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

Should you visit Riga or Vilnius?

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

Should I visit Riga or Vilnius? 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. 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. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Vilnius

Vilnius is a historic, religious, and surprising city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and shopping.

Riga and Vilnius: Pros and Cons

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


How is Riga different from Vilnius?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Riga or Vilnius Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Riga
Vilnius

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

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.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Vilnius. The city has fascinating museums relating to Soviet times. These include the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights and the Lithuanian Diaspora Art Museum. Other notable sights include the Three Crosses Monument and the St. Anne's and Bernardine Church Complex.


Is Riga or Vilnius Better for Food?

Riga
Vilnius

Both Riga and Vilnius 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.

Vilnius is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The food is hearty with plenty of meat and potatoes. There are also soups and herring dishes as well as great desserts. Popular dishes in the area include cepelinai (meat filled potato dumplings), kibinai (a pastry), and potato pancakes.

Is Riga or Vilnius Better for Nightlife?

Riga
Vilnius

Evening events are similar in both Riga and Vilnius.

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.

Vilnius has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The large student population is at the heart of the city's nightlife scene. You'll find most of the activity centered around three streets - Vilniaus, Islandijos and Vokiečių. These areas have a number of bars and clubs, and they draw the biggest crowds.

Is Riga or Vilnius Better for its Old Town?

Riga
Vilnius

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

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.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Vilnius. The old town is filled with history, architecture, and churches. It's also where you'll find Vilnius University. At the heart of the area is Pilies Gatve (Castle Street), which has shopping, cafes, and restaurants.

Is Riga or Vilnius Better for Shopping?

Riga
Vilnius

Both Riga and Vilnius 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.

Vilnius has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. For quaint shops, head to old town, particularly around Pilies Gatve. The city also has an open air market, Kalvarijų Turgus, that is popular on Saturdays. There are also a few shopping malls around town.


Is Riga or Vilnius Better for Families?

Riga
Vilnius

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Riga or Vilnius.

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.

Vilnius is a family-friendly city. The city has a number of historic sights, but once your kids have had their fill, you can head to one of the outdoor or indoor play areas in the city center. There's also a toy museum and an Energy and Technology Museum that kids will enjoy. After a busy day, make sure you grab some ice cream to lift everyone's spirits.

Is Riga or Vilnius Better for Couples?

Riga
Vilnius

With fun activities for couples, both Riga and Vilnius 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.

Vilnius is a good city for couples to visit. The city is filled with viewpoints, from hill tops to towers, where you can enjoy romantic views over the landscape. You can also dine in a local restaurant or enjoy a picnic in one of the outdoor settings.

Is Riga or Vilnius Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Riga
Vilnius

Both Riga and Vilnius 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 Vilnius. For backpackers who want to escape the crowds, this off-the-beaten path European capital is a great option. It has history, charm, and an authenticity that is hard to find in a more touristy area. It's also an affordable city, with hostels and plenty of cheap places to eat.

Is Riga or Vilnius Better for Students?

Riga
Vilnius

Riga and Vilnius 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 Vilnius. The city is small but charming with a number of places where international students can study. It's an affordable city with a lively atmosphere and an authenticate and genuine personality.


Is Riga or Vilnius Better for Public Transit?

Riga
Vilnius

Both Riga and Vilnius offer public transit options.

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

Vilnius has some public transit options. Bus and trolleybuses are available.

Is Riga or Vilnius a more walkable city?

Riga
Vilnius

Riga and Vilnius 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.

Vilnius is a somewhat walkable city. The old town is the most walkable part of the city.

Should I spend more time in Vilnius or Riga?

How long in Riga or Vilnius?

It's fun to spend time in either Riga or Vilnius. Both can be explored in comparable amounts of time.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Riga is 2-4 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Vilnius is 1-4 days.


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

One day in Riga or Vilnius?

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 Vilnius. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

A weekend in Riga or Vilnius?

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.

Vilnius 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 Vilnius?

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 historic destination of Vilnius. 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 Vilnius?

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 historic city of Vilnius 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.

Which city is cheaper, Vilnius 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 Vilnius is €76. 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 Vilnius in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Riga 42
    Vilnius 34
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Riga 84
    Vilnius 68
Compare Hotels in Riga and Vilnius

Looking for a hotel in Riga or Vilnius? 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 Vilnius


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 Vilnius Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 12
    Vilnius 6.64

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 Vilnius

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Vilnius:

  • Vilnius Airport Departure Private Transfer: $14
  • Private Airport Transfer: Vilnius International Airport (VNO) to Vilnius: $16
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Vilnius to Vilnius International Airport (VNO): $16
  • Private Vilnius Airport Departure Transfer: $16
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Vilnius VNO Airport to Vilnius City: $17
  • Private Departure Transfer from Vilnius City to Vilnius VNO Airport: $17
  • Vilnius Airport Arrival Private Transfer: $17
  • Private Vilnius VNO Airport - Vilnius City Round-Trip Transfer: $33
  • Private Vilnius Airport Arrival Transfer: $37
  • Departure Private Transfer Vilnius City to Vilnius VNO by Minivan: $46
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Vilnius VNO in Minivan: $46
  • Vilnius Private 1-Way Airport Transfer: $57

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Vilnius?

