooong queue.

    I don't know whether that impacted on getting through security. Although everyone got onto my flight in time, I suspect that later arrivals spent a goodly time getting through security. It's up to you whether you want to risk that.

    I much prefer to be at the airport early so I can drop my bag, go through security without feeling stressed and have time for a coffee-and-relax airside. Riga airport has a Costa coffee with an outdoor (smoking) terrace; I found it a very enjoyable airside experience.

    NOTE: If you don't want to queue through security, it is possible to buy a 'fast-track' security pass from the 'Welcome to Riga' office in the airport (maybe when you arrive?). It's specific to your flight, so you'll have to show your boarding pass. The pass is very over-priced at 9 Lats, imo, but the offer is there if it appeals to you.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Bus 22 from the airport.

    by leics Updated Aug 19, 2013

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    Can you see the airport bus stop? 1
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    There is a frequent bus service from Riga airport to the edge of the old town and the railway station area.

    Bus 22 leaves from a bus stop across the airport car park (perhaps a minute's walk form the terminal) and, on your return, will drop you outside Departures.

    It costs just 0.50 Lat, or 0.70 Lat from the driver, which is excellent value, imo. Journey time is around 30 minutes, though traffic conditions vary. You can buy etickets from the 'Welcome to Riga' office in the airport terminal, single or etickets from the ticket machine at the airport bus stop or a single ticket from the driver (which costs a bit more).

    Buses are 'bendy' buses, the type with two sections joined by a flexible middle. There is plenty of standing space as well as seats, but no overhead or other luggage racks.

    It's an ordinary bus, not a special airport bus, so you can expect other people to get on and off as you travel along. When I left the airport (around midday) I sat and kept my small suitcase by my legs. but it soon became apparent that the bus would be too crowded for that to be feasible, so I stood for the rest of the journey.

    I caught the bus from 11 novembra krastmala on my return, around 0830, and it was quite full at that point. So I decided it was best to stand for the journey, with my case by my legs. That worked fine.

    If you're happy to (possibly) stand for the journey then this is an excellent way of getting into the city.

    The two most useful bus stops for those staying in old town Riga are likely to be the one immediately after crossing the river and the one immediately after that, outside the very large and modern Schumann store.

    The website below will give you timetables for the 22 and other buses, and all the information you need in English.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Dead easy.....

    by leics Updated Aug 19, 2013

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    E-ticket
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    I must admit i was pleased by the simplicity of the Riga public transport system.

    One journey, whether on bus or tram, costs one price. So it's very easy indeed to buy one of the new e-tickets and simply swipe across the machine as you board.

    The paper e-tickets, like the plastic ones, can now be topped-up. So that's even easier!

    I bought a 5-journey e-ticket from the 'Welcome to Riga' centre at the airport but you also can buy them (and top them up) at any shop with the 'Narvesen' sign..and there are lots and lots of those dotted about Riga. There's also a ticket machine at the airport bus stop, at least, and maybe in other places too (I didn't see any but that means nothing). One trip costs 0.50 Lat but if you pay the driver, as you can, it will cost you 0.70 Lat.

    I used mine to and from the airport and to and from the wonderful outdoor ethnographical museums, both of which are quite some way outside Riga (around 30 minutes on the bus). I found that bus stops were all clearly signed with a) which buses stopped there and b) had the timetables for those buses attached to the bus stop. And the buses arrived on time,m generally to the minute, which was pretty impressive!

    There are other types of e-ticket for longer stays. The website below explains everything, and has routes and timetables, in English.

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  • AnnaHermans's Profile Photo

    To Moscow

    by AnnaHermans Written Aug 4, 2013

    The train is very expensive but for round about 50 euro you can go to Moscow. The bus leaves twice a day and is quit luxury. we left 16.15 and arrived 8.00 in Moscow with ecolines. Tickets can be booked at the bu station.

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  • AnnaHermans's Profile Photo

    getting around with public transport

    by AnnaHermans Written Aug 2, 2013

    You can buy bustickets at tobaccostores with the sign naverens. They cost 0,50 They will give you a card to scan in trolly, tram or bus. If you buy them in the bus you will pay 0,70. At the bus station (autoosta) they have a good map how to get to all the important locations

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  • travelfrosch's Profile Photo

    Riga Bus Station

    by travelfrosch Written May 13, 2012
    The bus departure platforms
    1 more image

    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.

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  • travelfrosch's Profile Photo

    Riga Train Station

    by travelfrosch Written May 13, 2012
    Riga Central Train Station
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    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.

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  • aterola's Profile Photo

    connected flight via Riga

    by aterola Written Jan 4, 2012

    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 :-)

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  • AirBaltic

    by VirtualVittorio Written Sep 29, 2011

    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.

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  • gordonilla's Profile Photo

    Air Baltic; bad experiences at almost every turn!

    by gordonilla Written Sep 18, 2011
    Signage at Riga Airport
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    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.

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  • Avis Rent a Car

    by VirtualVittorio Written Jul 31, 2011

    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.

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