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

Should you visit Riga or Vienna?

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

Should I visit Riga or Vienna? 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 fun, high energy, and off-the-beaten-path 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.

Vienna

Vienna is a traditional, artistic, and musical city. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the food, shopping, and museums.

Riga and Vienna: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good music scene
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Riga or Vienna?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Riga than Vienna. While Vienna is larger than Riga, Riga has more sights and attractions for tourists. Riga is better known for its nightlife and big city activities, while Vienna is more popular for its music, historical sights, shopping, and impressive beauty. Vienna is more touristy than Riga and is popular for its strong classical music roots including being home to both Mozart and Beethoven. 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 Vienna?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Vienna 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 Vienna?

Riga
Vienna

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

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 Vienna specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. Filled with palaces, museums, and parks, there are many things to see around town. Make sure you check out the Schönbrunn Palace, Hofburg, and Kunsthistorisches Museum.


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

Riga
Vienna

Both Riga and Vienna offer a number of very good 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.

Vienna has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The city's cuisine has been influenced by many different flavors. Pastries are ubiquitous so make sure you try the apfelstrudel and kaiserschmarrn. Other common dishes include wiener schnitzel and goulash.

Is Riga or Vienna Better for Nightlife?

Riga
Vienna

Riga is an unbeatable place for nightlife and partying. Also, Vienna is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its evening party scene.

The nightlife in Riga is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. 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.

Vienna has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. The music and dance scene is diverse and fun. There are clubs that cater to different crowds and personalities.

Is Riga or Vienna Better for Music?

Riga
Vienna

Vienna is a must-visit destination for its live music scene. However, Riga is not a live music destination.

Live music, and music in many other forms, is everyone in Vienna On the surface, the city seems locked in the past, with ballet dancing and classical concerts filling the evenings. But the city also has a famous jazz scene, as well as techno, hip-hop, and rock all having a strong presence.

Riga is not a live music destination.


Is Riga or Vienna Better for its Old Town?

Riga
Vienna

Vienna 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 Vienna can be explored in its historical center. Innere Stadt, as it is known, is encircled by Ringstrasse and filled with many shops and cafes. Head to Kärntner Strasse and Graben for popular pedestrian streets.

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 Vienna?

Riga
Vienna

Vienna is a must-visit destination for its shopping opportunities. Also, Riga is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its shopping areas.

The abundance of shops in Vienna make it a world-class shopping destination. The city is filled with pedestrian streets that are lined with designer shops, jewelry stores, and art galleries.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Riga. 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.

Is Riga or Vienna Better for Families?

Riga
Vienna

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Riga or Vienna.

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.

Vienna is a family-friendly city. Families enjoy taking carriage rides or dressing up in costumes at Schönbrunn Palace. The city also has children's museums, parks, and playgrounds where you can let little legs run around.


Is Riga or Vienna Better for Couples?

Riga
Vienna

Vienna is a must-visit destination for its romantic activities. Also, Riga is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for couples.

Vienna makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. With it's Baroque architecture and classical concerts, this city is filled with romance. Explore the palaces, take a carriage ride, or enjoy a meal at a nice restaurant.

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 Vienna Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Riga
Vienna

Riga is an unbeatable place for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Vienna is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Riga is extremely popular for backpackers. 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.

Vienna is a good city to visit for backpackers. The city flies under the radar for many backpackers, but those who visit will be rewarded with beautiful buildings, charming cafes, and fun hostels.

Is Riga or Vienna Better for Students?

Riga
Vienna

Vienna is a must-visit destination for students. Also, Riga is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its student-friendly activities.

Many students frequent Vienna. The city is a popular destination for international students who are interested in art, architecture, and music.

Riga is very popular with students. 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.


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

Riga
Vienna

Vienna is a must-visit destination for its public transit. Also, Riga is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for times when you don't have a car.

Vienna has a world-class public transit network to take passengers everywhere in the city. The system includes buses, trains, trams and underground lines.

The public transit in Riga can get you to most places easily. Transportation options include buses, trolleybuses, and trams.

Is Riga or Vienna a more walkable city?

