Is Riga cheap still ?
Updated: 6 days ago
For a long time now Riga has been seen as a cheap weekend get away to escape the higher prices found in Western and Northern European cities but is Riga cheap? In many cases it is still true that in comparison with more expensive cities Riga does offer more for less but as I write this article in the winter of 2022 I cannot help but reflect on many of the comments our tour guests have made in the past months.
Latvia is experiencing very high rates of inflation, around 20% as I write this. Some items have just ballooned in price and energy prices are effecting all service industries. You can also check out our earlier article about prices in Riga.
What is Cheap in Riga?
Below i will list a number of services / items that comparatively speaking is still really cheap on European standards November 2022)
Tickets to the Latvian National Opera - from 5.95 euro
Ticket to the Cineam - around 8 euro for adult
Public transport ticket (pre paid) - 1.15 euro 1 ride adult
Big Mac - 3.75 euro
Workers lunch menu regular local central Riga cafe 3 course - 8-10 euro
Guided tour at the KGB - 10 euro per person
Visit to the viewing platform of St Peter's Church 9 euro
Milk 1 litre - 1 - 2 euro
Bread loaf 1 - 2 euro
Coffee - 2 - 3 euro
"I thought Riga is Cheap! Last night I paid 7 euro for a beer!"
Yes, I have really had this said to me in the past weeks about prices not being cheap in Riga. However, I would not be so shocked to hear this kind of beer price from a tourists to be honest. Prices of beer have been rising at an alarming rate. You will often find 3.50 - 5 euro beers on offer throughout Riga as a standard for a half litre (as of winter 2022) but it should be noted that there are still some cheaper places around and even some local craft beers on tap can be found for less than 3.50.
"At least the Taxis are cheaper in Riga than back home"
This can be true depending on where you are from and where you mostly use Taxis. There is some very competitive rates around Riga mostly fuelled by the apps such as Bolt taxis that in a way create rates based on the usage at any one time. This is still going to be the best option for a cheaper taxi ride than picking up one directly at the airport departures. Watch out for the sketchy Taxis, too many years of hearing tourists getting ripped off. I dont need to hear it again. The apps give you a level of safety and assurance that the Grey Taxi World does not!
''Where can we eat for cheap in Riga, we are students :( "?
Almost every few days now we meet shivering groups of Erasmus students exploring Riga. Someone really needs to tell these youngsters about different climates in Europe as showing up in Riga when its zero degrees and snowing with just a pair of Vans on is not going to end well... I drift off the question a little. So, after meeting these cold, shivering, cost conscious, hostel dorm dwellers it often becomes clear that not only did no one tell them how to dress but no one seems to have fed them either....
And so it begins, where can we eat cheap in Riga. And this is where the Best bakery in Riga comes in "Mārtiņa Beķereja" which you can find across Riga - look here at their website. This is a super cheap option and very typical / pensioner / student friendly.
The second place I send these students is to Cafe Rama, Krišjāņa Barona iela 56. This temple and cafe can be very affordable if you know what and how to order. Chose items that are sold by 'porcija' You can ask for half or full in some cases. Right now i can eat half portion of rice, some lentil spice sauce and a kofta with a papadam for around 4 euro. Nice! Check their website - Here
My 3rd option to the cold, hungry, cost conscious future of society is to look for business lunch / lunchtime menus around Central Riga. Yes, lunch is a big meal in Latvia Mon - Friday and in Riga there is no shortage of cafes, bars, restaurants who plate up a few dozen set menus to the locals for to have a main for 4 euro, 5 - 6 euro with a soup. This should be your main meal of the day if you are on a budget. A good few lunch menus can be found around Terbatas / Stabu iela but have a look around. Gauja and Bāka are well known for their lunch menus.
''Where can we stay for cheap in Riga" ?
We live here so its hard to know about the accommodation rates for visitors but I would guess right now may hotels are cheaper than hostels ad airbnb's - Just simply because they need to keep rolling after the pandemic and now rising prices that are devastating the industry. Some of you say is it no true that Airbnb's are the best value? NO. Airbnb's destroy local house markets and raise rental expectations for owners. its only the house owning locals who proser. The rest, they suffer
"So what's cheap in Riga these days"?
Well it seems that a new transport card will come into action, allowing users to jump between routes and trams / buses within a time frame of 90 mins I think. That's a good thing and well the next best thing in Riga is.... Riga free tour. You guessed it :)