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

Should you visit Riga or Bern?

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

Should I visit Riga or Bern? 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 charming, unique, and historical city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for nightlife, food, and shopping.

Bern

Bern is a historic, charming, and beautiful city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Riga and Bern: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife


How is Riga different from Bern?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Riga or Bern Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Riga
Bern

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

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 Bern specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. Visit the Einstein Museum, the Clock Tower, and Bern Cathedral.


Is Riga or Bern Better for Food?

Riga
Bern

Both Riga and Bern offer a number of unique restaurants to choose from.

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.

Bern is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The city has cozy cafes, high end fine dining, traditional eateries, and modern venues.

Is Riga or Bern Better for Nightlife?

Riga
Bern

With more options to choose from, you'll find a more vibrant nightlife in Riga.

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.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Bern. There are bars, Irish pubs, and clubs around town.

Is Riga or Bern Better for its Old Town?

Riga
Bern

It's fun to wander around the old towns in both Riga and Bern.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Riga. The old town is filled with cobblestone streets and charming architecture. The city is less touristy than many places in Europe so you can usually avoid the large crowds and enjoy a peaceful walk. During the evening you'll find the area turns into an entertainment district with many clubs and bars.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Bern. The charming old town is filled with quaint alleys and sandstone buildings. It's a compact area that flows down a hill to the River Aare.

Is Riga or Bern Better for Shopping?

Riga
Bern

Both Riga and Bern 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 Bern. The old town is filled with boutique shops and unique markets. The main shopping streets are Spitalgasse and Marktgasse and popular items to buy include jewelry, art, and watches.


Is Riga or Bern Better for Families?

Riga
Bern

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Riga or Bern.

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.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Bern. This charming town has riverside parks and pools, a zoo, a waterpark, and kid-friendly museums that the whole family can enjoy. You can also visit nearby Gurten, a mountain with tobogganing, concerts, and a mini ski resort.

Is Riga or Bern Better for Couples?

Riga
Bern

With fun activities for couples, both Riga and Bern 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.

Bern makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With charming restaurants, a beautiful rose garden, and nice hotels and spas, this town makes a beautiful romantic getaway.

Is Riga or Bern Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Riga
Bern

Both Riga and Bern 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.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Bern. Like most of Switzerland, prices are a bit high, but there are some hostels and free activities that backpackers and budget travelers can enjoy.

Is Riga or Bern Better for Public Transit?

Riga
Bern

Both Riga and Bern offer public transit options.

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

The public transit in Bern can get you to most places easily. There are trams and buses that run around town.


Is Riga or Bern a more walkable city?

Riga
Bern

Riga and Bern 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.

Bern is a very walkable destination. It's fun to explore the old town on foot. It is compact enough to that you can see all of the highlights in a few hours.

Should I spend more time in Bern or Riga?

How long in Riga or Bern?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Riga and Bern. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Riga than Bern.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Riga is 2-4 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Bern is 1-3 days.


  • How many days in Riga or Bern? Ideal Length of Stay
    Riga 2-4 
    Bern 1-3

One day in Riga or Bern?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Riga. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Bern. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

A weekend in Riga or Bern?

Riga is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the nightlife. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. 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.

Bern is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. 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 Bern?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the historical destination of Riga. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the historic destination of Bern. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in Riga or Bern?

The vibrant city of Riga offers nightlife and food. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. 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.

The historic city of Bern offers nightlife and food. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. 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.