Riga
Vienna

Vienna 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 Vienna on foot. The city center is particularly walkable with pedestrian areas and low traffic zones.

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 Vienna Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Vienna or Riga?

How long in Riga or Vienna?

In either Riga or Vienna, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Vienna than Riga because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Riga, and 2-5 days is enough time in Vienna.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Vienna than Riga 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 Vienna.


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

One day in Riga or Vienna?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Riga. 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 one day exploring.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the destination of Vienna. 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 Vienna?

Riga is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the nightlife, as that's what most people do. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Vienna 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 Vienna?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Riga. Don't miss the nightlife, as that's what most people do. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the classical destination of Vienna. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. 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 Vienna?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the high energy destination of Riga. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

The artistic city of Vienna 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours in Austria, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Austria.


Which place is cheaper, Vienna 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 Vienna is €151. 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 Vienna in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Riga 53
    Vienna 94
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Riga 106
    Vienna 188
Compare Hotels in Riga and Vienna

Looking for a hotel in Riga or Vienna? 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 Vienna


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 Vienna Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 15
    Vienna 19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Riga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Riga:

  • Riga Limo Airport Transfer : $163
  • Riga Limo Airport Transfer: $130
  • Riga Airport Transfer: $33
  • Private Transfer: Ryga to Klaipeda via Hill of Crosses & Rundale Palace: $260
  • Private Transfer from Riga City Center to Riga Airport RIX: $32
  • Private Transfer from Riga Airport RIX to Riga City Center: $32
  • Private Transfer from Hotel to Riga Airport with English speaking driver: $54
  • Private Transfer From Riga City Center To Riga Airport: $44
  • Private Transfer From Riga Airport To Riga City Center: $38

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Vienna

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


  • Bus to Airport
    30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Vienna

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

  • Bratislava: Bus Transfer to/from Vienna: $9.53
  • Bratislava: Bus Transfer to/from Vienna Airport: $12
  • CAT Transfer: Vienna Airport – Wien Mitte: $16
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Viena City - Viena Airport (VIE): $35
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Viena Airport(VIE)-Viena City : $35
  • Private Transfer from Vienna Airport (VIE) to Vienna City Center: $44
  • Explore Linz conveniently with train transfer from/to Vienna: $44
  • Vienna International Airport (VIE) to Vienna Downtown - Arrival Private Transfer: $45
  • Vienna Downtown to Vienna Intl Airport (VIE) - Departure Private Transfer: $45
  • Private Transfer from Vienna Airport to Hotel in Vienna: $49
  • Transfer in Private Minivan Viena Airport (VIE)-Viena City : $50
  • Belvedere Palace: Tour with Skip-the-Line/Transfer Options: $54

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Vienna?

Prices for flights to both Vienna 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
    Vienna 33
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: $108
  • Riga Medieval Dinner: $114
  • Medieval Dinner on the 12th Century at Rozengrals: $119
  • Private Cooking Master Class In The Latvian Family : $131

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Vienna

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

  • Hard Rock Cafe with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $28
  • Hard Rock Cafe Vienna with Set Menu for Lunch or Dinner: $30
  • Performance Of The Lipizzans At Spanish Riding School: $43
  • Vienna Naschmarket Food Tour: $66
  • Naschmarkt Guided Food Tour: $74
  • Vienna Evening Sightseeing Cruise With Music and Dinner: $75
  • 3-Course Evening Dinner Cruise: $76
  • Traditional Dinner Show at the Wiener Rathauskeller: $85
  • Schnitzel cooking class with Nicole: $99
  • Strauss & Mozart Concert in Kursalon with Dinner: $101
  • Strauss Dinner Show: $109
  • 3-Course Dinner and Concert at Schönbrunn Palace: $109

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Riga 21
    Vienna 38

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: $27
  • 3-Hour Private Paintball Game Experience in Zīles: $86
  • 5 Hour Shared Tour to Hill of Crosses from Riga: $82
  • Admission Ticket to Live Silver Museum: $12
  • Art Nouveau in Written & Audio Guides Tour: $8.76
  • Daily Bike Tour in Riga with Professional Guide: $44
  • For Japanese: Riga Old Town Walking Tour: $42
  • Full Day Private Shore Tour in Riga from Riga Cruise Port: $194
  • Full Day Private Tour in Rundale Palace from Riga: $157
  • Full Day Private Tour to Turaida, Sigulda, and Cesis: $157
  • Fun Walk Tour Around Central Market Riga: $129
  • Great Ķemeri Bog and Swamp Forest Hiking Adventure: $137

