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

Should you visit Riga or Amsterdam?

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

Should I visit Riga or Amsterdam? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Riga

Riga is a fun, high energy, and off-the-beaten-path city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a scenic, historic, and canal-lined city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the nightlife, live music, and shopping.

Riga and Amsterdam: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less family-friendly


How is Riga different from Amsterdam?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Riga or Amsterdam Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Riga
Amsterdam

Plenty of people visit the sights and museums in both Riga and Amsterdam.

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.

Many visitors head to Amsterdam specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The city has a number of sights and museums including the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Royal Palace.


Is Riga or Amsterdam Better for Food?

Riga
Amsterdam

Most foodies will appreciate the restaurant options in Riga a bit more than Amsterdam.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Riga. 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.

Amsterdam may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Food is expensive in this city, particularly in the touristy areas. There are some markets that sell great local items and the dessert cafes are awesome!

Is Riga or Amsterdam Better for Nightlife?

Riga
Amsterdam

Evening events are similar in both Riga and Amsterdam.

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.

Amsterdam is a must-see party destination. The city has some of the best nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of bars, dance clubs, and other activities that you can enjoy throughout the night.

Is Riga or Amsterdam Better for Shopping?

Riga
Amsterdam

Both Riga and Amsterdam are good shopping destinations.

Riga is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. 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.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Amsterdam. For the best shopping in town, head to the Nine Streets area in the historic district and the two main shopping streets of The Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat.

Is Riga or Amsterdam Better for Families?

Riga
Amsterdam

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Riga or Amsterdam.

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.

Amsterdam is not always a place people visit with their families. The city does it's share of partying, and there are some areas, like the red light district, that aren't exactly kid-friendly, but there are some nice parks, playgrounds, and the impressive NEMO Science Museum that you can explore.


Is Riga or Amsterdam Better for Couples?

Riga
Amsterdam

With fun activities for couples, both Riga and Amsterdam make for a good place to visit.

Riga makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. 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.

Amsterdam makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. For many, a visit to this city is all about the party, but for couples who enjoy history, architecture, or boat rides along the scenic canals, the city also makes a great getaway. It's also fun to stay in a houseboat and have a unique experience.

Is Riga or Amsterdam Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Riga
Amsterdam

Both Riga and Amsterdam are popular destinations for backpackers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Riga. 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.

A large number of backpackers visit Amsterdam, as it is a very popular city for budget travelers. With it's party-hard personality and countless low price hostels, this city attracts its share of backpackers. Do note that many of the hostels aren't focused on quality, so make sure you understand what you're paying for. It may be worth booking a slightly more expensive room in a hotel.

Is Riga or Amsterdam Better for Public Transit?

Riga
Amsterdam

Both Riga and Amsterdam offer public transit options.

Riga has some very good public transit options. Transportation options include buses, trolleybuses, and trams.

The thorough and effecient public transit system of Amsterdam can take you anywhere. The city has metros, trams, buses, and ferries that help you get around. Since this is the Netherlands, getting around by bike is very popular.

Is Riga or Amsterdam a more walkable city?

Riga
Amsterdam

Riga and Amsterdam both are comparable when exploring on foot.

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

It's very easy to get around on foot in Amsterdam. The historic parts of the city are very walkable and much of the city is best explored on foot.


Should I spend more time in Amsterdam or Riga?

How long in Riga or Amsterdam?

Both Riga and Amsterdam have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Amsterdam than Riga.

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


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

One day in Riga or Amsterdam?

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Riga. Visiting the old town is also a must. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Amsterdam 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.

A weekend in Riga or Amsterdam?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the fun destination of Riga. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Amsterdam is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Five days in Riga or Amsterdam?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the high energy city of Riga. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Most people head to the area for the nightlife. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Amsterdam is a party-oriented 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.

A week in Riga or Amsterdam?

Riga is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Amsterdam is a party-oriented 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.

