Micro-SIM and Nano-SIM at Bite, LMT (Okarte), Tele2 (Zelta Zivtiņa)

Bite

Prepaid

First Purchase:  Bite SIM-cards are sold only at Bite stores, so you can select a desired SIM-card size (SIM, Micro-SIM or Nano-SIM). It is free of charge.
Replacement: PUK-code of your current SIM-card is required. It is located on plastic card of your SIM-card or at Mana Bite portal.
Price: free.

Contract

First Purchase: You can select a desired SIM-card size (SIM, Micro-SIM or Nano-SIM) when signing a contract with operator. It is free of charge.
Replacement: identification document required (passport, ID-card or driver license).
Price: free.

LMT (Okarte)

Prepaid (Okarte)

First Purchase: Starter packs come with universal SIM-cards: SIM/Micro-SIM. There are no Nano-SIM starter packs. To replace your SIM-card to Nano-SIM you need to visit any LMT kiosk.
Replacement: SIM-card and an identification document required (passport, ID-card or driver license).
Price: free.

Contract

First Purchase: You can select a desired SIM-card size (SIM, Micro-SIM or Nano-SIM) when signing a contract with operator. It is free of charge.
Replacement: SIM-card and an identification document required (passport, ID-card or driver license).
Price: free.

Tele2 (Zelta Zivtiņa)

Prepaid (Zelta Zivtiņa)

First Purchase: Starter packs come with universal SIM-cards: SIM/Micro-SIM. There are no Nano-SIM starter packs. To replace your SIM-card to Nano-SIM you need to visit any Tele2 kiosk.
Replacement: SIM-card and an identification document required (passport, ID-card or driver license).
Price: first replacement is free, €3 every next replacement.

Contract

First Purchase: You can select a desired SIM-card size (SIM, Micro-SIM or Nano-SIM) when signing a contract with operator. It is free of charge.
Replacement: SIM-card and an identification document required (passport, ID-card or driver license).
Price: first replacement is free, €5.17 every next replacement.

Traffic, Jams, Navigation in Riga and Latvia

Riga might be quite a complicated city for navigation for a non-local driver. There are non-obvious junctions, intersections of more than two roads, signs that forbid turning left and other troubles that might make driving complicated to a non-familiar with Riga driver.

“Lane must turn” signs are not always consistent. For example, there might be a “Right lane must turn right” sign and you should choose a left lane for driving straight on a first intersection. But the next intersection will require you to move to the right side because only left turns will be allowed from the left lane.

Sometimes “Lane must turn” signs cannot be seen from the place where you join the traffic queue. You’ll probably be allowed to change lane in a middle of queue if you have a non-local license plate on your car. But if you have a local license plate this might be a bit complicated. Make it your principle to join a lane with queue if you see a few lanes with one that has traffic on it. Even if the lane you’ve chosen is wrong, changing to a free lane is always easier than changing a lane in the middle of a queue.

There might be some troubles with navigation software when you come to intersection of more than two roads. Software probably won’t be able to announce you how to behave on a such intersection. You will have to look at the screen to analyze the road configuration and compare it to reality to choose a right direction.

Riga’s traffic jams cannot be of course compared say to Moscow jams. But traffic can be rather high-dense. Driving from one district on a one side of the city to the one on another might take about 1.5 hours. While when there’s no traffic such drive will take only about 20 minutes.

traffic

We think that traffic problems in Riga are mostly related to the fact that Riga is divided in half by bridges and their capacity is just not enough in a rush-hours. Some districts of the city are also divided by railways. To enter or exit such a district you will have to go through a rail crossing which can be closed when a train is passing.

High-dense traffic is usual in Riga at the following time:

  • in the morning (8-10am): at entrance highways to Riga, at exits of residential areas, at entrances of industrial districts, at rail crossings, at bridges, at city center.
  • in the evening(4-7pm): at exits to other cities from Riga, at bridges

The most popular navigation software in Latvia is Waze. A lot of Latvian drivers use it. It’s a fair assumption to say that you it provides the most up to date information about traffic, accidents, police traps, gas prices and so on. Waze is also good at fast routes calculation and works great in Riga and in a whole Latvia. The only problem with Waze is that it requires a connection to internet. That’s why we recommend to buy a local mobile operator SIM-card and set up the internet.

Taxi in Latvia

General Information

There are six major taxi companies in Riga. Those that proven themselves on the market for a long time with more than 50 cabs. There are also more than hundred of smaller ones.

