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

Should you visit Riga or Bucharest?

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

Should I visit Riga or Bucharest? 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. 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.

Bucharest

It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Riga and Bucharest: 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
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers


How is Riga different from Bucharest?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Riga or Bucharest better for Museums and Historical Sights?

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

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.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Bucharest. The city is rich in landmarks and historical buildings. Popular sights include the Romanian Athenaeum, the Palace of the Parliament, Stavropoleos Church, and Curtea Veche.

Riga
Bucharest


Is Riga or Bucharest better for Food?

Both Riga and Bucharest 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.

Bucharest is becoming an appealing option for foodies. Many Romanian recipes have been passed down through the generations and they still use traditional flavors. You'll see some German or Hungarian influences, but the flavors are still uniquely Romanian. Popular dishes include ciorba (tripe soup), cabbage rolls, and mici (grilled meat rolls).

Riga
Bucharest

Is Riga or Bucharest better for Nightlife?

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 Bucharest. The city has come to life with its party scene, with many bars and clubs that you can choose from. There are rooftop bars, chic dance clubs, and cozy pubs where you can pass the evening. You'll find most of the upscale clubs in the northern part of the city, with a more casual scene found in the downtown areas around Universitate and Romanā.

Riga
Bucharest

Is Riga or Bucharest better for its Old Town?

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

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.

Bucharest has an old town worth visiting. The old town dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries, with much of the historical charm seen in the architecture. Many of the buildings have been restored, but others are still awaiting repairs. This gives the area a sense of authenticity that you often miss in other old towns.

Riga
Bucharest

Is Riga or Bucharest better for Shopping?

Both Riga and Bucharest 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.

Bucharest has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The residents love fashion, and you'll find many shopping centers around town where you can find a good deal. In addition to the many malls, there are also antique shops, flea markets and boutique clothing stores where you might find a hidden gem.

Riga
Bucharest


Is Riga or Bucharest better for Families?

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Riga or Bucharest.

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.

Bucharest is not always a place people visit with their families. Kid-friendly activities include kid's play areas, museums such as the Museum of the Senses, and water centered activities like rowing in the park or visiting the wellness center Therme.

Riga
Bucharest

Is Riga or Bucharest better for Couples?

With fun activities for couples, both Riga and Bucharest 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.

Bucharest is not always the best place to visit for a couple. The city has some romantic settings such as wandering down Victory Avenue or exploring the historic Cotroceni Neighbourhood. There are also several gardens and a number of nice cafes to explore.

Riga
Bucharest

Is Riga or Bucharest better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

While Bucharest and Riga are both good for backpackers, overall Riga is more popular.

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 backpackers visit Bucharest. The city is affordable, but it's often overlooked by backpackers. Part of the charm for many is the sense of authenticity that can often be hard to find in travel these days.

Riga
Bucharest

Is Riga or Bucharest better for Public Transit?

Both Riga and Bucharest offer public transit options.

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

The public transit in Bucharest can get you to most places easily. Public transit options include trams, buses, and trolley buses.

Riga
Bucharest


Is Riga or Bucharest a more walkable city?

Riga and Bucharest 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.

Bucharest is a somewhat walkable city. Many of the tourist attractions are within a walkable area.

Riga
Bucharest

Should I spend more time in Bucharest or Riga?

How long in Riga or Bucharest?

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

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


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

One day in Riga or Bucharest?

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.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Bucharest. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One day is usually enough time for a trip here.

A weekend in Riga or Bucharest?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the unique 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.

Bucharest 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 spend here. The entire area has lots to do.

Five days in Riga or Bucharest?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the charming 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.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the less touristy destination of Bucharest. This offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in Riga or Bucharest?

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.

The historical of Bucharest offers nightlife and food. 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, Bucharest 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 Bucharest is €106. 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 Bucharest in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Riga 42
    Bucharest 48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Riga 84
    Bucharest 96

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 12
    Bucharest 20

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bucharest

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bucharest:

  • Best transfer from Bucharest Airport to City Center: $3.72
  • Bucharest airport transfer: $12
  • Private transfer from Bucharest Otopeni Airport to Bucharest: $12
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Bucharest Airport to Bucharest City: $14
  • Private Departure Transfer from Bucharest City to Bucharest Airport: $14
  • Bucharest - Private Airport Transfer: $15
  • Bucharest Airport Transfer: $16
  • Otopeni Airport Transfer to Bucharest: $16
  • Private One-Way BUCHAREST-OTP Airport Transfer: $16
  • Bucharest Airport Transfer by Minivan: $17
  • Private Bucharest Airport Transfer: $17
  • Bucharest Giurgiu Port Shared Transfer: $17

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Bucharest?

