How to use public transportation in Riga: full instructions
Riga public transportation

How to use public transportation in Riga: full instructions

Riga’s public transport is modern, safe buses, trolleybuses, streetcars and minibuses. They run throughout the city. The routes are simple and clear. Transportation runs on schedule, so it is popular with Riga residents and tourists.

To see the sights of Riga, public transportation and walking are enough. And if you want a tourist experience, there is excursion transportation for guests of the city: retro streetcars and double-decker buses. I’ll tell you how to navigate and how to buy tickets.

Types of tickets and fare

Riga transport has a single ticket — e-ticket. It is a special electronic card, which is refilled for the required time or number of trips. When boarding public transport, the ticket is attached to the validator, which registers the trip: green — registered, red — refused.

E-tickets come in blue and yellow. The blue ones are only suitable for locals and long-term visitors: they are sold with documents and require a deposit, but they can be refilled afterwards.

For tourists, the disposable yellow-colored E-ticket is suitable. It is valid for 12 months and no documents are needed for registration. The card with a chip is made of cardboard. It cannot be bent, broken or wet while it is active. If the ticket is for several trips, it must be presented to the validator each time.


One e-ticket is intended for one passenger. If you need to register the travel of several people, a group pass is suitable.

Group e-tickets are tickets for two or three passengers. They can be used to punch several trips on one ticket. They are the same price as regular tickets. They are sold for two trips only: for two passengers — 4,60 €, for three passengers — 6,90 €.

There are several ticket options available:

  • a pass for the number of trips: 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20, 50;
  • 1, 2, 3 and 5 hour passes;
  • a pass for several days: 24 hours, 2, 3 or 5 days.

You cannot increase the number or time of trips on a yellow-colored e-ticket. The blue e-ticket can be refilled via the Internet or at a special vending machine.

Where and how do I buy a ticket?

E-tickets are available in almost all retail outlets in the Latvian capital and in souvenir shops. All salespeople understand Russian.

Where to buy an e-ticket:

  • from the transportation driver (cash only);
  • in the Narvesen chain of stores;
  • at Rimi, Maxima, Elvi;
  • at KOOL gas stations;
  • in the post offices of Latvijas Pasts;
  • in ticket machines (accepts cards).
E-ticket vending machine
E-ticket vending machine

Daytime transportation (streetcar, bus, trolleybus) is operated by Rīgas satiksmes. The minimum fare is 1.15 €. Minibuses and night transportation are operated by Rīgas mikroautobusu satiksme.

All transportation in Riga is paid for with the same e-ticket at the same prices. Minibuses and night buses are also paid by e-ticket or cash to the driver. The fare is the same as for buses.

E-ticket prices:

  • for one trip costs 2 € from the driver, 1.15 € in vending machines and at the cash registers in stores;
  • an hourly pass is €2.3;
  • daily fare is 5 €.

There are no discounts for the number of trips in Riga transport. For example, a ticket for one trip is 1,15 €, a ticket for 5 trips is 5,75 €. Discounts are valid for a temporary ticket.

It is better to buy a ticket in advance. This will help you save money and not distract the driver from his work. You can only pay the driver without change.

How do you figure out the routes?

The schedule of the daytime public transport can be viewed in the planner on the website of Rīgas satiksmes. You need to enter the starting point, then the address or the name of the final stop. Wi-Fi is available almost everywhere in the center, so it won’t be difficult to do it.

Public transportation stops in Riga have timetables and routes. Buses run every 10—15 minutes, streetcars — 7—10 minutes. In the passenger compartment, an electronic board displays the current and next stop. Additionally, the stops are announced by a program.

If you have any difficulties with transportation and routes, you can turn to the locals. The people of Riga understand and speak Russian. Any names should be pronounced with the accent on the first syllable (e.g. Merkela, not Merkela). The word iela means street. This makes it easier to understand each other.

streetcar timetable and route
streetcar timetable and route

Streetcars in Riga

Modern streetcars in Riga are stylish, they used to be decorated with themed photos. Now they are more often decorated with advertisements, but they are no less attractive.