Which city is cheaper, Amsterdam or Riga?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Riga is €82, while the average daily cost in Amsterdam is €138. 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 Riga and Amsterdam in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Riga 42
    Amsterdam 80
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Riga 84
    Amsterdam 160
Compare Hotels in Riga and Amsterdam

Looking for a hotel in Riga or Amsterdam? 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 Riga


Hotels in Amsterdam


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: Riga Hotel Prices and Amsterdam Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 12
    Amsterdam 16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Riga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Riga:

  • Airport transfer & private driver services: $25
  • Departure Private Transfer Riga City to Riga Airport RIX by Minibus: $93
  • Departure Private Transfer Riga City to Riga Airport RIX by Minivan: $46
  • Departure Private Transfer Riga City to Riga Airport RIX by Sedan Car: $26
  • English Speaking Private Arrival Transfer from Riga Airport: $25
  • English Speaking Private Departure Transfer to Riga Airport: $37
  • English Speaking Private Minibus Arrival Transfer from Riga Airport: $49
  • Mercedes-Benz Viano Van Transfer from Riga to Vilnius/Talinn/Any Baltic Country: $425
  • PanCars CITY RACE + airport/hotel transfer: $81
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Riga to Riga International Airport (RIX): $18
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Riga Airport (RIX) to Riga City Center: $19
  • Private Departure Transfer from Riga City Center to Riga Airport (RIX): $19

Typical Local Transportation prices in Amsterdam

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Amsterdam:


  • Ride on Tram
    3.20
  • Renting a Bike
    15
  • One Hour Canal Cruise
    10
  • Single Day Transit Pass
    2.60
  • Transit Pass to Amsterdam Airport
    3.40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Amsterdam

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Amsterdam:

  • Ultra - Amsterdam Private Transfer from Cruise Port to Amsterdam City Centre: $9.55
  • Private Transfer from Cruise Port to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: $9.55
  • Ultra - Amsterdam Private Transfer from City Centre to Amsterdam Cruise Port: $9.55
  • Private Departure Transfer from Amsterdam City Center to Airport Schiphol (AMS): $32
  • Private Airport Transfer from Amsterdam to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS): $32
  • Private Transfer from PTA Cruise Terminal to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS): $32
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Amsterdam City to Airport: $34
  • Premium Private Transfer from Amsterdam Hotels to Airport: $35
  • Private Amsterdam Airport departure Transfer: $38
  • Private Departure Transfer from Amsterdam City to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport: $39
  • Private Transfer from Amsterdam City Center to Zaanse Schans: $40
  • Amsterdam local transfers: $42

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Amsterdam?

Prices for flights to both Amsterdam and Riga 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
    Riga 26
    Amsterdam 35
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

Typical Food prices in Amsterdam

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Amsterdam:


  • Afternoon Tea
    6.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Amsterdam

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

  • Live online cooking class from Classic European 2-course meal: $23
  • Amsterdam Evening Pizza Cruise: $40
  • Three course lunch/dinner voucher: $42
  • Walking Food Tour: $43
  • 3 Course Dinner in the Dark: $48
  • Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Amsterdam's Favourite Private Food Tour with a Local: $50
  • Private Pizza Canal Cruise Amsterdam: $62
  • Dinner with an Amsterdam artist on the river: $62
  • Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket & VIP Dinner at Hard Rock CafĂ©: $63
  • Amsterdam Small Group Food Tour: $69
  • Food Tour in the Albert Cuyp Market Amsterdam: $73
  • Delicious Dutch Dinner in an Amsterdam Canalhouse: $75

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Riga 17
    Amsterdam 30

Tours and Activities in Riga

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

  • An audio tour of Old from St Peter's Church to the Monument of Freedom: $5.00
  • Riga's Architecture: An art nouveau history audio tour: $5.00
  • Riga Art Nouveau walking tour: $8.71
  • Classic Car Museum Tour: $9.95
  • Riga Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Riga Sightseeing Tour by Canal Boat: $16
  • Gastronomic tour with professional chef: $19
  • The Best Of Riga Walking Tour: $22
  • Daily Riga Bike Tour: $22
  • The Best Of Riga Walking Tour: $23
  • Best of Riga Walking Tour - Regular Walking tours: $25

Typical Entertainment prices in Amsterdam

Here are a few typical costs in Amsterdam for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Two tickets to the Houseboat Museum
    6.00
  • Entry for two to the Anne Frank House
    17

