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

Should you visit Riga or Brussels?

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

Should I visit Riga or Brussels? 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 shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Brussels

Brussels is a historic, cosmopolitan, and multicultural city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Riga and Brussels: 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
  • Big city activities
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife


How is Riga different from Brussels?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Riga or Brussels Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Riga
Brussels

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

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 Brussels specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. Popular sights include Saint-Michel Cathedral, Place Royale, and the Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts.


Is Riga or Brussels Better for Food?

Riga
Brussels

Both Riga and Brussels 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.

Brussels has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. While the city is most known for its waffles and fries, the diversity of dishes and international restaurant selection continues to grow. Other popular dishes include moules-frites, waterzooi (a stew), and stoemp (made with mashed potatoes and vegetables).

Is Riga or Brussels Better for Nightlife?

Riga
Brussels

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 Brussels. The city's nightlife is quieter and more mellow than some other major cities around Europe. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of dance clubs and bars where you can hang out. Keep your wits about you after the sun goes down as some areas are a bit rougher than others.

Is Riga or Brussels Better for its Old Town?

Riga
Brussels

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

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 Brussels. The old town in the city center is where you'll find the greatest concentration of historic sights. The area is surrounded by tree-lined boulevards and is easy to explore.

Is Riga or Brussels Better for Shopping?

Riga
Brussels

Both Riga and Brussels 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 people travel to Brussels specifically to go shopping. Although it's famous for diamonds, the city also has many shopping streets where you can find designer brands, vintage shops, and other unique boutiques that are fun to explore.


Is Riga or Brussels Better for Families?

Riga
Brussels

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Riga or Brussels.

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 Brussels. The city has a number of unique kid-friendly activities including a Mini-Europe Museum, a Comic Strip Museum, and Train World. The city is also a chocolate lover's dream with many factories and chocolate shops around town.

Is Riga or Brussels Better for Couples?

Riga
Brussels

With fun activities for couples, both Riga and Brussels 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.

Brussels makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. From beautiful buildings and museums to shopping, dining, and chocolate shops, there are plenty of romantic spots around town.

Is Riga or Brussels Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Riga
Brussels

Both Riga and Brussels 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 Brussels. The city has an active nightlife and a number of hostels that are great for backpackers, but do take note that some areas can get a bit rough at night, so make sure you understand where you are.

Is Riga or Brussels Better for Students?

Riga
Brussels

Riga and Brussels are both good destinations for students and younger travelers.

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.

Brussels is very popular with students. The city has a number of universities that attract students from around the world. The multicultural setting is great for students of the world.


Is Riga or Brussels Better for Public Transit?

Riga
Brussels

Both Riga and Brussels 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 Brussels can take you anywhere. Transit options include train, tram, metro, bus and waterbuses.

Is Riga or Brussels a more walkable city?

Riga
Brussels

Riga and Brussels 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.

Brussels is a very walkable destination. If you stay in the historical area, it's easy to walk around and many boulevards are being converted to pedestrian areas.

Should I spend more time in Brussels or Riga?

How long in Riga or Brussels?

In either Riga or Brussels, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Brussels than Riga because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Riga is 2-4 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Brussels is 1-5 days.


  • How many days in Riga or Brussels? Ideal Length of Stay
    Riga 2-4 
    Brussels 1-5

One day in Riga or Brussels?

The beautiful city of Riga offers food and shopping. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Brussels is a big city destination where you can fill many days. 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 Brussels?

Riga is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Riga, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Brussels is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the shopping. 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 Brussels?

Riga is a popular choice for travelers. It's no surprise that nightlife is why people visit. Five days 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 entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Brussels is a multicultural big city where you can fill many days. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. 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 Brussels?

Riga is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that nightlife is why people visit. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

The cosmopolitan city of Brussels 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, Brussels 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 Brussels is €109. 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 Brussels in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Riga 42
    Brussels 58
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Riga 84
    Brussels 116
Compare Hotels in Riga and Brussels

Looking for a hotel in Riga or Brussels? 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 Brussels


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 Brussels Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 12
    Brussels 13

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 Brussels

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Brussels are as follows:


  • Subway Pass
    4.50
  • Atomium train ticket (2)
    8.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brussels

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Brussels:

  • Private Airport Transfer: from Brussels to Brussels Airport (BRU): $25
  • Private Departure Transfer from Brussels City Center to Brussels Airport (BRU): $32
  • Private Airport Transfer to the City: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer: Brussels Hotel to Brussels Railway Station: $46
  • Private Business Transfer from Brussels Hotel to Brussels Airport (BRU): $49
  • Private Transfer to/from Brussels Airport (BRU): $50
  • Airport (BRU) Private Transfer: $53
  • Private Airport Transfer: Brussels to Charleroi Airport (CRL): $55
  • Private Airport Transfer: Brussels to Brussels Airport (BRU): $56
  • Departure Private Transfer from Brussels to Brussels Airport in Business Car: $57
  • Brussels City all area to Brussels Airport BRU - Private Airport transfer 1-7pax: $60
  • Brussels City all area to Brussels Airport BRU - Private Airport transfer 1-3pax: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Brussels?

