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

Should you visit Riga or Tallinn?

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

Should I visit Riga or Tallinn? 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 high energy, off-the-beaten-path, and charming 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. Visitors also love the food, shopping, and museums.

Tallinn

Tallinn is a historical, charming, and quaint 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 nightlife, food, and shopping.

Riga and Tallinn: Pros and Cons

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


Is there more to do in Riga or Tallinn?

You'll generally find more things to do in Riga than Tallinn. Riga is bigger than Tallinn, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Riga is better known for its food, nightlife, and big city activities, while Tallinn is more popular for its historical sights, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere. Tallinn is more touristy than Riga and is popular for its well preserved old town and its active nightlife scene. Riga is well known for its vibrant nightlife scene, busy old town, and beautiful architecture. Also, Riga is famous for Riga St. Peter's Church.

How is Riga different from Tallinn?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Riga or Tallinn?

Riga
Tallinn

Plenty of people visit the very good sights and museums in both Riga and Tallinn.

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 Tallinn specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. There are beautiful historic churches, particularly in the city's old town. A highlight is the stunning Alexander Nevski Cathedral. You'll also find some unique museums around town as well as Toompea Castle.


Is the Food Better in Riga or Tallinn? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Riga
Tallinn

Riga is a very popular place for its restaurants. Also, Tallinn is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its restaurant scene.

Riga has a huge number of terrific restaurants. 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.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Tallinn area. Food is affordable and hearty. Many dishes incorporate rye bread, pork, smoked fish, potatoes, or dairy products. You'll also find a lot of variation in dishes between seasons.

Is Riga or Tallinn Better for Nightlife?

Riga
Tallinn

Riga is a must-visit destination for nightlife and partying. Also, Tallinn is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its evening party scene.

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.

Tallinn is a popular destination for visitors looking to party into the night. As it's grown in popularity with tourists, the city has put itself on the map as a top party destination in Eastern Europe. There's an active bar and club scene, but there are also art venues and other creative activities for everyone.

Is Riga or Tallinn Better for its Old Town?

Riga
Tallinn

Tallinn is a must-visit destination for its old town. Also, Riga is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its historic old town charm.

The rich history of Tallinn can be explored in its historical center. The city's medieval old town is at the heart of it's tourist attractions. The Gothic architecture, local restaurants, and cobblestone streets give the city a fairytale charm.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of 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.


Is the Shopping Better in Riga or Tallinn?

Riga
Tallinn

Both Riga and Tallinn are very 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 Tallinn. There's a mix of quirky shops and recognizable brands around town. Old town is a popular shopping area, as is nearby Kalamaja. Visitors enjoy picking up marzipan, local crafts, and unique art.

Is Riga or Tallinn Better for Families?

Riga
Tallinn

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Riga or Tallinn.

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.

Tallinn is a family-friendly city. Your kids will feel like they stepped into a fairytale in this beautiful city. It has countless museums including an open air museum and a zoo. There's also nearby Pirita Beach, where you and your kids can enjoy ice cream in a seaside setting.

Is Riga or Tallinn Better for Couples?

Riga
Tallinn

Tallinn is notable for its romantic activities. Also, Riga is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for couples.

Tallinn is a very popular place to visit for couples. Filled with gardens, romantic walks, and impressive views, this city makes for a great couple's getaway. Base yourself in the city's beautiful old town and dine in one of the many local restaurants. There are also nice hotels around town that are great for couples.

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.


Is Riga or Tallinn Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Riga
Tallinn

Both Riga and Tallinn are fantastic 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.

A large number of backpackers visit Tallinn, as it is a very popular city for budget travelers. The city is both affordable and unique, which is perfect for travelers on a budget. There are plenty of hostels around town as well as casual places to grab a cheap bite to eat.

Is Riga or Tallinn Better for Students?

Riga
Tallinn

Riga is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. Also, Tallinn is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for students.

Riga is a great city to visit as a student. 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.

Tallinn is popular with students. International students appreciate the vibrant atmosphere and the affordable options around town.

Is Riga or Tallinn Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Riga
Tallinn

Both Riga and Tallinn offer very good public transit options.

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

The public transit in Tallinn can get you to most places easily. There are buses trolleys and trams around town.


Is Riga or Tallinn a more walkable city?

Riga
Tallinn

Tallinn is a must-visit destination for its high level of walkability. Also, Riga is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its ease of walking around.

It is easy to get around Tallinn on foot. The city is compact and easily explored on foot, particularly in the most touristy areas.

Riga is a very walkable destination. The city is small enough that most areas can be explored on foot.

For even more information, also check out Is Riga Worth Visiting? and Is Tallinn Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Tallinn or Riga?

How long in Riga or Tallinn?

It's fun to spend time in either Riga or Tallinn. Both can be explored in comparable amounts of time. However, 2-4 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Tallinn than Riga. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Tallinn, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Tallinn than Riga. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Tallinn that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Riga than Tallinn if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Riga.


  • How many days in Riga or Tallinn? Ideal Length of Stay
    Riga 2-4 
    Tallinn 2-4

One day in Riga or Tallinn?

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 Tallinn. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Riga or Tallinn?

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.

Tallinn is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. 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 Tallinn?

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 historical destination of Tallinn. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Riga or Tallinn?

