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

Should you visit Riga or Saint Petersburg?

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

Should I visit Riga or Saint Petersburg? 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.

Where Should I go: Riga or Saint Petersburg?


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.

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is a beautiful city that sits on the eastern edge of the Baltic Sea. Its historical city center is threaded with canals and architecturally impressive buildings, leaving little doubt as to why this city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the second largest city in Russia, but perhaps a favorite among travelers. The metropolitan area has a population of over 5 million as well as an impressive culture with fascinating museums, restaurants, and architecture. The city has no shortage of sights and attractions, and many days can be passed while you wander its intricate streets.

Which place is cheaper, Saint Petersburg or Riga?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Riga is €104, while the average daily cost in Saint Petersburg is €62. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Riga and Saint Petersburg in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Riga 53
    Saint Petersburg 35
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Riga 106
    Saint Petersburg 70
Compare Hotels in Riga and Saint Petersburg

Looking for a hotel in Riga or Saint Petersburg? 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 Saint Petersburg

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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 15
    Saint Petersburg 7.13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Riga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Riga:

  • Riga Limo Airport Transfer: $132
  • Private transfer Riga - Hill of Crosses - Riga: $105
  • Private Transfer from Riga City Center to Riga Airport RIX: $32
  • Private Transfer from Riga Airport to Hotel with English speaking driver: $54
  • Private Transfer from Riga Airport RIX to Riga City Center: $32
  • Private Transfer From Riga City Center To Riga Airport: $44
  • From Vilnius: One-Way Private Transfer to Riga: $185
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Riga Airport RIX to Riga City by Minibus: $92

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Saint Petersburg

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

  • Metro Passes

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Saint Petersburg?

Prices for flights to both Saint Petersburg 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 33
    Saint Petersburg 18
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.

  • Riga Medieval Dinner: $110
  • Medieval Dinner on the 12th Century at Rozengrals: $121

Typical Food Prices in Saint Petersburg

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

  • Lunch for Two

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Riga 21
    Saint Petersburg 18

Tours and Activities in Riga

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

  • 1 Day Riga Sightseeing Red Bus Grand Tour: $28
  • 3-Hour Private Paintball Game Experience in Zīles: $88
  • 5 Hour Shared Tour to Hill of Crosses from Riga: $83
  • Admission Ticket to Live Silver Museum: $12
  • An audio tour of Old from St Peter's Church to the Monument of Freedom: $5.20
  • Art Nouveau in Written & Audio Guides Tour: $8.88
  • Daily Bike Tour in Riga with Professional Guide: $44
  • For Japanese: Riga Old Town Walking Tour: $42
  • Full Day Private Tour in Rundale Palace from Riga: $159
  • Group Tour: Sigulda and Turaida from Riga.: $133
  • Group day trip from Riga to Hill of Crosses - 5 hour day tour!: $72
  • Guided Ebike Tour on Forest Roads and Trails Near Riga: $89

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 20
    Saint Petersburg 9.47

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- Your best night out in Riga with our local guide! : $31
  • Pub Crawl in Riga: $33
  • Riga Happy Hour Pub Crawl: $54
  • Riga Beer Killer Bar Crawl: $55
  • Riga Wine Tasting Session: $104

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Riga and Saint Petersburg, we can see that Riga is more expensive. And not only is Saint Petersburg much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Saint Petersburg would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Saint Petersburg 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 Riga would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Riga than you might in Saint Petersburg.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Riga Expensive? and Is Saint Petersburg Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Riga or Saint Petersburg?

Saint Petersburg has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of Riga. When comparing the sizes of Riga and Saint Petersburg, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.

When is the best time to visit Riga or Saint Petersburg?

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 Saint Petersburg in the Summer?

Both Saint Petersburg and Riga during the summer are popular places to visit. The summer months attract visitors to Riga because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

Riga is around the same temperature as Saint Petersburg in the summer. The daily temperature in Riga averages around 17°C (63°F) in July, and Saint Petersburg fluctuates around 18°C (64°F).

Riga usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Saint Petersburg. Riga gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Saint Petersburg receives 77 mm (3 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Riga 17°C (63°F) 
    Saint Petersburg 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Riga or Saint Petersburg in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Riga and Saint Petersburg. The city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Riga this time of year.

In the autumn, Riga is a little warmer than Saint Petersburg. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Riga in October average around 7°C (45°F), and Saint Petersburg averages at about 6°C (42°F).

In October, Riga usually receives less rain than Saint Petersburg. Riga gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Saint Petersburg receives 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain each month for the autumn.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Riga 7°C (45°F) 
    Saint Petersburg 6°C (42°F)

Should I visit Riga or Saint Petersburg in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Riga as well as Saint Petersburg. Many travelers come to Riga for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Saint Petersburg can get quite cold in the winter. Be prepared for some very cold days in Riga. In January, Riga is generally much warmer than Saint Petersburg. Daily temperatures in Riga average around -5°C (23°F), and Saint Petersburg fluctuates around -8°C (18°F).

Riga usually gets less rain in January than Saint Petersburg. Riga gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Saint Petersburg receives 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Riga -5°C (23°F) 
    Saint Petersburg -8°C (18°F)

Should I visit Riga or Saint Petersburg in the Spring?

Both Saint Petersburg and Riga are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Riga in the spring for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

Saint Petersburg can be very cold during spring. Riga is a little warmer than Saint Petersburg in the spring. The daily temperature in Riga averages around 5°C (42°F) in April, and Saint Petersburg fluctuates around 4°C (40°F).

In April, Riga usually receives more rain than Saint Petersburg. Riga gets 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Saint Petersburg receives 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain each month for the spring.

  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Riga 5°C (42°F) 
    Saint Petersburg 4°C (40°F)

Typical Weather for Saint Petersburg and Riga

Riga Saint Petersburg
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) -8°C (18°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Feb -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in) -7°C (20°F) 31 mm (1.2 in)
Mar -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) -2°C (28°F) 34 mm (1.3 in)
Apr 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 4°C (40°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 11°C (52°F) 37 mm (1.5 in)
Jun 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 16°C (60°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 18°C (64°F) 77 mm (3 in)
Aug 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 16°C (62°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in) 11°C (52°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
Oct 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 6°C (42°F) 65 mm (2.6 in)
Nov 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 0°C (32°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)
Dec -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) -5°C (24°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)