A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Athens vs. Riga for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Backpackers

Should you visit Athens or Riga?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Athens and Riga. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Athens

Athens is a historic, ancient, and vibrant city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Riga

Riga is a fun, high energy, and off-the-beaten-path city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Athens and Riga: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty


How is Athens different from Riga?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Riga and Athens. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Athens or Riga Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Athens
Riga

You'll find a number of museums and attractions in both Riga and Athens.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Athens has many famous sights for visitors. As a historical capital of the world, this city has countless museums and archeological sites including the famous Acropolis, the National Archaeology Museum, and the Ancient Agora.

Riga offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. As a capital city with a diverse history, you'll find a number of museums and landmarks in the area. Visitors frequently visit The Freedom Monument, St. Peters Church, the Riga Cathedral, The House of the Black Heads, and any of the many museums around town.


Is Athens or Riga Better for Food?

Athens
Riga

Dining out at restaurants in both Athens and Riga can be an enjoyable experience.

Eat your way through Athens, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. Make sure you try the souvlaki, moussaka, and dolmades at any of the many local restaurants throughout the city.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Riga makes for a great culinary experience. The city offers a great opportunity to try many Latvian specialties including rasol (a potato salad), pelmeni (a Latvian dumpling), and karbonade (kind of like schnitzel). The cuisine is hearty and filling with lots of bread, dumpling, and meats. Riga is also where you'll find the largest food market in Europe, which is the perfect place to wander and pick up some local items.

Is Athens or Riga Better for Nightlife?

Athens
Riga

The vibe at night is comparable in Athens and Riga.

The nightlife in Athens is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. There are all-night dance clubs as well as local bars and chill live music venues.

Riga is a world class party destination. Despite being a small city, this capital has gained a reputation for its party atmosphere. The historic center comes to life in the evenings, particularly between Wednesdays and Saturdays. The area is compact enough that you can walk from club to club and prices are reasonable.

Is Athens or Riga Better for Shopping?

Athens
Riga

If you're looking to go shopping, Athens and Riga both offer plenty of spots.

Athens has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. Most neighborhoods have a shopping street but head to Ermou Street for some of the city's best shopping.

Riga is an extremely popular place for shoppers. Some of the most interesting shopping in the city is in the old town. Prices might be a little more expensive than you expect but it's possible to find some unique items. The city also has many markets, including the largest food market in Europe, which is a must-see.

Is Athens or Riga Better for Families?

Athens
Riga

Both Athens and Riga are family-friendly destinations.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Athens. With its rich history, beautiful outdoor activities, and kid-friendly food, Athens is a fun place to explore with the whole family.

Riga is a family-friendly place to visit. During the winter months, there are a number of museums that are fun to explore with kids including the Nature Museum, the Railroad Museum, the Aviation Technology Museum, and the Riga Firefighter Museum. There are also several indoor play areas. When the weather is warmer there are a number of outdoor parks and playgrounds to explore.


Is Athens or Riga Better for Couples?

Athens
Riga

Athens and Riga both fun destinations for a couple.

Athens is a good city for couples to visit. The city is historical, fascinating, and romantic, making it a beautiful place to explore as a couple.

Riga is a nice destination for couples. The city has a charming old town that you can explore, taking time to relax in the city squares or sip coffee at a cafe. There are also many nice restaurants that will make for a romantic date night.

Is Athens or Riga Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Athens
Riga

For backpackers, both Athens and Riga are fairly comparable places to visit.

A large number of backpackers visit Athens, as it is a very popular city for budget travelers. The city has long been established as a backpackers destination with budget friendly food and plenty of hostels around town.

Riga is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. There are many affordable hostels around town as well as restaurants where you can grab a cheap meal. The city offers a great European experience at a fraction of the price of many cities.

Is Athens or Riga Better for Students?

Athens
Riga

For students, both Athens and Riga are fairly comparable places to visit.

Many students visit Athens. International students will appreciate the rich history, archaeological ruins, and unique opportunities that are available here.

Riga is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. The city's affordability and vibrant atmosphere make it a great spot for international students. There are many places to hang out and a lively nightlife scene that appeals to young travelers.

Is Athens or Riga Better for Public Transit?

Athens
Riga

Athens and Riga both offer public transit to get you around.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Athens. The city's metro system has 3 lines that connect to bus, tram and commuter rail lines.

Public transit in Riga is fairly effecient and thorough. Transportation options include buses, trolleybuses, and trams.


Is Athens or Riga a more walkable city?

Athens
Riga

Athens and Riga are similar when it comes to walkability.

Athens is a very walkable destination. You'll find the city's most walkable area's in the historical heart, where there are many pedestrian only streets and shopping areas.

Riga is very walkable. The city is small enough that most areas can be explored on foot.

Should I spend more time in Riga or Athens?

How long in Athens or Riga?

It's fun to spend time in either Athens or Riga. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Athens due to the larger number of activities and things to do.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Athens is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Riga is 2-4 days.


  • How many days in Athens or Riga? Ideal Length of Stay
    Athens 3-7 
    Riga 2-4

One day in Athens or Riga?

