A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Riga vs. Salzburg for Nightlife, Old Town, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Riga or Salzburg?

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

Should I visit Riga or Salzburg? 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 off-the-beaten-path, charming, and unique 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. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Salzburg

Salzburg is a musical, cultural, and recognizable city. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It also has a unique and quaint vibe that attracts lots of visitors. And you can't forget about the food, shopping, and museums.

Riga and Salzburg: Pros and Cons

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


How is Riga different from Salzburg?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Riga or Salzburg better for Museums and Historical Sights?

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

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 Salzburg specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. There are many historic sights to explore including Mozart's birthplace, the Mozart Residence, the Salzburg Museum, and the many stunning churches and concert halls.

Riga
Salzburg


Is Riga or Salzburg better for Food?

Both Riga and Salzburg 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.

Salzburg has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The old town is filled with charming restaurants that serve local specialties including schnitzel, tafelspitz, and strudel. The city is also known for it's impressive breakfast spread that is often served on a three tiered cake stand and includes cheeses, salami, fresh fruit, pastries, olives, jams and more.

Riga
Salzburg

Is Riga or Salzburg better for Nightlife?

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 Salzburg. The city has a number of trendy bars, pubs, and clubs where you can enjoy music and a lively atmosphere.

Riga
Salzburg

Is Riga or Salzburg better for its Old Town?

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

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.

Salzburg has a unique history which comes to life in its historic area. This beautiful old town is filled with cafes, restaurants, and churches. You can enjoy local music performed by street performers as you soak in the atmosphere and the regular chime of the church bells really gives the city personality. There are also frequent markets and shops to explore.

Riga
Salzburg

Is Riga or Salzburg better for Shopping?

Both Riga and Salzburg 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 people travel to Salzburg specifically to go shopping. The city's historic heart is filled with boutique shops, chocolate markets, and charming local vendors. It's fun to peruse the many shops that line the streets while you shop for local souvenirs.

Riga
Salzburg


Is Riga or Salzburg better for Families?

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Riga or Salzburg.

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 Salzburg. Kids who know the Sound of Music will enjoy visiting the setting of a number of scenes from the movie. There are even popular Sound of Music tours that take you to the gardens where they sang "Do Re Mi" and out of town to the church where Maria married the Captain. There are also Marionette Puppet shows, cooking classes, castles and more around town that everyone can enjoy.

Riga
Salzburg

Is Riga or Salzburg better for Couples?

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

Salzburg makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. The town offers a romantic setting with elaborate breakfasts, beautiful architecture, live shows, and plenty that couples can enjoy. You can simply wander around old town or explore the many gardens around town.

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.

Riga
Salzburg

Is Riga or Salzburg better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Both Riga and Salzburg are popular destinations for backpackers.

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 budget travelers and backpackers visit Salzburg. This is a popular city to visit, so there are plenty of amenities for backpackers. If you want to save a little money, you can stay and eat outside of old town where the prices are a little less.

Riga
Salzburg

Is Riga or Salzburg better for Students?

Riga and Salzburg 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.

Students come from all over the world to visit Salzburg. International students appreciate the high quality of life, excellent educational opportunities and unique European setting that makes this city special. There are also a number of beautiful places just outside of town that you can explore, as well as many travel connections to other popular cities in Europe.

Riga
Salzburg


Is Riga or Salzburg better for Public Transit?

Both Riga and Salzburg offer public transit options.

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

The public transit in Salzburg can get you to most places easily. Trolleys and buses make it easy to get around town.

Riga
Salzburg

Is Riga or Salzburg a more walkable city?

Riga and Salzburg 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.

Salzburg is a very walkable destination. The old town is very walkable, but if you stay outside of the main tourist areas, you'll likely want to take a bus.

Riga
Salzburg

Should I spend more time in Salzburg or Riga?

How long in Riga or Salzburg?

In either Riga or Salzburg, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Salzburg 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 Salzburg is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in Riga or Salzburg? Ideal Length of Stay
    Riga 2-4 
    Salzburg 3-5

One day in Riga or Salzburg?

The beautiful city of Riga offers food and shopping. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the destination of Salzburg. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Riga or Salzburg?

Riga is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Riga, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Salzburg is a fun place to experience. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. The entire area has lots to do.


Five days in Riga or Salzburg?

Riga is a popular choice for travelers. It's no surprise that nightlife is why people visit. Five days 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. The entire area has lots to do.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the beautiful destination of Salzburg. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Plenty of people spend five days here when traveling. Five days is often enough time to spend here.

A week in Riga or Salzburg?

Riga is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that nightlife is why people visit. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

The recognizable city of Salzburg offers shopping and museums. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. 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, Salzburg 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 Salzburg is €123. 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 Salzburg in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Riga 42
    Salzburg 74
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Riga 84
    Salzburg 148
Compare Hotels in Riga and Salzburg

Looking for a hotel in Riga or Salzburg? 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 Salzburg


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 12
    Salzburg 16

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
  • English Speaking Private Departure Transfer to Riga Airport: $37
  • Transfer service Riga airport: $37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salzburg

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Salzburg:

  • Salzburg Airport transfer from W.A. Mozart airport to hotels or apartments: $25
  • Private Airport Transfer: W. A. Mozart Salzburg Airport (SZG) to Salzburg: $28
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Salzburg to W. A. Mozart Salzburg Airport (SZG): $28
  • Low Cost Private Transfer from Salzburg Airport or Salzburg City to Salzburg City or Salzburg Airport: $37
  • Low Cost Private Transfer from Salzburg City to Salzburg Train Station: $37
  • Private Transfer between Salzburg Airport and Salzburg City: $50
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Salzburg Airport to Salzburg City - One Way: $60
  • Salzburg Private Transfer from Salzburg Airport to City centre: $63
  • Private transfer: Salzburg to Salzburg Airport (SZG): $67
  • Private transfer: Salzburg Airport (SZG) to Salzburg: $67
  • Private Transfer to Salzburg Airport or Station: $78
  • Departure Private Transfers: Salzburg to Salzburg Airport SZG in Business Car: $83

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Salzburg?