Prices for flights to both Vilnius 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
    Vilnius 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 Vilnius

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


  • Dinner for Two
    13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Vilnius

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

  • Vilnius - City of Contrasts - The Original City Tour by bicycle (bike+food tour): $32
  • National Dinner with Folk Show in Vilnius: $49
  • Dinner in local family: $66
  • Cooking Class in Vilnius: $71
  • Cooking Class: $74
  • Vilnius Dinner in the Darkness: $115
  • Dinner in the Dark Dining Experience in Riga: $281

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Riga 17
    Vilnius 7.78

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

Typical Entertainment prices in Vilnius

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Vilnius are as follows:


  • Walking Tour
    5.79

Tours and Activities in Vilnius

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

  • The old town of An audio tour from Cathedral Square to the Gate of Dawn: $5.99
  • Museum of illusions Entrance Ticket: $14
  • Vilnius Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Vilnius Guided Ghost Walking Tour: $15
  • Vilnius Sightseeing - City Tour: $15
  • Regular walking tour of Soviet Vilnius: $15
  • Regular 2 hr walking tour of Jewish Vilnius: $15
  • Vilnius City Tour audio guide one round 11 languges: $16
  • Vilnius Old Town 2-hour Ghost Tour: $23
  • Bicycle tour Contrasts of Vilnius: $25
  • Highlights of Vilnius - Short City Bike Tour: $25
  • From Vilnius Trakai audio guided tour 11 languages: $27

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 16
    Vilnius 5.10

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 Vilnius

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Vilnius from other travelers:


  • Beer
    4.34

Sample the Local Flavors in Vilnius

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

  • Vilnius Pub Crawl: $15


When comparing the travel costs between Riga and Vilnius, 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.


When is the best time to visit Riga or Vilnius?

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 Vilnius in the Summer?

Both Vilnius and Riga are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Riga for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Vilnius because of the family-friendly experiences.

Riga is around the same temperature as Vilnius in the summer. The temperature in Riga is usually 17°C (63°F) in July, and Vilnius stays around 18°C (65°F).

In July, Riga usually receives around the same amount of rain as Vilnius. Riga gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Vilnius receives 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Riga 17°C (63°F) 
    Vilnius 18°C (65°F)

Should I visit Riga or Vilnius in the Autumn?

Both Vilnius and Riga during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Riga because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Vilnius this time of year.

In the autumn, Riga is around the same temperature as Vilnius. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Riga in October are around 7°C (45°F), and Vilnius is about 8°C (46°F).

Riga usually gets more rain in October than Vilnius. Riga gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Vilnius receives 53 mm (2.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Riga 7°C (45°F) 
    Vilnius 8°C (46°F)

Should I visit Riga or Vilnius in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Riga and Vilnius. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Riga this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Vilnius for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Vilnius. It's quite cold in Riga in the winter. In January, Riga is generally around the same temperature as Vilnius. Temperatures in Riga average around -5°C (23°F), and Vilnius stays around -5°C (23°F).

In January, Riga usually receives less rain than Vilnius. Riga gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Vilnius receives 41 mm (1.6 in) of rain each month for the winter.


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

Should I visit Riga or Vilnius in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Riga as well as Vilnius. Many travelers come to Riga for the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Vilnius in the spring for the natural beauty.

Riga is cooler than Vilnius in the spring. The temperature in Riga is usually 5°C (42°F) in April, and Vilnius stays around 7°C (45°F).

Riga usually gets less rain in April than Vilnius. Riga gets 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Vilnius receives 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Riga 5°C (42°F) 
    Vilnius 7°C (45°F)

Typical Weather for Vilnius and Riga

Riga Vilnius
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) -5°C (23°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)
Feb -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in) -4°C (26°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Mar -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 1°C (33°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Apr 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 7°C (45°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 14°C (57°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Jun 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 17°C (63°F) 77 mm (3 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 18°C (65°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Aug 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 18°C (64°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in) 13°C (56°F) 65 mm (2.6 in)
Oct 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 8°C (46°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
Nov 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 2°C (36°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
Dec -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) -2°C (29°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)


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Riga vs. Vilnius Travel Comparison

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