If you’re just visiting the old town and the art nouveau quarter of Rīga, Latvia you’ll probably don’t need public transport. But there are also interesting places like the botanical garden, the zoological garden or the Brāļu kapi memorial cemetery that are a bit further away. Good news: using public transport at Rīga is fairly easy. A hive of busses, minibusses, trolley busses and tramways is waiting for you to jump in.
Locals typically use electronic smartcards that are validated when entering a vehicle. These cards are upvalued at ticket vending machines standing next to important bus stops. For tourists these machines also sell RFID-based tickets made out of paper. You can buy them with a defined number of rides or days and you can validate them like the normal smartcards at any door of a vehicle.
Every now and then a ticket inspector comes into the vehicle and electronically checks if your ticket has been validated. Finding the right bus is again easy as Google Maps knows all stops, lines and timetables. While travelling with tramways you can also learn a bit about local cuisine: the screens sometimes show you how to prepare simple Latvian dishes.