Riga Airport is the biggest airport in the Baltic States. Air Baltic as the biggest carrier together with several other carriers offers flights to more than 80 destinations in more than 30 countries, making Riga well connected to other countries in Europe. The airport itself was modernized in 2001 and is very convenient nowadays.
Riga Airport is the only really important airport in the Baltic States. While both, Vilnius and Tallinn, struggle to get international traffic, passengers departing from Riga got a wide range of different destinations to choose from.
That’s mainly the case because Air Baltic offers flights to dozens of destinations in Western, Eastern as well as Southern Europe. Moreover, Ryanair and Wizz Air play an important role with more than ten destinations each. Riga Airport got just one terminal which is separated into three different areas. There’s also just one runway.
Most important airlines at Riga Airport:
Riga Airport is one of the smaller airports in Europe though not offering too many opportunities for shopping. However, there are Duty Free Shops behind security at the Schengen as well as at the Non-Schengen gates. Moreover, there are kiosks in both, the public as well as the Schengen area.
The latter also got four special shops: Stenders, Victoria’s Secret, TUMI and Furla. When it comes to eating at Riga Airport, there is a wide range of cafés and bars available. Be aware that all food outlets are located either in the public or Schengen areas. There’s neither a café nor a bar in the Non-Schengen area. Known brands present at the airport include Costa Coffee, Coffee Nation and T.G.I. Fridays.
There is no dedicated sleeping area at Riga Airport. However, security allows you to sleep in the public areas as well as the airport chapel. Nevertheless, these areas only offer benches and may not be very comfortable for sleeping. For more comfort, you may decide to stay at one of the airport hotels nearby.
The closest is the three star rated Sky High Hotel. Other choices close to Riga Airport include Best Western Mare, ABC Riga Airport (both three star properties) and Wellton Elefant (four stars). Prices are generally quite affordable. If you got a longer layover, you may also decide to sleep in the city which is not far away. You’ll find a wide range of hotels for every budget there.
As Riga Airport is mainly headed for by low-cost carriers, there are not many lounge facilities available. The airport operates so-called Business Lounges in both, the Schengen and the Non-Schengen area. Passengers flying Business Class with any of the airlines departing from Riga Airport may access the lounge for free.
Priority Pass holders are also granted access. For all other passengers, day-passes are available for 40 Euro (~ 45 US-Dollar). Even though the lounge is quite good for a third-party one, it isn’t recommendable to spend that much money on access.
Getting from Riga Airport to the city center is very easy and convenient. Across from the terminal, Bus 22 departs every 10 to 30 minutes depending on day and daytime. The ride takes about 30 minutes and costs 2 Euro (~ 2.20 US-Dollar) when bought at the driver and 1.15 Euro (~ 1.25 US-Dollar) when bought at the tourist information center inside the airport.
Moreover, day passes for the whole network are available for just 5 Euro (~ 5.50 US-Dollar). There’s also a mini bus route which connects the airport with different suburbs of Riga. Last but not least, international bus operates offer rides to cities in Latvia and other countries around.