Like many travelers, I stumbled upon Riga somewhat by accident because of some cheap flights through the region. After some further research by my me and my wife revealed that Riga, and the Baltics as a whole, are full of European charm. We saw photos of beautiful old cities filled with churches, markets, cobblestone alleyways, and little cafes along the riverfront. And then when we saw the lower prices, we were even more amazed!
If you are an avid traveler looking to experience an authentic and exciting part of the world, then Latvia should be on your list if it isn't already! Riga, the capital of Latvia, is a dynamic city full of the best parts of Europe but without the higher prices of Western Europe.
So, if you're thinking about visiting this amazing destinations, we're going to describe everything you need to know about Riga, including getting there, the costs involved, and affordable tour options. Not only that, but we'll give you an overview of the terrific sights and attractions that are covered on a trip to Riga. We highly recommend Baltic Tours
, as they are one of the companies that hosts numerous tours to Riga and other nearby destinations. For travelers who are looking to travel affordably, but still have amazing experiences, one of their multi-day tours can be a terrific option to visiting Riga and the Baltics.
So, let's get started with planning a trip to Riga!
How do you get to Riga?
You can get to Riga using various means of travel, depending on where you are coming from. If you are planning to come from nearby Scandinavian countries, then a great option is to take a ferry
between Stockholm (Sweden) and Riga (ferry prices here
). This ferry usually runs overnight and takes about 17 hours to reach Riga after departing from Stockholm at 5 pm local time. You can reach Riga by 11 am local time the next day, with the trip costing you anywhere between 135 EUR to 180 EUR or more, depending on how close you are to the time of travel. The ferries are extremely comfortable, as sleeping suites are available with large beds and plenty of space for families, much like a cruise ship. Food is also available. Thus, for anyone looking at enjoying a relaxed overnight journey from Stockholm, the Stockholm-Riga ferry is a good deal to consider.
Another way to reach Riga is by air
, using the Riga International Airport (RIX). This airport caters to many flights from all over Europe and the world across various time zones.
After reaching the airport or the ferry port, travelers can opt for multiple ways to reach their Hotel. This includes:
- A private transfer can cost you around 35 EUR for a group of 1-3 persons. For a larger group of 5-7 persons, the cost is 55 EUR. Private transfers can be booked online in advance.
- Taxis are also a favorable option to reach your Hotel if you have not pre-booked your means of travel. You can opt for 2 types of taxis, the green Baltic Taxi and the Red Cab, both of which accept credit cards. A group of 4 can easily travel in either of these taxis to reach the city center in 15-20 minutes, at a cost of 12-13 EUR. Excessive traffic on the road can increase this time to an extent.
- You can also opt for a bus or a minibus from the Riga International Airport to de-board at the Old town or the central bus station. Bus no. 22 and minibus no. 222 are the wheels of choice for this ride and will cost you €2 and €1 respectively. The time needed for traveling on the bus ranges from 30 to 35 minutes. However, if you have lots of baggage, the minibus might feel a bit more cumbersome and awkward.
Riga Tour Package Costs
A Riga tour package offered by Baltic Tours
comes with a host of features. These include stays at centrally located 4-star hotels, buffet breakfasts, guided walking tours at major sites, sightseeing in the Old Town, English and German-speaking bi-lingual tour escorts, welcome meetups with drinks (juices, champagne or cocktail), portage at the Hotel, and complete transportation and transfers during the tour duration. You will be very well taken care of to say the least.
The above features are always included in Riga tour packages offered by Baltic tours. Costs of tours to Riga and nearby destinations can vary from $774 to $1164, depending on additional cities visited on the tour. For example, one such tour is "The Best of The Baltic Highlights in 8 days" which would cost you $774 for a 4-star hotel stay. Furthermore, a 5-star hotel stay on the same tour would cost $997. On the higher end, "The Best of The Baltics + Helsinki in 10 days" would cost $1164.
As you can see, the tours have various pricing options to suit the budgets of all travelers and travel styles.
Besides the features and activities covered by the tour, there are certain costs that you need to incur on your own. This includes airline tickets, lunch, dinner, plus any other personal expenses relating to the tour such as souvenirs or snacks.
However, as an additional service for its travelers, Baltic tours provides optional activities in lieu of additional fees. These services can be booked during the normal course of tour booking. The compay offers an airline ticket booking service, a "half board" for your dinner at the Hotel, as well as social dinners. These social dinners are ways to meet up with other guests at nice restaurants in Riga, Vilnius or Tallinn. Additionally, your tour escort will guide you to suggested places to eat for lunch and dinner if you like.
Is it an Affordable Option?
The tours to Riga offered by Baltic Tours are among the most convenient and affordable packages for a keen traveler. All tours offer fixed departure dates, multi-month opening windows for the tour, guaranteed departure timings, a flexible cancellation policy, and a safe payments system. This means that you can easily make your plans ahead of time, do your research on the area, and make sure that you're getting the best value for your money for a Riga tour.
Destinations covered by the tours
All of the tours described here cover plenty of sightseeing in and around Riga in Latvia. These items are covered in the fixed cost of the tours:
- Sightseeing and walking tours of the Old Towns in the main cities of the tours
- A visit to the Holy sites of Catholic Lithuania, such as the Hill of Crosses
The Hill of Crosses
- The magnificent Rundale Palace
Rundale Palace and its magnificent gardens
For those travelers willing to spare additional costs, a great deal of amazing and beautiful destinations are also part the tour itinerary. These include:
- Trakai, the Medieval capital of Lithuania, along with Trakai Castle
- The Curonian Spit in Lithuania, which is a thin, 100 km stretch of land between the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon. It is comprised of small fishing villages, pine forests, and endless sand dunes.