Prices for flights to both Salzburg 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
    Salzburg 32
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 Salzburg

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


  • Lunch Salad
    9.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Salzburg

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

  • Cookies and Apple Strudel Cooking Class Including Lunch: $52
  • Austrian Apple Strudel Cooking Class including Lunch: $57
  • Salzburg Christmas Cookies and Apple Strudel Cooking Lesson: $60
  • Salzach Cruise & Dinner at Hohesalzburg Fortress: $68
  • Best of Mozart Fortress Concert and Dinner: $79
  • Mozart and Advent/Christmas Concert with Dinner at Fortress Hohensalzburg: $82
  • Best of Mozart Concert and Dinner or VIP Dinner at Fortress Hohensalzburg: $82
  • Mozart Concert with Dinner: $84
  • Mozart Dinner Concert at the Baroque Hall of St Peter`s Abbey in Salzburg: $86
  • Fortress HohenObservationtower Admission, Dinner and Mozart Concert: $92
  • Dinner Cooking Class & Concert - Prezels, Dumplings, Apple Strudel & Mozart: $93
  • The Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg With Lunch or Dinner: $102

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Riga 17
    Salzburg 24

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
  • Riga Art Nouveau walking tour: $8.71
  • Classic Car Museum Tour: $9.95
  • Riga Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Riga Sightseeing Tour by Canal Boat: $16
  • 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

Tours and Activities in Salzburg

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

  • Auto-guided Private Tour of Salzburg: $4.91
  • Salzburg Private Tour: Sound of Music City Exploration Game: $5.21
  • Cathedral Entry Ticket with Audio Guide Option: $5.67
  • Salzburg Cathedral: Guided Tour with Entry Ticket: $5.67
  • A taste of An audio tour through the birthplace of Mozart: $6.99
  • Sightseeing with the Sound of Music: A Salzburg Audio Tour: $6.99
  • The Sound of Music Exploration Game & Tour: $7.93
  • Salzburg Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • DomQuartier Entrance Ticket and Audio Guide: $15
  • Interactive Puzzle and City Exploration Tour: $18
  • Hohensalzburg Fortress Admission Ticket: $19

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 16
    Salzburg 21

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 Salzburg

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Salzburg:


  • Beer
    3.70

Sample the Local Flavors in Salzburg

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

  • Private Austrian Food and Wine Tasting with a Sommelière & Chef: $101
  • Private Half Day Salzburg City Tour including Visit to the Stiegl Brewery: $523


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


When is the best time to visit Riga or Salzburg?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Riga or Salzburg in the Summer?

Both Salzburg and Riga are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Riga for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Salzburg in the summer for the music scene and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Riga is cooler than Salzburg. Typically, the summer temperatures in Riga in July are around 17°C (63°F), and Salzburg is about 20°C (68°F).

In July, Riga usually receives less rain than Salzburg. At this time of the year, Riga gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Salzburg receives 91 mm (3.6 in) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Riga 17°C (63°F) 
    Salzburg 20°C (68°F)

Should I visit Riga or Salzburg in the Autumn?

Both Salzburg and Riga during the autumn are popular places to visit. 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. Furthermore, most visitors come to Salzburg for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Riga is generally cooler than Salzburg. Temperatures in Riga average around 7°C (45°F), and Salzburg stays around 11°C (52°F).

Riga usually gets more rain in October than Salzburg. Riga gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Salzburg receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Riga 7°C (45°F) 
    Salzburg 11°C (52°F)

Should I visit Riga or Salzburg in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Riga and Salzburg. Most visitors come to Riga for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Salzburg because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Salzburg can be very cold. Riga can be very cold during winter. Riga is much colder than Salzburg in the winter. The temperature in Riga is usually -5°C (23°F) in January, and Salzburg stays around -0°C (31°F).

In January, Riga usually receives less rain than Salzburg. At this time of the year, Riga gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Salzburg receives 56 mm (2.2 in) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Riga -5°C (23°F) 
    Salzburg -0°C (31°F)

Should I visit Riga or Salzburg in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Riga as well as Salzburg. The spring months attract visitors to Riga because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Additionally, the natural beauty are the main draw to Salzburg this time of year.

In the spring, Riga is much colder than Salzburg. Typically, the spring temperatures in Riga in April are around 5°C (42°F), and Salzburg is about 11°C (51°F).

Riga usually gets less rain in April than Salzburg. Riga gets 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Salzburg receives 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Riga 5°C (42°F) 
    Salzburg 11°C (51°F)

Typical Weather for Salzburg and Riga

Riga Salzburg
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) -0°C (31°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Feb -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in) 2°C (36°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Mar -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 6°C (43°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
Apr 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 11°C (51°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 15°C (59°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Jun 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 18°C (65°F) 92 mm (3.6 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 20°C (68°F) 91 mm (3.6 in)
Aug 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 19°C (67°F) 93 mm (3.6 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in) 16°C (61°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Oct 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 11°C (52°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Nov 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 5°C (42°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Dec -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 1°C (35°F) 64 mm (2.5 in)


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Riga vs. Salzburg Travel Comparison

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