Which city is cheaper, Bern 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 Bern is €185. 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 Bern in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Riga 42
    Bern 120
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Riga 84
    Bern 240
Compare Hotels in Riga and Bern

Looking for a hotel in Riga or Bern? 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 Bern


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 Bern Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 12
    Bern 25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Riga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Riga:

  • Private Departure Transfer from Riga City to Riga RIX Airport: $15
  • 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
  • Private Transfer: Riga to Riga International Airport (RIX): $21
  • English Speaking Private Arrival Transfer from Riga Airport: $25
  • Airport transfer & private driver services: $25
  • Departure Private Transfer Riga City to Riga Airport RIX by Sedan Car: $26
  • Private Minibus Departure Transfer to Riga Airport: $27
  • Private Taxi transfer from Jurmala to Riga: $27
  • English Speaking Private Departure Transfer to Riga Airport: $37
  • Transfer service Riga airport: $37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Bern City - One Way: $105
  • Premium Private 1-Way Transfer to/from Interlaken: $250
  • Geneva: Premium 1-Way Private Transfer to/from Bern: $277
  • Private Transfer from Bern City Center to Zurich City Center: $318
  • Private transfer from Bern City to Zurich Airport: $416
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Basel City - One Way: $586
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Zurich City - One Way: $661

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Bern?

Prices for flights to both Bern 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
    Bern 44
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.
    Riga 17
    Bern 25

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

Tours and Activities in Bern

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

  • Tour with iPod Audio Guide: $20
  • Bern Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $45
  • 1-Hour Must-See Express Tour: $72
  • Tirano to St. Moritz: Bernina Red Train Return Day-Ticket: $79
  • Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide: $83
  • Instagram Highlights Tour: $83
  • Bern Capital City Small Group Tour: $90
  • Best Introduction Tour of Bern with a Local: $91
  • 2-Hour Historical Walking Tour: $162
  • Schilthorn Piz Gloria (James Bond Location) Small Group Tour from Bern: $179
  • GAILY TOUR in BERN - Gay & Lesbian Tour: $187
  • Bern Capital City Private Tour: $194

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 16
    Bern 20

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 Riga and Bern, we can see that Bern 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 Bern would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bern than you might in Riga.


When is the best time to visit Riga or Bern?

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 Bern in the Summer?

Both Bern and Riga are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The summer months attract visitors to Riga because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Bern this time of year.

In July, Riga is generally cooler than Bern. Temperatures in Riga average around 17°C (63°F), and Bern stays around 21°C (70°F).

In July, Riga usually receives more rain than Bern. Riga gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Bern receives 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Riga 17°C (63°F) 
    Bern 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Riga or Bern in the Autumn?

Both Bern and Riga during the autumn are popular places to visit. The city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Riga this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Bern for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area.

Riga is much colder than Bern in the autumn. The temperature in Riga is usually 7°C (45°F) in October, and Bern stays around 13°C (55°F).

Riga usually gets more rain in October than Bern. Riga gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Bern receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Riga 7°C (45°F) 
    Bern 13°C (55°F)

Should I visit Riga or Bern in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Riga and Bern. Many travelers come to Riga for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, many visitors come to Bern in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Bern can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Riga. In the winter, Riga is much colder than Bern. Typically, the winter temperatures in Riga in January are around -5°C (23°F), and Bern is about 3°C (37°F).

In January, Riga usually receives less rain than Bern. Riga gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Bern receives 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Riga -5°C (23°F) 
    Bern 3°C (37°F)

Should I visit Riga or Bern in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Riga as well as Bern. Many visitors come to Riga in the spring for the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Additionally, most visitors come to Bern for the natural beauty during these months.

In April, Riga is generally much colder than Bern. Temperatures in Riga average around 5°C (42°F), and Bern stays around 11°C (52°F).

Riga usually gets less rain in April than Bern. Riga gets 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Bern receives 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Riga 5°C (42°F) 
    Bern 11°C (52°F)

Typical Weather for Bern and Riga

Riga Bern
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 3°C (37°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Feb -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in) 4°C (40°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Mar -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 8°C (46°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Apr 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 11°C (52°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 15°C (60°F) 76 mm (3 in)
Jun 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 19°C (65°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 21°C (70°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Aug 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 20°C (69°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in) 18°C (64°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Oct 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 7°C (45°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Dec -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 4°C (38°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)


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Riga vs. Bern Travel Comparison

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