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Where to go cycling in Riga?
What are the best places for cycling near Riga city center? What if you are up for something more adventurous and want to go on a day trip from Riga on a bicycle? I have got you covered. Having lived in Riga since 2005, I had never really explored the city on a bicycle — until 2020 (thank you, Covid). Now, after some 1000 miles / 1600 km on a bicycle, I believe I know the city pretty well.
Even though, cycling infrastructure in Riga is only starting to be built, it already feels so much better than just 5 years ago.
It is very easy and cheap to rent a bicycle in Riga.
Where To Go Cycling in Riga?
Here are some ideas for your next trip to Riga.
Best bike paths, neighbourhoods to explore, day trip ideas.
Bike Paths in Riga
1. Riga – Jurmala Bike Path
DISTANCE: around 12.5 miles / 20 km one way.
STARTING POINT: Vansu bridge (turn right after the bridge).
The most popular bike path in Riga.
The bike path is well known both by locals and tourists.
During the summer it may even get crowded on this bike path, as thousands of people are cycling either to Jurmala (to go to the beach) or back to Riga. The path is roughly 12.5 miles / 20 km long, and takes you all the way from Riga city center to Jurmala, one of the best known beach destinations in Latvia. All year round it is a great place where to go cycling in Riga.
New asphalt has been laid in some parts at the end of 2020.
Read more: Riga – Jurmala Bike Path
2. Daugava Promenade Bike Path
DISTANCE (from Riga Old Town): around 7 miles / 11.3 kilometers.
From the Stone Bridge (Akmens tilts) it’s exactly a 6.2 mile / 10 kilometer ride one-way. If it is too much for you, just turn around at any point. It is impossible to miss the end of the path. It ends with bushes.
My favorite bike path near Riga city center.
Daugava Promenade is my personal favorite near Riga city center.
How to get there? Let’s assume, that you are starting a ride from Riga Old Town. Just get to the river Daugava, and follow it. With the river on your right. Until the South Bridge (Dienvidu tilts) it is super-easy and comfortable.
As you’re approaching the South Bridge, the bike path ends shortly before the bridge. Just keep going in the direction of the bridge, it’s in front of you, and turn to the right just before it. To get right next to the river again. And then turn to the left and cycle on the Austuves street for a while.
As of November 2020 on Austuves street there is a new bike path.
This path is connected to the Daugava Promenade bike path.
You will get to Daugava Promenade bike path in some 2 minutes.
Read more: Daugava Promenade Bike Path
3. Riga – Marupe Bike Path
DISTANCE: around 4 miles / 6.5 km one way.
STARTING POINT: Vansu bridge.
One of greenest bike paths in Riga
Locally it is known also as the Green Bike Trail.
The bicycle path starts from the Riga city center / old town and goes all the way until Marupe, an affluent suburb of Riga. If you like more off the beaten track kind of places, then you will like it. One half of the bike path is more like a regular sidewalk, other half goes through parks, under railway bridge and through lesser visited areas of Riga.
Follow the signs closely, it is easy to miss them in some places.
Read more: Riga – Marupe Bike Path
4. Marupe – Jaunmarupe Bike Path
DISTANCE: around 4.5 miles / 7.2 km one way.
STARTING POINT: Rozu street, Marupe.
One of the best bike paths in Riga for a peaceful ride.
Marupe is a wealthy area with a lot of private houses and low-rise apartment buildings, all built mostly in the last two decades. The municipality is one of the most affluent in the country, hence the roads there are even better than in Riga, as is the Marupe – Jaunmarupe bike path. It is one of the best in the city.
Read more: Marupe – Jaunmarupe Bike Path
5. Riga City Center – Mezaparks Bike Path
DISTANCE: around 4 miles / 6.5 km one way.
STARTING POINT: Hanzas street.
One of the oldest and most popular bike paths in Riga.
One of the reasons why I, personally, love this bike path is its destination. The bike path goes all the way to Mezaparks, my favorite park in Riga, a park that feels more like a real forest. You can turn around and go back, continue cycling in the park or cycle to the sea in Vecaki. There is a decent bike path for most of the way.
6. Mezaparks – Vecaki Bike Path
DISTANCE: around 7 miles / 11.2 km.
STARTING POINT: Riga Zoo.
My favorite bike path in Riga going to the beach.
There are two good bike paths going from Riga city center to the beach. The most popular one is Riga – Jurmala Bike Path. It is a good choice if you are interested in the town of Jurmala itself, a pretty seaside town. The other one is Riga City Center – Mezaparks – Vecaki Bike Path, a path that takes you to a more local beach.
Another reason to go to Vecaki might be the nearby Mangalsala pier.
7. Riga City Center – Bergi Bike Path
DISTANCE: around 9 miles / 14.5 km.
STARTING POINT: Riga Old Town.
One of the most popular bike paths for daily commute.
The path goes all the way from the old town until the suburbs.
A day trip idea: Riga – Adazi – Carnikava – Vecaki – Riga.
