Riga is the capital of Latvia and the biggest city of the Baltics.
Hitching in and around
From Lithuania direction to Estonia E 67
If you are coming from the south and want to continue north towards Estonia, you can proceed on the Riga ring road and avoid entering the city center. However, be careful, as not all parts of this ring are hitchable.
The first roundabout as you come towards Riga on the E67 has the road into the city going straight and the road tod Tallinn turning right. If your driver is going into Riga, ask him to leave you here, but do not hitch from this roundabout as there is no room to stop a truck. Just walk down the road one kilometer to the next roundabout, which has plenty of room. From there try getting a lift completely around the city and towards the north of Latvia on the E67, because you may lose a couple of hours if you are dropped off in certain places. For example, at the junction after Salaspils where a driver turning onto the E22 will leave you, there is no room to stop a car, and after the junction cars are driving too fast to even notice you, so you will have to walk 6 or 7 kilometers to the next hitchable point.
South towards Bauska, Kaunas (LT), Vilnius (LT), Poland (PL) E 67
Option 1 By walking
Cross Salu bridge direction out of Riga than turn left on road A7. Place next to Hesburger has extra line for stopping
Take a minibus from the Central Bus Station. Platform for this bus is 14. The bus is 6844 to the village of Ķekava about 20kms south-east out of Riga. When the minibus does a u-turn off the highway get off at that bus-stop called Ķekava on the opposite side of the road from which the minibus came from! From there, you've got about a 2 km walk south along the highway A7 to the hitching point 100 m past the large roundabout. You can try to hitch as you walk. It is worth the trouble and expense to get here as you will cut out all the local traffic and there will be a lot of long distance traffic at a slow enough speed to safely pull over onto the side road just 100 m after the roundabout exit.
When you are around central bus station in Riga, you can find a bus stop called 13.janvara iela (It is opposite the Stockman center) where you can take bus 23 (see route) towards Baloži or bus 26 towards Katlakalns. Get out at stop called Pagrieziens uz Baloziem. There is a nice bus stop and a traffic light just before, so the traffic is pretty slow.
Option 4 From airport
If you are next to RIX airport, try asking drivers of cars with Lithuanian number plates LT.
South towards Jelgava, Šiauliai (LT) E 77
From just opposite Central station take trolleybus #27 (see route) towards Ziepniekkalna D/P, get out at the Mežkalna iela and walk back on the road to Jelgava. Best place to hitchike will be somewhere after Rimi Aleja supermarket. City ends there
North towards Pärnu or Tallinn (Estonia) E 67 Cēsis, Valmiera E 77
Take tram #6 or #3 from the city centre (for example, from a stop called Merķeļa iela) to the final stop called Jugla - there you will find a road to the north, you will see a petrol station, traffic lights, a bus stop (and McD's in case you want to go to the toilet). To get to the hitchhiking spot you will have to walk around 1 km North East next to lake. You will see a spot with a lot of space for a car to stop. And most probably some other hitchhikers, so you won't miss it!
Better option is to take bus #1 towards Berģuciems and get out at stop Brīvdabas Muzejs which is first stop after you see lake on the right side. Walk few steps back and you'll be exactly at the same spot as mentioned above.
Beware that most of the traffic is going North East so it might happen that you wait some time to get a 3 km ride to the right road if you are going north. So it's up to you to decide. Maybe a better option is to walk those few km already after you arrive at the spot. You can also take bus #1 one stop further than mentioned above (Till stop Berģi) and you won't have to walk that much. After you're on the road to Estonia walk up to a bus stops on Option 3
Option 3 More out of city
Out of city for Parnu, Tallin. Take regional bus to Baltezers. Catch a bus Riga - Adazi from Central Bus Station till final stop Adazi and walk to E67/A1 highway. Price is 1.15 euros
Out of city for Cesis, Valmiera. Catch a bus Riga - Vangazi nr 6826 from bus stop Merķeļa Iela till Langstiņu Pagrieziens and you are on perfect place on E77 highway. Price is 1.15 euros
Southeast towards Daugavpils, Rēzekne, Russia, Belarus E 22
You can take the tram #3, #7 or #9 to the end stop Dole. Cross the street and find a bus stop near a parking place. Hitchhike from the parking place or, if it's full, stand before the bus stop. The problem with this spot might be that it is still in the city so a lot of traffic is local.
