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

Should you visit Riga or Warsaw?

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

Should I visit Riga or Warsaw? 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. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and food.

Warsaw

Warsaw is a cultural, historical, and under-rated 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.

Riga and Warsaw: Pros and Cons

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


How is Riga different from Warsaw?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Riga or Warsaw Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Riga
Warsaw

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

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 Warsaw specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. There are a number of landmarks and interesting museums around town. Many of the museums focus on the area's history, including the Warsaw Rising Museum, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and the Museum of Warsaw. Other notable sights include the Royal Castle, Łazienki Królewskie Park, and Wilanów Palace Museum and Park.


Is Riga or Warsaw Better for Food?

Riga
Warsaw

Both Riga and Warsaw 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.

Warsaw is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The city's restaurants are diverse with a combination of international flavors, Michelin Star restaurants, and Soviet era "milk bars". Traditional dishes are hearty with many soups, dumplings, and desserts to choose from. Some of the most famous dishes include pierogis (dumplings), zurek (soup), and borsch (beetroot soup).

Is Riga or Warsaw Better for Nightlife?

Riga
Warsaw

Evening events are similar in both Riga and Warsaw.

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.

Warsaw has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. The city has an active nightlife scene with many bars and clubs spread out in a number of different areas. Many locals dress for the occasion, so depending on your hangout spot of choice, you may want to dress to impress.

Is Riga or Warsaw Better for its Old Town?

Riga
Warsaw

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

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 Warsaw. While many buildings have been rebuilt following World War II, there are still some historical gems to explore. St. John's Archcathedral dates back to the 14th century and Rynek Starego Miasta is the square at the heart of the old town.

Is Riga or Warsaw Better for Shopping?

Riga
Warsaw

Both Riga and Warsaw 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.

Warsaw has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The city has malls, shopping streets, flea markets and boutiques to explore. There are both global brands and local items to choose from. For the best deals you should head to an outlet mall.


Is Riga or Warsaw Better for Families?

Riga
Warsaw

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Riga or Warsaw.

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.

Warsaw is a family-friendly city. The city has many museums that are dedicated to the area's history. These museums may, at times, cover difficult topics for young children, but there are also science and technology museums that are perfect for young minds. Make sure you check out the Copernicus Science Center. There's also a city zoo and many parks that are fun to explore.

Is Riga or Warsaw Better for Couples?

Riga
Warsaw

With fun activities for couples, both Riga and Warsaw 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.

Warsaw is a good city for couples to visit. While many of the city's historical buildings were destroyed during the war, there are a few gems that remain. Couples will enjoy visiting the Wilanów Palace and the Palace of Culture and Science. There are also many parks and gardens where you can wander or enjoy a picnic. And, of course, the old town is a beautiful way to pass the time.

Is Riga or Warsaw Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Riga
Warsaw

While Warsaw and Riga are both good for backpackers, overall Riga is more popular.

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 backpackers visit Warsaw. While it's not as popular as many other city's in the area, this city remains affordable and fascinating for those who pass through. There are a few hostels around town as well as cheap places to grab a bite to eat.

Is Riga or Warsaw Better for Students?

Riga
Warsaw

Riga and Warsaw 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.

Warsaw is very popular with students. The city's long history and current standing as a cultural and economic hub make it appealing to international students. The prices are reasonable and the opportunities for students are abundant.


Is Riga or Warsaw Better for Public Transit?

Riga
Warsaw

Both Riga and Warsaw offer public transit options.

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

The public transit in Warsaw can get you to most places easily. There are buses, trams, and a metro available.

Is Riga or Warsaw a more walkable city?

Riga
Warsaw

Riga is considered more walkable than Warsaw.

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

Warsaw is generally not a very walkable city. Many sights are spread out, so walking between attractions isn't always the best option.

Should I spend more time in Warsaw or Riga?

How long in Riga or Warsaw?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Riga and Warsaw. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Riga than Warsaw.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Riga is 2-4 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Warsaw is 1-3 days.


