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Rundale in Latvia, options for getting there?

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Apr 5th, 2004, 08:21 PM
  #1
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Rundale in Latvia, options for getting there?

We are heading to Riga in May and one of the daytrips that caught my eye was Rundale Palace. If we decide not to rent a car during the trip (think we are taking the bus to Vilnius), is it feasible to get to Rundale on either public transport or by using a guide of some sort (private or group)?

Is it difficult to drive in Latvia should we rent a car for a day?

Even though it is on the way I don't think we want to stop on our way to Vilnius, what would we do with our luggage?

Thanks for any suggestions!
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Apr 6th, 2004, 12:56 AM
  #2
hsv
 
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It is possible to get to Rundale by public transport from Riga, although it is a bit of a hassle IMO.
You would need to take a bus to Bauska which would take about 1.5 hours. Buses should leave from somewhere near the station in Riga and run frequently during the day.
From Bauska you need to catch a bus to "Pilsrundale", which is the castle (in contrast to just "Rundale", which indicates the village 2.5 km from the palace). There should be about 5 buses during the day, but I cannot comment on connection times.
Another possibilty would be to travel to Jelgava by train or bus, which would take roughly an hour. From Jelgava there are buses to Pilsrundale, too.

Apart from that, driving in Latvia is not difficult IMO. You should adhere to traffic rules, though, as traffic patrols by the local police are frequent (and merciless, I have paid my share of tickets... ).
I admit that I tend to prefer cars over public transport, but given the long but still uncertain travel times to Rundale Palace, I would seriously consider renting a car in order to get there. It would likely reduce your travel time by at least 2 hours for the roundtrip on that day.
You could use them for a short afternoon trip along the coastline behind Jurmala, for example.

I agree that if you are taking a bus to Vilnius hopping off at Rundale might pose a problem, as the bus is unlikely to pass directly by the Palace and your luggage would indeed interfere with your plans. So a daytrip from Riga appears to be the better choice if travelling by bus to Vilnius has been decided upon.
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Apr 6th, 2004, 01:03 AM
  #3
hsv
 
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Forgot to mention: Guided tours of the palace should be available there. I remember being guided around by an extremely friendly and nice elderly lady on my last visit there.
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Apr 6th, 2004, 06:35 AM
  #4
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Thanks for the advice hsv, you have been invaluable in helping me plan my trip!

Is there anything in Bauska besides the castle? Is that worth a look?

Have you ever used a guided tour or private guide in Riga? I've had private guides in other cities and it has worked well and has been worth the extra expense.

I would really rather travel by car, gives you a lot more freedom, but I can't always persuade my husband that it is a good idea.
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Apr 6th, 2004, 12:38 PM
  #5
hsv
 
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Hi Kristi,

I am blushing...but thanks for the compliment anyway.

Frankly, I cannot exactly recall Bauska castle. I seem to remember that it contains a selection of archeologigal items on display, but that's about all I can say about it.

Regarding a guided tour of Riga, I relied on a very close local friend to show me around in addition to exploring a lot on my own and with colleagues while I was living there, so I have no experience with any professionals on the job. I think a colleague might have used one on showing some visitors around. If he can remember who that was, I will get back to you about that.
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