Taxi vehicles according to local regulations should have special yellow colored license plate (though you can see some white colored too), taxi sign on the roof and a company logo on a side door with a city name.

Taxi fares are calculated as a sum of boarding fee, fare per distance and time rate. Fare can be higher at night. Taxi can be ordered by phone or can be catched on the street. But it is usually cheaper to order a taxi by phone. You can call an unified taxi call center in Riga (phone 8808) or call the company itself. Phone operator may calculate you the price for the route and wait time. Average wait time is about 15-20 minutes.

Almost every company can transfer you to another city of Latvia.

Payment usually can be made by cash or credit card. Please inform the phone operator that you are going to pay by card, so the driver will have a credit card terminal. If you catched the taxi, please inquire if a driver has a credit card terminal before going.

Make sure to tell the phone operator if you are going with small children when ordering. Doing so will insure that taxi have a child seat onboard.

Some companies have a “Sober Driver” service. Taxi will arrive with two drivers onboard and one of them will drive your car.

Taxi in Riga

Low-priced Taxi

Panda Taxi panda

Order by phone: (+371)67000000, (+371)67600006.

Car pool consists of cars by different manufactures with panda logo. There are also minivans with up to six seats, but you must make a reservation for these in advance. Every second car has a free Wi-Fi. Panda is a very popular Taxi service in Riga. That’s why you may have to wait up to 30 minutes in a rush hours. Average wait time is 15 minutes. They accept cash only. But a driver can take you to a nearest ATM if you’re out of cash.

At the time of writing (February 2015) has the following fare rate in city (including airport):

  • Boarding – €0,71, fare per km – €0,36, time rate – €0,13 per minute.
  • Minivan fares are the same.

Company website

Avoiss Taxi

Order by phone: 8877, (+371)25544555,(+371)67148008.

Car pool consists of cars by different manufactures but mostly of Ford Focus. WV Transporter minibus is available for large groups. International destinations such as Estonia and Lithuania are possible.

At the time of writing (February 2015) has the following fare rate in city:

  • Boarding – €0,90 , fare per km – €0,35, time rate – €0,14 per minute.

Company website

Alviksa

Order by phone: 8535, (+371)67253535, (+371)67607474.

Car pool consists of cars by different manufactures including minivans with up to 9 passenger seats. Advertised wait time is 15 minutes.

At the time of writing (February 2015) has the following fare rate in city:

  • Boarding – €0,84, fare per km – €0,33, time rate – €0,11 per minute.
  • Minivan fares are the same as regular plus €3 one time fee.

Company website, Fare Calculator

Free Taxi

Order by phone: 8880,(+371)27228880.

Car pool consists of cars by different manufactures. No minivans. Fare is calculated by phone operator at the time of ordering and fixed. Fare is not adjusted despite of a time spent in transit.

Company website, Fare Calculator

Smile Taxi

Order by phone: (+371)22577677, (+371)67262525.

Car pool consists of Ford Focuses and Mercedes Benz VITO minivans with up to 7 passenger seats. Minivans must be reserved in advance. Every car has a conditioner.
At the time of writing (February 2015) has the following fare rate in city:

  • Boarding – €1,42, fare per km – €0,55, time rate – €0,13 per minute.
  • Minivan fares are the same as regular plus €5 one time fee.

There are discounts for corporate clients.

Company website

High-priced Taxi

Baltic Taxi

Order by phone: 8500(+371)20008500, (+371)67008500.

Car pool consists of light green colored Toyota Corollas, Toyota Versos and Ford S-MAXes as well as Renault Trafic and Peugeot minivans. Drivers wear uniform. Company pledges that they speak three languages: Latvian, Russian and English. Every car has a free Wi-Fi.

One of the most expensive taxi in Riga. At the time of writing has the following fares:

  • Except from airport: boarding – €2, fare per km – €0,64, time rate – €0,13 per minute.
  • From airport: boarding – €2,13, fare per km – €0,71, time – €0,14 per minute.

There are coupons with a fixed fare rate within Riga available. Coupons can be bought at airBaltic website, airBaltic aircrafts, BalticTaxi kiosks at Riga airport or by email. One time ride fare is €14,50.

Minivan fares are the same as regular.

Company website

Red Cab (Riga Taxi Park)

Order by phone: 8383, (+371)66119973.

Car pool consists of red Ford S-Maxes, Renault Megane, Scenic and Trafic as well as Renault Minibuses. Drivers wear uniform. Every car has a climate control and free Wi-Fi. There are cars equipped for disabled people.