Neighbourhoods to Explore, Day Trip Ideas
8. Cycling From Riga to Sauriesi (following railroad tracks)
DISTANCE: around 22 miles / 35 km in total (from Riga city center).
DIFFICULTY: easy/moderate (easy to follow, but not always there is a trail).
STARTING POINT: Krustpils street.
If you are up for some adventure, here is an idea.
Go and cycle to Sauriesi by following a trail next to the railway tracks. I finished shortly after the Acone station, by taking the nearest road. It was late, I didn’t know the area, and I was content with what I had done. You can probably keep on cycling further. I don’t know, I haven’t tried.
9. Cycling From Riga to Dole Island
DISTANCE: around 14 miles / 22.5 km one way.
Dole is the largest island in the Daugava river. It is located some 14 miles or 22.5 km away from the Riga Old Town, and is an interesting day trip idea if you are on a bicycle. At first, follow the Daugava Promenade Bike Path, and then find your way to Riga Hydroelectric Power Plant. The island is right next to the power plant.
Read more: Cycling From Riga to Dole Island
10. Cycling From Riga to Ogre
DISTANCE: around 23 miles / 37 km one way.
If you are up for a longer ride, here is an idea — cycle to Ogre.
It is a long ride, but for most part it is also a rather easy ride. Thanks to some decent bike paths, one of which goes right next to Riga Hydroelectric Power Plant and small rural roads. In Ogre aim for the Ogre Blue Hills Nature Park.
Read more: Cycling From Riga to Ogre
11. Cena Bog Boardwalk Trail
DISTANCE: 19.1 miles / 31 km (ride from Riga + the trail).
Not your usual cycling destination.
Cena Bog trail is one of the two most popular bog hiking trails near Riga. It is possible to get there on a bicycle. And if you are coming on weekday when there are only very few people, you can also cycle all the trail (if you are not afraid of cycling on such pathways).
To this point you can get on a car.
It is a gravel road, and there is a parking at the entrance.
Read more: Cena Bog Boardwalk Hike
12. Cycling From Riga to Olaine
DISTANCE: around 27 miles / 43.5 km in total (from Riga city center).
There’s an old road from Riga to Jelgava.
You can take this road to cycle from Riga to Olaine easy and safe.
And if you’re looking for a longer and faster ride, with very few people around you, this is a very good option. Half of it is a wide good quality road with few cars, then there’s a decent old asphalt road for some 10 – 15 minutes, and a long stretch of good bike paths as you’re nearing Olaine. All in all, it’s a great place for cycling in Riga.
Read more: Cycling From Riga to Olaine
13. Riga – Varnukrogs – Bolderaja
DISTANCE: 23.5 – 28 miles / 37.8 – 45 km.
A longer and wilder than most route for cycling in Riga.
It’s for those of you who aren’t afraid of cycling on bad roads, gravel and sand. It’s for those of you who enjoy being in nature. And it’s for those of you who like finding adventures everywhere you go. Being so close to the city center, it’s also very easy to find and get to, yet very few do so.
There are several ways how you can go there.
The easiest is to take Riga – Jurmala bike path, and then turn either at Babite or Priedaine (the longer option). Then cycle to Varnukrogs, and follow the road going to Bolderaja, the nearest one to the river. The worst thing about this route is the first part of cycling back from Bolderaja to Riga; it’s a busy road.
Read more: Cycling Riga – Varnukrogs – Bolderaja
14. Riga – Adazi – Carnikava – Vecaki
DISTANCE: around 47 miles / 76 km in total.
This is for you if you want more.
If you want to go cycling in Riga, and if Riga – Jurmala bike path isn’t enough for you. If Riga – Olaine isn’t enough for you. And if also Riga – Varnukrogs – Bolderaja isn’t long enough for you. Then Riga – Adazi – Carnikava – Vecaki – Riga might be just the right route for you to check out.
The best part about this route is that it’s mostly bike paths.
Another thing to love about this route is the diversity. You start cycling in a city center. Then there are some quiet bike paths on the outskirts of Riga. You’re visiting a couple of small towns on the way. And then there’s also a beach — you’re riding on it for some time on your way back. A small part of the route is on roads.
Read more: Cycling Riga – Adazi – Carnikava – Vecaki
15. Ziepniekkalns – Balozi – Ziepniekkalns
DISTANCE: around 6 miles / 9.6 km (+ getting to Ziepniekkalns).
I started and also finished in Tornakalns, you can start wherever you are.
Situated on the outskirts of the city, it’s a place from where you can go on a nice walk or bicycle ride in Riga. But don’t get me wrong — the neighborhood itself isn’t a good place for walking or cycling, the forest right next to it is. Consisting of mostly Soviet-built 10 story apartment buildings, the neighborhood may also look like a scary place for many.
There are multiple trails and forest roads in the area.
Read more: Ziepniekkalns – Balozi – Ziepniekkalns
16. Daugavgriva Beach
DISTANCE: around 23 miles / 37 km in total.