- The Riga Motor Museum which has an impressive collection of vintage cars including a unique display of old Soviet limousines from the Kremlin Garage.
Riga Motor Museum
- The Gauja National Park in Latvia
Gauja National Park
- The Kadriorg Park, along with a visit to KUMU
, the award-winning new Estonian Art Museum
Estonian Art Museum
Which tours to Riga are the most affordable?
Baltic Tours offers a lot of options for tours to Riga and other cities in the Baltics. All of these tours include a visit to Vilnius in Lithuania, Riga in Latvia, and Tallinn in Estonia. These three major cities are the capitals of their nations and provide plenty of authentic European charm and interesting historical sights at a cost that is much lower than their western European counterparts. Another tour is available which includes a visit to Helsinki, Finland along with these 3 Baltic cities. Furthermore, as mentioned above, the various tour options take you to many other smaller countryside locations in these nations such as to the castles, religious sights, and natural areas.
These tours are described in detail below.
The best of the Baltic Highlights in 8 days
The Best of the Baltic Highlights tour
offers 8 days and 7 nights of some terrific experiences and adventures. This tour covers 3 countries and a visit to 39 places of interest. A maximum of 42 people can be accommodated in this group (ages 7 and up).
This tour will first stop at the graceful city of Vilnius in Lithuania. The city is known for its bustling life, friendly citizens and elegant architecture comprised of various monuments. The tour will visit many places, including the Peter and Paul Church in Vilnius.
The next stop will be Riga, but first, along the way, you can find the famous Hill of Crosses and the Rundale Palace - known as the Versailles of Latvia - which is known for its luxury Baroque architecture.
After reaching Riga, every visitor is sure to get bowled over by its charm and hospitality. The amazing views and splendid architecture of the Latvian capital are accentuated by its museums and concert halls. The city is also home to Livu square, which is a busy area with nightclubs and bars.
Tallinn in Estonia is the last stop on the tour and it comprises a dynamic urban life, special viewing galleries and a well-preserved medieval town center. This Old Town area is known as the best in Europe for its conservation efforts. The Great Guild Hall in Tallinn will also be visited by the group.
Other features of the tour include buffet breakfasts, a welcome package, a welcome meeting with juice and cocktails, a bi-lingual English-German escort, and transportation with a motorcoach and minivan along the route.
Overall, this tour is great if you enjoy the experiences of art, culture, sightseeing, wellness, and spas along with your travel.
More details here
The best of Baltic Highlights + Baltic Coast in 8 days
The Best of The Baltics + Baltic Coast tour
offers 8 days and 7 nights which provide a full picture of the Baltics. This tour covers 3 countries and a visit to 43 places of interest. A maximum of 26 people can be accommodated in this group (ages 7 and up).
The first stop in Vilnius, Lithuania will blow your mind with its charming and narrow Baroque streets, as well as the spectacular views of Trakai Castle in Lake Galve. The Curonian Spit, which embodies the beauty of the sea-side in Lithuania, will make you fall in love with the countryside and count as among the best experiences of your lifetime.
After the city of Vilnius, the next stop will be Lativa with its capital city of Riga. Riga offers a blend of architecture, nightlife, food, and more to experience. Some say that Riga is on a quest to be the city with the best riverside views.
Old Town Tallinn, Estonia
The trip will end in the city of Tallinn, known for being one of Europe's most dynamic cities. It is also the capital of Estonia and a trip to the Baltics is incomplete without experiencing the views from the Kohtuotsa viewing platform in the city center. Tallinn also offers one of the best dining experiences among the 3 Baltic countries.
Other features of the tour include buffet breakfasts, a welcome package, a welcome meeting with juice and cocktails, bi-lingual English-German escorts, and a motorcoach and minivan along the route.
In effect, if you are a fan of culture, history, seaside, sightseeing, and some spa experiences, then the Best of The Baltics + Baltic Coast is a great tour to hop on.
More details here
The best of the Baltics + Helsinki in 10 days
Old Town Riga
The Best of The Baltics + Helsinki
tour is a 10-day, 9-night tour to the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, along with a visit to the Finnish capital of Helsinki. In effect, this tour covers 4 countries and a visit to 51 amazing places of interest. A maximum of 42 people can be accommodated in this group, (ages 7+).
This tour jumps you right into the middle of all three of the Baltic metropolises, each with its unique history, masterful architecture, and medieval spirit. After experiencing the Baltic states, you will visit the capital of Finland, Helsinki. This bright city will embrace you with open arms in its numerous coffee shops, tantalizing Finnish saunas, as well as a full-fledged city tour. Temple Square, Rock Church, and the Linnanmaki Amusement Park
are among the best places to visit in the city, and you can see all of them.
Other features of the tour include buffet breakfasts, a welcome package, a welcome meeting with juice and cocktails, a bi-lingual English-German escort, and a motorcoach and minivan along the route. You will also be provided a second class ferry ticket from Tallinn to Helsinki.
If you would like a city tour experience and also enjoy the gastronomic delights along with history and shopping, then The Best of The Baltics + Helsinki is the right experience for you.
More details here
The Bottom Line
With its great range of tours in the Baltics, along with affordable tours to Riga, Baltic Tours provides plenty of great options for every type of traveler. Not only will the experience be affordable, but will also offer conveniences, numerous places to visit, and a stress-free experience.
For more information and to make a booking, visit the Baltic Tours website
to get started.
Riga's historic main square