A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Riga vs. Budapest for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Riga or Budapest?

Should I visit Riga or Budapest? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Riga

Riga is the vibrant capital city of Latvia. It continues to gain popularity as a tourist destination in part because it is the base for the airline Air Baltic. This affordable airline offers discount flights around Europe and most of these flights pass through Riga with a forced overnight layover. This encourages travelers to visit this fascinating city for at least a night or two.

Budapest

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. It has been called the "Paris of the East" because of its impressive architecture and general beauty. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987 because of its cultural importance, its location on the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrassy Avenue. In addition to its rich history, Budapest still has a young vibe with a lot of energy. There's an active night life, an impressive music scene, and a good reputation with European youth.

Which city is cheaper, Budapest 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 Budapest is €74. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Riga and Budapest in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around €42. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Riga the cost is €84 on average.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around €82 in Budapest For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Riga 42
    Budapest 41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Riga 84
    Budapest 82

Food

Riga food costs typically run travelers around €26 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

Food in Budapest costs travelers about €18 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Riga 26
    Budapest 18
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
  • Riga Medieval Dinner: $102
  • Riga Medieval Dinner: $102

Typical Food prices in Budapest

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


  • Lunch
    3.48

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Budapest

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

  • Lángos (hungarian streetfood) cooking class: $19
  • Dinner & Cruise on the Danube in Budapest: $23
  • Traveling Spoon Hungarian Goulash Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Vegan Food Tour / Local delights: $36
  • Private Budapest Food Tour with a Local Foodie: $37
  • Live from Hungarian Online Cooking class: $39
  • Bitemojo Self Guided Food Tour Night & The City Budapest: $47
  • Food Tour in Budapest: $50
  • Bitemojo Self Guided Food Tour of Trendy Budapest: $51
  • BBQ dinner and a Quiz Night - welcome shots (hungaricums) and 88 craft beers: $52
  • 2-Hours Strudel Cooking Class and Wine Tasting in Central Budapest: $53
  • Dinner Cruise with Live Music: $54

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Riga is €12 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Budapest than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend €8.73 on transportation in Budapest on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 12
    Budapest 8.73

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Riga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Riga:

  • Riga Tank Ride - 2 Hours - Guided with Return Transfers: $1,192
  • Mercedes-Benz Viano Van Transfer from Riga to Vilnius/Talinn/Any Baltic Country: $425
  • Private Minivan Transfer: Riga to Tallinn: $418
  • Private Minivan transfer from Riga to Kaunas: $413
  • Riga Party Bus Airport Transfer: $382
  • Riga to Vilnius transfer with Sightseeing: $347
  • Riga to Tallinn transfer with Sightseeing: $335
  • Private Minivan Transfer from Kaunas to Riga: $215
  • Riga (Sigulda) Winter Bobsleigh "Olympic + Vuchko" Ride - Guided with Transfers: $199
  • Private transfer from Riga to Vilnius via Rundale palace and Hill of crosses: $169
  • Private Taxi Transfer from Riga or Riga airport to Tallinn: $153
  • Private Transfer from Riga to Vilnius: $149

Typical Local Transportation prices in Budapest

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    7.13
  • Metro Pass
    3.91

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Budapest

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

  • Private Airport Transfer Service in Budapest, Hungary: $18
  • Budapest Private Transfer: Hotel or Apartment to Airport: $19
  • Budapest Private Transfer: Airport to Hotel or Apartment: $20
  • Budapest One Way Private Transfer to or from Airport: $20
  • Private Arrival transfer from Budapest Airport to Budapest City Center: $21
  • Private Departure Transfer: Budapest City - Budapest Airport: $21
  • Private Transfer from Budapest City Center to Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport(BUD): $22
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Budapest to Budapest International Airport (BUD): $22
  • Budapest Airport Private Departure Transfer : City to Airport: $22
  • Private Transfer from Budapest city to Budapest Airport - departure: $22
  • Private Transfer from Budapest Airport to the city - arrival: $22
  • Budapest Airport Transfers: $23

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Budapest?

Prices for flights to both Budapest 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.





Entertainment

Riga's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around €17 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Sightseeing expenses in Budapest, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of €19 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Riga 17
    Budapest 19

Tours and Activities in Riga

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

  • "Best of Riga" 6-hour Private Car & Walking Tour: $373
  • 2 Day Gastronomy Tour In Latgale: $267
  • 2 Day Gauja National Park Tour: $199
  • 2 Day Kurzeme Winery Tour: $224
  • ATV-QUAD rent and guided tours: $48
  • All Inclusive Honest History Tour - Āraiši, Cēsis, Līgatne, Sigulda: $248
  • Alternative Riga Photoshoot Tour: $49
  • An audio tour of Old from St Peter's Church to the Monument of Freedom: $5.00
  • Art Nouveau Small Group Walking Tour of Riga: $193
  • Beer Bike Experience: $45
  • Best of Riga Walking Tour - Highlights and Hidden Gems: $31
  • Best of Riga Walking Tour - Regular Walking tours: $25

Typical Entertainment prices in Budapest

For Budapest, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Entrance to the Baths for Two
    6.99

Tours and Activities in Budapest

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

  • Budapest Private Tour: Buda Castle District Exploration Game: $3.72
  • Discovering Explore the city's hot pools and heroes on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Private Budapest Ghost Tour: Haunted City Exploration Game: $5.65
  • Guided Tour in Budapest Castle District: $6.22
  • Urban Tour of the Outer viii district Budapest: $6.22
  • The Legendary Vampires at the Castle's Court Audio Tour: $6.59
  • Alternative Street Tip Based Walking Tour of Budapest: $6.77
  • Budapest Downtown and Inner City E-Scooter Tour: $7.46
  • Skip the Line: Aeropark Aviation Museum Entrance Ticket: $8.01
  • Robert Capa Contemporary Photograhy Center Visit Ticket: $8.71
  • Sightseeing Cruise on the Danube with Live Music: $8.87
  • Danube Cruise in Budapest: $9.58

Alcohol

The average person spends about €16 on alcoholic beverages in Riga per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Budapest, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is €14.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 16
    Budapest 14

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
  • Exclusive Latvian Wine Tasting in Riga: $765

Sample the Local Flavors in Budapest

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

  • Bingo Bar Crawl: $15
  • Bingo Bar Crawl: $15
  • Ultimate Ruin Pub Crawl: $18
  • Generation Pub Crawl Budapest: $19
  • Ruin Pub Crawl - Your Keys to the Nightlife of Budapest: $21
  • Budapest Pub Crawl: $24
  • Pest side Pub Crawl - Unlimited drinks for an hour, discover hidden ruin pubs: $25
  • Re-opening Pub Crawls 2020 Summer-Autumn: $25
  • Budapest Pub Crawl with Skip-the-Line Access: $26
  • Epic Local Insider Pub Crawl in Budapest - Every weekend: $30
  • Party Cruise with Pub Crawl option: $37
  • Hungarian Wine Tasting (with Cheese and Charcuterie) in Budapest: $40


When comparing the travel costs between Riga and Budapest, we can see that Riga is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Riga vs. Budapest Travel Comparison

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