Better option is to take bus #18 (see route) towards "Dārziņi" and get out at Pagrieziens uz Darziniem. You'll be at Maskavas Iela near traffic lights where cars drive slowly and you can easily get a ride at that bus stop.
You should aim to get to Koknese because that's the place where two highways meet ant become one, in Koknese there is a wide roundabout with great visibility.
If you're going to Russia and have been dropped near the border, you can cross it on foot without any problems. After the border the road is not busy and most of traffic is local, but if you spend some time you can catch cars going far away. Consider using a big sign.
Southwest towards Liepāja
From city centre (for example "13. janvāra iela" which is the big bus stop opposite Stockman centre and the train station) take bus #4 (see route) or bus #32 (see route) towards "Pinķi" and get out at stop "Pagrieziens uz Pinķiem". You can start hitchhiking already there, because all the traffic that goes to Liepāja will pass here, but the road is big and fast so you may just walk back to the main road, there are traffic lights so cars have to slow down, and just after the traffic lights there is plenty of space for cars to pull over.
Bus #43 (see route) towards Skulte from the same "13. janvāra iela" stop and get out at stop "Beberbeķi" (Don't get confused with stop "Beberbeķu iela", there are still 3 stops to go). There you just walk few hundred meters down the road and here you are!
Northwest towards Ventspils, Talsi, Tukums
You can try to get to the same bus stop Pagrieziens Uz Pinķiem as mentioned above. Only from there walk back North, get on the big road and try to hitch. Make sure you have a good sign there, because most of the traffic is going only to Jūrmala.
In the same point as mentioned above, you can get little cheaper by using train. Go to train station, buy ticket (~1 euro) till Priedaine (and take train going towards Sloka, Tukums or Dubulti). Get out in Priedaine station which looks kinda deserted and walk ~150m as railroad stays on your left and then turn left - cross the railroad and walk through forest (there is good asphalted bicycle path and road going)for about 1km. On crosroads turn right and there you'll see road going under bridge, go through and there is ideal spot for you. This way you can get from Riga centre to hitchhiking point in 20-30 minutes
Hitching by ferry
Getting onto the ferries for free is not possible. Both cars and trucks pay per person.
In Riga you can get around by bus, tram and trolleybus. There are a lot of controls, so better buy a ticket! If you dare to blackride, your best bet is to empty your wallet. If there are no police around, inspectors are likely to just let you go if you can't pay. Besides, in summer time there are controls at random points between the stops which you can hardly avoid. During winter however, ticket inspectors are waiting only at stops and usually are easy to spot, so if you are careful you can avoid them by just leaving when they enter.
Tickets cost 1,15 EUR if you don't buy it from driver. If you buy it from the driver it's 2 EUR. You can buy tickets at Narvesen, ticket vending machines, supermarkets "Rimi", "Maxima" and other places.
Best spot for cheap but intresting and good quality food is Riga Central Market
Zakusala island wild camping by walking - from centre the island on Daugava river where TV tower is located in the middle of Salu tilts bridge. It's within walkable distance from the city center and really quiet place with nothing else really there. Both tips of island are covered with bushes and trees so it is easy to find a place to hide away. You can swim on the start of Salu tilts bridge (city centre side of it)
Mezaparks wild camping by tram - next to Riga Main Railway Station get in tram nr 11 direction to Mezaparks, get out at last stop Mezaparks. There is forest park with big lake where you can swim. Police is cheking main park roads next to Zoo for safety so camp in distance from there. For camping best place will be around Sarkandaugavas Kapi bus stop thats 1.5 km walk away on Meza prospekts direction to Sarkandaugava.
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