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 historical city of Tallinn offers nightlife and food. 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Tallinn, and The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Estonia.


Which place is cheaper, Tallinn 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 Tallinn is €95. 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 Tallinn in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Riga 53
    Tallinn 47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Riga 106
    Tallinn 94
Compare Hotels in Riga and Tallinn

Looking for a hotel in Riga or Tallinn? 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 Tallinn


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 Tallinn Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 15
    Tallinn 12

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 Tallinn

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


  • Tram Around Town for Two
    1.66

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tallinn

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

  • Tallinn hotels to Tallinn Cruise Port - Departure Private Transfer: $17
  • Tallinn Cruise Port to Tallinn hotels - Arrival Private Transfer : $17
  • Private Transfer from Tallinn Airport(TLL) to Tallinn Cruise Port: $17
  • Private Transfer from Tallinn Cruise Port to Tallinn hotels : $17
  • Departure Private Transfer from Tallinn to Tallinn airport or port -business car: $28
  • Tallinn Cruise Port to Tallinn hotels - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $33
  • Talinn Airport and City Private Transfer: $44
  • Tallinn Highlights Shore Excursion With Port Return Transfer: $65
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Tallinn Airport or Port to Tallinn City by minibus: $93
  • Departure private transfer from Tallinn to Tallinn Airport or Port by Luxury Car: $94
  • Tallinn Party Bus Airport Transfer: $127
  • Tallinn to Riga Private Transfer via Saremaa island andParnu: $296

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Tallinn?

Prices for flights to both Tallinn 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 33
    Tallinn 36
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.

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

Typical Food Prices in Tallinn

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


  • Lunch for Two
    7.68
  • Dessert
    1.15

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tallinn

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

  • Tallinn Russian Dinner: $85
  • Tallinn Beer House Dinner: $98
  • Tallinn 3-Hour Estonian Food Tour: $129
  • Vegan Food Tours Tallinn: $216

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Riga 21
    Tallinn 5.63

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

Tours and Activities in Tallinn

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

  • Private Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour in Tallinn Old Town: $8.88
  • Tour to the Paljassaare Special Protection Area: $14
  • Discover Terrific Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Self-Guided Tour to Most Instagrammable Places in Tallinn: $16
  • Private Self Guided Tour in Tallinn: $17
  • 1-Hour Good Morning Tallinn Running Tour: $17
  • Skip the Line: Tallinn TV Tower Entrance Ticket: $19
  • City Sightseeing Tallinn Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: $33
  • Guided Old Town Tallinn Historical Walking Tour: $33
  • Tallinn Bicycle Sightseeing Tour: $39
  • Tallinn Old Town Walking Tour: $42
  • Best of Tallinn Upper and Lower Town Tour for Cruise Passengers: $47

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 20
    Tallinn 15

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Tallinn

Also in Tallinn, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Tallinn Brewery Fiesta: $73
  • Tallinn Guided Bar Crawl: $125


When comparing the travel costs between Riga and Tallinn, 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.

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


Which is Bigger, Riga or Tallinn?

Riga has a larger population, and is about 88% larger than the population of Tallinn. When comparing the sizes of Riga and Tallinn, 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 Tallinn?

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 Tallinn in the Summer?

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

Riga is around the same temperature as Tallinn in the summer. The daily temperature in Riga averages around 17°C (63°F) in July, and Tallinn fluctuates around 17°C (62°F).

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


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Riga 17°C (63°F) 
    Tallinn 17°C (62°F)

Should I visit Riga or Tallinn in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Riga and Tallinn. 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 Tallinn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In the autumn, Riga is a little warmer than Tallinn. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Riga in October average around 7°C (45°F), and Tallinn averages at about 7°C (44°F).

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


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Riga 7°C (45°F) 
    Tallinn 7°C (44°F)

Should I visit Riga or Tallinn in the Winter?

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

The weather in Tallinn can be very cold. Riga can be very cold during winter. In January, Riga is generally around the same temperature as Tallinn. Daily temperatures in Riga average around -5°C (23°F), and Tallinn fluctuates around -5°C (22°F).

Riga usually gets less rain in January than Tallinn. Riga gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Tallinn receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Riga -5°C (23°F) 
    Tallinn -5°C (22°F)

Should I visit Riga or Tallinn in the Spring?

Both Tallinn 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 Tallinn this time of year.

It's quite cold in Tallinn in the spring. Riga is a little warmer than Tallinn in the spring. The daily temperature in Riga averages around 5°C (42°F) in April, and Tallinn fluctuates around 4°C (39°F).

In April, Riga usually receives more rain than Tallinn. Riga gets 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Tallinn receives 36 mm (1.4 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Riga 5°C (42°F) 
    Tallinn 4°C (39°F)

Typical Weather for Tallinn and Riga

Riga Tallinn
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) -5°C (22°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Feb -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in) -6°C (22°F) 29 mm (1.1 in)
Mar -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) -2°C (29°F) 29 mm (1.1 in)
Apr 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 4°C (39°F) 36 mm (1.4 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 10°C (50°F) 37 mm (1.5 in)
Jun 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 15°C (58°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 17°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Aug 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 16°C (60°F) 84 mm (3.3 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in) 11°C (52°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Oct 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 7°C (44°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 1°C (34°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
Dec -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) -3°C (27°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)