Riga

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Riga is the capital of Latvia and the biggest city of the Baltics.


Hitching in and around

From Kaunas (LT), Vilnius (LT) 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 signposted 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.

Hitching Out

<map lat='56.95' lng='24.1' zoom='10' view='0' country='Latvia' float='right'/>

South towards Bauska, Jelgava, Kaunas (LT), Vilnius (LT) E 67

If you want to get towards the south, get out of the city center first. There are several possibilities:

  • From RIX airport, try asking drivers of cars with Lithuanian number plates ("LT").
  • Take a tram #10 towards Bišumuiža and get off at the stop Ziepniekalna iela. You will see a petrol station just around the corner. Very few cars are actually going to Lithuania from there, although you can still focus on the registration plates marked 'LT'. Do not refuse a short lift as there is one petrol station 20 km further away where one can get good rides straight to Vilnius, Kaunas, or even Poland and further. It is more successful to ask drivers for a ride on that petrol station than to stand at the street.
  • When you are around central bus station in Riga, you can find a bus stop called 13.janvāra iela where you can take a bus #23 (or 26, see foot note) towards Baloži (be careful and do not take the bus nr.23 from the opposite side of the road outside the "Stockmann" shopping center, that bus has another, opposite destination - find one with the destination Baloži!). This bus then will take you outside of the city of Riga in around half an hour to a perfect hitch-hiking spot. You can get off at the stop Sūkņu stacija - there you've got a traffic light and a bus stop - good place for hitchhiking since basically everyone's going towards Bauska! But you can also get off at earlier stop called "Pagrieziens uz Baloziem". It is a very good place and you can easily identify it because you will pass a big Maxima distribution center, the bus will then take a right turn off the main road and right after that is that stop where you get off, cross the road, go back to the junction, and hitch-hike from another bus stop there. (Note on bus nr.26: it doesnt turn right after Maxima, it stops directly on the main road at this place/stop where you can hitch-hike from!)
  • From the central bus station, take a minibus to Kekava; from there find the main road E67/A7 in the direction of Bauska. Just find a good spot - and good luck!
  • Cross the main bridge of Riga which goes southwards. You can walk there, although you might as well take a bus or a minibus. Continue until the on-ramp to A7, then hitchhike towards Jelgava.
  • For the equivalent of 1 euro you can take a regional train to Jelgava, a much smaller city about an hour of train journey to the south. From there, it is relatively easy to hitchhike towards Šiauliai (Lithuania) and other destinations in this direction, although sometimes, especially in winter, the road can be pretty empty and one can get stuck there, as Sigurdas has experienced.

North towards Pärnu or Tallinn (Estonia) E 67

Take a tram #1 or 6 from the city center (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 there a petrol station, traffic lights, a bus stop (and "McDonald's" in case you want to go to the toilet). It is not the best idea to hitchhike after the speed limit road sign (70) - there, cars are already going quite fast, and stopping a car there can cause a crash. Note, that about 750 metres farther from the traffic lights (after crossing the bridge) there is a nice big lay-by where cars stop. If you're heading to Estonia have an EST sign - it will make all go a lot quicker.

Another option is to take bus #1 (see route) towards "Pansionāts" and get out at stop "Brīvdabas muzejs" which is first stop after lake that you'll see on right. Walk few steps back and you'll be exactly at the same spot as mentioned above.

South-East towards Daugavpils and Belarus E 22

Take the tram #7 or #9 to the end Dole. Cross the street and find a bus stop near parking place. HH from the parking place or if its full, stand before bus stop. You can get further by bus as noted below, but to many people's mind, starting at Dole and ending in next town Salaspils, is a place where prostitutes stand.

Take the bus #18 to Pagrieziens uz Darziniem. You'll be at Maskavas Iela near traffic lights where cars drive slowly and you easily get a ride.

Language

Darba diena means weekday, Sestdiena means Saturday and Svētdiena means Sunday.

Public Transport

In Riga you can get around by bus, tram and troleybus. 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 is no police around they are likely to just let you go if you can't pay.


Links

Time schedules for transport:

  • Riga -> Kekava Select English version (upper right corner) and enter in the fields: From: Riga and To: Kekava. Notes column: Kursē: 1234--- means on which weekdays the bus cruises.
  • Tram Nr.10 Select a column "Centrāltirgus - Bišumuiža" and choose the name of the stop from which you are planning to go. Most likely it will be Centrāltirgus - Central market near the Central Bus Station.
  • Bus Nr.23 Select a column "Abrenes iela - Baloži" and choose the name of the stop from which you are planning to go.
  • [1] From the city center Merkela iela towards Jugla.