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

Should you visit Riga or Lucerne?

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

Should I visit Riga or Lucerne? 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 historical, vibrant, and fun city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Lucerne

Lucerne is a scenic, active, and cultural 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 nightlife, food, and shopping.

Riga and Lucerne: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Less popular for students


How is Riga different from Lucerne?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Riga or Lucerne Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Riga
Lucerne

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

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 Lucerne specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. Top sights in town include the famous Chapel Bridge, the Lion Monument and the town walls and towers. There are also a number of museums including the Swiss Transport Museum and Museum Sammlung Rosengart.


Is Riga or Lucerne Better for Food?

Riga
Lucerne

Both Riga and Lucerne 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.

Lucerne is becoming an appealing option for foodies. Food is expensive around town, but there are some unique specialties like fondue, brätwurst, and of course, chocolate. It's nice to sit out by the river and enjoy a hearty meal while you soak up the view.

Is Riga or Lucerne Better for Nightlife?

Riga
Lucerne

Evening events are similar in both Riga and Lucerne.

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.

Lucerne has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city has some of the best nightlife in Switzerland, with many lively clubs, bars, and pubs. There are also many local events that hosted in town and bring in a crowd.

Is Riga or Lucerne Better for its Old Town?

Riga
Lucerne

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

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.

Lucerne has an old town worth visiting. Sitting on the water's edge, this old town has a number of historic buildings and the beautiful Chapel Bridge.

Is Riga or Lucerne Better for Shopping?

Riga
Lucerne

Both Riga and Lucerne 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 visitors explore the shopping areas in Lucerne. The city is filled with high end shopping opportunities with everything from boutique shops to major chains. Popular items to purchase in town include chocolate, watches, jewelry, and Swiss army knives.


Is Riga or Lucerne Better for Families?

Riga
Lucerne

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Riga or Lucerne.

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.

Lucerne is a family-friendly city. The city is filled with history and there are a number of playgrounds around town. If the weather's warm, you can also take a swim in Lake Lucerne. Many kids enjoy escaping the city and doing a day trip to the amazing Mt. Titlis, or other peaks that are nearby.

Is Riga or Lucerne Better for Couples?

Riga
Lucerne

With fun activities for couples, both Riga and Lucerne 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.

Lucerne makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The city has many pleasant square, excellent restaurants, and a romantic atmosphere that makes for a great couple's getaway. There are a number of nice hotels to choose from as well.

Is Riga or Lucerne Better for Public Transit?

Riga
Lucerne

Both Riga and Lucerne offer public transit options.

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

Lucerne has some public transit options. There's a comprehensive system of buses around town.

Is Riga or Lucerne a more walkable city?

Riga
Lucerne

Riga and Lucerne 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.

Lucerne is a somewhat walkable city. The major tourist areas are fairly walkable if your hotel is in a convenient location.


Should I spend more time in Lucerne or Riga?

How long in Riga or Lucerne?

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

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


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

One day in Riga or Lucerne?

In Riga, you'll find nightlife and food. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. One reason most visitors come is for the nightlife. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Lucerne. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

A weekend in Riga or Lucerne?

In Riga, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. One reason most visitors come is for the nightlife. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Riga has to offer.

Lucerne 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 do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Five days in Riga or Lucerne?

Riga is a great place to explore. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

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

A week in Riga or Lucerne?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Riga. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Riga. One reason most visitors come is for the nightlife. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

The vibrant city of Lucerne 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, Lucerne 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 Lucerne is €159. 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 Lucerne in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Riga 42
    Lucerne 102
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Riga 84
    Lucerne 204
Compare Hotels in Riga and Lucerne

Looking for a hotel in Riga or Lucerne? 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 Lucerne


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 Lucerne Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 12
    Lucerne 9.28

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
  • Transfer from Riga to Tallinn: $283
  • 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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lucerne

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

  • Private transfer from Lucerne City to Lucerne Train Station: $110
  • Zurich Airport Transfers : Lucerne City to Zurich Airport ZRH in Business Car: $118
  • Private Transfer from Lucerne City to interlaken City: $174
  • Departure Private Transfer Lucerne-Basel-Bern to Zurich Airport by Business Car: $191
  • Between Basel and Luzern: One-Way Private Transfer: $193
  • Zurich Airport Transfers : Lucerne City to Zurich Airport ZRH in Luxury Van: $207
  • From Canyoning in Interlaken w/ Return Transfer: $239
  • Rafting in Interlaken with Return Transfer from Lucerne: $239
  • Zurich Airport: Private Transfer to/from Lucerne: $240
  • Departure Private Transfer Lucerne-Basel-Bern to Zurich Airport by Luxury Van: $251
  • Private transfer from Lucerne City to Zurich Airport: $271
  • ZRH Airport - Lucern City (Transfer Service): $287

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Lucerne?

Prices for flights to both Lucerne 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
    Lucerne 46
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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Riga 17
    Lucerne 25

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

Typical Entertainment prices in Lucerne

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


  • 1 Day Bicycle Rental
    31
  • The Swiss Transport Museum Entrance Fee
    32

Tours and Activities in Lucerne

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

  • Swiss Chocolate Adventure Experience at Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne: $19
  • Lucerne Swiss Museum of Transport Entrance Ticket: $39
  • Mount Titlis: Admission Ticket: $52
  • Pearls of Switzerland Cristina Tschuppert Private city walking tour Lucerne: $178
  • Day Trip from Grindelwald First Mountain Adventure: $206
  • Chocolate World Experience and Tasting Private Tour from Luzern: $226
  • Lucerne City Walking Tour in Portuguese (1-2 guests): $231
  • Luzern City Tour with Lake Cruise Private Tour: $231
  • Lake Lucerne Villas & Castles Private Walking Tour: $234
  • Lake Lucerne Castles and Villas Tour: $261
  • Mount Rigi with Lake Cruise Private Tour from Luzern: $279
  • ALL TRANSPORT INCLUSIVE Mt. Pilatus Guided Golden Roundtrip Tour: $280

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 16
    Lucerne 16

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 Lucerne

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Lucerne:

  • Chocolate, Cheese and Wine Tour in Luzern region: $627


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


When is the best time to visit Riga or Lucerne?

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 Lucerne in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Riga as well as Lucerne. Most visitors come to Riga for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Additionally, the summer months attract visitors to Lucerne because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Riga is cooler than Lucerne. Typically, the summer temperatures in Riga in July are around 17°C (63°F), and Lucerne is about 21°C (70°F).

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


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

Should I visit Riga or Lucerne in the Autumn?

Both Lucerne and Riga are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. 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. Also, the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Lucerne this time of year.

In October, Riga is generally much colder than Lucerne. Temperatures in Riga average around 7°C (45°F), and Lucerne stays around 13°C (56°F).

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


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

Should I visit Riga or Lucerne in the Winter?

Both Lucerne and Riga during the winter are popular places to visit. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Riga this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Lucerne for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Lucerne. It's quite cold in Riga in the winter. Riga is much colder than Lucerne in the winter. The temperature in Riga is usually -5°C (23°F) in January, and Lucerne stays around 3°C (37°F).

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


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

Should I visit Riga or Lucerne in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Riga and Lucerne. Many travelers come to Riga for the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Lucerne in the spring for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Riga is much colder than Lucerne. Typically, the spring temperatures in Riga in April are around 5°C (42°F), and Lucerne is about 12°C (53°F).

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


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

Typical Weather for Lucerne and Riga

Riga Lucerne
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. Lucerne Travel Comparison

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