Trains in and around Riga and Latvia.
Many people when visiting Riga will be using the train network to visit places outside of the city. Trains are affordable, comfortable but not always regular for all destinations. Here is some information that should help you along your journey in Latvia.
Common domestic routes in Latvia:
Riga – Jurmala
The Riga to Sloka / Tukums line is the route you will take to reach Jurmala beach resort. There is no stop called Jurmala, instead Jurmala has many different stops. Many people will choose to take a ticket to Majori but this is not the only station you may want to consider. You may take the train further for quieter beaches, Dubulti or Melluži for example are good options. For more empty beaches head even further out to Sloka, not the prettiest of towns but very open beaches, great for people looking for space and peace.
Riga – Liepāja
This train is at present only running from Riga just on Friday evenings (Check current times here as this can change – Latvian train schedules from 1188.lv ). It returns from Liepāja to Riga on Sunday evening. This is more comfortable than using the buses and is a nice way to leave Riga for the evening, spending the whole next day in the great city of Liepāja.
Riga – Sigulda
Regular trains run from Riga to Sigulda on the Riga – Valga line but these can get busy in the summer months with lots of tourists. The journey time lasts about 1hr 15mins and is a great way to reach the castles, river valley and forests of Sigulda, especially if you are taking a bicycle with you.
Riga – Cesis
Running on the same line as the Sigulda train, Cēsis can be reached in about 2hrs but there are fewer trains reaching this beautiful town. For this destination, buses could be a better, faster option but we are train lovers so we are happy to sit for longer! Cēsis has a wooden Old Town and the ruins of the most important castle of the Livonian Order.
Riga – Daugavpils
For those of you brave enough to head all the way south east towards Belarus, you can reach the town of Daugavpils in between 3 and 3 1/2 hours. There are about 3-4 trains a day heading to Riga’s second-largest city, where you can find a Russian-speaking majority and a large abandoned fortress which now has a Mark Rothko centre with paintings from the locally-born famus artist .
Riga – Skulte
This route is not very useful, unless you wish to visit some of Latvia’s quieter beaches. The train stops at busy beaches like Vecaķi and Saulkrasti, but in between are small villages with pine forests leading to wild, sparse beaches. Saulkrasti also has Latvia’s Bicycle Museum, great for enthusiasts of old bikes.
Buy your tickets from the windows in the stations. In Riga the cashiers are used to tourists, especially those going to main touristic destinations such as Jurmala or Sigulda. You can buy single or return tickets and at present you may buy your ticket in the train with cash, but you will pay a small extra fee. This is good in busy months when running for a train is better than queuing for a ticket.
Taking bikes on trains
All trains running within Latvia have space for bikes. Sometimes this is very limited and in summer on the popular routes, to Jurmala and Sigulda, there are far more bikes then places. Look for a small white bicycle symbol by the carriage door; this means there are hooks for hanging bicycles in that end of the carriage. On the Sigulda train, these are only in the very front and rear carriages, but on the Jurmala train it should be in every carriage. Remember to buy a ticket for your bicycle (a baggage ticket) as well as for yourself.
International Trains from Latvia and Riga:
3 main routes exist at the moment. Riga – Moscow, Riga – Minsk and Riga – St. Petersburg. For up to date information and tickets, we suggest you go directly to the Central station in Riga.
There is also a connection between Riga -Valga (Latvian side) / Valka (Estonian side) – Tartu but again you should get up to date info on this route .
Useful links are as follows,