Athens is a big city destination where you can fill many days. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Riga. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Athens or Riga?

Athens is a fun place to experience. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Riga is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the nightlife, as that's what most people do. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Athens or Riga?

Athens is a energetic big city where you can fill many days. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Riga. Don't miss the nightlife, as that's what most people do. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A week in Athens or Riga?

Athens is a energetic city where you can fill many days. Many people spend one week here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the fun destination of Riga. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Which city is cheaper, Riga or Athens?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Athens is €103, while the average daily cost in Riga is €82. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Athens and Riga in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Athens 51
    Riga 42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Athens 102
    Riga 84
Compare Hotels in Athens and Riga

Looking for a hotel in Athens or Riga? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Athens


Hotels in Riga


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Athens Hotel Prices and Riga Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Athens 22
    Riga 12
Typical Local Transportation prices in Athens

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Athens:


  • Airport Bus for Two
    6.40
  • Metro
    1.50
  • Metro
    2.00
  • Metro from Airport to City Center
    8.00
  • Taxi from Airport
    35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Athens

Also for Athens, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Ultra - Private Transfer from Athens City Centre to Piraeus Cruise Port: $9.41
  • Ultra - Athens Private Airport Transfer from City Centre to Athens Airport ATH: $9.41
  • Mercedes Luxury Private Transfer Athens - Piraeus: $16
  • Athens Port Private Transfer: $16
  • Private Luxury Transfer from Athens - Piraeus: $17
  • Athens Private Transfer Service: Athens Hotel to Piraeus Port: $19
  • Athens Airport Shuttle Bus Transfer: $21
  • Athens Private Transfer: Piraeus Cruise Port to Central Athens: $22
  • Athens Private Transfer: Central Athens to Piraeus Cruise Port: $22
  • Athens hotels to Piraeus port Private departure transfer: $22
  • Piraeus port to Athens hotels Private arrival transfer: $22
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Athens Airport: $24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Riga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Riga:

  • Riga Tank Ride - 2 Hours - Guided with Return Transfers: $1,192
  • Mercedes-Benz Viano Van Transfer from Riga to Vilnius/Talinn/Any Baltic Country: $425
  • Private Minivan Transfer: Riga to Tallinn: $418
  • Private Minivan transfer from Riga to Kaunas: $413
  • Riga Party Bus Airport Transfer: $382
  • Riga to Vilnius transfer with Sightseeing: $347
  • Riga to Tallinn transfer with Sightseeing: $335
  • Transfer from Riga to Tallinn: $283
  • Private Minivan Transfer from Kaunas to Riga: $215
  • Riga (Sigulda) Winter Bobsleigh "Olympic + Vuchko" Ride - Guided with Transfers: $199
  • Private transfer from Riga to Vilnius via Rundale palace and Hill of crosses: $169
  • Private Taxi Transfer from Riga or Riga airport to Tallinn: $153

Is it cheaper to fly into Athens or Riga?

Prices for flights to both Riga and Athens change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Athens 30
    Riga 26
Typical Food prices in Athens

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Athens:


  • Ice cream
    3.00
  • Souvlaki
    2.20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Athens

For Athens, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Online 1hr Cooking Class: Santorini Tomato Fritters: $6.22
  • Greek Meatballs Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Athens Private Food Tour with a Local: $42
  • Online Cooking Class: Greek mini cheese pies: $45
  • Street Culture & Food Tour: $56
  • Afternoon Food Tour: $56
  • Athens walking and tasting food tour.: $60
  • 4-Hour Cooking Class with Market Visit: $69
  • Homemade Gyros cooking class and dinner in Athens for private groups: $75
  • The Classic Food Tour: $76
  • Taste of Half-Day Small Group Food Tour: $77
  • Greek Phyllo and Pie Cooking Class in Athens: $77

Typical Food prices in Riga

Some typical examples of dining costs in Riga are as follows:


  • Fast Food Lunch
    5.77

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Riga

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Riga.

  • Private Guided Virtual Food Tour of Riga: $12
  • Central Market Latvian Food Tour: $34
  • Riga Medieval Dinner: $102
  • Riga Medieval Dinner: $102

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Athens 28
    Riga 17

Tours and Activities in Athens

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Athens.

  • Athens virtual History, Philosophy and Democracy Tour: $6.22
  • Skip the Line: Frissiras Museum Entrance Ticket: $7.46
  • Skip the Line: War Museum of Athens Entrance Ticket: $7.46
  • Skip the Line: Temple of Olympian Zeus Entrance Ticket: $8.09
  • Skip the Line: Roman Agora of Athens Entrance Ticket: $8.71
  • Athens Museum of Cycladic Art Admission Ticket: $8.71
  • Skip the Line: Admission Ticket for Acropolis Museum: $9.33
  • Temple of Olympian Zeus: Self-Guided Audio Tour on your Phone (without ticket): $9.94
  • Skip the Line: Ancient Agora of Athens and Temple of Hephaestus Entrance Ticket: $11
  • Benaki Museum of Islamic Art Entrance Ticket: $11
  • Athens Museum of Illusions Ticket: $11
  • Self-Guided City Experience: $12