New streetcars run on routes 1, 11. You can get on any route in the center of Riga. The first flight leaves at 4:30—5:00, the last one at 0:15. The exact timetable is on the website: times vary depending on the season.

Tatra T3 streetcars with old wagons have 8 routes (1 and 11 are mixed). Routes 1, 2, 5, 7 10 and 11 run frequently, 3, 9 — every two hours. Recently all rails have been renewed, so the difference between old and new streetcars is not felt.

Modern streetcars
Modern streetcars
Old streetcars
Old streetcars

Retro streetcars

An ancient streetcar runs on weekends in Riga. It is available only from 1.05. to 30.09. The tram leaves from Radio iela stop and runs for 90 minutes. The final stop is Ezernallas iela. Near Mežaparks — a vast park area with entertainment for adults and children.

One-way ticket 2 €, sold by the coach driver. There are 18 seats in the car, 10 standing. Inside there is a screen on which the history of the streetcar is told (it is a copy, which was recreated according to the model of 1909—1910).

Retro streetcar schedule
Retro streetcar schedule


Trolleybuses in Riga have 17 routes, so they cover much more districts of the city. The timetable and route can always be viewed at the stop and on the Rīgas satiksme portal. On the website you can make any route from one part of the city to another.

Most of the routes pass near Riga railway station. Before boarding, it is worth checking if you have chosen the right direction: some routes stop in both directions at the same stop.

According to the schedule, the first trolleybus departs at 5 a.m. and the last trolleybus at 23:00. The break between flights is from 5 to 30 minutes. At night, trolleybuses run from 0:00 to 4:00 a.m. with a half-hour break.

Trolleybus in Riga
Trolleybus in Riga

Buses in Riga

The largest number of routes in Riga is served by buses — 53 destinations. It is this transportation that brings tourists from the airport and back. All buses are new, equipped with a scoreboard with information about current stops and run around the clock.

Daytime transportation starts at 5:00 am. The last flight leaves around 23:00. Routes and timetables are available on the transportation company’s portal. Night flights 1—7 and 10 depart from the central railway station from 0:00 to 4:00 once an hour.

Buses in Riga
Buses in Riga

Minibuses: Riga’s «minibuses»

Route cabs cover 21 directions from the center of Riga to the outskirts or across the city. Transportation runs from 6:30 to 20:00. Some flights take tourists to and from the airport. The schedule is on the portal of the transportation company and at the stops. On weekends, some routes do not work.

You can also pay for the minibus with an e-ticket. The fare is the same: 1.15 € per trip and 2 € in cash to the driver. Free internet is available on the minibus.

minibuses in Riga
minibuses in Riga

Tour buses

The trip on red-colored double-decker tour buses costs 15 €. Travel time is 1 hour. On the website you can download an audio guide in advance and choose your destination.

The bus has a total of three destinations:

  • Old Town;
  • New Riga;
  • Historic Riga.

Tour buses run from 10:00 to 16:00. There are only four trips for each direction. You can book a ticket on the website.

Tour bus in Riga
Tour bus in Riga

Regional trains

In Riga it is advantageous and convenient to use regional trains when you need to quickly get to the beach in Jurmala, Vecaki and Balta Kapa: in season, traffic jams on Riga roads start in the afternoon. The only disadvantage of the train is that the stations are a bit further away.

You can buy a train ticket at the ticket office (card payment is available) and from the conductor in the car (cash only). Inside is spacious, there is vending with coffee, bicycle stands. There is no air conditioning, which can be uncomfortable in season.

Regional train from Riga to Vecaki
Regional train from Riga to Vecaki

Trains leave from the main station of Riga. The ticket offices are located nearby. The timetable is available on the portal. Trains to popular destinations (beaches) run from 5:30 to 23:40. To Cesis or Sigulda less often. All stations and destinations are on the back of the ticket.

If a round trip is planned, it is better to buy a round trip ticket in Riga. For example, in Vecaki, the ticket office closes at 17:00. If you do not have cash with you, there may be problems. You can pay in cash to the controller in the car.

Riga has convenient transportation connections and there are no problems with buying tickets. At any time you can get to the beach or leave the city to explore its neighborhoods with a rich historical past.