Tours and Activities in Amsterdam

Here are a few actual costs in Amsterdam for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • A tasty stroll through Pijp: An audio tour of some of Amsterdam great food spots: $5.00
  • An Amsterdam introduction: Explore the origins of Amsterdam on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Amsterdam Red Light District Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.41
  • Amsterdam West Specialty Coffee Spots Cycling Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.41
  • Vondelpark and Old West Neighbourhood Walking Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.48
  • Amsterdam Private Tour: Red Light District Exploration Game: $5.65
  • Self-Guided Tour with Over 100 Sights: $5.67
  • The Red Light District self-guided Virtual Experience: The Highlights: $7.45
  • Absolutely Tip-Based Walking Tour With Super Local Guide (2,5 Hours): $8.09
  • Red Light District 1-hour Smartphone Audio Tour: $9.06
  • Amsterdam Red Light District: A Walking Audio Tour on your Phone (1hour): $9.94
  • Silent Disco Club Experience: $9.95

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 16
    Amsterdam 19

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Amsterdam

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

  • Distillery Tour & Tasting: $22
  • Amsterdam Bar Crawl: $27
  • Amsterdam Shared Bar Crawl: $31
  • Private Amsterdam Red Light District and pub tour: $61
  • Guided Craft Beer Brewery Bus Tour with Tastings: $67
  • 4 hour Amsterdam Brewery Tour: $81
  • High Class Culinary Lunch in Amsterdam - Self-Guided Food & Wine Tour: $102
  • Drew's 3-Hour Amsterdam Brewery and Bar Tour to Top Rated Bars: $106
  • Discover 3 gastronomic restaurants in Amsterdam - self-guided food & wine tour: $129
  • Experience 4 Culinary Restaurants in Amsterdam Self-Guided Food & Wine Tour: $152
  • Amsterdam Bachelor Party Bar Crawl: $488


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Riga and Amsterdam, we can see that Amsterdam 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 Amsterdam would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Amsterdam than you might in Riga.


When is the best time to visit Riga or Amsterdam?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Riga or Amsterdam in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Riga and Amsterdam. Many travelers come to Riga for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, many visitors come to Amsterdam in the summer for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

Riga is around the same temperature as Amsterdam in the summer. The temperature in Riga is usually 17°C (63°F) in July, and Amsterdam stays around 17°C (62°F).

In July, Riga usually receives around the same amount of rain as Amsterdam. Riga gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 75 mm (3 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Riga 17°C (63°F) 
    Amsterdam 17°C (62°F)

Should I visit Riga or Amsterdam in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Riga as well as Amsterdam. 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. Additionally, most visitors come to Amsterdam for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In the autumn, Riga is cooler than Amsterdam. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Riga in October are around 7°C (45°F), and Amsterdam is about 11°C (51°F).

Riga usually gets less rain in October than Amsterdam. Riga gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 72 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Riga 7°C (45°F) 
    Amsterdam 11°C (51°F)

Should I visit Riga or Amsterdam in the Winter?

Both Amsterdam and Riga are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Riga for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Amsterdam because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Amsterdam can be very cold. Riga can be very cold during winter. In January, Riga is generally much colder than Amsterdam. Temperatures in Riga average around -5°C (23°F), and Amsterdam stays around 2°C (36°F).

In January, Riga usually receives less rain than Amsterdam. Riga gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Riga -5°C (23°F) 
    Amsterdam 2°C (36°F)

Should I visit Riga or Amsterdam in the Spring?

Both Amsterdam and Riga during the spring are popular places to visit. The spring months attract visitors to Riga because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Also, the activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Amsterdam this time of year.

Riga is cooler than Amsterdam in the spring. The temperature in Riga is usually 5°C (42°F) in April, and Amsterdam stays around 8°C (46°F).

Riga usually gets less rain in April than Amsterdam. Riga gets 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Amsterdam receives 52 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Riga 5°C (42°F) 
    Amsterdam 8°C (46°F)

Typical Weather for Amsterdam and Riga

Riga Amsterdam
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 2°C (36°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)
Feb -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in) 3°C (37°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Mar -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 5°C (41°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Apr 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 8°C (46°F) 52 mm (2 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 12°C (54°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Jun 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 15°C (59°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 17°C (62°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Aug 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 17°C (62°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in) 14°C (57°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Oct 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 11°C (51°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 6°C (43°F) 81 mm (3.2 in)
Dec -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 3°C (38°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)


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Riga vs. Amsterdam Travel Comparison

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