  • How many days in Riga or Warsaw? Ideal Length of Stay
    Riga 2-4 
    Warsaw 1-3

One day in Riga or Warsaw?

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 food and shopping when visiting the destination of Warsaw. 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 Warsaw?

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.

Warsaw 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 Warsaw?

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.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the under-rated destination of Warsaw. 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 Warsaw?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the historical 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 cultural city of Warsaw 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, Warsaw 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 Warsaw is €62. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Riga and Warsaw in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Riga 42
    Warsaw 37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Riga 84
    Warsaw 74
Compare Hotels in Riga and Warsaw

Looking for a hotel in Riga or Warsaw? 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 Warsaw


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 Warsaw Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Riga 12
    Warsaw 3.20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Riga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Riga:

  • Riga Tank Ride - 2 Hours - Guided with Return Transfers: $1,192
  • Mercedes-Benz Viano Van Transfer from Riga to Vilnius/Talinn/Any Baltic Country: $425
  • Private Minivan Transfer: Riga to Tallinn: $418
  • Private Minivan transfer from Riga to Kaunas: $413
  • Riga Party Bus Airport Transfer: $382
  • Riga to Vilnius transfer with Sightseeing: $347
  • Riga to Tallinn transfer with Sightseeing: $335
  • Transfer from Riga to Tallinn: $283
  • Private Minivan Transfer from Kaunas to Riga: $215
  • Riga (Sigulda) Winter Bobsleigh "Olympic + Vuchko" Ride - Guided with Transfers: $199
  • Private transfer from Riga to Vilnius via Rundale palace and Hill of crosses: $169
  • Private Taxi Transfer from Riga or Riga airport to Tallinn: $153

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Warsaw

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: from Warsaw to Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW): $16
  • Private Warsaw Chopin Airport One Way Transfer: $17
  • Luxury Departure Airport Transfer from Warsaw Center to Warsaw Chopin Airport: $18
  • Private transfer from any location in Warsaw to Central Railway Station: $22
  • Private transfer from Warsaw city center to Chopin Airport WAW: $25
  • Private transfer from Central Railway Station to any location in Warsaw: $25
  • Private Transfer: Warsaw to Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW): $27
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Warsaw to Modlin Airport (WMI): $28
  • Warsaw Chopin Airport One Way Private Transfer: $28
  • Private Transfer to/from Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW): $28
  • Unique Private Transfer from Warsaw Hotels to Warsaw Airport: $30
  • Private transfer with pick-up from Chopin Airport WAW to Warsaw city center: $30

Is it cheaper to fly into Riga or Warsaw?

Prices for flights to both Warsaw 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
    Warsaw 14
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 Warsaw

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Warsaw:


  • Dinner for Two
    11
  • Lunch for Two
    8.92

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Warsaw

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

  • Polish Food Tour: $56
  • Traditional Polish Cooking Class in Warsaw: $64
  • Traditional Food Tour with Old Town Sightseeing: $71
  • 4-Hour Polish Food Tour: $90
  • Warsaw Food Tour small group tour by retro minibus: $91
  • Warsaw 6h Private Tour + Traditional Polish Dinner: $118
  • Nicolaus Copernicus Legacy: Private Tour from Warsaw to Torun + Polish Dinner: $274

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Riga 17
    Warsaw 4.79

Tours and Activities in Riga

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

  • "Best of Riga" 6-hour Private Car & Walking Tour: $373
  • 2 Day Gastronomy Tour In Latgale: $267
  • 2 Day Gauja National Park Tour: $199
  • 2 Day Kurzeme Winery Tour: $224
  • ATV-QUAD rent and guided tours: $48
  • All Inclusive Honest History Tour - Āraiši, Cēsis, Līgatne, Sigulda: $248
  • Alternative Riga Photoshoot Tour: $49
  • An audio tour of Old from St Peter's Church to the Monument of Freedom: $5.00
  • Art Nouveau Small Group Walking Tour of Riga: $193
  • Art Nouveau Walking Tour in Riga: $57
  • Beer Bike Experience: $45
  • Best of Riga Walking Tour: $231

Tours and Activities in Warsaw

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Warsaw.