Prices for flights to both Brussels 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
    Brussels 31
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 Brussels

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


  • Ice Cream & Macaroons
    4.60
  • Dessert (Turkish Delights)
    4.75
  • Cheese
    5.60
  • Olives and Snacks
    6.98
  • Waffle
    3.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brussels

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

  • Classic Belgian cooking class and lunch: $79
  • Your Private Tailored Belgian Food Tour with a Local: $93
  • Private Food Tour – 10 Tastings with Locals: $112
  • Cooking Lesson and Gourmet Belgian-Inspired Meal with a Local in Brussels: $115
  • Private Brussels Food Tour (walking lunch or dinner): $373

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Riga 17
    Brussels 18

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 Brussels

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

  • Brussels Autoworld Museum Entrance Ticket: $15
  • Pick Up from your Hotel in Brussels to Departure point Brussels City Tours: $22
  • Beer Tour: $27
  • Brussels 2.5-Hour Belgian Beer Tasting Experience: $29
  • Highlights and Hidden Gems Guided Bike Tour: $34
  • Private Tour with a Local: $40
  • Kanal and Molenbeek Runnning Tour: $44
  • Running Tour of the Historical Center: $44
  • The Best Of Brussels Walking Tour: $54
  • Belgian Chocolate Tasting Tour: $62
  • Private Tour w/ Locals – Highlights & Hidden Gems: $66
  • Artistic Bruges on a Private Tour with a local: $75

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 16
    Brussels 10

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

Typical Alcohol prices in Brussels

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Brussels are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    10
  • Beer
    6.00

Sample the Local Flavors in Brussels

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Brussels:

  • Brussels Pub Crawl: $14


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


When is the best time to visit Riga or Brussels?

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 Brussels in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Riga and Brussels. Most visitors come to Riga for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Furthermore, the summer months attract visitors to Brussels because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Riga is generally around the same temperature as Brussels. Temperatures in Riga average around 17°C (63°F), and Brussels stays around 18°C (65°F).

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


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Riga 17°C (63°F) 
    Brussels 18°C (65°F)

Should I visit Riga or Brussels in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Riga as well as Brussels. The autumn months attract visitors to Riga because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Additionally, the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene are the main draw to Brussels this time of year.

Riga is much colder than Brussels in the autumn. The temperature in Riga is usually 7°C (45°F) in October, and Brussels stays around 12°C (54°F).

Riga usually gets less rain in October than Brussels. Riga gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Brussels receives 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Riga 7°C (45°F) 
    Brussels 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Riga or Brussels in the Winter?

Both Brussels and Riga are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Riga this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Brussels for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Brussels. It's quite cold in Riga in the winter. In the winter, Riga is much colder than Brussels. Typically, the winter temperatures in Riga in January are around -5°C (23°F), and Brussels is about 3°C (38°F).

In January, Riga usually receives less rain than Brussels. Riga gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Brussels receives 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Riga -5°C (23°F) 
    Brussels 3°C (38°F)

Should I visit Riga or Brussels in the Spring?

Both Brussels and Riga during the spring are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Riga for the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Brussels in the spring for the activities around the city.

In April, Riga is generally much colder than Brussels. Temperatures in Riga average around 5°C (42°F), and Brussels stays around 10°C (49°F).

Riga usually gets less rain in April than Brussels. Riga gets 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Brussels receives 57 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Riga 5°C (42°F) 
    Brussels 10°C (49°F)

Typical Weather for Brussels and Riga

Riga Brussels
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 3°C (38°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Feb -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in) 4°C (39°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
Mar -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 6°C (43°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Apr 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 10°C (49°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 14°C (57°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Jun 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 17°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 18°C (65°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Aug 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 18°C (65°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in) 16°C (60°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Oct 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 12°C (54°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 7°C (45°F) 76 mm (3 in)
Dec -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 4°C (40°F) 76 mm (3 in)


Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Riga vs. Brussels Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.