Daugavgriva is a neighbourhood in Riga, next to the sea.
It’s a very sparsely populated area with most of it covered by forest. All of that makes it a great place for nature walks during any season. And you can also go cycling there. The worst part is getting to the island. There are no bike paths going to Daugavgriva. So for at least a few miles you have to take a rather busy road, as in some places there are no other alternatives.
Read more: Daugavgriva Beach
17. Riga – Lielupe – Ragakapa Nature Park
DISTANCE: around 7 miles / 11.2 km (+getting to Lielupe).
The place is next to the sea and river, and is great both for hiking and cycling. It’s beautiful in all seasons. But a sunny summer day and a cold and snowy winter day is surely the best time for visit.
Read more: Lielupe – Ragakapa Nature Park
18. Hiking / Cycling Around Melna Ezera Swamp
DISTANCE: around 8.5 miles / 13.6 km (+ getting to the swamp).
To get there, take the Riga – Marupe and Marupe – Jaunmarupe bike paths.
To get back, you’ll have to ride on a highway for around 3 miles / 4.8 km.
There are two popular bog hiking trails near Riga. The most popular one is in Cena Bog, the other one – Great Kemeri Bog. Located a short ride away from Jaunmarupe, Melna Ezera Swamp is even closer to Riga. If you want to go on a ride in the nature and you enjoy more off the beaten path kind of places, this is the place for you.
Read more: Hiking Around Melna Ezera Swamp
19. Kipsala Island
Just like the nearby islands of Zakusala and Lucavsala, Kipsala is an island everyone knows, especially locals, but at the same time rarely anyone wanders any deeper than they need. For example, for me Kipsala has always been the place where my university was located, and that was it.
Turns out there is more to it, and it is also an interesting place to go for a walk to or where to go cycling in Riga.
Start with the Balasta dambis street on the side of the old town. It is the prettiest part of Zakusala. The rest is still a bit wild. There are some newer, and some older buildings, some really nice houses and some you want to get quicker away from, some office buildings and some restricted access areas. It is possible to get to the river Daugava in some parts.
For most part you see only very few cars on the island.
Read more: Kipsala Island
20. Lucavsala Island
Until a few years ago no one went to Lucavsala, but then things changed.
One part of the island was transformed into a big park.
Now it’s a popular spot to hang out in the city, there are playgrounds for kids, a beach and you can do water sports like wakeboarding on the island. But just like with the nearby islands of Zakusala and Kipsala, there are also parts of Lucavsala rarely anyone visits.
If you’re up for some exploration, just head to the opposite side of the island.
Read more: Lucavsala Island
21. Zakusala Island
Zakusala is an island in the Daugava river.
It is one of several islands on river Daugava, but also the one you have definitely seen if you have been to Riga. That is the island with the Riga TV Tower on it, situated very close to the city center and easily accessible in several ways, including by foot.
To be honest, until recently I thought this place is super boring.
And that there’s nothing at all to see, except for the TV tower. I didn’t know it’s possible to get to both ends of the island. Turned out that I was wrong. And I found it out only while exploring different neighborhoods of Riga looking for interesting places where to go cycling in Riga.
Even though there isn’t any cycling infrastructure, it’s a nice, quiet place where to chill by the river, go on a short bicycle ride or walk.
Having very nice views of the city and without almost any people around you.
If that is your thing, check out the Zakusala island, both its sides.
I, personally, like the one closer to the Railway bridge.
Read more: Zakusala Island
22. Kundzinsala Island
To be honest, until recently I had never heard of this place.
Even though I am a local, and I have been living in Riga since 2005.
Even though Kundzinsala is the biggest island in Riga, it is pretty close to the city center, and I have been living in Riga since 2005. Until a couple months ago, on my quest to find interesting places where to go cycling in Riga, I went to the island of Kundzinsala. Is it worth it? It is.
Even though the island is pretty big, only a small part of it is accessible.
The rest is fenced and is a part of the port, just like in Voleri.
And that’s not the only similarity with Voleri. All in all this place as well feels a lot like a small village somewhere far away in countryside of Latvia. But it’s there, a short ride away from the Riga city center. Go and explore it!
Read more: Kundzinsala Island
23. Voleri Neighbourhood
Voleri is a neighbourhood in Riga next to river Daugava.
There’s no bicycle infrastructure in this part of Riga.
At the same time it is very easy to get there from the Riga city center, because mostly all you have to do is follow one road. Either by cycling on the road or on the sidewalk. At one point the sidewalk ends, but then there’s a trail next to the busy road. Most cyclists take that road. I recommend you to do the same.
All in all Voleri feels a lot like a small town in Latvia. Like a village.
But unlike most villages in Latvia it is next to a big river and with big non-accessible areas, because of the nearby port. And that is the main reason I would recommend you to go on a ride in Voleri, that small village feeling.
Read more: Cycling Around in Voleri
Have you been to Latvia? Have you tried cycling in Riga or somewhere else? What was your experience of cycling in Latvia?