From what I can ascertain there are three operators offering hop-on, hop-off bus tours of Riga. They each cost Euro15 and the ticket lasts 48hrs. Buses run between around 10am and 3-4pm.
*Riga Sightseeing Service -http://riga-sightseeing.lv/ – looks like it runs roughly hourly though hard to tell
*Riga Tourbus -http://www.rigatourbus.lv/ – every 2 hours! (as depicted in my attached picture).
The route taken by all three is almost identical and very strangely does not extend to the Moscow District or further south than the Central Market (one goes via the Academy of Sciences). All three route maps are deceptively colour-coded /split into three colours to make the route look longer and at least a couple of the websites are vague or confusing re stops – are they trying to hide something?
Most importantly the buses do not go through the Old City but rather skirt it. The primary purpose of going to Riga is to enjoy the Old City which is best explored on foot anyway.
Essentially all the stops, of interest to a tourist, on the tours can be easily reached on foot, with the aid of one or two Euro2 tram rides if really desired.
While some people love these hop-on hop-off buses I consider each on its merits and find none whatsoever in the Riga offerings – the city is just to small. Needless to say, I did not take a hop-on hop-off bus on my visit.
In some places if you are really hard pressed for time and want a quick overview of a location then doing a loop on one of these buses can be recommended but I cannot even recommend this in Riga on two accounts – you will miss out on the main sights within the Old City area and secondly they cost too much.
Alternatives: If you only have an hour or two in Riga I would recommend a walk in the Old City. If you have another hour and you want to see further afield (and there are two of you) Euro 30 of taxi fares will give you a much better tour with many more quick photo stops than a hop-on hop-off bus will.
This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of General entries on Riga, Latvia. I suggest you continue with my next entry – Long Distance Bus services, including to Tallinn – or to start this loop at the beginning go to my introductory entry – Riga – A Turbulent Past Left Behind?