A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Riga vs. Interlaken for Families, Couples, Backpackers, and Food

Should you visit Riga or Interlaken?

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

Should I visit Riga or Interlaken? 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 is a vibrant, fun, and high energy 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. Other reasons to visit include food, shopping, and museums.


Interlaken is a adrenaline-filled, breathtaking, and world-class town. You'll find world class beauty here as well. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. And you can't forget about the food, hiking, and skiing.

Riga and Interlaken: Pros and Cons

  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with couples
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
  • Less popular with backpackers

How is Riga different from Interlaken?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Riga or Interlaken Better for Food?


Both Riga and Interlaken 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.

Interlaken has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Restaurants in the area serve local classics like fondue, local meats, cheeses, and chocolate. You can finish your meal off with strudel or head to a local bakery and try their samplings. Meals are expensive but the quality is good. You should also out into the countryside and enjoy a meal looking out over the mountains.

Is Riga or Interlaken Better for Families?


There's generally more to do with your family in Interlaken than Riga.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Interlaken is a very family-friendly destination. While the city is beautiful, it's really the surrounding areas that you and your family will enjoy. There are amazing hikes, stunning views, playgrounds, lakes, and more. There's also an impressive ropes course that adventurous kids will love, funiculars, gondolas, and so many water sports!

Riga is a family-friendly city. 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.

Is Riga or Interlaken Better for Couples?


While Riga and Interlaken are both popular destinations, overall Interlaken is considered to be a more popular choice.

Interlaken makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. The mountaintop views, breathtaking hikes, and beautiful lakes make this a top destination for couples. Make sure you head out of town and fully immerse yourself in everything that the area has to offer. Kayaking, canoeing, paragliding, and more will make this a trip of a lifetime.

Riga is a good city for couples to visit. 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.

Is Riga or Interlaken Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?


While Interlaken 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 Interlaken. It's a world class destination with so many activities that backpackers will love, but it's also one of the most expensive areas in one of the most expensive countries. There are hostels in town as well as a few in the nearby towns and countryside, but prices are steep. Cook when you can and enjoy all of the free activities that the area has to offer.

Is Riga or Interlaken Better for Public Transit?


Both Riga and Interlaken offer public transit options.

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

The public transit in Interlaken can get you to most places easily. Buses travel around town, but to get into the mountains there are trains, cog railways, funiculars, and gondolas.

Is Riga or Interlaken a more walkable city?


Riga and Interlaken 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.

Interlaken is a somewhat walkable city. The old town is relatively walkable.

Should I spend more time in Interlaken or Riga?

How long in Riga or Interlaken?

In either Riga or Interlaken, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Interlaken 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 Interlaken is 2-5 days.

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

One day in Riga or Interlaken?

With museums and nightlife around the historical city of Riga, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Visitors enjoy the food and skiing when visiting the destination of Interlaken. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. 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 Interlaken?

With nightlife and food around the destination of Riga, there's plenty to do. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this city.

Interlaken is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the hiking. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. Hikers are also drawn to this area. 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 Interlaken?

Riga, a popular city, is full of activities for travelers. Visiting the old town is also a must. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Visitors enjoy the food and skiing when visiting the adrenaline-filled destination of Interlaken. This town offers something for everyone. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. 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 Interlaken?

Riga is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the nightlife. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

The adventurous town of Interlaken offers skiing and food. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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, Interlaken 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 Interlaken is €169. 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 Interlaken in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Riga 42
    Interlaken 97
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Riga 84
    Interlaken 194
Compare Hotels in Riga and Interlaken

Looking for a hotel in Riga or Interlaken? 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 Interlaken

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 Interlaken Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 12
    Interlaken 9.48

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Riga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Riga:

  • Transfer service Riga airport: $37
  • Transfer from Riga to Tallinn: $283
  • Taxi Transfer: $42
  • Riga to Vilnius transfer with Sightseeing: $347
  • Riga to Tallinn transfer with Sightseeing: $335
  • Riga Tank Ride - 2 Hours - Guided with Return Transfers: $1,192
  • Riga Return Airport Transfer: $66
  • Riga Party Bus Airport Transfer: $382
  • Riga Limo Airport Transfer: $133
  • Riga International Airport RIX Luxury Van Private Departure Transfer: $54
  • Riga International Airport RIX Luxury Van Private Arrival Transfer: $54
  • Riga Airport to City Center Private Transfers: $51

Typical Local Transportation prices in Interlaken

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

  • Cable Cars (for 2)

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Interlaken

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

  • From Lausanne: Transfer to Interlaken Village: $130
  • Private Transfer from interlaken City to Lucerne City: $174
  • Private transfer from Interlaken to Zurich Airport: $485
  • Private Transfer from Interlaken to Geneva Airport: $670

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Interlaken?

