It is advisable to go by train instead of bus from Riga to the following towns: Jurmala, Tukums, Jelgava, Salaspils, Jekabpils, Daugavpils, Rezekne, Sigulda, Cesis and Saulkrasti. Check the official Latvian Railroad Latvijas dzelzcels website (http://sirius.ldz.lv/sari...) or (http://www.1188.lv/) for timetables. If you are going to other cities, there is most likely only a couple trains per day or there are no trains going at all.
Trains are usually cheaper and you don't need to worry about having no seat. Trains are usually crowded on peak days of summer.
Remember that sometimes the name of station differs from the name of town. For example, you might need to go to Krustpils station, if traveling to Jekabpils, and going to Majori city center or Ķemeri going to the national park, if going to Jurmala.
Buying a train ticket before you board the train will avoid an extra fee and language hassles of buying a ticket on the train. Ticket offices at smaller stations can open late and close early, and also close for periods during the date. The schedule is posted at the ticket office. Don't buy a return ticket unless you have confirmed there is a return train at the time you need. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or from any station. If you buy them online you still need to collect them from a station.
There is a narrow gauge railway Gulbene-Aluksne in the North-East of Latvia (http://www.banitis.lv/). There are several tourist-oriented places along the route.
If you are going from Riga to Jurmala during summer, a very romantic way is to travel by river cruise boats: dominantly two-deck motor boats with capacity for around 60-100 people. They usually depart from Riga center in the morning and go back in the afternoon. There probably still is also a river cruise service from Riga center to Riga Zoo. Ask in the tourism information center for more details and prices.
Hitchhiking in Latvia is generally good. The roads around Riga present the largest obstacle, unless the city is your destination - there is no clean "by-pass" road, and a considerable amount of local traffic makes hitching very difficult. The easiest way to get around Riga is to find a "cross-country" lift at the border with Estonia or Lithuania. License plate numbers/countries of origin are your friends.
International car rentals are represented in Latvia. There are many offices in Riga, including some at Riga Airport. Cheaper car rental offices are also available.
Drive with the headlights on all year round. Winter or all-season tyres are required for the winter period December 1 to March 1. Many gas stations are self-service and operate 24/7. Gasoline with octane ratings of 95 and 98 is available, as well as diesel fuel.
You can browse the car rental companies list at the Riga International Airport website (http://www.riga-airport.c...).
It is advised to cycle around Riga in the early morning when there is less traffic, although one should be careful when choosing this time due to reduced drivers attention. Expect heavy traffic from 5 PM to 8 PM. No left turn allowed from middle line. However, it is highly advised to choose by-ways and less densely populated roads due to hazardous traffic.It is vitally important to wear reflectors; reflective belts, bands and bright coloured clothing are advised, as well as having the bike equipped with strong front and rear lights.Generally, cycling is still not very safe in the country, especially during the dark hours. The only "real" bicycle path is existing from the old town of Riga to the Sea resort of Jurmala. But the country is fast developing local cycling routes. The international bicycle project BaltiCCycle (http://www.balticcycle.eu) may provide you with a lot of information and help.
There is a vast network of bus connections around Latvia. Buy a bus ticket at the bus station or on bus when boarding. If you have luggage, ask the bus driver to put it in the trunk. It depends on the bus company, if they will charge extra. There are express bus connections to major towns, which can save time considerably.
On Fridays and Saturdays buses could be crowded in the outbound direction from Riga. Bus time tables are available at the Rigas Autoosta (http://www.autoosta.lv/) site, and at (http://www.1188.lv/). If going by bus on Friday from Riga or coming back to Riga on Sunday it is highly recommended to book ticket in advance available only of booking for route from starting station of bus at the cash desk of bus station or online at (https://www.bezrindas.lv/...). You can buy ticket up to 10 days before departure.