Tours and Activities in Riga

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Riga are as follows:

  • "Best of Riga" 6-hour Private Car & Walking Tour: $373
  • 2 Day Gastronomy Tour In Latgale: $267
  • 2 Day Gauja National Park Tour: $199
  • 2 Day Kurzeme Winery Tour: $224
  • ATV-QUAD rent and guided tours: $48
  • All Inclusive Honest History Tour - Āraiši, Cēsis, Līgatne, Sigulda: $248
  • Alternative Riga Photoshoot Tour: $49
  • An audio tour of Old from St Peter's Church to the Monument of Freedom: $5.00
  • Art Nouveau Small Group Walking Tour of Riga: $193
  • Art Nouveau Walking Tour in Riga: $57
  • Beer Bike Experience: $45
  • Best of Riga Walking Tour: $231

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Athens 18
    Riga 16

Sample the Local Flavors in Athens

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Athens:

  • Athens Walking Tour with Food and Wine Tasting: $37
  • Virtual Greek Wine Tasting: $87
  • Athens Food and Wine Tasting Tour: $96
  • Wine tasting tour: $131
  • Wine Tasting and Athens Trikke Combo Tour: $133
  • The Best Winery & Tasting Tour in Nemea.Enjoy a unique all day wine tasting tour: $140
  • Private Wine Tasting Experience of Greek Awarded Wines in Athens: $148
  • Premium Wine Tour in Peloponnese -Ancient Corinthos, Nemea - the Land of Myth: $148
  • Athens Private Wine Tasting Tour - Dionysian Grapes: $149
  • Ancient Corinth & Nemea Wine Tasting (up to 15 in a Luxurious Mercedes Minibus): $151
  • Greek Private Wine Tasting: $166
  • Mercedes Private Full-Day Tour, Nafplio, Corinth Canal and Wine Tasting: $168

Sample the Local Flavors in Riga

Also in Riga, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Pub Crawl in Riga: $37
  • Pub Crawl- Your best night out in Riga with our local guide!: $47
  • Riga Public Pub Crawl: $60
  • Riga Happy Hour Pub Crawl: $64
  • Riga Brewery Tour: $83
  • Riga Brewery Tour: $83
  • Riga Beer Killer Bar Crawl: $83
  • Riga Wine Tasting Session: $115
  • Gauja National Park Tour: Castles and Wine Tasting: $149
  • Culinary, Historic and Wine Tour to Sigulda and Cesis: $224
  • Exclusive Latvian Wine Tasting In Riga: $380
  • 1.5-Hour Latvian Wine Tasting Experience: $476


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Athens and Riga, we can see that Athens is more expensive. And not only is Riga much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Riga would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Riga and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Athens would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Athens than you might in Riga.


When is the best time to visit Athens or Riga?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Athens or Riga in the Summer?

Both Riga and Athens during the summer are popular places to visit. The city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Athens this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Riga for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Athens is generally much warmer than Riga. Temperatures in Athens average around 27°C (81°F), and Riga stays around 17°C (63°F).

Athens usually gets less rain in July than Riga. Athens gets 6 mm (0.2 in) of rain, while Riga receives 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Athens 27°C (81°F) 
    Riga 17°C (63°F)

Should I visit Athens or Riga in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Athens and Riga. Many travelers come to Athens for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Riga in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Athens is much warmer than Riga in the autumn. The temperature in Athens is usually 19°C (67°F) in October, and Riga stays around 7°C (45°F).

In October, Athens usually receives less rain than Riga. Athens gets 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Riga receives 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Athens 19°C (67°F) 
    Riga 7°C (45°F)

Should I visit Athens or Riga in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Athens as well as Riga. Many visitors come to Athens in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Riga for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Riga can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Athens is much warmer than Riga. Typically, the winter temperatures in Athens in January are around 10°C (51°F), and Riga is about -5°C (23°F).

Athens usually gets more rain in January than Riga. Athens gets 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Riga receives 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Athens 10°C (51°F) 
    Riga -5°C (23°F)

Should I visit Athens or Riga in the Spring?

Both Riga and Athens are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Athens for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Riga because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In April, Athens is generally much warmer than Riga. Temperatures in Athens average around 16°C (60°F), and Riga stays around 5°C (42°F).

In April, Athens usually receives less rain than Riga. Athens gets 25 mm (1 in) of rain, while Riga receives 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Athens 16°C (60°F) 
    Riga 5°C (42°F)

Typical Weather for Riga and Athens

Athens Riga
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 10°C (51°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
Feb 11°C (51°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in)
Mar 12°C (54°F) 44 mm (1.7 in) -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Apr 16°C (60°F) 25 mm (1 in) 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
May 20°C (68°F) 14 mm (0.6 in) 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
Jun 24°C (76°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Jul 27°C (81°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Aug 27°C (81°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Sep 24°C (76°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in)
Oct 19°C (67°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)
Nov 16°C (60°F) 51 mm (2 in) 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Dec 12°C (54°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)


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Athens vs. Riga Travel Comparison

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