  • Skip the Line: Neon Muzeum Admission Ticket: $5.52
  • Skip the Line: Museum of Life Under Communism Ticket: $6.22
  • World of Illusion Museum Skip-the-Line Ticket: $9.18
  • Warsaw Royal Route: Public Tour: $13
  • Old Town Guided Walking Tour: $15
  • Christmas Tour: $23
  • Evening vistula river cruise: $28
  • Highlights Guided Retro Bus Tour: $28
  • Warsaw's Alternative Side: Praga District Private Tour: $36
  • 3-Hour Morning Historical Sites Bus and Walking Tour: $40
  • Warsaw Afternoon, guided, social-distance bus, city tour with pick up&drop off: $44
  • Small-Group Historical Guided Tour of Warsaw with pick up/drop off. Public Tour.: $44

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Riga 16
    Warsaw 7.13

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


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Riga and Warsaw, we can see that Riga is more expensive. And not only is Warsaw much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Warsaw would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Warsaw and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Riga would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Riga than you might in Warsaw.


When is the best time to visit Riga or Warsaw?

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 Warsaw in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Riga as well as Warsaw. Many visitors come to Riga in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Warsaw for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, Riga is generally around the same temperature as Warsaw. Temperatures in Riga average around 17°C (63°F), and Warsaw stays around 19°C (65°F).

Riga usually gets more rain in July than Warsaw. Riga gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Warsaw receives 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Riga 17°C (63°F) 
    Warsaw 19°C (65°F)

Should I visit Riga or Warsaw in the Autumn?

Both Warsaw and Riga are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Riga for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Warsaw because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Riga is cooler than Warsaw in the autumn. The temperature in Riga is usually 7°C (45°F) in October, and Warsaw stays around 9°C (49°F).

In October, Riga usually receives more rain than Warsaw. Riga gets 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Warsaw receives 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Riga 7°C (45°F) 
    Warsaw 9°C (49°F)

Should I visit Riga or Warsaw in the Winter?

Both Warsaw and Riga during the winter are popular places to visit. The winter months attract visitors to Riga because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Warsaw this time of year.

It's quite cold in Warsaw in the winter. The weather in Riga can be very cold. In the winter, Riga is much colder than Warsaw. Typically, the winter temperatures in Riga in January are around -5°C (23°F), and Warsaw is about -3°C (27°F).

Riga usually gets more rain in January than Warsaw. Riga gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Warsaw receives 22 mm (0.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Riga -5°C (23°F) 
    Warsaw -3°C (27°F)

Should I visit Riga or Warsaw in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Riga and Warsaw. The activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Riga this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Warsaw for the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In April, Riga is generally much colder than Warsaw. Temperatures in Riga average around 5°C (42°F), and Warsaw stays around 9°C (47°F).

In April, Riga usually receives more rain than Warsaw. Riga gets 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Warsaw receives 32 mm (1.3 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Riga 5°C (42°F) 
    Warsaw 9°C (47°F)

Typical Weather for Warsaw and Riga

Riga Warsaw
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -5°C (23°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) -3°C (27°F) 22 mm (0.9 in)
Feb -4°C (24°F) 25 mm (1 in) -1°C (30°F) 21 mm (0.8 in)
Mar -0°C (31°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 3°C (37°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
Apr 5°C (42°F) 39 mm (1.5 in) 9°C (47°F) 32 mm (1.3 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 14°C (57°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Jun 15°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 17°C (63°F) 72 mm (2.8 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 19°C (65°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Aug 16°C (62°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 18°C (65°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 76 mm (3 in) 14°C (58°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
Oct 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 9°C (49°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Nov 2°C (36°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 4°C (39°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Dec -2°C (28°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) -0°C (31°F) 32 mm (1.3 in)


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Riga vs. Warsaw Travel Comparison

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