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

Should you visit Riga or Reykjavik?

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

Should I visit Riga or Reykjavik? 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 unique, historical, and vibrant 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.

Reykjavik

Reykjavik is a clean, green, and safe city. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the hiking, shopping, and nightlife.

Riga and Reykjavik: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Good nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers


How is Riga different from Reykjavik?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Riga or Reykjavik Better for Food?

Riga
Reykjavik

Most foodies will appreciate the restaurant options in Riga a bit more than Reykjavik.

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.

Reykjavik may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Traditional Icelandic food may not have the best reputation, but restaurants these days are pretty good with a variety of dishes to choose from. Popular foods in the area include fish, lamb, and Icelandic skyr (a type of yogurt).


Is Riga or Reykjavik Better for Nightlife?

Riga
Reykjavik

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 Reykjavik. The city offers the best nightlife in Iceland and you'll be surprised at the number of clubs, bars, and craft breweries that you can choose from. Almost all of the popular nightlife spots are around Laugavegur, a major shopping street in town.

Is Riga or Reykjavik Better for Shopping?

Riga
Reykjavik

Both Riga and Reykjavik 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.

Reykjavik has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The city's main shopping street is Laugavegur, which is where you'll find the most activity around town as well as a bustling atmosphere.

Is Riga or Reykjavik Better for Families?

Riga
Reykjavik

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Riga or Reykjavik.

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.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Reykjavik. With its many outdoor activities and hands on museums, the city is great for kids. The cafes and restaurants are family-friendly and their are plenty of entertainment options for the whole family.

Is Riga or Reykjavik Better for Couples?

Riga
Reykjavik

With fun activities for couples, both Riga and Reykjavik 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.

Reykjavik makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There are museums, outdoor activities, and even the northern lights that make this city very romantic. The cafes are laid-back and the atmosphere is friendly.


Is Riga or Reykjavik Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Riga
Reykjavik

While Reykjavik 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 Reykjavik. There are a number of hostels around town, but they can be pretty expensive. Transportation can also be pretty challenging for backpackers.

Is Riga or Reykjavik Better for Students?

Riga
Reykjavik

Riga and Reykjavik are both good destinations for students and younger travelers.

Riga is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. The city's affordability and vibrant atmosphere make it a great spot for international students. There are many places to hang out and a lively nightlife scene that appeals to young travelers.

Plenty of students visit Reykjavik. Students will enjoy a unique experience in this city. There are good academic programs as well as beautiful outdoor settings that you can explore.

Is Riga or Reykjavik Better for Public Transit?

Riga
Reykjavik

Both Riga and Reykjavik offer public transit options.

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

Reykjavik has some public transit options. There is a fairly comprehensive bus system around town.

Is Riga or Reykjavik a more walkable city?

Riga
Reykjavik

Riga and Reykjavik 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.

Reykjavik is a very walkable destination. The city is small and compact, so it's easy to explore on foot.


Should I spend more time in Reykjavik or Riga?

How long in Riga or Reykjavik?

In either Riga or Reykjavik, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Reykjavik 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 Reykjavik is 1-5 days.


  • How many days in Riga or Reykjavik? Ideal Length of Stay
    Riga 2-4 
    Reykjavik 1-5

One day in Riga or Reykjavik?

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 shopping and nightlife when visiting the destination of Reykjavik. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

A weekend in Riga or Reykjavik?

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.

Reykjavik 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 Reykjavik?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the fun 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.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the clean destination of Reykjavik. This city 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 Reykjavik?

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 friendly city of Reykjavik offers nightlife and shopping. 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, Reykjavik 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 Reykjavik is €180. 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 Reykjavik in more detail.



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

Looking for a hotel in Riga or Reykjavik? 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 Reykjavik


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 Reykjavik Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 12
    Reykjavik 33

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Reykjavik

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

  • Ultra - Reykjavik Private Airport Transfer from Cruise Port to Keflavík Airport: $8.71
  • Keflavik Airport & Reykjavik Hotels: Economy Bus Transfer: $23
  • Shuttle Bus Transfer to/from Keflavik Airport: $26
  • Airport Express Shared Departure transfer from Reykjavik City to Keflavik Airport: $28
  • Airport Transfer in Iceland from Reykjavik City to Keflavik Airport One Way: $31
  • Blue Lagoon Return Bus Transfer from Reykjavik: $33
  • Airport Express Shared Departure Transfer from Reykjavik Hotels to Keflavik Airport: $37
  • Airport Transfer in Iceland from Reykjavik City to Keflavik Airport with Hotel Pick Up: $43
  • Direct Bus Transfer between Keflavik Airport & Hotels: $50
  • Door to Door Premium Airport transfer from Reykjavik Hotels to Keflavik International Airport: $63
  • Return Economy Airport Transfer between Keflavik International Airport and Reykjavik City: $66
  • Transfer to & from Blue Lagoon: $78

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Reykjavik?

