Travel to Riga
Flying to Riga
Airlines operating direct flights to Riga from the UK include airBaltic, Ryanair and Wizzair. The best time to travel to Riga is during the summer when the temperatures rise. However, cheap flights are available in the colder months or in the winter. There are no direct flights from the USA.
Riga International Airport is situated 11km (7 miles) west of central Riga.
From London - 2 hours 40 minutes
From Paris - 2 hours 40 minutes
From New York - 10 hours (including stopover)
From Los Angeles - 13 hours 30 minutes (including stopover)
From Toronto - 12 hours (including stopover)
From Sydney - 26 hours (including stopover)
Travel by road
Road conditions in Latvia are variable and, while most main roads are of a fairly good standard, some main roads and many minor roads are unsurfaced. They become muddy bogs during heavy rainfall or snowmelt.
Speed limits are 50kph (31mph) in towns and 90kph (56mph) outside towns. Driving in Latvia is on the right side. The minimum driving age is 18 years.
Foreigners driving their own vehicles are required to carry a national licence (or an International Driving Permit if you're from outside the EU), proof of third-party insurance (such as the international Green Card) and registration documents, at all times. It is compulsory to drive with vehicle lights switched on at all times.
The Auto-Moto Society of Latvia - LAMB (tel: 1888, in Latvia only or +371 6756 6222; www.lamb.lv) provides further information.
Emergency breakdown services
LAMB (tel: 1888, in Latvia only).
The main transit corridors to Riga are the north-south Via Baltica, which runs from Tallinn to Warsaw through Riga, Vilnius and Kaunas, and Via Hanseatica, which runs from Berlin to Riga through Gdansk, Kaliningrad and Siauliai. Corridors also run east-west, linking Riga to Moscow, Ventspils, Liepaja, Vitebsc and Pskow. The A2 northeast from Riga leads to Cēsis.
Riga's coach station (Autoosta), Pragas 1, operates both international and domestic services. You can buy tickets to all international destinations at the ticket offices in the bus terminal.
Reputable operators include the main state motor firm, Nordeka (tel: 8000 0115, in Latvia only or +371 6746 4620; www.nordeka.lv), which operates regular long-distance and international services.
Lux Express (tel: +371 6778 1350; www.luxexpress.eu) also operates international routes, including a direct service to Moscow.
Time to city
Travel by Rail
Riga's Central Station (Centrālā Stacija) has separate departure and arrival halls for international and domestic services. Tickets for mainline services are sold in the main departure hall, and tickets for the electric commuter trains are sold in the smaller departure hall.
Some trains in Latvia are poorly maintained and delays are common, but the routes to the satellite towns and villages around Riga generally have a better service than intercity and international routes. Long-distance rail services from Riga can be slow and prone to delays.
Latvia's national railway company, Latvijas Dzelzceļš (tel: 8000 1181, in Latvia only or + 371 6723 1181; www.ldz.lv), operates rail services in Riga. You can book long-distance journeys in advance.
To Minsk - 12 hours; Moscow - 16 hours.