Prices for flights to both Bucharest 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
    Bucharest 45
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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bucharest

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

  • Bucharest Evening Tour and Traditional Dinner - 3 hours: $80
  • Cooking Class in Transylvania - Day Tour from Bucharest: $199
  • Walking Food Tour in the Old Town of Bucharest: $199
  • Bucharest City Tour & Traditional Home-made Cooking Experience: $223
  • Private Dracula Castle Tour by night and Romanian traditional dinner: $331

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Riga 17
    Bucharest 11

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 Bucharest

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

  • Bellu Outdoor Museum Exploration Game & Tour: $5.67
  • Old Town Hidden Gems Exploration Game and Tour: $7.95
  • Museum of Senses Bucharest Entrance Ticket: $11
  • One Hour Epic Escape Room Adventure Mystery in Bucharest: $14
  • Escape Room Experience: $17
  • Half-day tour to the Mogoșoaia Palace by train from Bucharest: $20
  • Skip the line: Bucharest Parliament Palace Ticket: $23
  • Self-Guided Ruse from Bucharest Tour: $24
  • Skip the Line: Palace of the Parliament - Bucharest: $25
  • Guided Ceausescu Villa Tour: $25
  • Jewish Tour of Bucharest: $28
  • Dracula's Transylvania Virtual Private 2-Hour Live Guided Tour: $31

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 16
    Bucharest 7.07

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 Bucharest

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

  • Pub Crawl in the Old Town: $23
  • Wine Tasting Tour of Bucharest Old Town: $61
  • Wine Tasting Tour at First Wine Bar: $61
  • Private Wine Tasting at Bucharest's First Wine Bar: $65
  • Bucharest City Tour and Wine Tasting – 2.5 hours: $88
  • Traditions in Village Museum & Wine Tasting: $93
  • Bike & Wine tour in Dealu Mare wineland: $96
  • Wine tasting at the mansion, Dracula's grave from Snagov & Mogosoaia Palace: $100
  • Traditions in Village Museum and Wine Tasting Tour: $100
  • Romanian Wine Tasting: $106
  • Romanian Wine Tasting Experience: $113
  • Lacerta Crama Wine Tasting: $113


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


When is the best time to visit Riga or Bucharest?

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 Bucharest in the Summer?

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

Riga is cooler than Bucharest in the summer. The temperature in Riga is usually 17°C (63°F) in July, and Bucharest stays around 23°C (73°F).

In July, Riga usually receives more rain than Bucharest. At this time of the year, Riga gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Bucharest receives 64 mm (2.5 in) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Riga 17°C (63°F) 
    Bucharest 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Riga or Bucharest in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Riga as well as Bucharest. 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 Bucharest this time of year.

In the autumn, Riga is much colder than Bucharest. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Riga in October are around 7°C (45°F), and Bucharest is about 13°C (55°F).

Riga usually gets more rain in October than Bucharest. Riga gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Bucharest receives 32 mm (1.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Riga or Bucharest in the Winter?

Both Bucharest 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 Bucharest for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Bucharest. It's quite cold in Riga in the winter. In January, Riga is generally much colder than Bucharest. Temperatures in Riga average around -5°C (23°F), and Bucharest stays around -1°C (29°F).

In January, Riga usually receives less rain than Bucharest. At this time of the year, Riga gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Bucharest receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Riga -5°C (23°F) 
    Bucharest -1°C (29°F)

Should I visit Riga or Bucharest in the Spring?

Both Bucharest 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 Bucharest in the spring for the activities around the city.

Riga is much colder than Bucharest in the spring. The temperature in Riga is usually 5°C (42°F) in April, and Bucharest stays around 12°C (54°F).

Riga usually gets less rain in April than Bucharest. Riga gets 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Bucharest receives 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Riga 5°C (42°F) 
    Bucharest 12°C (54°F)

Typical Weather for Bucharest and Riga

Riga Bucharest
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) -1°C (29°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Feb -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in) 1°C (34°F) 36 mm (1.4 in)
Mar -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 6°C (43°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Apr 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 12°C (54°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 18°C (64°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Jun 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 21°C (70°F) 77 mm (3 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 23°C (73°F) 64 mm (2.5 in)
Aug 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 22°C (72°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in) 18°C (65°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Oct 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 13°C (55°F) 32 mm (1.3 in)
Nov 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 6°C (44°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Dec -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 1°C (34°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)


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Riga vs. Bucharest Travel Comparison

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