Prices for flights to both Reykjavik 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
    Reykjavik 22
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

Typical Food prices in Reykjavik

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


  • Dinner (Fish Market)
    163

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Reykjavik

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

  • Exclusive dinner with a local family: $112
  • Weekend Reykjavik Food Tour with a stop at the Reykjavik Flea Market: $123
  • Dinner with an Icelandic Artist in Reykjavik Home: $151
  • Secret Lagoon, Buffet Dinner, and Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik: $159
  • South Coast: Volcanoes, waterfalls & Viking dinner at the Viking house: $179
  • Private Reykjavik Food Tour: $198
  • South Coast: Small group glacier hike, fire & ice with dinner at Viking lodge: $199
  • Cook and Dine Icelandic Cooking Class Gourmet Lunch or Dinner: $204
  • Kopar Fine Dining Dinner and Northern Lights Cruise from Reykjavik: $229
  • West Iceland Private Food Tour from Reykjavik: $723

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Riga 17
    Reykjavik 53

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 Reykjavik

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Reykjavik's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Art Museum
    9.81
  • Wine and Spa
    27

Tours and Activities in Reykjavik

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

  • Admission Ticket to Viking World Museum: $14
  • Aurora Reykjavík, The Northern Lights Center Entrance Ticket: $16
  • Skip the Line: Volcano House Admission Ticket: $17
  • Tales from Iceland Admission Ticket: $18
  • Skip the Line: Admission Ticket - The Culture House Reykjavik: $19
  • Skip the Line: The National Museum of Iceland Ticket: $20
  • Whales of Iceland Exhibition Entrance Ticket: $22
  • Whales Of Iceland Admission Ticket: $26
  • Bryggjan Brugghús Craft Beer Tour: $27
  • Reykjavik Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Reykjavik Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: $32
  • Perlan - Wonders of Iceland Tour: $33
  • Perlan Wonders of Iceland - Ice cave & Nature Exhibition Ticket: $36

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 16
    Reykjavik 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
  • 1.5-Hour Latvian Wine Tasting Experience: $476

Typical Alcohol prices in Reykjavik

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Reykjavik are as follows:


  • Beer
    8.02

Sample the Local Flavors in Reykjavik

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Reykjavik:

  • Eimverk Distillery Tour with Tasting: $34
  • Private Reykjavik Pub Crawl: $181
  • Reykjavik Food & Wine Tour: $249


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


When is the best time to visit Riga or Reykjavik?

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 Reykjavik in the Summer?

Both Reykjavik and Riga during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Riga for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Reykjavik in the summer for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Riga is generally much warmer than Reykjavik. Temperatures in Riga average around 17°C (63°F), and Reykjavik stays around 11°C (52°F).

Riga usually gets more rain in July than Reykjavik. Riga gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Reykjavik receives 52 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Riga 17°C (63°F) 
    Reykjavik 11°C (52°F)

Should I visit Riga or Reykjavik in the Autumn?

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

Reykjavik can be very cold during autumn. Riga is much warmer than Reykjavik in the autumn. The temperature in Riga is usually 7°C (45°F) in October, and Reykjavik stays around 5°C (41°F).

In October, Riga usually receives less rain than Reykjavik. Riga gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Reykjavik receives 86 mm (3.4 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Riga 7°C (45°F) 
    Reykjavik 5°C (41°F)

Should I visit Riga or Reykjavik in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Riga as well as Reykjavik. Most visitors come to Riga for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Reykjavik because of the shopping scene and the cuisine.

The weather in Reykjavik can be very cold. Riga can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Riga is much colder than Reykjavik. Typically, the winter temperatures in Riga in January are around -5°C (23°F), and Reykjavik is about -0°C (32°F).

Riga usually gets less rain in January than Reykjavik. Riga gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Reykjavik receives 76 mm (3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Riga -5°C (23°F) 
    Reykjavik -0°C (32°F)

Should I visit Riga or Reykjavik in the Spring?

Both Reykjavik and Riga are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The spring months attract visitors to Riga because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Also, the natural beauty are the main draw to Reykjavik this time of year.

It's quite cold in Reykjavik in the spring. In April, Riga is generally much warmer than Reykjavik. Temperatures in Riga average around 5°C (42°F), and Reykjavik stays around 3°C (38°F).

In April, Riga usually receives less rain than Reykjavik. Riga gets 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Reykjavik receives 58 mm (2.3 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Riga 5°C (42°F) 
    Reykjavik 3°C (38°F)

Typical Weather for Reykjavik and Riga

Riga Reykjavik
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) -0°C (32°F) 76 mm (3 in)
Feb -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in) 1°C (33°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Mar -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 1°C (34°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Apr 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 3°C (38°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 7°C (44°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Jun 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 10°C (49°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 11°C (52°F) 52 mm (2 in)
Aug 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 11°C (52°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in) 8°C (46°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Oct 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 5°C (41°F) 86 mm (3.4 in)
Nov 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 1°C (35°F) 73 mm (2.9 in)
Dec -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 0°C (32°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)


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Riga vs. Reykjavik Travel Comparison

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