Prices for flights to both Interlaken 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 Meals for one day
    Riga 26
    Interlaken 47
Typical Food prices in Riga

Some typical examples of dining costs in Riga are as follows:

  • Fast Food Lunch

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 Interlaken

For Interlaken, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:

  • Tea at Interlaken

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Riga 17
    Interlaken 76

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
  • Art Nouveau Walking Tour in Riga: $57
  • Beer Bike Experience: $45
  • Best of Riga Walking Tour: $231

Tours and Activities in Interlaken

For Interlaken, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Private Lake Thun and Lake Brienz Express Tour from Interlaken: $30
  • High Ropes Adventure Park Admission in Interlaken: $46
  • Trümmelbach Waterfalls Small-Group Tour from Interlaken: $80
  • Aare River Gorge Walk Small-Group Tour from Interlaken: $106
  • Kayak Tour of the Turquoise Lake Brienz: $115
  • Schilthorn Piz Gloria (James Bond Location) Small Group Tour from Interlaken: $159
  • GAILY TOUR in INTERLAKEN - Gay & Lesbian Tour: $187
  • Tandem Paragliding Experience from Interlaken: $196
  • Tandem Paragliding Experience with Transport from Interlaken: $196
  • Self-Guided Tour: Schilthorn Piz Gloria (James Bond world) from Interlaken: $217
  • Aare River Gorge Walk plus Lake Brienz Cruise - Private Tour from Interlaken: $238
  • Aare River Gorge Walk Private Tour from Interlaken: $238

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 16
    Interlaken 12

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

When is the best time to visit Riga or Interlaken?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Riga or Interlaken in the Summer?

Both Interlaken and Riga during the summer are popular places to visit. The city activities and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Riga this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Interlaken for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences.

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

Riga usually gets less rain in July than Interlaken. Riga gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Interlaken receives 89 mm (3.5 in) of rain this time of the year.

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

Should I visit Riga or Interlaken in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Riga and Interlaken. Many travelers come to Riga for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Interlaken in the autumn for the hiking trails and the natural beauty of the area.

Riga is much colder than Interlaken in the autumn. The temperature in Riga is usually 7°C (45°F) in October, and Interlaken stays around 13°C (56°F).

In October, Riga usually receives less rain than Interlaken. Riga gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Interlaken receives 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Riga 7°C (45°F) 
    Interlaken 13°C (56°F)

Should I visit Riga or Interlaken in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Riga as well as Interlaken. Many visitors come to Riga in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Interlaken for the skiing and the cuisine during these months.

Interlaken can be very cold during winter. Riga can get quite cold in the winter. In the winter, Riga is much colder than Interlaken. Typically, the winter temperatures in Riga in January are around -5°C (23°F), and Interlaken is about 3°C (37°F).

Riga usually gets less rain in January than Interlaken. Riga gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Interlaken receives 77 mm (3 in) of rain this time of the year.

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

Should I visit Riga or Interlaken in the Spring?

Both Interlaken and Riga are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Riga for the activities around the city and the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Interlaken because of the natural beauty.

In April, Riga is generally much colder than Interlaken. Temperatures in Riga average around 5°C (42°F), and Interlaken stays around 12°C (53°F).

In April, Riga usually receives less rain than Interlaken. Riga gets 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Interlaken receives 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the spring.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Riga 5°C (42°F) 
    Interlaken 12°C (53°F)

Typical Weather for Interlaken and Riga

Riga Interlaken
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 3°C (37°F) 77 mm (3 in)
Feb -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in) 5°C (40°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Mar -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 8°C (46°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Apr 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 12°C (53°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 16°C (60°F) 101 mm (4 in)
Jun 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 19°C (66°F) 100 mm (3.9 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 21°C (70°F) 89 mm (3.5 in)
Aug 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 21°C (69°F) 104 mm (4.1 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in) 18°C (64°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Oct 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 13°C (56°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 7°C (45°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Dec -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 4°C (39°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)

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Riga vs. Interlaken Travel Comparison

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