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

Should you visit Riga or Istanbul?

Should I visit Riga or Istanbul? 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.

Istanbul

Istanbul is strategically located on the Bosphorus and is split between Europe and Asia. It truly is a city where east meets west. Istanbul is the cultural and financial hub of Turkey, and also the most populous city. The sites are countless and there's something for everybody, whether you're interested in art, music, food, or adventure. You can pass many days exploring both the residential and commercial pockets of this city. Much of the appeal is hidden away along back alleys or within corner shops.

Which city is cheaper, Istanbul 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 Istanbul is €80. 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 Istanbul 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.

A hotel room in Istanbul is about €100 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Riga 42
    Istanbul 50
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Riga 84
    Istanbul 100

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.

On average, meal and food prices in Istanbul cost around €20 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around €8.00.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Riga 26
    Istanbul 20
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 Istanbul

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


  • Juice
    0.20
  • Turkish Delight
    0.06
  • Dessert
    0.85
  • Pastries
    0.15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Istanbul

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

  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise & Show: $29
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise Show: $30
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise Inc. Dinner and Belly Dance Show with Hotel Transfer: $34
  • Alaturca Ottoman Dramatic Stage Show & Dinner Cruise ( Non - Alcoholic ): $35
  • Bosphorus Dinner Show Cruise With Non Alcoholic Menu ISTANBUL Dinner cruise: $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner & Show Cruise (All Inclusive): $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise An Unforgettable Experience in Istanbul: $36
  • Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Night Show from Istanbul: $37
  • Istanbul Cruise&Show with Dinner: $37
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise & Show: $39
  • Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise & Soft Drinks: $40
  • Istanbul Dinner Cruise&Show: $40

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.

The cost of a taxi ride in Istanbul is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent €4.71 per person, per day, on local transportation in Istanbul.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 12
    Istanbul 4.71

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
  • Private Minivan Transfer: Riga City Center to Riga Airport: $37
  • Transfer service Riga airport: $37

Typical Local Transportation prices in Istanbul

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


  • Ferry
    0.28
  • Local Bus
    0.30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Istanbul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Istanbul:

  • Istanbul Airport Transfer / Private Airport Transfer: $3.73
  • Private Istanbul New Airport Transfer Service: $4.36
  • Istanbul Airports Transfer: $6.22
  • istanbul airport cheapest vip transfer by private car: $14
  • Safe Airport transfer service in istanbul: $16
  • Private Airport Transfer Arrival or Departure in Istanbul: $17
  • Sabiha Airport Arrival Or Departure Hotel Transfer: $17
  • PRIVATE DEPARTURE TRANSFER - Istanbul European Side To Istanbul New Airport: $18
  • Istanbul New Airport Private Transfer: $18
  • New Istanbul Airport Private Transfer: $18
  • Istanbul Airport Arrival Or Departure Hotel Transfer: $19
  • İstanbul Private Airport Transfer: $19

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Istanbul?

Prices for flights to both Istanbul 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.

Entertainment and activities in Istanbul typically cost an average of €29 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Riga 17
    Istanbul 29

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
  • Entrance Ticket - House of the Black Heads: $8.28
  • Riga Art Nouveau walking tour: $8.71
  • Classic Car Museum Tour: $9.95
  • Riga Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • 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
  • Best of Riga Walking Tour - Highlights and Hidden Gems: $31

Typical Entertainment prices in Istanbul

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Istanbul are as follows:


  • Bosphurus Boat (for 2)
    2.00
  • Yerebatan Cistern for Two
    2.00
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts for Two
    1.00
  • Hagia Sofia entrance
    3.00

Tours and Activities in Istanbul

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

  • Just Hagia Sophia Tour /Skip The Lines: $8.71
  • VR Dervish Experience: $10
  • Museum of Illusions Istanbul Ticket: $11
  • Piri Self-Guided Audio Tour: Istanbul, Historical Peninsula: $11
  • Basilica Cistern Skip-the-Line Guided Tour: $12
  • Bosphorus Cruise from Eminonu Pier with Audio App: $12
  • Basilica Cistern VIP Tickets: $12
  • Hagia Sophia & Blue Mosque&Hippodrome Guided Tours Everyday /No que / No line!: $12
  • Vip Ticket For Hagi̇a Sophi̇a: $12
  • SEA LIFE Istanbul Entry Ticket: $14
  • Istanbul LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Admission Ticket: $15
  • Hagia Sophia: Entry with Guided Tour: $16

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.

The average person spends about €7.20 on alcoholic beverages in Istanbul per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 16
    Istanbul 7.20

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
  • Exclusive Latvian Wine Tasting in Riga: $765

Sample the Local Flavors in Istanbul

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Istanbul:

  • Daily Tekirdag Wine Tasting Tour from Istanbul: $427


When comparing the travel costs between Riga and Istanbul, 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.

Budget Your Trip

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Riga vs. Istanbul Travel Comparison

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