Iela is the Latvian term meaning street (as in street names). Brvbas iela, which translates as Freedom Street, is an example.
Headlights must be switched on when driving at all times of the year, according to local regulations. Winter or all-season tyres are required from December 1 to March 1 throughout the winter season. Many gas stations throughout the nation are self-service and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is a lot of diesel fuel and gasoline with octane ratings of 95 and 98 ae. Electric vehicles are not widely used because the charging infrastructure has not yet matured to the point where they can be used on a daily basis.
There are international vehicle rental businesses represented, as well as inexpensive rental providers. Many offices are located around Riga, including some near Riga Airport.
Latvia has a good rail network that connects the major cities. It is recommended that you check schedules before leaving, since trains to certain locations may be limited. For schedules and price information, see the websites of Passenger Train (Latvian: Pasaieru vilciens) or 1188 (a Latvian enquiries service).
Trains may be less expensive than other modes of transportation, and you seldom have to worry about them being overcrowded, with the exception of a few peak days during the summer season.
Keep in mind that the name of the station may not always be the same as the name of the town or city. When traveling to Jekabpils, for example, you may need to go to Krustpils station, and when traveling to Jurmala, you may need to go to Majori station (in Jrmala city center) or emeri station (in western Jrmala, to access the national park more easily).
You may purchase a rail ticket at the station before boarding the train or from the train crew while on board. Ticket offices at certain minor stations may open late and shut early, or be closed for breaks throughout the day, owing to a paucity of passengers leaving from such stations at those times. The ticket counter will have a train schedule accessible. Tickets may also be bought online, but you must pick up actual tickets at the station, which might be inconvenient if not anticipated.
In the north-east of Latvia, a small gauge railway runs between the towns of Gulbene and Aluksne. There are many tourist-oriented places of interest along the route.
In Latvia, there are a variety of bus route operators since, unlike railways, bus routes are served by private businesses, and the companies vary by area. Bus lines run all throughout the nation, and using the bus is generally an easy and quick way to get about. In Latvia, the easiest method to get bus information is to call the inquiry service 1188 or go to a local bus station. Express buses go between large cities and have fewer stops along the route, which saves time.
Tickets may be purchased at ticket offices, on board the buses, or online. Purchasing tickets in advance is generally possible up to 10 days before travel. Luggage may be stored in the bus’s trunk, which may or may not be necessary depending on the bus company and the size of the bag. Depending on the company’s rules, you may be charged extra and given a supplementary ticket/voucher for the baggage.
If you intend on leaving Riga on Friday or Saturday, be prepared for packed buses, since bus travel is the most popular mode of transportation between cities in many areas, and many people leave Riga for the weekend. During this time, it is recommended that you purchase a ticket from the ticket office at the bus station from where you are leaving, since this will enable you to board the bus ahead of those who have either bought their tickets later or have not pre-booked at all.
Several bus companies have made arrangements to offer WiFi to passengers traveling by bus. These networks are generally free and provide excellent coverage for the duration of the journey.
In general, boat excursions between cities inside the nation are not particularly popular. The majority of boat excursions are geared at tourists.
Traveling on river cruise boats from Riga to Jurmala during the summer is a particularly romantic way to travel: mostly two-deck motor boats with seating for 60 to 100 people. They typically leave in the morning and return in the afternoon from Riga city center. The Riga Canal, which passes across the Daugava river, is still used for cruises. For additional information and prices, please contact the tourist information office.
Cycling is not the safest mode of transportation in the nation, particularly at night.
It is recommended that you bike early in the morning to escape the bulk of traffic. The major rush hour, from 5 to 8 p.m., is when the most traffic is anticipated.
Because there are few bicycle routes across the nation, you may find yourself riding alongside vehicles often, so be vigilant at all times. Many city dwellers choose to bike alongside people to escape traffic. Several sidewalks in Riga have lines separating one side for cyclists and the other for walkers, but this is not always the case in other cities throughout the nation, and even when it is, you will almost certainly meet individuals who do not respect the markings.
Reflective lighting, as well as front and rear lights, should be included on your bike. It’s also a good idea to wear some sort of luminous clothing, particularly if you’re riding in the dark.
In general, hitchhiking is an excellent method to get about in Latvia. If your location is not on the route to a bigger city, you may have some problems. Due to the lack of a clear by-pass route, navigating around Riga may be your biggest challenge. Hitchhiking may be tough because to the high volume of local traffic, since most locals will stop in Riga.