One of the most expensive taxi in Riga. At the time of writing has the following fares in city:

  • Except from airport: boarding – €1,71, fare per km – €0,64, time rate – €0,13 per minute.
  • From airport: boarding – €2,13, fare per km – €0,71, time rate – €0,13 за минуту.

There are also two discount fare rates for Mobilly clients, credit card holders of NORDEA, SERB Dinamo, RIX club card, LAMB card, SEESAM Latvia medical or VIP card, NOVATOURS coupons. Discount is 20% on boarding and 10% on fare per km.

Company website

Lady Taxi

Order by phone: (+371)27800900.

Car pool consists of red Toyota Verso and Auris Touring. All drivers are women. All cars have a child seat.

  • City-wide fare: boarding – €1,75, fare per km – €0,57, time rate – €0,14 per minute.

There’s a 30% discount for Lady taxi client cards, as well as for students, professors and pupils with ISIC card, RIX club card, readers cards of “Mans Mazais”, “Ieva”, “Klubs”, BENU pharmacy cards, Baltvilla client cards, Turība cards and RTU cards

Company website

Taxi in Jurmala

You can order almost every Riga’s taxi to Jurmala. But there are also a few local companies:

Taxi in Daugavpils

Taxi in Liepaja

Taxi in Ventspils

Taxi in Valmiera

Taxi in Jelgava

Mobile Phone Networks and Internet in Latvia

riga

General Information

Mobile Phone Networks

There are 4 mobile networks in Latvia: Amigo, Bite, LMT, Tele2. Incoming calls are free. No documents required to purchase a prepaid SIM-card. SIM-cards usually sold in mobile operator stores which are located at shopping malls across every city of Latvia.

Internet

Wi-Fi

wifi
Free Wi-Fi is generally provided by “Lattelecom” operator. Every shopping mall, cafe, restaurant or any other public place usually have a free Wi-Fi hotspot. If you decide to use “Lattelecom-Free” hotspot you’ll have to wait 15 seconds and watch ad in a browser until you get a full access.

3G, 4G/LTE Mobile Internet

Every mobile phone operator provide either 3G or 4G/LTE coverage in all major cities. Connectivity may degrade to EDGE/GPRS in rural places but almost the whole Latvia is covered by a mobile internet.

Mobile Phone Operators Features

Amigo amigo

Amigo is a virtual operator based on LMT operator’s mobile network. It’s coverage is naturally the same as LMT. Amigo SIM-cards sold at almost every supermarket, such as Elvi, Lats, Maxima, Rimi, as well as at “Latvijas Pasts” post offices, “Statoil” gas stations and “Narvesen” kiosks.

Company site.

Bite bite

Bite is an operator that has the most lowest prices on the market and a good network quality. Another great feature of this operator is that you can monitor your expenses on their site in real time. Bite has no 4G/LTE coverage across the whole Latvia at the time of writing (February 2015). Only a few districts of Riga are covered by 4G/LTE. However, 3G/HSDPA network covers almost all cities of Latvia. Bite SIM-card can be purchased only at Bite stores. But they are located in almost every major shopping mall.

Stores locations, Coverage map, Company site.

LMT lmt

LMT is the only mobile phone operator that has 4G/LTE coverage across the whole Latvia at the time of writing (February 2015). Their prices are generally higher than the average on the market. But no other mobile phone operator provides internet that is faster than the one in LMT. Prepaid cards are branded as Okarte. Okarte SIM-cards sold at almost every supermarket, such as Elvi, Lats, Maxima, Rimi, as well as at “Statoil” gas stations and “Narvesen” kiosks.

Stores locations, Coverage map, Company site.

Tele2 tele2

Tele2 is an operator with good prices and a stable network quality. Tele2 has only about 50+ 4G/LTE base stations at the time of writing (February 2015). Which are located in Riga and some major cities of Latvia. Their 3G/HSDPA network covers mostly every city of Latvia. Prepaid cards are sold under the brand name «Zelta Zivtiņa» (Goldfish). You can buy «Zelta Zivtiņa» prepaid SIM-card at Tele2 shops. Tele2 shops reside in almost every major shopping mall.

Stores locations, Coverage map, Company site.

Micro-SIM, Nano-SIM

microsimModern smartphones usually have a smaller SIM-card, such as Micro-SIM or even smaller Nano-SIM. You may change your card in any operator office if you’ve purchased a SIM-card that doesn’t fits your phone. It is usually free.

More details about Nano-SIM and Micro-SIM cards