Tours and Activities in Vienna

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

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.21
  • Escape Game and Tour: $3.21
  • Self Guided Tours Vienna With 100 Captivating Audio Stories: $3.29
  • Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and Tour: $4.82
  • City Tour with Audio Guide: $5.35
  • Self-guided Walking Tour of the Vienna City: $5.51
  • Wurstelprater Quest Experience: $5.72
  • City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone: $6.41
  • The Great Plague Quest Experience: $6.41
  • Cultural Heart of the City Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.99
  • Freud Quest Experience in Vienna: $7.04
  • Top of Vienna in One Day: An English Self-Guided Audio Tour: $8.00

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 20
    Vienna 17

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: $33
  • Riga Happy Hour Pub Crawl: $54
  • Riga Beer Killer Bar Crawl: $55
  • Riga Wine Tasting Session: $103

Sample the Local Flavors in Vienna

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

  • Pub Crawl Vienna: $16
  • Vienna Nights Pub Crawl: $17
  • City Center Pub Crawl: $27
  • Guided Wine Tasting in a Private Wine Cellar: $39
  • Viennese Wine Tasting in a Private Hidden Wine Cellar: $40
  • Wine Tasting at Schönbrunn Palace: $48
  • Wine Tasting at Schönbrunn Palace with optional Palace Ticket: $50
  • Austrian Wine Tasting Experience: $63
  • Vienna Historical Highlight City Tour + Wine Tasting: $75
  • Skip-the-Line Schönbrunn Palace Entry & Wine Tasting: $82
  • Wine Tasting E-Bike Tour: $91
  • Romantic Old Vienna City Walk and Wine Tasting: $95


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

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


Which is Bigger, Riga or Vienna?

Vienna has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Riga. When comparing the sizes of Riga and Vienna, 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 Vienna?

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 Vienna in the Summer?

Both Vienna 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 Vienna in the summer for the music scene and the family-friendly experiences.

Riga is cooler than Vienna in the summer. The daily temperature in Riga averages around 17°C (63°F) in July, and Vienna fluctuates around 23°C (73°F).

Riga usually gets more rain in July than Vienna. Riga gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Vienna receives 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Riga 17°C (63°F) 
    Vienna 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Riga or Vienna in the Autumn?

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

In the autumn, Riga is much colder than Vienna. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Riga in October average around 7°C (45°F), and Vienna averages at about 12°C (54°F).

In October, Riga usually receives more rain than Vienna. Riga gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Vienna receives 41 mm (1.6 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Riga 7°C (45°F) 
    Vienna 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Riga or Vienna in the Winter?

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

The weather in Vienna can be very cold. Riga can be very cold during winter. In January, Riga is generally much colder than Vienna. Daily temperatures in Riga average around -5°C (23°F), and Vienna fluctuates around 2°C (36°F).

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


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Riga -5°C (23°F) 
    Vienna 2°C (36°F)

Should I visit Riga or Vienna in the Spring?

Both Vienna 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 Vienna this time of year.

Riga is much colder than Vienna in the spring. The daily temperature in Riga averages around 5°C (42°F) in April, and Vienna fluctuates around 13°C (55°F).

In April, Riga usually receives less rain than Vienna. Riga gets 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Vienna receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Riga 5°C (42°F) 
    Vienna 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Vienna and Riga

Riga Vienna
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 2°C (36°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Feb -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in) 4°C (38°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Mar -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 8°C (46°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Apr 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 13°C (55°F) 51 mm (2 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 17°C (63°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Jun 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 20°C (69°F) 74 mm (2.9 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 23°C (73°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Aug 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 22°C (72°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in) 18°C (64°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Oct 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 12°C (54°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Nov 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 7°C (45°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Dec -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 3°C (37°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)